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What's on your workbench ? MARCH

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What's on your workbench ? MARCH
Good morning, All~


I drove down to Long Island yesterday - to prepare for the LIDCA Show in Hauppauge tomorrow. I left 4 inches of new snow and single digits with a chock-full Forester and found a clear-skied Winter day and dry ground here in Suffolk County. Craig Kessler and I discharged numerous last-minute tasks for the Show, re-installed the stern seat in his CASSIOPEIA - and helped a grad student band over 80 Broadbill on Great South Bay. Actually, they were mostly Lessers - so I suppose I should call them Bluebill.... We worked 'til well after dark and were rewarded with a glimpse of a Short-eared Owl's moth-like flight about 20 yards behind us. Photos (trapping) to follow in a separate post when I have time.



As for my "work bench" - I spent most of February preparing exhibits for tomorrow's Show. But, I did find the time to re-paint these two balsa Wildfowlers for a friend. I had first re-painted them in the early 1980s - and the pair is now destined to end their days rigged on a shelf.....






This pair came from The Bench of George Williams Himself - many years ago. They had seen a fair bit of service and called out for some fresh plumage. So, here is what G. Williams Mallids look like with a Sanford paint job (apologies to George!):






George: I did not re-paint the bottoms - and so your signature remains intact. I'd like to photograph both pairs on Great South Bay if I can find the time before delivering them tomorrow.



All the best,


SJS

Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Steve, did you seal those balsa blocks prior repainting, or were they sealed? Curious what Wildfowler used on balsa.
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Finished the last four heads Wednesday. Roughed this guy out yesterday, but I was too tired to post after removing snow from the downwind roof sections on our house yesterday for four hours and clearing it off the driveway via the snowblower.

Last edited by:

RLLigman: Mar 1, 2019, 3:10 AM
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Drake came out pretty darn close., and you certainly showed your flair on the hen. Curious, what is the date on the bottom? I ask because I would like to know how long the paint held up. Hopefully, they had plenty of service, and did their job well. YA DONE GOOD, fella!!!
Have a blast this weekend. Still mucking about a bit in the dungeon, getting some stuff put together for Runamuck's annual demo in Ohio next weekend.
Hey, don't forget to activate your camera at the ibew hall and get some shots of the Brant!!
george@runamuckdecoys.com

Last edited by:

george w: Mar 1, 2019, 4:51 AM
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Pintail deadmount now complete (...or at least work has been finally stopped at an interesting place Cool).
Spatter painted full-sized drake; remarqued handmade powder horn; shooters' bag made from an old leather jacket rescued from the Goodwill bin; and working hand turned pintail whistle.
Everything mounted on an antique mirror stand that was restored & refinished.

Chuck, I expect to be given full "master seamstress" status for my work on whipping up that leather "possibles" bag. Laugh










MLBob

"Art is like an ill-trained Labrador retriever that drags you out into traffic." (Annie Dillard)

....Here's to Joe Wooster, who made me realize that the useful could and should be beautiful; and who firmly believed that decoy carvers were the last free men in America.

https://www.facebook.com/KOOIdecoy?ref=hl

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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Now you need a muzzle loader side by side, to hang on hooks across the bottom. Didn't you have one as a kid? (and no, I don't have one to donate Cool )

Take care, Huntindave McCann Smile SHELL ROCK IA “As sailors grow older, the wiser ones move to smaller boats.” —Thomas Firth Jones, Multihull Voyaging
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Hats off to you Bob, That piece is a truly amazing work of art. Well done!

https://www.facebook.com/...e=1&l=9abd3a64df
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
You likely could get a non-functioning hammer gun "high patina" SXS relatively cheap to mount across the base. per Dave's suggestion.

I wish Gaynor "Bud" Nash was still alive, I could likely track one down through him. His dad had a couple hundred gun percussion arms collection with a lot of it circa 1850-1870s pieces. "Bud' used to hunt rabbits and winter season grouse out in the grape vineyards and woodlots west of Kalamazoo every weekend-actually, about two blocks from where my niece and her family now live- with us, shooting a Damascus barreled side-by-side and Italian shotshells.

Last edited by:

RLLigman: Mar 2, 2019, 7:44 AM
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Bob, excellent!


Lots of ice still outside but seems time for some spring work.
One finished the other in process.





Frank

FrankMiddletondecoys.com
Middletonboatworks.com
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Frank,

Nice lines on those Turkeys. Just curious, at what point do you go from the "flat bottom" rough carving to the full body profile? It appears you added more material? Wouldn't mind seeing some photos of the steps involved, if you have some handy.

Take care, Huntindave McCann Smile SHELL ROCK IA “As sailors grow older, the wiser ones move to smaller boats.” —Thomas Firth Jones, Multihull Voyaging
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Dave, yeah I add a second piece. These were both taken from a large piece of juniper. This is the bottom portion. Makes it easier to attach to the base when they are flat/ jointed already.
This bottom/ belly looks like an alien mask to me.



Frank

FrankMiddletondecoys.com
Middletonboatworks.com
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Dave , this one shows it together before glue up... making certain the weight is reasonable.

Frank

FrankMiddletondecoys.com
Middletonboatworks.com
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Frank,
Thanks, What wall thickness (generally speaking, obviously varies quite a bit) are you shooting for? What's average weight? Does one need a youngster along as a Sherpa? Wink By the time I gear up with a Double Bull enclosed blind, calls, shells (only need one, right), chair, gun and four to six foam decoys, I'm not sure I can add a bird to my load on the way out.

