Foam teal project

bob welsh

Well-known member
One of my favorite hunts of the year is in Louisiana where i have a lease. It is a teal grey duck and pintail shoot over fifty or so wood blocks. i hunt from pit blinds in the marsh but the ducks feel the pressure and retreat to spots that i need to walk in quite a distance.
I have been noodling on a big rig of teal that would be light enough to drag around from place to place. So fast forward to my project.
I used 2 inch pink foam
3D printed heads
construction adhesive
thin set mortar

Interesting with the 3D printed heads..
What material did you use? My son does a lot of 3D printing, never crossed my mind...Thanks
I got 75 or so out of a 4x8 sheet of foam. I used a simple pattern . Before shaping i cut a slot in the centerline bottom and glued a chunk of lead . The coating was a test of various materials . Corn cob , sawdust burlap . i decided on a mix of thin set titebond and water with sawdust 2 coats . Head in pic is prototype made from 3/4 pine but i'm having it duplicated on a 3d printer. No detail on head or bill. more to come .
You and I are in the same boat. We have sons that are way more technical than their fathers. My son is working on mine and we are down to the final prototype before production. He is using ABS and can make the heads thin or thick or light or heavy but it comes down to how strong do you need it to be . He thinks about 35 cents a head
Awesome project! I am in on a camp in S. Louisiana. September teal season is my favorite time of the year, next to big duck season of course!

How long does it take to print one head?

What are the dimensions of your teal bodies?
Paul, My son ran three prototypes making changes for shape and density. The last one included a threaded hole for a 1/4 screw eye. I don't know yet how long each copy will take but he tells me that at that point it's just hitting the button and having the machine loaded with the abs spool .

The simple body is 10 x 5x 2. It's a flattie but i bring the neck area down by a half inch about an inch back from the front to create a bit of a shoulder.
The coating is drying hard on the first batch . I visit some of the foam sculpture and modeling sites to get some tips but it's pretty much a restle coat tweaked.
I plan on texas rigging them and am working on an anchor attachment options.
I've got 50 bodies in various stages of competition. I can whip out the bodies in 5 minutes and when i get a dozen or so I mix up the glue water and thin set. I apply with a cheap brush to the raw foam and sprinkle with sawdust. The first batch of coating came out a little coarse so I swiped a noodle strainer from the kitchen and dusted the wet birds by shaking it over the top. My experience over the years has been they can be abrasive in the boat or bag so trying to mitigate the chafing.84D63067-50D4-43F4-BACD-6B970EA28838.jpeg4E78C29D-5407-44AC-9159-2B2823987447.jpeg34A98DE2-1074-4DC8-B3FC-2A9E859D76E3.jpeg
very cool project, you're really cranking them out.
only 6 months until teal season!
Waiting on the 4th revision of the head. I will see it today. Its taking a bit of time because my son is a couple hours away so its a long time between revisions. And hes doing me a favor so I cant hound him like I used to when he was a teenager!
In the meantime most of the 75 bodies are dry enough for the primer paint coat of rustoleum. So far they are drying and curing very hard.
I tried the sand rite on the foam but it produced to much fine dust. Over the last 40 years I have eaten alot of cedar and pine dust and its probably not so good for me, but I drew the line with the foam. All the bodies were done with a rasp and a course sanding belt wrapped around a 2x4 scrap. Still only took 5 min. Years ago when I worked in alot of black cork using the sanding drum, I would be blowing my nose black for a week. (sorry about the mental pic).
Winter is still hanging on in Chicago so I cant rely on the sun to bake these hard just yet, but I do have most of them primed.
I too am more careful with dust after my non-smoking Father died of lung cancer. I can't work in a mask, so bought a large down draft table that I ducted outdoors. I can even spray paint over it and barely smell anything upstairs in the house.
I even wore a mask when cutting them out on the bandsaw. Starting the Save What I Have Left tour.