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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wasn't sure if I should post this under the Foamer sticky or as a new topic, so I decided to put it up as a new topic, I think more folks will be curious enough to look at it.

Anyway,..after completing the wooden buffleheads I was looking for magnum eiders for next season, and after reading the sticky I thought that I would give it a try.

These are the first two, both considered experiments as I tried new things and developed a few techniques not found in the sticky. The left hand bird was the first, about 10" wide and 6" tall and the right hand bird is larger, 11" wide and 7 1/2" tall (I like the second one better). These decoys are HUGE !! 26" long from bill to tail. I think that visibility is key and these will show up well in the waves and swells.

The keel is made from 5/4 pine, 14" long and 2 3/4" high with a mortise cut into the bottom (actually it's cut into the top of the keel so that it is hidden when glued to the body) into which I poured 1 lb of lead. I also aded a stripo of plywood that is sandwiched between the foam layers so that the keel can screw into it, adding strength.

The head is also foam, made by attaching a 1" dowel to a 3/8" plywood core, then gluing a piece of foam on each side. I used cheesecloth on the head instead of burlap, and two coats of mastic gave it a smooth surface. The plywood extends to the tip of the bill so I hope that they will be durable enough. I also added the "lores" (the fleshy skin that covers the upper bill) by applying pieces of old shoe leather with epoxy. The head is seated into the keel by a cored hole into which the bottom of the dowel rests, and is held in place with a plastic "zip" tie. This allows the head to swivel and is also easily removed by cutting the zip-tie.

The tail is made from a piece of 1/2" plywwod glued into a slot in the foam, and the whole thing is covered in burlap (one layer on the bottom, and another layer over the top that overlaps the first) and has two coats of mastic. I still need to overcoat the entire decoy with "dead-flat" spray, and then I can float test them.

I plan to make a couple dozen of these, probably with a drake to hen ratio of 2:1. I think I'll also buy some good quality slotted goose bags to protect the finish.

Let me know what you think,...these were fun to make and only took about 2-weeks per bird. I am sure that the process will get faster now that I know what I want and how to do it.

MDC



 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes so am I. That's mostly why I made the heads removable,..and also why I'll try to carry them in partitioned bags.

I did not want to make the heads from wood and add all of that weight, and also I was able to make the heads in just a day or two, compared to a week or two to carve and sand wooden heads.

Unfortunately I won't have an answer for you until late next fall.

MDC
 

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Outstanding work. I like the larger one better as well, and I usually am a standard decoy guy. I made the heads on my foamies out of styrofoam as well, but I didn't use the center plywood core idea. I think that's key. I found my foam heads to obviously be ultra sensitive. I think you just solved the problem and gave me a great idea. That's why I like this sight. Good work, and painting. I like them!
 

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nice work.....and big is good!

I use 16lb 2-part urethane heads on mine......have only had minimal damage from strays, but they have to be glancing hits to do any more than a simple dimple.........as long as you handle them carefully your heads will probably work....However, when others are helping, the blocks tend to not get the same level of care (bounce off hull, drop on floor etc) so I feel that stronger is best......regardless, yours are very nice looking!!!!!

 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I hope that the plywood center will make them resilient and that they will last a while, and I know exactly what you mean when you say that others might not be as caring as they should. Please tell me more about how you made your heads with the urethane,...I have no knowledge of this but would love to find a better way to make the heads.

Thanks !

MDC
 

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Those look awesome. The paint job, the body shape, the heads, very nice. It sounds like your also coming up with your own construction techniques to make them stronger, lighter, better functioning decoys. I like hearing those ideas, we can keep them in mind and maybe try them someday. Thanks for sharing.
 
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