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APRIL FOOLS WORK BENCH - What's on yours ? (April 2019)

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Re: APRIL FOOLS WORK BENCH - What's on yours ? (April 2019) In reply to
Very nice, Pat, you've been quite busy. I saw the canvasback cut-outs on DCF, That recliner hasn't gotten much use!
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Re: APRIL FOOLS WORK BENCH - What's on yours ? (April 2019) In reply to
All~


This is a proto-type. A friend asked me to re-paint some Al McCormick Mallards AND put eyes in them (which Al did only rarely).


[CLICK to enlarge any image]



Here is the Drake BEFORE:






Best way to locate eyes on an existing decoy is to measure off the tip of the bill:






Here's the AFTER:






Eye detail:






Another pending project is a bunch of silhouettes - mostly songbirds - for a local NGO. The Fort Edward Grasslands Important Bird Area (IBA) has a big event each May. They asked me to make 25 or 30 painted silhouettes - most of which will hang on wires. Here is the first output - a pair of Bobolinks (where the singing-on-the-wing drake is a bit too small) - sorry for the blurry image.







Some Eastern Meadowlarks (a third is in the works):






These Snow Buntings will be part of a big mixed flock of Buntings and Horned Larks - flying to their Arctic breeding grounds:






All the best,


SJS

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


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Re: APRIL FOOLS WORK BENCH - What's on yours ? (April 2019) In reply to
Neat sillys, Steve. The male Bob is not small, he is just further away!Wink
george@runamuckdecoys.com
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Re: APRIL FOOLS WORK BENCH - What's on yours ? (April 2019) In reply to
Yes, I lied... Instead of stopping to rest my knuckles and heal the self-inflicted cuts I grabbed the Crazy Glue surgical glue out of the dog first aid kit and sealed them up and grabbed the last two heads I have carved for these magnum bodies (about the size of the Godin GHG bluebills) and finished off the last two I had glued-up with bottom boards. I just glued the head on the bird on the left which will have to sit for a couple of days prior sanding the neck/body joint. I tried epoxy with some heads, but didn't like it when sanding the joint, so I went back to Titebond III and a furniture clamp-better seal, less gummed-up sanding drums. Instead of tossing the three hen heads I had carved from Duck Blind head stock supplied with the wrong grain direction, I ground-out some black cork bodies I had sitting around.

All the bills have an epoxy coated finishing nail inserted in them for support. It's been three years since I touched black cork bodies. I forgot how easily you can buzz through making a body in black cork (basically an hour from layout to finished body; compared to 2.5 hours for a tan cork body) The downside? Another hour and a half of clean-up to remove the charged particles that are stuck to everything within eight feet of the carving station. Then another hour filling voids in the cork with cork dust and Titebond III that are too large to leave prior sealing and painting. I have some redhead heads too that will also now go on cork bodies, but they will be ground and sanded outside this summer...I received a good reminder lesson!

I forgot, the cork pieces I have had to add are a consequence of cutting these tan blanks from a full size sheet of HD cork on a bandsaw that is mounted on a portable stand. I have to use the existing work surface to make the cuts, so some o the tight radius cuts get distorted when the blade binds from the weight of the sheet, since I have no work table support under much of it.

These bring the total to 37 cork decoys carved since March 4th.


Last edited by:

RLLigman: Apr 14, 2019, 3:55 AM
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Re: APRIL FOOLS WORK BENCH - What's on yours ? (April 2019) In reply to
Rick~


Nice birds - even those made from old refrigerators!


Your point about that sticky cork dust - just like foam bodies - is well-taken. Except for sawing out the plan and profile views, I eschew all power tools. A bread knife, a rasp or two, and sandpaper are the tools I use. Much less mess. I brush the rasps off before putting them away.



I usually do not fill the crevices or crevasses - just soak with a heavy coat (or two) of spar varnish before my flat oil primer.


All the best,


SJS

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


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Re: APRIL FOOLS WORK BENCH - What's on yours ? (April 2019) In reply to
Finished up the mallard with the urn in it a few days back. Took the picture using Dave Hagerbaumer's print, The Mallard Hunter, as a background. Worth sent me that one with the one showing pickleweeds in use a few years back.










Took an interesting trip to the Glen Helen Raptor Center yesterday. One can get close up to a whole lot of birds of prey that are housed in captivity there due to an injury that has left them unable to hunt effectively in the wild.






