The basic body shape of this wood carved fish decoy has been cut during steps 1 through 4. In the next steps we will round over the sides of our decoy.
Working with the grain of the wood, use the bench knife to round over the sides of the fish body. Work along both the top and bottom sides of the fish using short strokes.
Learn more about wood carving – Working with the Grain of your Wood
With a pencil mark a 3/8″ wide strip on the tail fin. This area runs vertical to the body. With the bench knife shape the tail base to the pencil lines. Shape the face, bringing all of the angles to the pencil point from the original pencil body pattern.
At this stage of the carving your fish body should have a rounded top and bottom. The sides should taper towards the tail base and the mouth area. Using your bench knife you can continue cutting the general rounded shape, using the paring stroke, making smaller cuts to give a smooth, even plane effect to the body.
For this project I used 220- and 320-grit sandpaper to remove the cutting stroke planes from the fish body. Sand first with the 220-grit to remove the harsh plane ridges. work a second sanding using 320-grit sandpaper to create a pristine surface. Remove the sanding dust with a clean dry cloth.