One of the best ways to get started making decoys is with a kit. We don't sell kits for all sorts of birds, just a select few to get a beginner headed in the right direction. The Bufflehead Kit is used as an example in our book, Basic Decoy Carving...so to really get a beginning carver headed in the right direction, you'll want to order one these kit(s) together with the book.
The other reason you might want to order a kit is because if you don't have access to materials needed or the bandsaw used to cut your decoy. In that case, you can have the material–wood or cork, eyes, keel, ballast and fastenings–with the head and body block all sawed out and ready to carve.
This is a lifesize Bufflehead and the kit comes complete with plan, body block, bottom board, ballast keel (includes the lead ballast), eyes, screw for attaching the head, and one head. Leave it solid, or hollow it out for use on the water. The choice is yours. The photo shows a pair of heads, but the kit has one. This pair of decoys was made from this pattern...
Please Note: We offer two different kits of the same pattern, and the right one for you is determined by whether you intend to make an actual decoy or a realistic piece. Our Realistic Bufflehead Kits feature Basswood bodies and heads. Our Bufflehead Decoy Kits feature White Cedar bodies with heads that might be Basswood or might just as well be White Pine. High quality Basswood is becoming increasingly expensive and difficult to find, hence the price. Basswood is far more amenable to texturing and burning. On the other hand, Northern White Cedar is a far better choice for a slick (smooth bodied piece) with the details painted on–particularly one that is going to be floated. It is easier to work and withstands the marine environment better than any other native wood. Cedar is what we use for all of our working and competition floaters.