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: APRIL FOOLS WORK BENCH - What's on yours ? (April 2019) In reply to
I've carved well over a 100 black cork decoys. Like many, black cork was my choice when I first started carving, I used some Stanley Sureform hand rasps- flat, round rat-tail, convex face to shape the bodies after vertical profile cut-out on a band saw. I actually thought I broke Eric's Craftsman bandsaw while Dennis and I were cutting up three blocks, when the on/off switch stopped working. After clean-up of our mess, I took the switch apart, assuming the contacts were shot. Nothing was wrong...except that the switch housing was packed with cork dust!

Steve, the principal issue with these cork blocks is in the quality of the cork sheet. I think, from what I recall, that this sheet came from Chesepeake Decoy Works. As you know, black cork is simply cork bark particles ground and steam autoclaved to release their resin content, which serves as the binder when the blocks are pressed. The particle size within the cork block is key to the quality of black cork; the larger the particle size, the poorer and lighter the cork density. If you zoom on the pics of these decoys you can see the black cork particles are large, which essentially equates to poor particle-to-particle adherence. I can't work these with a burr bit, even a fine one without particles flying-off constantly, often leaving large voids. I use a 1/2" diameter 3" long sanding drum mounted on a mandrel in a Foredom handpiece to essentially sand these into finished body shapes,. as well as to outline the tertials, primaries and shoulder/cape feather groups. This minimizes the filling, but, as you pointed -out enhances the volume of finely charged cork dust. I usually end-up doing three filter changes with the Tornado 1000 when grinding a cork body, because the filter plugs so quickly.

The old refrigerator cork that I have seen blocks of had quite fine particles, but it was poorly bound. The life vest cork often was doweled together-like the balsa blocks in that life raft I made canvasbacks from when the Marquette Maritime Museum folks decided to pitch it.

This is a threatening mallard decoy I made for a jerk line. Note the second coat of Val-oil's sealing abilities!!!



These were made from The Duck Blind's 11lb density cork...very nice material to work with, but still messy! There is a 1/2" diameter dowel that runs 8" into the body from the base of the neck, epoxied in place.

Last edited by:

RLLigman: Apr 13, 2019, 4:55 AM
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Re: APRIL FOOLS WORK BENCH - What's on yours ? (April 2019) In reply to
Good morning, All~


This photo made its way to me from Delaware, I think.....it depicts (most of) the new Runamuck Decoys banner.



I'll let George Williams explain....it appears to my eye that he is imparting some solemn wisdom to his board of directors.







I appreciate the tag line: "So many carvers, so few decoy makers." I am definitely in the former bunch - especially after Joe Daly told me that Al McCormick had made about 27,000 decoys by the late 1980s - and he wasn't done yet.


More at: http://www.runamuckdecoys.com/



All the best,


SJS

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


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Re: APRIL FOOLS WORK BENCH - What's on yours ? (April 2019) In reply to
Good morning all,

I always enjoy reviewing the workbench threads, because they inspire me to get back in the shop. This month is no exception.

I have photos of a few birds that I've been working on that I held off on posting because I was taking them to The Gathering - a small carving competition focused mostly on spearing decoys, but with a few duck and other bird categories in Perham, Minnesota. The competition was this last weekend, so I can post pictures of the birds.






It was good to interact with other carvers, and get inspired by their work.

Joel
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Re: APRIL FOOLS WORK BENCH - What's on yours ? (April 2019) In reply to
Very nicely done birds, Joel!


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: APRIL FOOLS WORK BENCH - What's on yours ? (April 2019) In reply to
Yes, Joel, those are very nice birds! Did you place in any of the competition categories? Were any Jim Wick's spearing decoys among those on display. Jim has gone in that direction after Weldon's death. I don't think he carves waterfowl anymore.
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Re: APRIL FOOLS WORK BENCH - What's on yours ? (April 2019) In reply to
RL -

I'm very partial to stretch neck gunning decoys. Done correctly, they add realism & action to a rig.

Black cork is a very traditional, and trying medium to work with, but nothing floats like it does.


Your drake Mallard looks like a dandy, that would pass the "Back Yard Toss Test" no problem.

Far as I'm concerned the top view sez it all. Two Thumbs UP.

As the seasons pass it will only get better with age.


