Step 5: Adding details to the body

Now that the decoy is round, I'll start to cut in the side pockets. I've highlighted the general area I'm going to carve away with pencil. Notice the circle I've drawn at the very rear of the side pocket. I won't touch this area at all. Doing so will change the top profile of the decoy.

With a square, Kutzall or Saburr-tooth bit, I start cutting in the side pockets. The cuts I make here are all 90 degree cuts.

Once I establish the depth of the cut, I start rounding up to the high point on the back, and down to the water-line I've drawn on at the bottom.

Now that the bird is generally round, I'll start to define the primary feathers. I've drawn a line where I want to the outside of the feather to lie, so that's where I'll cut to first.

Going back and forth from one side to another, careful to try to keep things symmetrical, I define both sides of the primaries.

I want the primary feathers to appears as though they are coming directly out of the back of the side-pocket. I take a chisel and begin to lower the profile of these feathers.

Now I use a 1/2" chisel to begin removing wood from between the primary feathers.

With a round, carbide bit in my Foredom, I start to define the cape group and shoulders.

I also add a grove into the middle of the back. Eventually, I'll carve some feather edges in here as an extra touch. I'll also round from this point up onto the high points of the back.

From the shoulders-back, this bird is roughly carved.

Now I want to temporarily attach the head so I can begin to shape the neck and breast. I use a 1/2" bit to drill a hole into the body and the head. I have 4" x 1/2" fluted dowels that I use to attach and align the head and body.

Then I use hot melt glue to attach the body to the head


Now the head is attached temporarily, but plenty strong enough to carve. I begin to shape the neck and breast.

The decoy is now roughly carved. I'll refine it later, but this is now at the stage that I know I'm no longer going to be removing a substantial amount of wood. It is now ready to be hollowed out.