Take care, Huntindave McCann Smile SHELL ROCK IA “As sailors grow older, the wiser ones move to smaller boats.” —Thomas Firth Jones, Multihull Voyaging
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Frank, very nice work!! Did you develop the pattern yourself, or pull dimensions off of a commercially molded bird? There are iridescent powders available in acrylic...
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B0b,
Great piece of art work.Everthing in the Carving & backing Was Well Though Out & Put Together.
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Thanks, Paul. You carve a pretty mean pintail yourself. Hope you are doing well.

Frank, Those turkeys are some of the best I've ever seen! You've really nailed it.


MLBob

"Art is like an ill-trained Labrador retriever that drags you out into traffic." (Annie Dillard)

....Here's to Joe Wooster, who made me realize that the useful could and should be beautiful; and who firmly believed that decoy carvers were the last free men in America.

https://www.facebook.com/KOOIdecoy?ref=hl

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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Rick,
Thanks....
I had a roadkilled specimen and lots of photos. I recently have been enjoying the contrast of a bit of realism with the carving of the heads... that said they are in reality to thin, and so the head and neck are over sized.i like combining that with a looser paint job, so I?ll stay away from the powders.
Bob, the decoy once glued and painted is about 4 lbs. and the wall thickness aside from the rump and head areas is close to 3/8?.
Frank

FrankMiddletondecoys.com
Middletonboatworks.com
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
That's a right handsome vignette, Bob.
george@runamuckdecoys.com
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
 
Man O Live March is off and running.

Lots of very good work right outta the gate. Very impressive indeed.

Tough acts to follow...


After being unable to carve for many months I'm now getting back at it. Feels good to have knives, and rasps back in my hands.

Began carving this feeding drake Wood Duck decoy last August, to join others in my rig.

Solid Sugar Pine, cedar dowel from head into breast for strength, nail in the bill to prevent breakage.

The decoy weighs 14.8 oz. Still have to clean up the eyes, and seal the decoy.

Will paint when it's companions down in the shop are done.















"Art does not reproduce what is visible - but makes things visible." ~ Paul Klee, artist, 1920
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Vince,

That is quite the decoy, can't wait to see it all dressed up with paint. Do you stick that in dirt to use or attach it in some manner to a downed log or tree?
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Hollowed out cedar loon, bass wood head.Carved for a good friend.
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Will -

Thank you.

With a good hardwood dowel, or metal stake, it can be set up in various places that Wood Ducks like to hangout, and feed.

Cutbanks on a river or stream, where the acorns are falling is just one place. Also in fresh cut corn fields, in years of poor acorn crop.

I made a wooden insert for the front stake hole of my Marsh Boat. Can put the decoy there also, when the boat is well hidden.

Just something to add to the rig, and challenge my carving ability.


Best regards
Vince











"Art does not reproduce what is visible - but makes things visible." ~ Paul Klee, artist, 1920
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to


Medium low head content redead. One more in this head position and the other two will be lower dozing birds

Last edited by:

RLLigman: Mar 3, 2019, 7:27 AM
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Very nice apple heads, Rick!


MLBob

"Art is like an ill-trained Labrador retriever that drags you out into traffic." (Annie Dillard)

....Here's to Joe Wooster, who made me realize that the useful could and should be beautiful; and who firmly believed that decoy carvers were the last free men in America.

https://www.facebook.com/KOOIdecoy?ref=hl

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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Just finished up this canvas hen Hooded Merganser yesterday. I'm happy with the progress




Cheers,

Mike
Chairman - Barnegat Bay Chapter of Delta Waterfowl

Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Last edited by:

mike braden: Mar 4, 2019, 3:59 AM
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Thanks, Bob, I ended-up recutting the side pockets and lowering the primaries. Because I pieced the cheeks in, I will seal the heads on these low birds wit a couple of coats of warmed epoxy to prevent them from separating...hopefully!

Anyone replace the rheostat on a Detail Master III? Pretty sure this is the issue, per my multi-meter readings.
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Good morning, Mike~


Very nice! This bird fits 2 posts - a Hen Hoodie was the first duck I ever shot - 54 seasons ago....


All the best,


SJS

Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to


Drake courtship display can. This is the fourth one I have made off this pattern I "pulled off" a painting, each with a slightly different head angle and height.

Last edited by:

RLLigman: Mar 4, 2019, 7:46 AM
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Getting started on some new birds. Plane, gouge, weldwood.
________________________________________

My life has two seasons, duck season and carving season
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Nice work everyone! Finished some lesser scaup and redheads...



Pat Gregory
Illinois Waterfowler and Decoy Maker
Duckboat Page Member since 2006

"And when a flock of bluebills, pitching pondward, tears the dark silk of heaven in one long rending nose-dive, you catch your breath at the sound, but there is nothing to see except stars. This same performance, in daytime, would have to be looked at, shot at, missed, and then hurriedly fitted with an alibi."
Aldo Leopold in Sand County Almanac

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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Getting a few finished
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Hey Saluki, you going to make it to ohio this weekend?Smile
george@runamuckdecoys.com
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Good morning, Matt~


Beautiful birds all!


I need to finish this Greater Yellowlegs by tomorrow afternoon - for a friend's fundraiser. I just put the base coat of finish paint on - and the Mahogany base got slathered with Minwax "Gunstock" oil stain.


The bird is Basswood with a Hickory bill insert and the "leg" is brass rod.











Note that I used bronze boat nails for the eyes - not glass. It hails back to the "tack" and "button" eyes of early stool.