Best regards
Vince











"Art does not reproduce what is visible - but makes things visible." ~ Paul Klee, artist, 1920
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Re: APRIL FOOLS WORK BENCH - What's on yours ? (April 2019) In reply to
Hi Rick,

There were a lot of fish decoys both at the tables and in the competitions. I don't remember seeing Jim Wick's fish, but they may have been there.

I took 4 second place finishes. There was a fellow there from Michigan with very clean paint that swept those same categories.

Joel
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Re: APRIL FOOLS WORK BENCH - What's on yours ? (April 2019) In reply to
Rick, A friend of mine is having trouble with his bandsaw. He just returned from a few month in Fla, but wasn't usable when he left. I suspect his problem is the dust from the black cork and to try a good cleaning. I'll let you know if that was his problem!
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Re: APRIL FOOLS WORK BENCH - What's on yours ? (April 2019) In reply to
Good morning, Joel~


That's one fine foursome! Nice work all around.


Question: In what "category" did they compete ? (I'm baffled by all of the "new" categories since the early 90s when I was more conversant in contests.)


Here are 3 Grey Ducks from The Bench of George Williams. He was trying different paint treatments on the vermiculated capes and sides.


Drake 1 - darker






Drake 1 - lighter






Drake 2






All the best,


SJS



















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


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Re: APRIL FOOLS WORK BENCH - What's on yours ? (April 2019) In reply to
Steve, same gaddie, just noted how little white was showing on the sides after your note. Went back and dragged the white, raw umber mix across the combing twice more. This one is now done. Going to try the blackduck black on the next one, with finer combing. Perhaps more ridges will show less of the black. ? Quien sabe?
george@runamuckdecoys.com
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Re: APRIL FOOLS WORK BENCH - What's on yours ? (April 2019) In reply to
Actually, it appears as though all George did was alter how they are lit...
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Re: APRIL FOOLS WORK BENCH - What's on yours ? (April 2019) In reply to
Rick~


FYI: The lighting (post-production editing....) was mine. The difference is the contrast in tone between the chest and sides.


SJS





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


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Re: APRIL FOOLS WORK BENCH - What's on yours ? (April 2019) In reply to
Then I invoke the 'fifteen yard rule'...
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Re: APRIL FOOLS WORK BENCH - What's on yours ? (April 2019) In reply to
 
Sugar Pine, 9" L x 4 1/2" H, Tundra/Whistling Swan decoy, awaiting keel & rigging.

Carved for a sign to commemorate a late great gunning partner.

This carving has been in my shop for ten years. It is only just recently that I have been able to bring myself to finish carving it, and to paint it.
















"Art does not reproduce what is visible - but makes things visible." ~ Paul Klee, artist, 1920
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Re: APRIL FOOLS WORK BENCH - What's on yours ? (April 2019) In reply to
Hi Steve,

As far as birds are concerned, this is a small show. There is no IWCA class or anything of the sort. For this year, the "North American World Cup of Duck Decoys" (decorative working decoy) was a black duck. Restrictions were no cork, must be wood, hollow, glass eyes, no wood burning, swim tested with a removable keel or weights for display purposes. There was a "gunning bird competition" with several categories including a low head drake mallard which I entered. There were also two working duck decoy categories - one a drake mallard and one a drake wood duck which I entered.

Details for the next show will be at (not up yet): NFDAdecoys.org

(NFDA is the National fish decoy association)

Joel
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Re: APRIL FOOLS WORK BENCH - What's on yours ? (April 2019) In reply to
R L, that is what I normally deal with-15-20 yards. This one gave me fits, dealing with the vermiculation. Eventually, after three dry brushings with a 1" fan, I decided to live with it. Some of the pics were under led lighting, others, without. As stated, I will use a narrower piece of comb on the next go round/w00t
george@runamuckdecoys.com
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Re: APRIL FOOLS WORK BENCH - What's on yours ? (April 2019) In reply to
Some bluewings...



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: APRIL FOOLS WORK BENCH - What's on yours ? (April 2019) In reply to
Pat, do you overcoat them with a translucent stain to tone the blue down, or do you make your own wash coat to apply? It really adds a nice patina and tones the intensity of their head color down nicely.
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Re: APRIL FOOLS WORK BENCH - What's on yours ? (April 2019) In reply to
I do Rick. Here is a video that explains it... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ew1P8OT49xk