Not a Bald Eagle - a Canada Goose

  • Advertise with us
Project by LittlePaw posted 889 days ago 1554 views 0 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well Folks, It’s almost done. The carving on individual feather was slow going. Then when the carving was done, the woodburning on each feather started. That presented a completely different range of problems and challenges. The body of the goose came bonded with four blocks of basswood 2 ½” wide each running front to back. Apparently each of those four blocks had different densities, grain pattern, age or even origin. So, when I burn a feather vein, crossing over from one block to another, the burn changes to much lighter or much darker. With the dial set almost to 1 and drawing very slowly, the burn could range from no color to very dark! Looking at it, one would guess that heat setting were numbers apart or slow to fast draw! That was enough problem for me to be pulling out the little hair I have left! I ‘m not a novice woodburner, but I had the wood telling me how it’s going to burn!
Another challenge I had not encountered in all my other carvings was compound curves. There is a concave trough, if you will, that runs along the top center of the bird. When carving a feather that runs down into the trough and up the other side, the first challenge is the knife outline. When I carve each feather I’m watching out for grain run, smoothing out all the bumps with micro files and final sanding. Then comes the fun of woodburning those lines down one side and up the other! Oh, not mention having to turn the ten-pound bird upside down at times to get to those almost-impossible-to-reach places. I did run into a few of those impossible to reach places at the tail. Along the way I found all the little misses that had to be corrected too.
All of these challenges will again enter into the carving of a Bald Eagle, on even a larger scale. With that in mind, I am doing another bird, maybe a duck to be sure I am aware of and know how to overcome any problems that I haven’t run into yet. I can tell you that it was more fun carving this goose than I thought possible.
Is my Canada goose a decoy? I wouldn’t call it one. Since I started on this project, I bought several decoys – some quite expensive! – to see how they do it. I also visited a large decoy manufacturer and talked with its owner at length. I learned that mine could not be used to cast plastic decoys for the simple reason that molds cannot go around corners, therefore the carving must be much simpler. All my feathers are carved under the trailing edge from 1/16” to over ¼” deep. My goose is a detailed carving of a water fowl – not a decoy. Therefore I have no plans to paint any of mine with elaborate colors to make them look like plastic decoys.
Thank you all for looking. I do appreciate all your comments good or critical.

-- LittlePAW - The sweetest sound in my shop, next to Mozart, is what a hand plane makes slicing a ribbon.

25 comments so far

View Alexander's profile


190 posts in 1708 days

#1 posted 889 days ago

Great looking bird! How many days do you think you have into this project? It’s not up my alley but sure is nice to see and would look great on any table or shelf.

-- John at Sugarloft Mountain........Don't argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the difference.

View patron's profile


12955 posts in 1938 days

#2 posted 889 days ago

or pond

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

7620 posts in 2650 days

#3 posted 889 days ago

That Wing detail is just AWESOME!

GREAT JOB covering that… I can imagine the WORK that you spent Getting it!

I know it’s not done… I think the head & neck should be blacker… closer to the tail Black… and the bill blacker…

We have a pair in our front yard that I had to repaint not too long ago… I collected a bunch of GOOGLE Images on the Canada Goose… which was a BIG Help in getting it just right.

Beautiful Job! Love it!

Thank you!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View LittlePaw's profile


1571 posts in 1676 days

#4 posted 889 days ago

Alexander: It took me, on and off, a month and a half. During the burning, I took frequent breaks because of hand fatigue. I am looking for a more flexible cord; this one is not flexible enough with a mind of its own!
You’re quite observant, Joe. Since the bill is shinier, I sanded 400 to 600 and to 1500 to get the shine. But in the process the black went to gray. So I’m going to bring the black back, apply wax and polish it to a shine, hopefully that won’t dull the black. Yes, I plan to go back and burn to darken the head and neck some more. Thanx Joe.

-- LittlePAW - The sweetest sound in my shop, next to Mozart, is what a hand plane makes slicing a ribbon.

View mpounders's profile


716 posts in 1493 days

#5 posted 889 days ago

Great carving! Until I carved a bird, I had never realized how difficult they can be, and mine was not as large as yours! Nice burning too! I can’t blame you for not wanting to paint it, as nice as it looks!

-- Mike P., Arkansas,

View Tag84's profile


573 posts in 1254 days

#6 posted 889 days ago

wow incredibly realistic paul! not at all a bald eagle ;)

-- -Thomas -

View stefang's profile


12565 posts in 1932 days

#7 posted 889 days ago

Beautiful work and a fantastic result.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View StumpyNubs's profile (online now)


6116 posts in 1398 days

#8 posted 889 days ago

That is amazing… just amazing! Thanks for posting!

-Jim; aka “Stumpy Nubs”
Blue Collar Woodworking? That's the best show since wood was invented! ”- The Eastern Northwest Southerner’s Journal

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at:

View Roger's profile


14098 posts in 1401 days

#9 posted 889 days ago

a beautiful and lifelike carving. very awesome!

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

View Moron's profile


4666 posts in 2491 days

#10 posted 889 days ago

Nice, really nice carving

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Lidiya Blaznina's profile

Lidiya Blaznina

845 posts in 1136 days

#11 posted 888 days ago

Very beautiful carving,Paul,

-- Lidiya,Russia.

View a1Jim's profile


111999 posts in 2174 days

#12 posted 888 days ago

Wow Paul that’s an amazing goose ,great job.

-- Custom furniture

View DocSavage45's profile (online now)


4737 posts in 1440 days

#13 posted 888 days ago

Diligent and masterful. A definite learning experience? Thanks for taking us on your journey. With the goose under your belt how are you feeling about the eagle? Congratulations on a job well done!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View gfadvm's profile (online now)


10548 posts in 1287 days

#14 posted 888 days ago

I told you it was great Paul. All of the above comments confirm my opinion. I’m with Joe, the black parts could be blacker. Hell, I’d use a magic marker! But then that would probably be cheating.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Woodenwizard's profile


1056 posts in 1652 days

#15 posted 888 days ago

Outstanding tallent.

-- John, Colorado's (Wooden Wizard)

showing 1 through 15 of 25 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics :: gardening showcase