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Author Topic: Side tension  (Read 460 times)

Offline MRS

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  • Posts: 5
Side tension
« on: July 05, 2021, 05:02:21 PM »
What would be the most common, Measured in inches?

Offline GobbleNut

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  • Southern New Mexico
Re: Side tension
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2021, 09:45:51 AM »
I think the lack of response to your question is because a lot of our mouth-call-makers use tension meters.  Since I don't, I will try to give you an answer.

I stretch my reed material "by feel",...and a lot of that comes from experience using different reed materials.  For instance, stretching thin material to the same tensions as thicker material will result in significant variations in sound quality.  Generally speaking, the tighter you stretch your material, the higher the resulting pitch will be in the call (all other factors being equal),...and the thinner the reed material used, the more that pitch variation will be exaggerated. I also stretch each reed in a call individually, and that complicates matters even more.  ...And I can't overemphasize that reed cuts play a major role in the sound any particular call will produce when all is said and done. (reed cuts are an entirely different discussion unto themselves)

Having said all of the above, I would generally say that I stretch my reed material,...again depending on the thickness,...to an average of about 1/4" to 1/2"...and with about 3/8" being the "mean".  Thinner material I stretch less,...thicker material, more. 

I qualify all of these comments with the caveat that everybody has varying and unique calling mechanics.  What works for me might not necessarily work for anybody else.  In the end, each of us has to figure it out for ourselves.  ...Hope this helps at least a little bit....  :D :icon_thumright:


Offline MRS

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Re: Side tension
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2021, 07:08:46 AM »
Thanks for the reply Gobble Nut and not just for this post but the many previous
Pages of posts I have read back on. It means alot to a beginner no matter the age to get a response back.

I just recently  bought a Feather Ridge hand jig from Thad and have made several calls of various options as you are aware as well as side tension/stretch and was just curious to what others may apply. I  seem to be very  light according to your estimate  as I am at a 1/4" being my high end.

Offline GobbleNut

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  • Southern New Mexico
Re: Side tension
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2021, 08:59:26 AM »
I  seem to be very  light according to your estimate  as I am at a 1/4" being my high end.

When I first started making calls, I had a tendency to stretch the material with less tension than I typically do now.  In the end, it is all about finding the right combination of tension in relation to the thickness of the material you are using,...and also as it relates to all the other factors involved. 

For example, I started out using mostly .003 material and proph for most of my calls, and I probably put something in the neighborhood of 1/4" stretch in them.  More recently, I use mostly combinations of .004 material as the primary (top) reed and with .003 as the back-up reed material.  For me to achieve the pitch and tonal qualities I am looking for, I have to stretch that heavier material more tightly than the thinner stuff.   

Again, there are many factors that come into play in mouth calls that impact sound.  Hitting on the right combination of reed materials, layering, reed spacing, stretch (including side, back, and even front tension), and cuts often requires a great deal of experimentation,...and a bit of good luck, as well.  There as literally endless combinations of all of those factors in making calls. 

Finally, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, understanding how the reed cuts impact sound and knowing how to adjust your reed cuts to get each call to where you want it to be is the single most important thing you can learn to do,...in my opinion.   

Fortunately, mouth calls are pretty inexpensive to make,...and for me at least, making them is an enjoyable way to pass the time between seasons.   :icon_thumright: :D