Make your own bumpers/training dummies

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Make your own bumpers/training dummies

  Sheri Boedeker

  501 Cleveland St.
          PO Box 3
          Almena, Wisconsin - United States



Thick 1/2" pipe insulation......a 4 pack is $2 or less (makes about 20 8-9" bumpers)
7-8" spikes or carriage bolts.....price depends on where you get them
a few tubes of odor free silicone sealant.....4 tubes for $3 at Menards
Parachute cord......a 50 yard bundle is about $3
heavy duty canvas......about $6.00 a yard at Hancock Fabrics and you can buy 1/4 yard pieces to increase your color combinations. (one yard of fabric will make 40+)
A spool of heavy duty more than $2 (will make hundreds of bumpers)
Added extras:
1" black hold bird wings/feathers
Cotton flannel for scent --but, I just scent the canvas
wooden balls with holes (big wooden beads) for easy throwing
First, cut your pipe insulation....then, place a spike/carriage bolt in the center hole and fill hole with silicone--it will seem like a lot of silicone--maybe it is but, silicone is cheap.
Next, cut a piece of parachute cord long enough to double over for a good throwing string, knot and place the knotted end into the silicone at the spiked end of the silicone filled not place it on the head end. Also, if you want to put a 'bead' on the throw cord, string the bead, tie into place and then tie the ends and place in the silicone. Pull off the protectant cover (generally yellow plastic) and stick the edges of the insulation together. Allow to dry or set at least overnight...but, 24 hours would be better. (We have made them without waiting for the silicone to set and it is very messy.)
Canvas casing......
Measure around the tube.....add 1" and this will be the width of the canvas you are to cut.....measure the length of the tube and add 4", this is the proper length of the canvas you are to cut......
To sew the canvas case, first sew the width---leave 1/2" edge/bias and sew the length of the fabric. (Here is where pictures help) Sew boxed corners on one end....I generally fold the ends in (push fabric together so that it looks like an x) and sew with a 1/2" edge/bias. Turn the fabric inside out. Fit the pipe insulation inside the fabric with the cord/spike side facing out. Tuck the canvas fabric inside itself, center the throw cord and sew shut......TADAA!
You have a canvas bumper!
You can vary the colors however you choose....I split the canvas to make black/white, green/white and camo/white. If you have a seamstress (or anyone comfortable with a sewing machine) can make any combination you choose.
These bumpers float forever...I have only had one destroyed--I left it in the kennel to see what would was shredded. I have put them in a pond for 3 months and they were good as new---I have yet to put them into a washing machine---but, there is no reason why they couldn't be washed.
Anyway---anything beats paying up to $8 per dummy....
Oh make wing/feather holders.......take the elastic tape and cut it 1" shorter than the width of the canvas.....align the elastic wherever you want the wing holder to be and sew it in place...the elastic will be in the inside of the canvas when you make the first seam....when you turn the fabric inside out, you will see that the elastic is constricting the canvas--but it will be tight when you put the insulation in it….slip your training feathers underneath the elastic.
With the scent patches....just sew a small square of doubled over cotton flannel to the outside of the canvas before you sew it the first time.
Let me know how it works...and email or call Sheri @ 715-357-6047 if you have any questions or concerns......Good Luck!
Sheri Boedeker.....Happy Acres Labradors assistant trainer and I made 20 of them in about 1 1/2 hours---start to finish (we didn't wait for the silicone to dry--it was messy). If you don't mind spending the time---it is worth it.