By Jerry Long, February 13, 2011 

Long overdue, this week’s post covers how to make a striker for your turkey call.

Two recent dustyvarmint woodwork’s calls with strikers.

For the sake of brevity there are a lot of details missing. If you have questions, ask. I have no secrets.

Safety – Make sure you practice safety in the shop including eye, ear, respiratory and body part safety practices.

I start with some 1″ thick wood, poplar here, and rip it to 1″ wide on my table saw. I mark the center of the end and tap it with an awl for better centering on the tailstock live center.

I mount it in my PSI Barracuda chuck and bring up the tailstock.  

dv’s Time-Out Corner:  Strikers can be turned on a spur drive.  However, deflection (the spinning wood bouncing away and then back into the gouge’s cutting edge) at the transition from fat to skinny, or top to bottom, caused me to break a number of them.  This occurred even with sharp tools.  Having a broken striker come flying off the lathe at me wasn’t much fun.  I’ve not broken a single striker since switching to a jaw chuck.

I rough it with a 3/4″ roughing gouge.

I mark it according to my spec sheet, size it in with the parting tool and verify the measurement with calipers. Determine your sizes by your preference or using a commercial sample.

I finish the top with a 3/8″ detail gouge.

I size in the bottom a little more and will begin turning the bottom end. I do this in stages as I’ll start to encounter deflection the smaller the diameter becomes.

With my detail gouge I turn the bottom of the balance and verify measurements.

I round over the top end. Then I get out the turner’s friend, sandpaper, and smooth everything out.

I use a story stick to lay out some decorative lines.

I score the lines with a skew and then burn them in with some florist wire. 

*Caution *Caution *Caution – Never, ever wrap the wire around your fingers and always wear eye protection.  You could lose fingers if the wire gets caught up on the striker or lathe.  Use dowels as handles and hold very slightly with finger tips. 

I add some sanding sealer. I keep all finish 1″ from the end using tape.  I used to use Myland’s Melamine Lacquer as a sealer, which I really liked, but I couldn’t find it locally and the hazardous material shipping charge made it too expensive.  So, I switched to Deft thinned 50% with lacquer thinner which works well. 

I cut the top and bottom waste off at the bandsaw.

I sand the nub on the top down with some 150 grit on the belt sander.

I form a rounded tip on the end with the belt sander.

Here I give the top a little TLC with sand paper, refine the rounded tip with some 100 grit and then 60 grit sand paper and add two coats of sanding sealer to the top.  The striker is now ready for 2-3 coats of Custom Oil matte gun stock finish (available from Brownell’s).   

happy call making, dv

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Copyright © Jerry E Long, 2009-2011