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Willy, Diane,
Murphy McDonald
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How to Strengthen the Bill on a Merganser Gunning Decoy

The bill on a Merganser hunting decoy can be be very fragile especially if it's close to realistic size. This procedure is similar to the method suggested by Pat Godin in Volume Four of his Championship Wildfowl pattern series...

It is important to start with a squared block of head stock. Lay out your head pattern as you normally would. Using your carpenter square locate two lines one inch apart making sure the lines are above and below the bill.


Next extend the lines around to the end of block. Also extend the center line from the top of the block over to the end. The large dot notes the drill point.

Using a 1 inch Forstner bit and a drill press, drill a hole that extends well into the head. I like to make sure the depth is past the eye line.

Next glue in a one inch hardwood dowel using a good water proof glue.

Once the glue is dry cut off the dowel flush with the end of the block and then cut out the head as usual. You now have a bill that will be difficult to break.

I used a darker colored hardwood to demonstrate the need for proper depth to gain strength. Let the glue dry 24 hours and then proceed to carving.

Click below to continue to...

Mallard Head Tutorial
Mallard Body Carving Tutorial

Cyber Classroom Tutorial List

Willy McDonald



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