All the best,


SJS

Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
George~ Not sure If I'll be there or not. Sunday may be only day I can get up there.


Steve~ I took some liberties with your mallard pattern.
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
poor thing is starving, its ribs are showing!

Cool


Carl
Mobile, AL
DHBP Member since 1998

"Life is too short to drink bad beer."
Disclaimer: This post and/or report is not a substantiation of or reflection on the true accuracy of the present surveying methods. It is only a report on or comment concerning local observation and/or results. Your results and observation may vary based on your location, local water conditions, food supply, weather conditions and migratory patterns "
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Steve, love it. Classic form
Matt, good looking drake mallard and teal. Form and paint are very nice.
Pat, love seeing your work, as always.

Here is a recently painted drake pintail.



Frank

FrankMiddletondecoys.com
Middletonboatworks.com
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Finished up some teal tonite...




Pat Gregory
Illinois Waterfowler and Decoy Maker
Duckboat Page Member since 2006

"And when a flock of bluebills, pitching pondward, tears the dark silk of heaven in one long rending nose-dive, you catch your breath at the sound, but there is nothing to see except stars. This same performance, in daytime, would have to be looked at, shot at, missed, and then hurriedly fitted with an alibi."
Aldo Leopold in Sand County Almanac

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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Nice teal Pat.
Here?s the hen freshly painted

Frank

FrankMiddletondecoys.com
Middletonboatworks.com
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Pat and Frank~


Great birds. Of course, Turkey season will be here long before Teal season....(though I'd love to hunt Cinnamons and Bluewings sometime!)


Here's the finished Yellowlegs.






Those tack eyes got black paint and everything got satin varnish.






All the best,


SJS





Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Steve Sanford wrote:
Pat and Frank~


Great birds. Of course, Turkey season will be here long before Teal season....(though I'd love to hunt Cinnamons and Bluewings sometime!)


Here's the finished Yellowlegs.






Those tack eyes got black paint and everything got satin varnish.






All the best,


SJS






Dang!! Great work and details!
My recent works:
https://eatrbox.com/best-roaster-oven/
https://toodrie.com/organic-baby-cereals/
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Surprising to see how much great work has been posted in five days! I finished these two redheads and part of a broadbill trial bird before I lost my dust collector.



...and one scaup eye orbit filler that still needs to be finish sanded!!!

Last edited by:

RLLigman: Mar 9, 2019, 6:25 AM
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Frank, the body paint on that hen turkey decoy is really nice! Good color matches!
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What beautiful work, Bob. It is a great looking project. Love that bull sprig.
Al
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k

New pattern based on an old Jim Wick's scaup head that I ended-up with after his dog chewed the decoy into pieces. I made 38 heads off this in magnum to match 16 of 36 magnum black corks I made and kept. about five years ago. Eighteen more to go.



I am making a mold off this old redhead to do a run o14-15 decoys to fill-out the rig.

Last edited by:

RLLigman: Mar 11, 2019, 5:18 AM
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
It has been a while since I have posted. Glad to see all of the great decoys on the site.
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Nice decoys Rick!

Made a pair of ruddies and butterballs...




Pat Gregory
Illinois Waterfowler and Decoy Maker
Duckboat Page Member since 2006

"And when a flock of bluebills, pitching pondward, tears the dark silk of heaven in one long rending nose-dive, you catch your breath at the sound, but there is nothing to see except stars. This same performance, in daytime, would have to be looked at, shot at, missed, and then hurriedly fitted with an alibi."
Aldo Leopold in Sand County Almanac

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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Pat, that is an interesting perspective shot of that decoy, or is it two decoys? Your finish sanding work is impressive in itself!





This redhead drake preener was born from a band sawing mistake I made on the head. This head had to have the bill tip shortened, so I decided to finish it and spin it around to become a shoulder imbedded preener. I wanted something that would not take several pounds of lead to balance it out, when floating, so no dropped should and splayed spread primaries. ...and no pattern to work off. I did roll it a bit and angle the tail. I was going to cut a channel into the shoulder for the bill but realized cutting an insert well would work better for sealing and painting. I still have some finish sanding to do prior sealing. I will cut a plug to insert into the bill's "well" to look like tufted feathers

Last edited by:

RLLigman: Mar 12, 2019, 5:22 AM
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Sweet Grey Duck!


SJS

Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
All~


I just restored this Herter's Model 59 Redhead/Bluebill (an eBay find) - to match the Hen I got last Fall. I've updated the whole process on another post.






All the best,


SJS

Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
I recently had a discussion about Labrador ducks with a friend which inspired me to make my own version of a Labrador decoy. Non extinct version.
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Good morning, J~


Clever idea - well executed ! (Does the dogbone "bait" in other Labradors ?)


I just re-furbished a Wildfowler Canvasback given to me at the LI Decoy Collectors Show. It's a balsa-bodied Superior model. The head was loose and it was missing an eye - and it had been repainted. So, I felt free to have my way with it (with no loss of collectible value).








The head just needed some glue and some overnight clamping. And I replaced both eyes. The original remaing eye was amber but the bird now flashes pinpoint pupils and red irises.



Note how I have blocked out the areas of major color and reduced the amount of black on the ends of the body. Among his close relatives (the pochards, genus Aythya), the Can shows the least dark fore and aft. But, the face is much darker than the rest of the head.







The paint is pure Sanford gunner. I did not try to replicate the original paint job - mostly because Wildfowler commonly used an air brush. I'm strictly a "bristle" brush guy. The light areas on the body are stippled with 2 Greys and a White over a light Grey base - trying to get that heavy canvas look.


