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Early birthday present: Custom Calls!


Senior Member
I just got a package from home and it included a two birthday gifts and a letter from my dad. Pretty cool.

A little background: my dad bought a small woodworking lathe a few years ago and got into the hobby of making pens and pencils. He had made probably over a hundred now, made from everything from walnut, rosewood, acrylic, ebony, curly maple, some really exotic african woods, etc. I haven't given him the right shed for him to try antler yet but I'm sure he can do it. I just had this idea and I will have to start a thread in the deals/steals section and post some of them when I get home to take pictures of them. Here's a set that he made for me, a very simple walnut and satin pen and pencil:


A few months ago I saw somewhere that there are squirrel and rabbit calls (as well as duck calls, of which I know nothing about) that can be made using the same lathe, chuck setup, etc and asked for one of each for my birthday or Christmas. And, he delivered! The rabbit squeeler sounds pretty crazy but the squirrel call is right on.


For you technical, woodworking folks, this is the letter that I got from him:

"Enclosed you will find a couple of my latest projects. They were fun to do because I had to do some "new" methods and skills. To drill through the longer blank, my drill press won't drill quite four inches deep. So I had to mount the blank (when it was still 1.5" x 1.5" square) in the lathe chuck and chuck the drill bit on the tail stock (still) and then drive the still drill bit into the rotating wood. I've seen this procedure in articles, but I had never done it before. Also the calls take a different kind of pens than the mandrel than the pens do, so it was another technique. The mouth piece of the calls requires a 31/64th inch hole. That's slightly smaller than half an inch [thanks dad]. I had to go to Woodcraft to get a drill bit for it (Rather than buy one 31/64 bit for $8.99, I found a set on sale that has 29 bits from 1/32 through 1/2 inch at each 1/64 increments. The set was on sale for $24.99, so in theory, I have whatever size bit I need for the next project, as long as it is less than 1/2 inch.

I ordered both a rabbit and a squirrel call kits. After I got them, I noticed that the reeds are identical as far as I can tell (though they do make different noises). They say that you can pull the reed out of the reed assembly and turn it over if you don't like the noise you get. I didn't mess with it because I don't speak squirrel anyhow. I decided to make both calls anyhow, and made them slightly different. (They provided no pattern). You can tell the calls apart because the rabbit one is a little heftier (rabbits are larger than squirrels). Both are made of Cocobolo rosewood.

Now I do expect that by the time I come in May to bring you home that you will have learned how to call one of those College squirrels well enough that you have one coming to your window to be fed every day. If you do, I'll try to feed it peanuts by hand - Dad"

(When we were kids on a hike somewhere he fed a squirrel out of his hand, which proceeded to bite his finger. Classic memory).



Now Posts as Jesse..
SE Ohio
Pretty cool Ernie. My old man used to do some wood working as well. He's gotten away from it, but I hope he gets back into it some day. He's made some great furniture in his day. Those calls are certainly something to be cherished and I'm sure you'll give them the love they deserve!


Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
Steve- Those are the gifts that you can't put a price on. Those are awesome bud.

I am predicting Buckrun might just chime in on this thread. Something tells me he might have some experience in this department. Can you say "Predator calls." :smiley_chinrub:

Tree Monkey

NW ohio
I wish I had a decent lathe in the shop and I would try that.....I would like to work on some predator calls ! ....That would be sweet!!....Ern those are pretty neat and some thing you can hang on to for a long time.


Senior Member
Thanks guys, yes they are very special. Even though the day isn't until tomorrow, I called dad and told him that I got them and said thank you a half dozen times. We talked about the specifics and I think he actually put the rabbit call together backwards, but that can be fixed (I just don't have the tools to do it here) but the squirrel call is right on. Very cool.

I've already decided that I'll be doing a special squirrel hunt when I get home, just need a warming up day, thinking of taking the open sites .22 because it just seems like I should use something with a wood stock and go shoot me a squirrel! Who knows, I might even be able to get dad to come too.