How do they make a wooden duck?
To start with, you have to understand that it is not entirely made from wood, in fact the basic element is the bamboo body, which is then affixed with wooden elements to create the duck, usually made from scrap local teak wood, a buy product of the local furniture industry.
Because the basic element of bamboo is a key ingredient of this product, it has been developed in a country with sufficient resources to sustain this business, which in the case of ducks is Indonesia. So where ever you purchase your finished duck, for sure it started its life somewhere in Indonesia.
When I say bamboo, what I’m actually referring to is the root rather than the stem, which has far more useful functions within the local community for house building and numerous other functions.
The root, an otherwise wasted buy product has proven to be an ideal shape for a duck body and has been central in the development of this product over the last twenty years. It is robust and strong and takes a lot of time to degrade, making it ideal material for indoor or outdoor use.
The basic root is covered in small root spikes which have to be cut and shaved from the root to create a clean working surface, though examples do exist with ducks that retain some of these spikes for an alternative appearance.
Once the root has been prepared a degree of machining is required to create joints within the piece to allow the connection of the wooden head and legs which have been prepared separately with a range of hand tools.
With the completion of all the elements, all the pieces can then be assembled to create the duck. However, this is not the final phase as both the wood and root will need to be smooth. This part of the process is the most labour intensive and has been traditionally undertaken by local housewives by providing a much sought after additional income for rural families, who for women would otherwise have no access to employment.
This process basically involves the hand sanding of all the material until smooth, which usually takes the form of two or three stages of sanding with increasingly finer grade of sand paper.
The product is now complete in its natural state and is ready for any further preparation required by the customer.
This may include the use of a wood preservative, or a wood stain or simply the application of a varnish or a combination of treatments.
This in turn has created different market pricing points as the standard of the finished product will vary as a consequence of the process used. At the top end of these price bands is the brand created by dcuk of the same name. With a method of production and finishing which remains a closely guarded secret, but allows them to set the highest prices for any wooden ducks.
In the middle range can be found the likes of Geko from CV Apollo UK and a host of hand painted colour variations.
While at the bottom end duck will have been simply been sprayed with a thin varnish layer or remain in their natural finish.
Your choice of wooden ducks has never been greater and continues to grow.