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How to Make a Duck Call Tone Board

by Jeremiah Blanchard
A typical duck call is composed of a barrel, reed and a tone board.

A typical duck call is composed of a barrel, reed and a tone board.

Hunters employ a variety of tools in order to catch the type of game they're after. Duck hunters typically use duck calls in order to lure the waterfowl into the target range. A duck call is composed of a reed, barrel and an insert -- otherwise known as a tone board. A tone board is the piece that the reed sits against and its design is what produces the sound. You can make a tone board for your duck call right at home.

1.

Measure the diameter of the call barrel that the tone board will be fit into. The tone board needs to fit snugly. Otherwise it will produce a rattling noise.

2.

Shape the wood you're using for the tone board on a lathe until you reach the proper dimensions of your measurements in Step 1. Ensure that the tone-board has a round taper on the bottom and a flat taper on the top. Brush off any excess sanded material.

3.

Cut a shallow channel -- using a chisel or rotary tool -- lengthwise into the center of the tone board three-fourths as long as your reed that you'll be using. Sand the flat part of the tone board down with fine-grit sandpaper until perfectly flat and smooth.

4.

Set the reed onto the tone board and check that the reed sits flush against the board, without any gaps or spaces. Modify the board if needed until the reed sits completely flat.

5.

Fit the tone board and reed into the barrel to check for appropriate fit. The tone board and reed need to fit snugly into the barrel with no spaces or movement.

Items you will need

  • Wood, acrylic or preferred material
  • Lathe
  • Sandpaper
  • Chisel or rotary tool

Tip

  • The material that you use and the depth of your groove/channel will alter the sound that the call produces. Experiment with different materials, groove depths and reeds until you have a tone board that works best for your hunting needs.

Warnings

  • Always have a valid hunting license on your person while hunting in any state.
  • Use caution when calling ducks. Ducks can be aggressive.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images