Questions about cork...

Discussion in 'Duck & Goose Calling Forum' started by Paul Tidwell, Dec 11, 2018.

  1. Paul Tidwell

    Paul Tidwell New Member

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    Ladies and Gentlemen (mostly),

    I've been a semi-avid caller for over 10 years now, and lately, I find myself thinking about and seeking a greater understanding of how all the variables in call design interact and contribute to performance.

    Admittedly, most of what I've learned in this regard has come from this forum (I've been a snooper for years) and independent verification, but I know I've probably missed some good threads in here too. Anyway, I've finally come to terms with the significance of cork. It doesn't seem like it should matter that much, but okay, it does.

    I have many questions, but generally they fall into these categories.

    1.) Tightness in the notch.

    I've heard folks say if the cork deforms the base of the reed, it's too tight. Makes sense when you consider that this must give the reed a slight dish shape near the notch, and the degree of dishing will change as the cork weathers. Also, if the cork pushes the reed into the channel, it is restricting/changing air flow to some degree. BUT, practically every RNT I've owned has been this way. So, I'm assuming some deformation is accounted for in their design? Is there an ideal thickness?

    2.) Length in notch.

    Flush, behind, beyond... RNTs are almost universally beyond. I had an MVP that I could NOT tune to save life (it hesitated/air locked on an easy first note, every time), shortening the cork helped some. I finally sent it in and had John doctor it, and now, fantastic doesn't even begin to describe it! But I digress, during the process of trying to fix it myself, I experimented with every dimension of cork and reed, including tightness.

    3.) Material.

    Other than rate of decay, which I realize is also influenced by amount and acidity (or enzymatic activity) of spit, what else is contributed? An air tight seal is an air tight seal, right? How much tonal dampening can really be attributed to material?

    4.) What is it about a decayed cork that makes the call sound bad? I've had several that were still tight in the notch. No visible gaps, but still sounded or performed terribly until the cork was freshened. What gives? Would a less tight cork last longer?

    Thoughts and opinions much appreciated.
     
  2. billfisherman13

    billfisherman13 New Member

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    These are some great questions, and I hope some guys post their thoughts, as I have many of the same questions myself. My own biggest question being tightness in the notch. I've gotten cork from several call makers, however I feel my corks seem loose. Am I chewing them too much before inserting a new cork, and how does that affect the performance of the call? Particularly on the feed, does a 'loose' cork cause a call to stick more?
     
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  3. OneShotBandit

    OneShotBandit Elite Refuge Member Supporting Member

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    Be careful! The firsttime I replaced a cork on a acylic call I broke the piece above the notch.
     
  4. CA Birdman

    CA Birdman Elite Refuge Member

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    Main reason I blow a Lares. Why have a variable when it can be a constant with a solid wedge to hold reed in place on tone board. Before CNC machines and jigs made more sense as no two were exactly the same but now shouldn't be an issue.
     
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  5. Paul Tidwell

    Paul Tidwell New Member

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    Amen. The reliability of the Lares T1 has earned it a permanent spot on my lanyard. That said, it's a little coarse sounding (good or bad, depending on the circumstances) and to my ear, tone is somewhat tinny or thin sounding.

    Anyone ever experimented with plastic/rubber wedges on calls designed for cork?

    I've been harvesting local/natural sources of cork to experiment with, including: winged elm, sugarberry, Herculese club. I plan to share the results.
     
  6. California Flyway

    California Flyway Elite Refuge Member

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    As a rod builder and wine maker I have watched the quality of commercially available cork do steadily downhill over the last 40 years. What used to be AAA grade is now not nearly the same and in many cases not available.
    One source is the cork used by the high end wineries. It is clear grained and dense. It is pretty easy to make up a simple jig to cut wine corks. You can use sandpaper and a caliper to take down to more exact thickness.
    Since corks especially high quality ones do not have to be changed that often, it is worth the time and effort. God knows duck hunters spend a lot of time on other aspects of the sport.
     
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  7. freefall

    freefall Elite Refuge Member

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    Do yourself a favor and pick up a T1 small bore. It'll cure your T1 sound issues. You'll thank me later.
     
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  8. California Flyway

    California Flyway Elite Refuge Member

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    No need to to buy expensive wines, go to good restaurants and they will give you corks for free. The real expensive California wines will have the good stuff. You will quickly learn to recognize the quality of the good cork.
     
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  9. Paul Tidwell

    Paul Tidwell New Member

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    Excellent suggestion!

    Couple of questions...

    As someone with their finger on the pulse of the industry (relatively speaking), why do you believe good cork has become difficult for call makers to come by?

    What is the general idea/shape for a wine-cork-to-call-wedge jig?
     
  10. Paul Tidwell

    Paul Tidwell New Member

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    I appreciate the recommendation. I've been semi-looking for one since owning the regular bore... but, all the discussions I could find comparing the two leaned towards a consensus that a small bore wasn't capable of doing anything a regular couldn't. That it was just more of a ''limited" version. Never really saw anyone discussing tonal qualities though.
     

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