Duck decoys are very important to duck hunting; these are available in sports stores and hunting stores, although quality ones could set you back about $55 to almost $100. Those who are experienced at carving might want to carve their own duck decoys from wood, but then again not many people are experienced carvers. There are other, easier ways of making your own duck decoys; who knows, this might become a new hobby for you, one that can even surpass your love for hunting ducks! Read on for some essential guidelines for making duck decoys:
- Prepare the necessary materials. For this project, you will need an aluminum duck mold, which can be purchased from hobby stores or from online shops such as americandecoy.net and duckdecoys-sports.com. Generally, these molds have the body and head of the duck separate; you’d just have to put these two parts together later on. When choosing duck mold, it’s best that you purchase one that comes with an extracting mechanism (in the form of a large bolt) that will help you remove the finished product out of the mold later on.
Apart from the aluminum mold, one other primary material you will need is the foam that will make up the body of the duck decoy. Though there are two types of foam usually used for this project – EPS and two-part urethane- the two-part urethane is more recommended because it is safer to use and it is generally more durable. However, it can be more expensive than EPS. Other materials you need include the following: release agent (such as paste car wax) which will keep the foam from sticking stubbornly to the mold; large C-clamps (3 inch clamps for the body and 2 inch clamps for the head); screws; disposable cups and paint sticks for mixing the 2-part foam; and safety goggles and latex gloves.
- Apply releasing agent to the mold. First, clean the inside cavity of the mold, to get rid of any dust or debris. Afterwards, apply the releasing agent: make sure that you apply this thoroughly, throughout the entire inner surface area of the mold, without skipping an inch.
- Mix the two-part urethane foam properly. It’s very important that you carefully read the instructions for mixing the urethane foam; you will need a weighing scale to ensure that you have accurate measurements. Once you’ve prepared the foam, you can pour it in one half of the duck body mold. Quickly attach it to the other half of the duck mold and clamp them together with the C-clamp (do know that foams usually expand 1.5 minutes after they’re poured so it’s important that you act fast). Do this also for the head mold.
- Wait. Set the molds aside overnight to let the foam dry. The next day, remove the C-clamps and separate the two halves of the mold (you can use a screwdriver to help you detach them). Then, with a mallet tap the aluminum mold to loosen the foam. Use the extracting mechanism to help you remove the foam completely. Shave the foam with sandpaper to smooth out its edges.
- Attach the duck head to the body. Use a screw to attach these two parts together. You can use a 4 inch long deck screw for this purpose.
- Use paint to decorate your duck. Make sure to make it look as realistic as possible. Use waterproof paint with waterproof sealant.
Remember, you have to make sure that you use protective gear when doing this activity.