I painted in the primaries and tail feathers as an homage to the original - but in my own style. I would not normally put these in on a diving duck gunner.







I topcoat my gunner bills with satin spar varnish to give a bit more protection to the paint - and a bit of eye appeal.







The bottom has been lightly sanded - very carefully around the Quogue, LI , NY seal - and coated with satin spar varnish, too.








Not sure what lies ahead for Mister Canvasback. He'll probably ride a shelf as I (sadly) do not live or hunt near his haunts.


All the best,


SJS







Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Terrific job as usual, Steve!

I really like the smooth lines and the overall silhouette of that toy duck. I'll bet he will look just gorgeous on the water, especially in a light chop!

I think perhaps, you may have to send him my way next fall, so he can get a little "water time"... (hint, hint)...

(While Cans occasionally pass thru our area, we don't really see an abundance of them around here. I just think would look good and happy bobbing around with the rest of my play ducks!).

Jon

"Each decoy you touch holds memories of, past, present and God Willing, future hunts. The places, birds, men, boats, dogs and days you spent doing what you so dearly love and enjoy"- Vince Pagliaorli
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The reference photo: Courtesy of Larry Eckart, taken several years ago off Tawas. When I read or hear the term apple head applied to a redhead decoy, these are the poses that immediately come to mind... If you look in the center of the photo, the puffy head drinker pose is evident. The preener, in more simplified form is evident, as well as a hen redhead that is quite striking, laying with her head well back across the length of her body.

Last edited by:

RLLigman: Mar 14, 2019, 5:27 AM
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Good morning, Ric (and Larry) ~


I think that Hen is reaching for her oil gland. Great postures all around.



But...it looks to me like Larry's got his decoys rigged way too close together!!!!


All the best to you both,


SJS

Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
He posted a string of photos of several rafts resting birds, many in a variety of interesting poses; all in focus.

You found that shot! I have never seen a duck invert its head to do that...


From what I recall of that original post, Larry took these in late November-early December, over a holiday visit. For a carver, they are great reference photos of one of my favorite birds to hunt, as well as observe!

Last edited by:

RLLigman: Mar 14, 2019, 4:59 AM
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I love it does it self right?
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I'm wondering if it takes hand signals.....


SJS

Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Some folks is just betta' at pitchin', than they is at catchin'- Leroy "Satchel" Paige
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
It will usually go where you want it to, but doesn't always come back. The best part is that it doesn't whine, shed or poop. I am considering making another to see if I can breed them. Puppies would stay without breaking.
Red heads are nice.
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
 
This month keeps on rolling along with plenty of good work.




Not on the bench, but shaping up in the vice. Not ready for eyes just yet, more work to do.

Another drake Wood Duck, hollow white pine and sugar pine, to add to the rig.















"Art does not reproduce what is visible - but makes things visible." ~ Paul Klee, artist, 1920
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Beginning to see the connection between the watercolors and the stool, Vince.
A funky cutie in the making. Man, that is one I wanna see floating!
george@runamuckdecoys.com
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
I think your Woodies are my favorites that you make Vince. So much life to them.

Heres a first, 20 years carving and still making stuff for the first time.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I never know which is worse: the sorrow when you hit the bird, or the shame when you miss.
http://www.hillmandecoys.com
Mullica Hill NJ

Last edited by:

jode hillman: Mar 15, 2019, 5:29 AM
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
I didn't get much done after installing the replacement switch and blower control in my dust collector, just this bird and another started in rough-out phase. We are in the process of transiting from 34" of standing snow cover, the result of the 215" or so snowfall YTD, to 24" of hard icey snow. Secondary roads are skating rinks, with water pooling everywhere until the frost cap is pierced. I spent the day clearing eave troughs, and cutting snow back to enable the sun to "work" on diminishing the remainder of snow on the roof.

This is the last unique redhead pose I am carving; with the remaining seven copies of previous poses. I had to add a piece of cork via an epoxy patch because this body was cut from the end stock of the cork sheet. Out of five sheets, I squeezed these thirty-four birds out of three sheets and some scrap cork pieces too large to burn. This head pose is generally what I envision as a standard redhead drake. I have a second drake and hen in this pose still to go...

Last edited by:

RLLigman: Mar 15, 2019, 5:55 AM
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
 
Decoy Monster Machine -


Thank you.

I cut the body out last year, before I did the recent painting, or it would have had the high back.

The slim body, like a canoe, is cuz it's made for river, and stream use. I can't wait to see it where it belongs as well.


As for the Funky...

You can take the man outta Farrell, PA but you can't take Farrell, PA outta the man.


"We need the funk. We gotta have that funk..." - George Clinton Parliament Funkadelic - We Want The Funk



Best regards
Vince











"Art does not reproduce what is visible - but makes things visible." ~ Paul Klee, artist, 1920
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
 
Jode -


Your pair of Eurasian Wigeon are Kick A$$! Man they look GOOD. Lotta style & color.

It is always good to add new creations to your accomplishments, keeps the artistic juice flowing.




Thanks for the kind words.

Wood Ducks & Teal have always been favorites. So I always go back to them, no matter what else I carve or make.



Best regards
Vince











"Art does not reproduce what is visible - but makes things visible." ~ Paul Klee, artist, 1920
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
RLLigman,

Those redheads are stellar! Love the attitude. How do the raised cork feathers fair from season to season? Maybe I am too rough on my blocks, but I would think those would get beat up. Do you add some strength with epoxy or something else?

