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What's on your workbench ? MARCH

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

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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