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What's on your WORK BENCH - February 2022

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What's on your WORK BENCH - February 2022
Good morning, All~


We've missed these big snow storms of late. In fact, we have had no shovel-able snow yet this year. The forecasts, however, are predicting about a foot hereabouts later in the week. So, I put the snowblower in the (heated) shop yesterday. This morning I fired it up. Extra gas is on the shopping list for later today. My tractor, too, is now full of diesel and will be tarped up before Thursday's slop - rain turning to snow - rolls in. Firewood, too, has been foregathering in dry spots in the house and the shop.



I have, however, been puttering as usual. I am working on 2 rigs, one for a customer, one for myself. Six LL Bean Deluxe Oversize Black Ducks and 7 Herter's Model Canada Mallards/Black Mallards are "on the bench" right now. Here they are on the hearth - for one reason or another.






The Beans Deluxe Oversize arrived in better shape than I see most Beans birds. About half of the bodies needed some filling and I am reinforcing all of the bills and tails with thickened epoxy (epoxy + fairing compound + graphite). After sanding the epoxy, the heads will get sealed with Spar Varnish then primed with flat oil (duckboat paint).







Most of the tails were perfectly sound - with only a few minor divots. This step is mostly a preventive measure.






Among the Herter's Model Canadas I decided to repair - lengthen and broaden - two of the bills on what will become Black Ducks. All are getting new eyes.







The Drake Mallard is virtually done. I painted the bottom (it had been sealed with Spar Varnish) with duckboat paint - Pettit 3303 (Dull Dead Grass).







The bill still needs a second coat.






All bills will get my usual Satin Spar Varnish once the paint cures for a couple of days. The dry air and wood stove sure make paint cure quickly....






The single-digit temperatures do not lend themselves to sea trials. Not sure where I'd find open water anywhere nearby.






The other 5 Model Canadas will become Black Ducks - but each needs a bit of attention before sealing can commence.


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 WORK BENCH - February 2022 In reply to
I keep my 12hp Ariens in the insulated garage...first time ever the gas line froze last week. Usually it will thaw and drain to the central floor drain. Hasn't showed any signs of that over the last week of near or sub-zero weather.
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Re: What's on your WORK BENCH - February 2022 In reply to
Good morning, Rick~


Will this next storm get you? Got a way to thaw your machine out?


My blower is just an 8-horse MTD - but it has done yeoman service for about 20 years now.


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 WORK BENCH - February 2022 In reply to
Just finished up the ninth piece in the After the Hunt series I've been pursuing over the past few years.

In this one I finally got around to portraying the bird that many of us consider waterfowl "Nobility."

As such, the title of this one is "The King and the Court Jester." Perhap appropriate given some recent discussion here about gunning for buffleheads.

The sheds I used in the piece have been sitting on a shelf in the studio for quite a while now, and the diver call was made by Roger Beeler for one of the past MLB fall hunts.



















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

Last edited by:

MLBob Furia: Feb 2, 2022, 6:08 AM
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Re: What's on your WORK BENCH - February 2022 In reply to
This beasty has been my NDR workbench project too often this year. I eventually had to run downstairs to grab my hair drier that I use to dry acrylic washes with. I wedged the nozzle under the engine shroud to blow on the gas line and the carb. on high and left it while I pulled snow off the Outrage storage cover and the TDB. The disconcerting thing now is that this is Outrage gas tank gas, pumped from a line that enters the water separator filter in the splashwell. Now I know that my ethanol free premium gasoline still has water in it, likely via condensation in the 100 gallon plus internal tank which held around sixty gallons when I started robbing it. Starbrite markets a fuel stabilizer with a fogging agent that I use each fall when the temperature starts to bounce around. Prior the "warm" winters of late, we would receive around 180" of annual snowfall. We purchased this house partly because of its location, since we receive lake effect only on a north-east blow. We used to get hammered when we lived on the Chocolay via lake effect events and system snowfall. There were several winters where I came close to running out of places to blow snow, which had some advantages in June since I could grab a gallon-plus at toss it in the cooler to keep spring salmon refrigerated. Generally, we receive about 4 to six inches less on a snowfall event basis here. I have a radiant heater in the garage, mounted over my XC-ski waxing and scraping form. Great for that small area to keep me warm while ironing-in glide wax layers, but not an efficient means of heating the entire garage, as evidenced by the snowblower looking like I had just spent the last two hours doing another lap of the driveway and walkways...30 hours after I actually finished. The standing joke up here is six months of real winter and six months of tough sleddin'. Early morning spring crust XC skate skiing is an annual treat. Our system snowfall has fallen markedly over the last seven years while lake effect has increased slightly. We are about 21 hours "downstream" from a NoDak precipitation event here in Marquette. So far, I have replaced the bushing on the end of the drive shaft in the transfer case near the augers, a half dozen shear pins, one locking drive lever attached to the friction drive cable, the wiring couple for the heated handgrips, electric starter anchor bolt. Now, the friction drive wheel is now telling me it is getting ready to declare to the world it no longer wants to work at slow speeds. Hopefully I can inch this little beasty into spring when replacement won't involve frozen fingers and "blue" language. Yeah, this unit is around 18-20 YO, with a 28" cut, 21" high chute and a Briggs and Stratton 12hp. pushing it around. The new Ariens are fuel injected and the one I am contemplating has a dual belt system and a 30" cut.
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Re: What's on your WORK BENCH - February 2022 In reply to
 