Either way, they are blocks I would love to hunt over.

Brad
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Brad, thanks for the compliment! My black cork decoys carved with raised primaries don't hold-up well, despite being treated with thinned gel epoxy that penetrates and strengthens them. IF I can find the chunk I broke off, I add an epoxy coated dowel to pin it pack in place and reinforce it. Tan cork, once treated with two coats of sealer is quite strong and resilient. Almost all the birds I carve with raised and crossed primary feathers also have elevated tail boards, lending them some additional degree of protection from errant foot placement, man and dog! I damage the tips and then just regrind them to cross at a point.


The top photo contains some birds I carved back in 2013, all of whom have survived, with some minor bill and head crown wear. I carved the wings and cape feather groups in a more stylized fashion to enable them to shed water a little better and not ice up as quickly in a late season chop, since they ride so low.

Note in the lower photo that several of these semi-alert birds have crossed primaries, only one of them fully crossed with tips extended, but all with lowered tails indicating they are alert and moving to avoid a threat.


My painting goals for these blocks are to avoid the monochromatic head color and to add the vermiculation in a way that suggests feather blocks, rather than just random combing.

Last edited by:

RLLigman: Mar 16, 2019, 4:58 AM
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to


Our extended melt continues, so I had ample time to grind out another two redheads. I reinforced the bill on the first bird with an epoxy coated finishing nail. This head stock (southern Michigan sourced) is oddly soft and fuzzy, beyond being cut incorrectly to be sold as head stock by the vendor, when compared to the Wisconsin basswood I now use from Heinecke Wood Products. The bandsaw "wandered" into the cheek on the visible side of the head, necessitating the epoxy repair.

Last edited by:

RLLigman: Mar 17, 2019, 6:03 AM
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Rick,

Usually pick up my bass from a local source, but when they were short on the stock thicknesses I wanted for carving wings on deadmounts, I sent off to Heineke and they cut me blocks to size. Impressed with the quality and the friendly treatment. When I placed my order and asked if they wanted a credit card number, I was told that wasn't necessary. Order was shipped and invoice sent out later with prices as quoted, and they went out of their way to keep packaging dimensions to a minimum for UPS. Not too many places willing to do business that way anymore. Good to know they're available.


MLBob

"Art is like an ill-trained Labrador retriever that drags you out into traffic." (Annie Dillard)

....Here's to Joe Wooster, who made me realize that the useful could and should be beautiful; and who firmly believed that decoy carvers were the last free men in America.

https://www.facebook.com/KOOIdecoy?ref=hl

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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
A few more Broadbill done....





Dave Diefenderfer
Manassas, VA

"Once you set out to build a boat, throw away your square. And if you work on her after she's launched, throw away your level." author unknown

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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Your story is an exact match to the one I was offered originally that motivated me to switch to them as a wood source. Their basswood is a littler "tighter" than what I was buying. I can see why so many carvers use them as their exclusive wood source. Now...if I can only find a replacement for my soon to be non-existent supply of Val-Oil! Looking at a penetrating/sealing oil used in the Marine industry for wooden decks as a potential replacement.

Bob, you should at least get a chuckle out of this: when MSU was down thirteen points to Michigan yesterday, I ran a search and your Facebook site came up on the first page of results. I entered to view the current photos, which is essentially all I can do as a non-member. While viewing the wing gouging and feather group carving photos, I was admiring the quality of the wood you had for base stock, particularly in the close-up shots- nice wood; better skill and technique!! Your fourth bird in that sequence will be a "stunner"! Are you modifying Godin's wing layout patterns, or simply drawing them up from scratch?

We should start a Go Fund Me page for funds to purchase a S X S with percussion triggers for the base of that pintail display. Dave had a very good idea to suggest that as an addition to complete it!
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to


Brad, here is another primary feather position that is an option. To me, this signifies an alert bird. The only down-side of this position is that water pools and freezes in the "well" between the primaries

Last edited by:

RLLigman: Mar 18, 2019, 4:12 AM
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Rick,

Thanks for the extra photos and explanation.

Brad
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Good morning, All~


More from The Bench of George Williams....






Apparently all migrated west to Ohio....






Not sure how "Obi" arrived...via broomstick?????






All the best,


SJS


Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Rick,

I doubt we'll ever see a "replacement" for Val-Oil. Mine is holding out OK. My hope is that I might deplete my stockpile at the same time I don't have the hand strength to carve anymore. That would be perfect timing Crazy.

The patterns for wings (as for each bird) come from scratch drawings. With a basic knowledge of what happens with the feather groupings where the wings connect & how they layer & fold, it's not too hard to figure out what should happen. A good supply of wings saved in the freezer each season for use with dummies while dog training also comes in handy, as they go a long way toward answering questions about the structure of wings on a deadmount, as well as and the various contours that can be incorporated to make them look effective. I'm finding that the biggest challenge is deciding which details to include and which to leave out, so that the viewer uses his imagination.

Just turned up the heat and will be headed out to paint as soon as the studio has had time to warm up a bit.





MLBob

"Art is like an ill-trained Labrador retriever that drags you out into traffic." (Annie Dillard)

....Here's to Joe Wooster, who made me realize that the useful could and should be beautiful; and who firmly believed that decoy carvers were the last free men in America.

https://www.facebook.com/KOOIdecoy?ref=hl

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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Good morning, All~


A few repairs and re-paints on my bench this month. After the LIDCA Annual Show at the beginning of the month, I'm now gearing up for the Northeast Woodworkers Ass'n (NEWA) Showcase - in Saratoga Springs March 30 &31. I'll be teaching a couple of classes, one about boats and one about decoys.


I carved this head about a year ago. I finally sawed out its body about a month ago. I used it for a prop at the regular monthly meeting of the local NEWA in February. At that time, it was sawn and shaved, but still in one piece.


I normally saw the bottom board separate from the body, but a friend had given me a nice 8x8 balk of Northern White Cedar. So I sawed the entire body out of a single chunk - but kept the bottom "half" attached by leaving about 2 inches of the parting line unsawn.


This past weekend, I finished carving the body - about 98% ready for paint (sealer, really). The head is just tacked on with a deck screw from below at this point.







I then cut the last 2 inches with a hand saw and hollowed it on the drill press with a 1" Forstner bit. I "cushion" the top half of the body with a slab of tan cork to prevent denting. I set the depth gauge on the press at about 1/2 inch. The bird now weights about 1.5 pounds.







I next attached the head - into a bed of thickened epoxy with plenty of squeeze-out. I always carve the base of the head very close to finish dimensions but leave the base (on the body) at least an 1/8" larger than needed.








After the filler has cured (overnight), I VERY carefully carve the base of the neck into the body. My goal is to see perfectly fair curves when viewed from any point of the compass. It's always my favorite part of carving a decoy.



It's eye sweet now - at least to my eyes.








Here it is faired, sanded and marked - ready for glue-up. But, it'll stay this way until I use it as a prop again at the end of the month.






All the best,


SJS





Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Not on the same level as the rest of the talented carvers/artists on here, but I did my own duck related wood working recently.

Wrapped up a painting project in my living room with trying to figure out how to fill some of the space that 16 ft ceilings bring... this was my idea:

Multi-species silhouettes of various puddle ducks arranged in flight along the wall, made out of pallet topper wood from my warehouse and then stained.








________
Coastal NJ
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Craig, great idea and very well executed! This is something I should be doing with that cinder block wall I stare at behind my gun sage and carving bench! I picked-up some large cork bulletin boards but couldn't decide what to do for the backdrop wall.
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Craig~


Excellent - and very creative - idea! It certainly does the job of making those upper spaces more visually exciting.



(as it turns out, I've just been asked to make more bird silhouettes for our local Fort Edward Grasslands Important Bird Area (IBA) educational efforts - no waterfowl, though....)


All the best,


SJS

Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
MLBob Furia wrote:
Rick,

I doubt we'll ever see a "replacement" for Val-Oil. Mine is holding out OK. My hope is that I might deplete my stockpile at the same time I don't have the hand strength to carve anymore. That would be perfect timing Crazy.

The patterns for wings (as for each bird) come from scratch drawings. With a basic knowledge of what happens with the feather groupings where the wings connect & how they layer & fold, it's not too hard to figure out what should happen. A good supply of wings saved in the freezer each season for use with dummies while dog training also comes in handy, as they go a long way toward answering questions about the structure of wings on a deadmount, as well as and the various contours that can be incorporated to make them look effective. I'm finding that the biggest challenge is deciding which details to include and which to leave out, so that the viewer uses his imagination.

Just turned up the heat and will be headed out to paint as soon as the studio has had time to warm up a bit.




I am going to try Owatrol's two-part Deks product (1 quart each combined) against the Val Oil gallon plus I have left unopened to seal these redheads and scaup for a direct comparison of what two coats imparts...
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Steve, that jedi robe was lovingly sewn by Bomber's wife, and I have worn it to various locations., for quite a number of years. Somewhere on you tube is an old video of me using jedi tricks to open and close the entry doors in Westlake, ohio.
That was a good work crew this year in the lobby. They even put up with Wagner in the afternoon.
Once I shake this bronchial thing, I will return to the dungeon.
Thanks again for posting the images.
george@runamuckdecoys.com
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to


Started on the broadbill pile. This guy had a couple of tailboard knots, which slowed me down. These are all cut out in an asymmetric pattern, canted one way or the other to match the head direction. I mention this because roughing the bodies out while maintaining the right curvature, particularly on the side-pockets is much more time consuming. I only have tailboard channels cut for seven of the nineteen, so I will take advantage of the warmer temperatures and get them cut, along with some heads on the band saw. Then I will glue and dowel all the heads and tailboards through the bottom boards.


Here's the Jim Wicks original head that I based these on. I copied the general shape, but toned the stylized bill down to something closer to reality with some emphasis on "broadbill"! Wick's dog, Joey, ate the original body, so I put this head on another one, combed and textured, and painted it.

Last edited by:

RLLigman: Mar 21, 2019, 5:25 AM
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Steve, a question or two. Do you leave the screw after gluing, for extra strength, and why do you hollow without leaving columns? I assume you do not screw the halves together after hollowing, which would account for the lack of same.
Do you use a washer with the screw?
Just picking your mind, since we have varied approaches to hollowing.Wink
Sorry, one last question. What year was written on that pair of park ducks you rehabbed? Curious--anything prior to 2001 was still Wiley.
george@runamuckdecoys.com

Last edited by:

george w: Mar 20, 2019, 5:03 AM
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Good morning, George~


1. I do leave the screw - but there's no need; it's truly just a very efficient clamp. I do not use a washer - but neither do I countersink the slip hole. This allows the "bugle" shape of the screw head to exert just a bit more pressure. The wood in the body is about a half-inch thick near the screw hole.



