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Foamer Tutorial

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Foamer Tutorial
I was asked to post a tutorial on the making of my oil-boom foam decoys. This will be moved to the Carvers Corner once I get it posted.
Some background: During the Gulf oil spill, miles of oil boom was deployed. When the boom got busted up by storms, long sections of foam inserts were scattered all over the shoreline.
This a foam insert:



I gathered a pile of this foam to make decoys.
1st step was to cut out & "carve" blanks. Easy to do with a hand saw, a sureform rasp and rough sand paper



Next I cut out burlap to cover the blanks. I used left over tile mastic from a bathroom tile job.
I used two pieces of burlap, a bottom & top. Best way to apply mastic is get some good rubber "kitchen" gloves, reach in the bucket and smear it on. Smooth it with your hands, you will get a feek for how thick it needs to be.
Bottom burlap "glued on".


Top burlap going on:


Finished Blank


Mastic may take days to dry depending on the humidity and temps.

Next Step: Heads & Keels


Carl
Mobile, AL
DHBP Member since 1998

"Life is too short to drink bad beer."
Disclaimer: This post and/or report is not a substantiation of or reflection on the true accuracy of the present surveying methods. It is only a report on or comment concerning local observation and/or results. Your results and observation may vary based on your location, local water conditions, food supply, weather conditions and migratory patterns "
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Re: Foamer Tutorial: Page 2 In reply to
I made keels from 1x4 Azec (sp?) composite trim boards, ripped in length, cut to size & drilled for screw to attach to the blank.
When I mounted the keels, I coated the "top" of the keel with mastic, stuck it to the blank & then put two 3" deck screws through the keel into the body. After 3 season, only one decoy has lost a keel and I stepped on that one.



I used pine 1x4 for heads. Real simple gunner stuff here.
I drilled holes and glued two small dowels into the bottom of the heads.
I then drilled two holes into the burlaped blank, filled the holes with glue.
Then I put some mastic on the bottom of the heads and then inserted the heads into the blank.

Heads:



Painting Heads




Heads attached:



Next Page: Finished Decoys


Carl
Mobile, AL
DHBP Member since 1998

"Life is too short to drink bad beer."
Disclaimer: This post and/or report is not a substantiation of or reflection on the true accuracy of the present surveying methods. It is only a report on or comment concerning local observation and/or results. Your results and observation may vary based on your location, local water conditions, food supply, weather conditions and migratory patterns "

Last edited by:

Carl: Feb 11, 2013, 10:30 AM
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Re: Foamer Tutorial: Page 3 In reply to
Here are some finished birds









Havent had a chance to use the 1/2 dzn Scoters I made (Actually thought of selling them, PM me and make an offer.)




On the water. They float well, but are not self righting. If I had used wood for keels, I would drill a coulple of holes and pour in some lead to make them self-righting.





Tips and advice:
Working with EPS foam to make blanks is very easy. I got to where I could cut out & rough out a decoy in about 5 minutes.
Burlapping is just as easy once you get the hang of it. Find a spare saturday and you can easily knock out a dozen or two once you get moving.
I used landscaping burplap, cheap and works fine.
When I make more of these, I will round them over and add more detail. A few extra minutes and they could look a lot better. The ducks dont care, but I do!
I also thought about adding pine bottom boards to make the keel attachment more sturdy. But this has not yet been a problem, so to keep it cheap, I may stick with my current design.
This spring & summer, I plan to make redheads and buffie, I will post up when I get done.


Carl
Mobile, AL
DHBP Member since 1998

"Life is too short to drink bad beer."
Disclaimer: This post and/or report is not a substantiation of or reflection on the true accuracy of the present surveying methods. It is only a report on or comment concerning local observation and/or results. Your results and observation may vary based on your location, local water conditions, food supply, weather conditions and migratory patterns "
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Re: Foamer Tutorial: Page 3 In reply to
It does my decoy carving heart good to see somebody else using simple 1 x 4 for decoy heads. I do the same thing.

I've never made foamer(s) using mastic-- only crab-pot bouys, but it seems like a great way to make effective, working decoys.

Thank you for posting this. Happy hunting.
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Re: Foamer Tutorial In reply to
What a Great idea! Nice job!
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Re: Foamer Tutorial In reply to
Excellent looking decoys!!! Thanks for sharing!

Mike Rowinsky


Mike in Florida panhandle... NOWHERE near your spot
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Re: Foamer Tutorial In reply to
That's the way to do it. You will kill just as many birds over those as someone hunting with lifelike decoys.

Great use of a resource that would have been rubbish otherwise.
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Re: Foamer Tutorial: Page 3 In reply to
i use trex deck material as keels and i do so testing it is very dense and waterproof , it is 1'' thickk and abuot 1/2lenght of deke attach with gorilla glue .they really work well off montauk , and i dont mess with lead.
teach your children to hunt trap and fish and they wont mug little old ladies
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Re: Foamer Tutorial In reply to
Impressive use of materials! I wish I could get foam of this dimension for merely picking it up off the beach!

I really appreciate this tutorial, as I wanted to make some foamers with burlap covering. Seeing it all laid out encourages me to "just do it" this summer. My biggest hurdle, being inland, is finding foam cheap/free, especially in dimensions and thicknesses needed to make some magnum divers........

If you have a table saw, with a dado blade, you could cut a groove into the bottom of your foam blank so the keel is recessed into the foam. Might end up more sturdy than flush gluing it to the bottom. A dowel running between the heads and the keel would tie it all together........ I am working on this design for some flatties I hope to do this summer.

PM me and I'll gladly send you (by snail mail) some body and head patterns for bobtail cans and bobtail goldeneyes. foam is a grea material for bobtails.........



Mike Pierce

"Excellence is always worth the effort, but it is not always worth the price," One of the posted core beliefs at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy