April Workbench

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April Workbench

Post  Capt. Larry M on Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:30 pm

This one was all me no help at all, can't wait to show Paul Dobrosky!



Last edited by Davey Welsh on Sat Apr 07, 2012 10:05 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Just fixed your IMG tag)
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Re: April Workbench

Post  Davey Welsh on Sat Apr 07, 2012 3:44 pm

Looks good Larry.

I've got a pair of Mallards, bufflehead and broadbill on the work bench. All Delaware river style. I think I am going to oil paints for these. Plastic paints just don't look nice on cedar working decoys after seasons of use.




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Re: April Workbench

Post  Ray_J on Sat Apr 07, 2012 5:53 pm

Here are a couple white wing scoters I am working on. All restle coated foamers. They still need some touch up and keels.

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Re: April Workbench

Post  David "swampy" L on Sat Apr 07, 2012 8:49 pm

Great looking blocks Davey!


Ray, Love those foamer WW scoters!!!!!!!


I have 20 foamer scoters in progress.....I cheated, and used a 2 part foam from US composites for the bodies

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Re: April Workbench

Post  Capt. Larry M on Sat Apr 07, 2012 9:11 pm

very nice Davey love the divers
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Re: April Workbench

Post  Ray_J on Sat Apr 07, 2012 9:41 pm

Larry and Davey, Awesome birds. I wish I had the time and patience to work that kind of detail.
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Re: April Workbench

Post  Davey Welsh on Sat Apr 07, 2012 10:04 pm

Thanks guys. Ray, is that band on your Scoter there? Those foamers are really awesome looking. Did you carve the heads?

The bufflehead and Broadbill are from new patterns I drew up and I'm not sure I'm too excited about them. The patterns look awesome but something is amiss on the carvings. I'm going to paint them before I do anymore from those patterns and see how they look with paint. It could just be the bare cedar playing tricks on me. Its funny how adding paint to your decoy can do 1 of 2 things. It can show you how well you carved the bird and it can show you where you went wrong. That may be the case here, they could end up looking great once painted. Going to pick up some Old holland oils to try on these. Twisted Evil I finally feel like I'm getting into a groove making my own style of decoy. Its fun to draw up your own original pattern and put it to work.

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Re: April Workbench

Post  Capt. Larry M on Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:16 am

thanks Ray those WW are nice as well
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Re: April Workbench

Post  Scott Salzer on Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:41 pm

These are my first two attempts at carving....ever. I have received a TON of help from Davey. The cork mallard is as ready as it will ever be for paint. The cedar Buffle Head needs some minor tweaking. I encourage and appreciated any criticizm from anyone who would care to help me out a bit. Thanks in advance.
[img][/img][img][/img]

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Re: April Workbench

Post  Capt. Larry M on Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:53 pm

Scott Salzer wrote:These are my first two attempts at carving....ever. I have received a TON of help from Davey. The cork mallard is as ready as it will ever be for paint. The cedar Buffle Head needs some minor tweaking. I encourage and appreciated any criticizm from anyone who would care to help me out a bit. Thanks in advance.
[img][/img][img][/img]

Scott thats fantastic for a 1st bird. Critiques the cut at the eye line is a little low and the cheeks appear to have some flatness, raise the eyeline a touch and round up the cheeks and your next ones will improve greatly. when you master that IMO the bill makes the bird thats where you can improve the decoys look immensly.

Great job you are well on your way!! Smile
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Re: April Workbench

Post  Davey Welsh on Sun Apr 08, 2012 11:14 pm

Now that see your birds on the big screen, they look great Scott...better than my firsts.

On the malllard head, just raise the eye channel up a bit in the back only and make the cheek nice and round. Measure your bill length and check with the pattern. The bill looks a bit long, but the culmen looks good. Nice lines on your side pockets too. My only suggestion there is to get a large blue flame bit, and that cut a bit deeper and round the cut to the center of the side pocket and center of the shoulder. Nice work on the tail.

The little butterball cleaned up nice. Shorten the width of the bill where it meets the head a bit, by working the bit from the sides of the bill into the head and taper to the center of the cheek. When the width looks good, round the upper part of the bill a bit more. When youre done with that, paint those boys up and cutout some more! If you like that buffy pattern I can give it to you. Its a fun bird to do with its exaggerated features...really makes a magnet for butterballs.

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Re: April Workbench

Post  Scott Salzer on Mon Apr 09, 2012 6:43 am

Davey- I have the large green flame bit I've been using but it's real aggressive and makes me a bit nervous. Is the blue one fine grit? I thought I remember yours being green. I have questions about paint thought, that's what I want to talk to you about.

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Re: April Workbench

Post  Davey Welsh on Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:02 am

I have a blue flame, and yes it is a finer bit. I'm pretty busy today but I'll give you a call tomorrow.

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Re: April Workbench

Post  Scott Salzer on Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:56 pm

Is this any better as far as the eye channel goes, etc? I did this one easter morning.
[img][/img]

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Re: April Workbench

Post  Scott Salzer on Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:57 pm

Why does the right side of my pictures keep getting cut off?

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Re: April Workbench

Post  Capt. Larry M on Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:25 pm

yes the eye channel looks better dont be afraid to remove more wood there should be a nice flow from the crown to the cheek, neck to the the cheek and the back of the head to the cheek I was struggling with the same thing it also look very flat under the neck needs to be more rounding
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Re: April Workbench

Post  george w on Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:34 pm

Scott, i use the orange one--Green just doesn't move stuff fast enough, AND, i finally discovered that if i slowed the rpms or just lightened the friction between wood and bit, that i got a pretty nice finish--still needs sanding, but.....
Hey if you hit the area around the eye with a burning tool, it wil define that space without all the falderall of messing with eyelids. Wink

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Re: April Workbench

Post  Davey Welsh on Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:42 pm

Scott, check your screen resolution in internet explorer. There should be a magnifying glass in the lower right corner, make sure it says 100%.

