The chemistry of sound on wood pot calls

As a call maker I often have requests to make pot calls from a specific wood, surface or a certain design change that may or may not affect sound. Any call maker who loves his work wants his customer to be happy. In order for the customer to be happy the call chemistry has to be right. There is far more to it than just letting a buyer pick their favorite wood. Cheap or expensive woods will work. It doesn’t have to be a piece of exotic wood discovered on a remote island to make the best turkey sound. Regardless of appearance, rarity or unique trait the chemistry has to work. To explain what I mean about chemistry I’ll start with density. There are heavier dense woods to lighter more open fibrous woods. Picking the woods to be used with particular surfaces and soundboards takes trial and error. Density is a major key player in call construction. Change density and or wall thicknesses and you change tone and volume. Surfaces and sound boards resonate different tones. Acting as a musical instrument different woods produce different tones as well. During call construction the maker has to make changes necessary manipulating surfaces and sound boards to work with the call body. Wall thickness, sound board material and height are all parts of the instrument. Choosing striker material is also very important. The design of the tip, shank, head diameter, and density of wood is key. The denser the wood the less diameter or length of the head is needed for weight. Change these factors and once again tune the call. It is not as easy as picking your own favorite woods based on looks and character. If you have a preferred surface ask what woods will work. You may want a certain wood for a call but it may not be the best choice for a particular surface or vice versa. There are a lot of call makers out there willing to build you a call. You will get the best sounding of their call designs from combinations they suggest.

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