More typically, I fasten the head - bedded in thickened epoxy - at the same time I glue up (no fasteners - just straight epoxy if both surfaces are planed) the body. So, I can no longer get access to the screw once the bottom board is clamped on. Thus, my overnight curing is for both head and body - thus "losing" just 1 day and not 2.


In this instance, I kept the bottom off simply to display the process at my courses on March 30 & 31.


2. I do not leave a column of wood as added support for a couple of reasons. First is probably habit. I never thought of it until I came across it in recent years - maybe from you? It makes sense structurally - as an efficient way to protect the body from crushing. But, I've never had a structural failure. Lots of integrity to what is essentially a closed box of lumber.


The second reason probably stems from my desire to lighten the birds as much as practical. On some of my earlier birds, I would follow the Forstner with a bent gouge to get the "walls" of the body extra thin. The walls on this Ruddy (1988 bird for my wife) are about 1/4-inch - and the little fellow tips the Toledos at just shy of 8 ounces.







I always get a kick out of watching peoples' faces as they heft it for the first time. I regard it as a component of my overall aesthetic - showing the added-attention workmanship that complements the shapes and brush work.


3. Your Mister and Missus Mallid were signed back in Ought-nine. In truth, they did not "need" new paint. Yours had held up very nicely with just the usual unavoidable wear on the bills and tails. More powerful was my "need" to attack anything within arm's reach with a paint brush - nothing is safe once inside the confines of my shop.... Your victims follow bunches of Herter's, Beans, Chesapeakes, McCormicks and Wildfowlers to wear my latest line of Mallard fashions. A pair of what are now Joe Pendergast (Bellport, LI) Black Ducks are next in line for Mallard Makeover.....


All the best,


SJS

Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
THAT is a sweet little ruddy. Even the photo makes it appear wispy!
Try to stay out of trouble up that way. Keep the brushes moving!
george@runamuckdecoys.com
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Thanks for the write up.
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
 
Hollow drake Wood Duck, out of the carving vice, and on the paint table.

Will be sealed, then painted along with the previous one, and another that is in the works.

















"Art does not reproduce what is visible - but makes things visible." ~ Paul Klee, artist, 1920
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
I've been flocking heads and tails on Canada Geese, also minor repairs on Bean corkers.
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Cool Hoodie!
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Hello all,

I'm a new member here on duckboats.net, but I recognize a number of the carvers from the decoycarvingforum. The workbench threads always inspire me to get carving and I enjoy seeing the different approaches to carving decoys. This month is no different.

Here are a couple of bluebills (lesser scaup) I just finished. The birds are hollow, self righting, and have northern white cedar bodies,basswood heads, and are painted in acrylics.
[URL=https://s304.photobucket.com/...ia/DSC_0071.jpg.html][/url]
[URL=http://s304.photobucket.com/...ia/DSC_0070.jpg.html][/url]


Joel
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to


Well nothing is on my workbench because I just finished building this bench. I started the day after duck season closed with this pile of boards. I used my table saw, planer, and biscuit joiner but most all of the work was done with handtools including the mortises, tenons, smoothing and jointing of boards. The wood is entirely European Beech except for the hand riven white oak drawbore pins. Now to build some furniture and decoys, but also thinking of a couple Sanford boxes and toying with the idea of a layout boat tender.




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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Finishing the Broadbills that will be presented to the South Shore Waterfowlers board.



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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Joel, I can see the "biologist's eye" applied to that pair of lesser scaup to bring them to life. Very nice!

Brad, over my life I have noted that a serious furniture maker always seems to move to eventually build their own bench...just to insure the precision and consistency of their work, or tailor the working surface to their specific preferences. I would be loath to spill on that or scar it via use... Nice beech, I could make some nice keels out of that.

Where did your son eventually get on at?
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Rick, he left FWS and went to a state DNR position. He has been busy with fires already this month.

Last edited by:

Brad Bortner: Mar 27, 2019, 7:29 AM
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Initially, I never noted the significance of your's and Joel's posts. Two waterfowl biologists posting back-to-back...
Hopefully that will keep him closer to home until the heart of fire season. Seney NWR is a pretty desolate place. By your initial statements, you likely were aware of that.

Man, I just can't get over how beautiful that workbench looks! Oh, BTW people would think you used to live in chest waders all the time, based on the number of boot driers arrayed in the background.
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Hahaha, you?ve never seen a 6 pair boot drier? Good eye. Guess I should get a nice backdrop for photos like Steve Sanford.
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Brad, what was on them drew my eyes there...thought they were buoys of some kind.

This weekend I cut out four more heads, some bottom boards and tailboards for the rest of the scaup when I cleaned-up the winter's clutter and sand in the garage and put my XC-waxing bench stuff away. I was short one scaup head and tossed three redhead heads into the repair pile that I didn't care to put on tan cork bodies. I changed the redhead head pattern a bit from the standard, not sure whether I will continue to use it because it altered the mandible line on the two birds I carved and rounded the head and neck a bit, compared to the original pattern bird in the first photo on the body. Second photo is one of a finished head and body mounted. Roughed-out scaup head and two more scaup decoys carved and heads mounted.

Last edited by:

RLLigman: Mar 27, 2019, 5:12 AM
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Rick,
I look forward to seeing those finished birds on a string, and better yet some birds coming up that string.
Steve
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Brad,

That workbench is an amzing piece of work!! Going to give you many hours (years?) of enjoyment for sure.

Bouncing between carvings in the shop and painting the latest deadmount (wigeon) in the studio.







