Church Decoy Company


 Carving Cork Decoys

This is a basic tutorial on making gunning decoys from black cork. These instructions can be modified to create a different shape decoy that is more pleasing to the carver. After the body is shaped with a bandsaw (our kits have already done this for you). The first step is to "chest out" the decoy by cutting across the cork block about 3.5 to 4 inches from the front. You will cut roughly 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch down. I use a small handsaw for this task.  Next, cut from the front to take the front wedge out.  Your next step is to cut out a wedge from the back of the block. This wedge will be removed from the bottom for puddle ducks and from the top for diver ducks. This is a photo of the wedge removed for a puddle duck. Make sure to leave enough "bottom" for the keel which is installed later. To cut out the diver wedge, turn the decoy upside down and draw a chalk line to help guide the cut as shown in this photo.Here are the side views for the diver (left block) and puddle duck (rigt block).Next you will draw a center chalk line to mark the spine. From there, chalk two lines, one from each shoulder to form a triangle about 2-3 inches from the tail edge of the decoy as shown.Using a Sureform, carve the wing inlays into the back as shown. You will now use your wood file to "trench" a spine down the middle of the back. This should be at roughly a 45 degree angle and become flush with the chest as shown. You can also trench an area down each side at this time to create the "wing fold" areas. Round all areas with the Sureform until the block has no flat edges except for the bottom. Your block should look like this photo. Using your decoy head, place the head on the body in the area that looks centered and far enough forward or back to your liking. Press the head down to make an indent in the cork. Drill the neck hole completely through the chest area with a 1/4 drill bit. Using a 1/2 inch "paddle", drill a 1/2 inch deep hole for the neck stem. DO NOT DRILL COMPLETELY THRU CHEST AREA WITH THIS BIT!Turn block over and spray bottom and sides with sealer of your choice.Once sealer is dry, spray and seal the top. After top is dry, make sure all cork has been sealed. You can now begin painting the base colors depending on the species and sex of the decoy. Accent paint and speculum can be added after base colors have dried.Once paint is dry, attach decoy head with a 1/4 inch eye bolt with a washer. Next, apply wood glue to the top of keel and install keel with two wood screws. Use spray polyurethane to seal entire decoy and let dry. Add a string and weight and you are now ready to hunt.


Recent Forum Posts

The Weather Channel