Inserting glass eyes in a decoy…

Took a little time to video the process of inserting glass eyes into a decoy. In this example, I am inserting Tohickon glass eyes into a goldeneye drake.

Materials used:

  • #123 10 MM blended yellow aspheric eyes from Tohickon (
  • 2-part epoxy wood putty (water soluble).
  • 10 MM Charlie Hall eye hole drill, or similar size forstner bit.
  • Dental pick, with wide and pointed end. Used to push putty into eye hole and adjust angle of the eye.
  • Sharp carving knife and sand paper, to later relieve some of the wood around the eye and fair the edges.

You can find the short video here:

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Finding some springtime birds here on Cape Ann.

Kira and I have been hitting the Cape Ann woods. Snow is still on the ground, but some new birds are showing up too.

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Here are a few shots of a goldeneye decoy I’ve been working on lately, part of a larger rig that I am making for myself. The bird is Maine white cedar and hollowed. I plan to paint this bird with Old Holland oils and use a traditional lead pad weight and leather loop. It will be a traditional gunner.

Goldeneye decoy.

A goldeneye decoy in the making.


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Memories of Bird Dogs and Old Friends

A new piece for the Bird Dog section of the blog on recollections of bird dogs and time spent with an old friend. Hope you are getting out in the woods with your furry hunting companions. Spring is close!

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Hello and Welcome to Tidewater Decoys!

Decoy carver Nathan Grace carving an eide decoy at the Connecticut Waterfowler's Show.

Shaping an eider decoy with drawknife

Welcome to our little workshop on the Web. This site is dedicated to traditional decoys, their history and use, materials, how to carve and finish a decoy, and we’ll feature some stories and photos from waterfowl hunts throughout the fall and winter.

We will also feature a number of topics aside from decoys. I enjoy being in the outdoors and I like to write about my experiences and share them with family and friends. I grew up on the north shore of Massachusetts and still live there today. Many of the subjects you’ll find here will be based on fishing and fowling, messing about in wooden boats, tromping through the woods, and cooking fish and wild game. I have four wonderful children (including a new born son), and the most loving and understanding wife a guy could ask for. You’ll see them in my posts and articles from time to time.

I hope that you will find some value and inspiration from the stories, photos, and “How Tos” that will appear on these pages over the next few months. I fully expect that there will be some good dialog and sharing of knowledge here, and I hope that we can form a community around our common love for the outdoors, chasing wild critters, and sharing our experiences with one another.


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