Archive for April, 2010

Flattie Crow Decoy

Posted in Carving, decoys, Woodworking with tags on April 26, 2010 by Jim

All you need is cedar and a knife…

I have been too busy to get any extended time in the shop this last week. When I get even a few minutes free though,  I seem unable to stop carving  wooden crow decoys. The family Corvidae has my attention.

This is not a full bodied crow but in the ‘flattie’ style. It is also for sale on my Etsy shop.

I had a hard time getting together a pattern for my crows. Does anyone else have trouble finding good bird patterns? Please let me know if you have found some that you are really satisfied with. I have been photographing birds and making my own.

More cool tools are coming.

My father does a lot of metal work and a couple weeks ago I had asked him to make me some straight bladed draw knives. I got them and they turned out great. You will be jealous, I promise. I will post pics of them soon.


Praying Machine flies!

Posted in Automata, Carving, Gear Making, metalwork, Toy Making, Woodworking with tags on April 13, 2010 by Jim

The wings flap…

Our prayers are going to Heaven! I have not had a lot of time the last few weeks to work on the Praying machine but I did sneak in a few hours this weekend.


I got the bit of the mechanism complete that raises and lowers the wings. Next will the be the gearing that spins the prayer box itself.

Wooden crow decoy or magic talisman?

Posted in Carving, Woodworking with tags , , on April 11, 2010 by Jim

Last winter, I got really interested in hand carved wooden duck decoys. I started looking around for books and began carving my first duck. As I was reading about various types of decoys, I read about ‘confidence’ decoys. Confidence decoys are used near a set of duck decoys and are thought to trick flying ducks into landing. Supposedly, the ducks think it must be safe if one of these other birds is sitting around too. Shorebirds are often used in this fashion and I have a few of those in process. The ones that  fascinate me most though are the wooden crow decoys. (The half carved duck is still sitting on a shelf in the shop…)

It seems that every culture gives some great significance to crows or ravens.

The Norse god Odin had two ravens that flew around the world all day and returned at night to tell him all they overheard. Natives of the Pacific Northwest believed that Raven created the land, the animals, and man. Many cultures count the number of crows that cross their path to determine if it is good or bad luck.

All this makes crows seem so powerful and fascinating and maybe that is why many decoy carvers slipped a crow in here or there.

Wooden folk art crow decoy

This crow that I carved from a block of cedar is for sale on my Etsy shop.

If you are interested, let me know and I can post a pattern of this on my shop for a few dollars along with some carving instructions.

Do you have any crow or shorebird decoys – maybe carved by a grandfather or uncle? I would love to see a picture if you do.


Vintage style wooden fishing lures that really catch fish!

Posted in Carving, Fishing Lures, Woodworking on April 9, 2010 by Jim

I wanted some vintage fishing lures. I found an old Heddon catalog at my local library book sale and remembered lures my Uncle Doug had in his tackle box and I wanted some bad…

I love digging through peoples tackle boxes.

I have always had that kind of curiosity. It is like digging around in your grandma’s attic. Everything you find is fascinating. Anyway, I found this old Heddon catalog and decide to buy some of those lures. I headed over to EBay and found out right quick that I don’t have the budget you need for those lures. Even if I had the budget, there is NO WAY you would throw one of those lures in a lake and let some mean old fish chew on it.

Old lures are works of art!

Old lures are beautiful. I wanted some lures that were cool as the ones I remembered but that I could lose in a tree without crying.

Here is what I came up with:


These two were inspired by an amazing lure maker I found on the web Old Oregon Lures – unfortunately, the Old Oregon website appears to be gone now – those were some amazing lures.


I made some folk art style lures:

Handmade wooden hornet fishing lure

Lastly, I tried my hand at making some semi-realistic lures:


This bluegill is weighed so that it floats upright correctly and suspends about 4 inches below the surface.

You can make your own wooden lures.

I have a post here on Make Stuff With Your Kid that shows you how to make two really great looking lures that catch fish. You don’t need a bunch of tools and you don’t need to be an experienced woodworker.

All these lures have caught fish. I was surprised how well the bluegill works. In the spring, when the bass are on their beds, they hate this little bluegill and try to eat it up!

Do you have any old lures you love or you are making any lures?  I would love to hear about it.


I don’t want to sell you this wooden fish decoy

Posted in Carving on April 4, 2010 by Jim

carved wooden fish decoy

But I will… I love this little fish decoy. It is the first one that I carved. I am selling it on etsy to help buy a torch for working on my new fascination, automata. If you like little carved green fish decoys, it is here waiting for you!

I will be posting more carvings including a rustic black crow on my etsy site later this week.

Thanks for stopping by,