February is starting off with a bang. Lotta very good work, and it's only Groundhog Day.

Oil paint on wine case lid, varnished, ready for hanging hardware, and then gone.















"Art does not reproduce what is visible - but makes things visible." ~ Paul Klee, artist, 1920
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Re: What's on your WORK BENCH - February 2022 In reply to
I was relating your travails to Susan. Her first question: "Will he get the hair dryer out?"


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 WORK BENCH - February 2022 In reply to
The hallmark of being human; the ability to alter your environment to meet your immediate needs...both real and perceived. I was actually initially considering using George William's light-saber to cut a dead tauntaun open and stuff the snowblower inside for the night, but then I realized that a dead animal's peritoneum isn't a very good heat reservoir...well, that and the reality that I didn't have a dead tauntaun on hand either.
Please tell your wife: There still is a moment where you look inside the forcing cone of the hair drier and note the glowing coils as you quickly recall the explosive force of gasoline fumes when they ignite...

Last edited by:

RLLigman: Feb 3, 2022, 3:14 AM
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Re: What's on your WORK BENCH - February 2022 In reply to
All~


Here are some Greenwings From the Bench of George Williams - who evidently will remain carving in his burrow for another 6 weeks.....






I presume he took this photo with a drone.






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 WORK BENCH - February 2022 In reply to
 
Decoy Monster Machine just keeps gettin' better and better.

Rig makin' is fine art, far as I'm concerned.

Anyone of us can make a decoy, but rig makin' is a very special talent. Lots of interaction & subtleties, no static poses...

The man is a true artist.


my 2 cents











"Art does not reproduce what is visible - but makes things visible." ~ Paul Klee, artist, 1920
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Re: What's on your WORK BENCH - February 2022 In reply to
Amazing work Bob!
Add in a couple of bluebills and gadwall and that would look like some of my past bags from Mobile Bay!


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 WORK BENCH - February 2022 In reply to
Just remember that Robert Taylor's attempts to stay warm inside a bison carcass went a bit awry in The Last Hunt....






Just rain here today. Snow comes in tonight.


SJS


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


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Re: What's on your WORK BENCH - February 2022 In reply to
keep that stove stoked, fella!
george@runamuckdecoys.com
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Re: What's on your WORK BENCH - February 2022 In reply to
Steve Sanford wrote:
Just remember that Robert Taylor's attempts to stay warm inside a bison carcass went a bit awry in The Last Hunt....






Just rain here today. Snow comes in tonight.


SJS



So, Steve, are you implying that a culture that had worked-out interstellar travel SHOULD have a better grasp of the laws of thermodynamics, particularly when the decide to establish a secret base on a snow covered planet, which would mandate a continuous supply line of food, supplies, and raw materials? Maybe that is why Bomber's wife only made George the cloak, she didn't trust him with a light saber in the presence of semi-inebriated men with carving knives...
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Re: What's on your WORK BENCH - February 2022 In reply to
Great work by all again this month.
Here's what I'm working on.
Tried to paint it in one sitting, it didn't work. So I painted the body in one sitting, and then the head.
A decoy with a keel I think I could paint it in one sitting.
Now to find something to hang it from.



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Re: What's on your WORK BENCH - February 2022 In reply to
Trying to build a low angle shave for tight radius, tail neck areas
Here's the first one



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Re: What's on your WORK BENCH - February 2022 In reply to
Great bird, Patrick!


I just painted these watercolors. They dry so fast! It's a shame the medium is not suitable for decoys.


As I explained in the LIDCA Show post by Anthony Babich, these were painted on 9x12 paper, but each image will be greatly reduced as a motif on our "table cards" at the Show.


A Verity Yellowlegs:






A Holmes Turnstone:






A Gelston Curlew (maybe Whimbrel):






A Bunn (formerly attributed to Bowman) Yellowlegs.






It was fun using the watercolors. It had been about 2 years - so I need to run out for a few new tubes.


