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What's on your workbench ? MARCH

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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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Re: What's on your workbench ? MARCH In reply to
Nice, particularly the addition of the jewelry!