Your head looks pretty good, but lower your eye channel a bit. The cheek should start to flare out just below the eye, not through it. Think in terms of circles. Try this- on a piece of paper, draw a small circle that is the same width as the crown. Below it, draw another circle that is the width of the head (cheek). Make this second circle intersect and go through the lower portion of the first circle. Take an eraser and erase the lines behind where the circles intersect, so that the edge where the circles meet, becomes one shape. Now think in terms of carving. Where the two circles meet, is your eye channel. The lower and larger circle is your cheek, the upper and smaller circle is your crown. Where the meet is the initial cut you make for your eye channel. Notice where they meet how they curve in their respective direction. Try to achieve this on your carving. The upper circle, your crown, will be more straight where it meets the eye channel but by drawing this, you can see how the cheek should be a nice curve. This is the trickiest part to learn to carve, but where the eye channel is cut, is actually the start of the curve to the cheek.

Therefore, you want the eye channel BELOW the eye, not through the eye. I carve based on real ducks, therefore I dont make a crease on the eye channel, I don't make eye brows or mad ducks. On a real duck, the cheek does not interfere with the movement of the eye,

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Re: April Workbench

Post  Davey Welsh on Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:50 pm

Sorry, typing on my mobile lol.

So you don't want the cheek to start where it will interfere with the eye set. But notice on your circle drawing how lower circle pulls in to the the upper circle. To achieve this on the carving, you need to run the tip of your flame bit along the eye channel to pull it in a bit. This starts the rounding process of the cheek. When I get home tomorrow, I will draw what I told you to so that you can visualize what I'm talking about.

Remember, ducks do not have flat spots, everything is a curve of various sizes. So you have to visualize circles and ellipses on your work. Same goes for the lower neck, visualize this being one egg shaped oval, no flat spots!

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Re: April Workbench

Post  Scott Salzer on Tue Apr 10, 2012 1:36 pm

Whoa ....Davey that's deep! Lol .. I have to really think about that one

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Re: April Workbench

Post  Scott Salzer on Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:07 pm

Davey-I'm sitting here trying to visualize this whole circle thing you're trying to explain to me. I think you will have to draw it out for me and post a picture of it, if you can. I just don't get it.

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Re: April Workbench

Post  Davey Welsh on Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:56 pm

No problem. Hopefully I can post it tomorrow for you.

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Re: April Workbench

Post  Davey Welsh on Wed Apr 11, 2012 4:38 pm

I should get something up tonight to explain Scott. I know it sounds confusing and the objective of the drawing is not to resemble a duck head, but merely show you how to transition from the eye channel to the cheek.

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Re: April Workbench

Post  george w on Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:04 pm

Temember, you are making a decoy, not a duck, so create the impression of same, as you might visualizr. Mike Smsyer had a great comment about some of his color use, as well as application--" I make them the way they should be, not the way they are!" Very Happy
Since we are no longer permitted to use the real thing to aid us in taking game home, the decoys are the next best thing, and you need only deal with what looks good at twenty to thirty yards. If the duck gets close, and has dropped his landing gear, those tools have served you quite well.

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Re: April Workbench

Post  Davey Welsh on Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:48 pm

OK, Scott, hopefully I can help you understand what I was talking about. This has to do with making the head ROUNDED and thats it. Its not about carving a head from circles, but rather using symmetric curves to establish the rounding process.

Here I drew two circles, like I had mentioned before. Notice where the two circles meet, you have your eye channel. The actual eye is above the eye channel. Notice how the bottom circle, which is your cheek, pulls inward slightly.



Here is a drawing of a mallard head from the front, with the previous circles inlaid. Now you can visualize a bit better what I'm talking about. Where the eye channel is, it should taper in just slightly and then a curve begins from this point outward to the cheek.



Ok..here's another step forward. Here's a picture of a mallard head straight on. This is a taxidermy mount, so keep in mind its not perfect.



Now here's some photo shop circles. Make any sense?



And lastly, here's some more photoshop. The blue box would represent your block of wood that the head is cut from. The whole point is to think of "rounding" in terms of circles, and not just "knocking corners off". Most beginning carvers do the same thing, they fail to carve a round shape. To get a nice round shape, you have to remove wood between the arrows shown, just like you're trying to make a part of a circle. I hope this helps you to visualize the process of rounding. This can translate into rounding the body too. Just visualize a circle in the place that you want to round and it will help you "see" where the wood needs to be removed.



So going back to your mallard head, the first thing you need to do is lower your eye channel, so that your cheek doesn't interfere with the eye set. Then take your flame bit and pull the eye channel in just a tad. Round your cheek as shown in the photos above. Some carvers don't round their heads at all, they just taper them, like Rick Brown. Some carvers make defined creases and make their decoys look angry. This is all artistic impression and there is nothing wrong with that. A very good carver, Jim D. says carve your own decoys, not someone elses.

Like George said, we don't need to replicate a duck exactly, and every duck looks different anyway! Nobody ever showed me how to do this stuff. A few online tutorials was it, but for the most part I was on my own. Rather than try and duplicate someone elses decoy, I used my duck mounts as my guide for shaping my birds. Are my decoys perfect? I don't think so, but I'm happy with the direction my work is going and I continue to learn and get better all the time. I'm even implementing my own "style" now and straying away from how I originally started doing my decoys. All of my patterns now are my own original artwork and I'm having alot of fun. That's the important thing! But hopefully this post can help you in rounding your heads.


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