MLBob

"Art is like an ill-trained Labrador retriever that drags you out into traffic." (Annie Dillard)

....Here's to Joe Wooster, who made me realize that the useful could and should be beautiful; and who firmly believed that decoy carvers were the last free men in America.

https://www.facebook.com/KOOIdecoy?ref=hl

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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
 
Bob -

It appears that the Dead Mount inspiration and work has got it's hooks in ya pretty deep.

Feels good to be that stoked up doesn't it.

Looking forward to more photo's.


Best regards
Vince











"Art does not reproduce what is visible - but makes things visible." ~ Paul Klee, artist, 1920
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Brad - I want a bench like that when I grow up!

Rick - thanks for the kind words. As a recently retired biologist, I received an inquiry from one of the MN DNR grouse researchers I used to work with. Sharp-tailed grouse are doing well up in the NW corner of the state where I live, but are struggling in the East Central part of the state. They were interested in trying a working sharpy decoy (in a dancing position) that could be left out on leks and get beat up by the birds to see if they could encourage birds to come in and use historic leks. This had me scratching my head for a while - splayed primaries and field durability don't go well together. Here's what I came up with:

[URL=https://s304.photobucket.com/...ia/DSC_0064.jpg.html][/url]


The body is hollow basswood, and the tail is basswood as well but is removable. The primary groups are bent, steamed cedar that fit into pockets in the main block. The whole thing breaks down into component parts for travel. The grouse can stand on the little block I have in the picture, or a longer, sharpened dowel can be substituted for one of the sort dowels when the ground isn't frozen. We'll see if the grouse respond.


Joel
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Joel -

Looks good, hope it works.

Can't wait to see how it looks after use & abuse.

Should have a fine patina and some history.


Best regards
Vince











"Art does not reproduce what is visible - but makes things visible." ~ Paul Klee, artist, 1920
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
More painting. I enjoy carving a lot more than painting
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Joel, that is downright superb, just via the paint work alone! Your sandhill crane rendition on your website is spot-on as well

One suggestion, you could use this bird as the plug to make a mold using Smooth-Ons two-part platinumized silicone kits through Blick Art, which, I think is running a sale right now. From there you can cast multiple bodies that when painted, will look identical and withstand the elements better. You can do a search on this site for Dave Diefenderfer's semi-recent coot molding thread for extensive pics. Wish Tom would be lurking in the background right now. I learned everything I know about molding foam. Eight pound density two-part foam is about the density of quality softwood, with a two-part urethane skin poured into the mold and allowed to cure prior the foam pour, the resulting decoys if pretty bomb proof. You can cast the tail and wings in solid urethane for additional durability.

Do you know Terry Minzey? He is the Region 1 Wildlife Supervisor for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and an avid researcher on sharptails. They have been using Deer Range Improvement monies to do Lek restoration in the Kingston Plains north of Seney NWR for several years. Same story here, the populations in the eastern UP are doing well, while the central UP habitat is stumbling along. There is also a joint Federal/State effort getting underway in the Ottawa National Forest that sprang from our Winter Deer Habitat Work Group meetings while private, private corporate, State, and Federal forest managers were together in joint discussions.

Michigan doesn't allow motorized turkey decoys. Does anyone have any experience with them, or predator decoys to achieve motion for this effort?

Last edited by:

RLLigman: Mar 28, 2019, 4:08 AM
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Joe Daly wrote:
More painting. I enjoy carving a lot more than painting


Joe, I read an old interview piece with Ben and Frank Schmidt, commercial carvers in the Detroit area. Frank preferred to carve, Ben said he found carving tedious and preferred painting. I know you are working on a deadline, but the right brush and stroke techniques are the basic key to painting; acquired through trial and error. I always tell myself that I can destroy a decoy by hurrying the carving, particularly the head, but I can always repaint a decoy when I botch the paint work!

Steve's bluebill painting reference is a good resource for an accurate paint rendition. Texturing adds a lot to paintwork. Pat Godin has a lot of stuff on both techniques available for reference, too.
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Good morning, Joe~


Great raft of Broadie-beaks! I love those tucked heads.


All the best,


SJS

Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Thanks Rick,

I don't know - there's something so satisfying about pulling curls of cedar off that block when you are working on the body. I normally hunt over an all wooden spread, but there are times when my son and I are layout hunting that we supplement the spread with some long lines of birds I made decades ago with a Decoys Unlimited mold. My son has burlapped and modified those birds - he might be interested in casting some birds - we'll see.

I don't know Terry Minzey - the grouse researcher I was working with here is Charlotte Roy with the Minnesota DNR Forest Wildlife Research Group. During the last couple of years I managed Thief Lake, we worked with some USFS guys from Wisconsin to capture birds here in the NW to be transplanted to the Bayfield peninsula in Wisconsin. I did have four birds dancing about a mile west of the house a couple of mornings ago on top of the snow, so it's getting to be about that time.

Joel
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Just about done painting they turkey decoy but don't have any pics, been focused recently on this pintail that I shot last year which was my first sprig. Wont go into details but had someone "sneak" the bird to have it mounted for my birthday and when I got it back, well it was not to my standard which the person was worried about when they saw it prior to delivering to me. So I took it apart and was able to get it in the position I wanted that showed better correct anatomy, not perfect but happy with it.








Benjamin Pendleton
Northeast N.C.
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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Great month of carving here. My friend Jon Espey carved his first decoy in 7 years with me over the last two weeks. Cork gunner with tupelo head. I felt that he did a great job and wanted to share his work.
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Nice, particularly the addition of the jewelry!