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 WORK BENCH - February 2022 In reply to
Back to making some gunning birds. Drew up a pattern for this high-head pintail andcarved it up last week.
A bit over-sized, so I ended up hollowing it out.
Running a dowel all the way through from the bottom board, up through that long neck, and into the head was a test of how steady my hands still are! w00t

Fortunately, I didn't blow out the head.

Now the bird is sealed, has been float tested, has been given base & texture coats, and is ready for paint.















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 WORK BENCH - February 2022 In reply to
 
Cool to see what everyone is working on. Most of the time I only see what's on my old mans bench so it's nice to get some new ideas and inspiration. I don't have my own shop these days so my carving is limited to when I can visit my dad, Mike, and I was fortunate to spend a bit of time out there at the end of January. I managed to start a couple things, and then shelf them until I make it out his way again.

I started a small rig of buffleheads using an older pattern he had tucked away on a dusty shelf. He had made half a half dozen or so from this pattern almost 25 years ago and we still have a few kicking around. It will be fun to have some of his early decoys beside some of mine. I also got to work on a couple sleeper canvas backs to go with a pair him and I made together ten-ish years ago. If I remember correctly I roughed the bodies, he did the heads and then I painted them. Unfortunately the paint had started to peel so they are part way through a re-paint. There's a couple goldeneyes in there as well just because its not possible to have too many goldeneye decoys and there always seems to be extra heads needing bodies or bodies needing heads in the shop :)

The old fella has a bunch of stuff on the go in the back ground and to be honest I'm not entirely sure what all he has going on..




Mac P
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Re: What's on your WORK BENCH - February 2022 In reply to
On the bench for Feb.
BWT hen
Bob m

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Re: What's on your WORK BENCH - February 2022 In reply to
Vince/SJS
Great flat work keep it coming.
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Re: What's on your WORK BENCH - February 2022 In reply to
First of Species for me.....



After Steve's critique:






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

Last edited by:

Dave Diefenderfer: Feb 21, 2022, 5:44 PM
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Re: What's on your WORK BENCH - February 2022 In reply to
Been a while since I had a call request.

Did this black-cherry call with an inlay this week. Bird in the picture with it is an old floating decorative. I'm guessing from the Mid-80's (??)






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

Quote Reply
Re: What's on your WORK BENCH - February 2022 In reply to
Progress on the workbench restoration continues. I've been juggling too many projects lately (turning the area above the shop into living space, which is a HUGE project, and restoring Jeff's 1967 Powermatic 72 table saw) and this is slowing me down but I hope to finish the bench in the next week or so and get it off my to-do list and put it up for sale. Due to space limitations I'm going to sell it (I think). I bought it for the vise but when I got it home from the estate sale and looked over the bench and saw its wonderful construction I decided it had to be repaired and not discarded. Then I researched it and found EH Sheldon benches are thought to be excellent and are very desirable, so that motivated me more.

The pictures below show the bench after dyeing the wood to bring back the color that existed prior to taking it apart, rebuilding the missing/damaged parts and sanding the old finish off. The part that I feared was getting the new wood I had to use on the legs to match the rest of the 100 year old hard maple. I'm happy with the results. After dyeing the bench it has been getting a rub down with boiled linseed oil every couple of days. Tonight the base and doors got their first coat of shellac. The vises were cleaned up and wiped down with Penetrol. I did this rather than stripping off the lead based paint and making them look new. I like the wear they have. All I need is for the UPS guy to deliver me some more shellac flakes and I'll put the final coats on. The top will get a coat of wax after several more coats of boiled linseed oil. No shellac on the top but I will apply some Johnson's furniture wax buff. This is how century old workbenches were finished and is still a good recipe today, not to mention being food safe should the bench end up as a kitchen island.

The pictures...











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Re: What's on your WORK BENCH - February 2022 In reply to
Good morning, Dave~


I was astonished to see that these sweet Black Ducks are you "first of species". (Seems my shop often has nothing but Black Ducks on the bench.) Nice job as always. I like the black mottling you put over the base body color - adds depth on smooth decoys.



I do, however, have a suggestion - in the interest of depicting the biology. The tertials on a Black Duck are big and broad ( as on a Mallard) - but are brightest medially (toward the centerline of the body) and darken laterally (toward the gunnels). The pale greyish-tan fades gradually. I once heard a carver refer to it as the "smoke". This bird shows it nicely. It's very pale in the middle of the back but quite dark right next to the speculum.








Here is how I did it on my Wildfowler rig. As I have mentioned in earlier posts, I believe it to be an important species identifier for the birds themselves. It shows up even in very low light with live birds on the water - when they are swimming amongst my stool just before shooting time.







All the best!


SJS








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