Fixing busted wing for flying mount

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Fixing busted wing for flying mount

Postby daffy... » Tue Dec 25, 2012 11:48 pm

Beginner taxidermist looking for help on fixing busted wings. So far I've only mounted birds with solid wings. About to attempt a large black with both wing bones busted in one of its wings. So far it has been my best skin and flesh job. I want this bird in a locked and commited position
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Re: Fixing busted wing for flying mount

Postby Pete-pec » Wed Dec 26, 2012 6:13 am

If it's just the humerus, it's as simple as running a wire the gauge size of the hole the marrow would be in. Clean out the marrow well, push in some borax a couple times to dry it out. Insert wire and glue it in. Then simply match the length based off the other wing that's still intact, and cut it to length. I usually tape (with electric tape) the wing bone and wire real well giving it the same dimension as the other wing bone, thus allowing it a stop point when running wires through the form.

If it's the radius and ulna, and there is some bone present above and below the break, I cut a wire a bit shorter than the length of each bone. Do the same thing as the humerus, but instead, run the wire in the longer bone enough to then sleeve it back into the shorter (broken) bone. Once you get the legth of wire right where the bone has been splinted internally, pull it back out, and glue it back into place on both ends. Borax will kick the glue, but also makes a chemical reaction producing a strong gas and some heat. Tape everything again, and run your wires like you always do.

If you have a bone that's broken at the wrist or elbow, where you don't have a piece of bone to glue a wire into, you have to run a larger wire to make the framework to simulate the other wing bones. If the wing bones are disconnected at the wrist, you can stuff it with saw dust first. Don't over stuff it, but fill its muscular structure similar to the live bird, then run a wire into the saw dust blindly, and hope for the best. You may want to exit the wire out through the skin at the wrist and snip off later as the bird dries. A flying duck will be tougher to pull off if you don't have any bone at all, but I've done it. I just injected some elmers glue into the saw dust via a syringe through the underside of the wing, and it dried just fine after shaping the wing the position I chose.

Basically, you want the wire to support the wing bones while it dries. You don't want a torqued wing because a wire is out of shape. You may need to support the wing with an exterior wire and card while it dries, but if you have existing bone to work with at the joints, your problem is an easy fix.

This is just how I do it. It's not right or wrong. It's just my way. There are of course many other ways to pull off the end result, and hopefully someone else will chime in.
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Re: Fixing busted wing for flying mount

Postby daffy... » Wed Dec 26, 2012 10:39 pm

didnt quite understand the saw dust trick but so far everything kinda sounds self explanitory and is how i would approach it. im gonna send you a PM.

thanks
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Re: Fixing busted wing for flying mount

Postby Pete-pec » Thu Dec 27, 2012 6:56 pm

The sawdust thing is if you have no bones at all. In other words the radius and ulna are both broken off at the wrist, therefore you have nothing to attach a wire to. Filling it with sawdust will allow you to put a wire in there. Injecting it with Elmer's glue after wiring will give you more structure as things dry. By the way, I've got a Ross goose that I shot here in Wisconsin (very rare indeed in our area) that has no bone at all in one wing. The bird will be mounted, so I will do this trick. Ordinarily I would just pass on a bird with this problem, but this is such a Wisconsin rarity, that I must mount it.

You PM'd me about preservative. I simply dry the bird, and dust the entire skin with borax (neck, wings, skin and legs). I keep the head and face of the skin free of borax because it will dry out that much sooner. I like to keep the skin at the bill juncture damp, and will dampen it as needed until gluing it to the artificial head and bill. I use Master's Blend foot injection. These are two things I forgot to add in my returning PM.
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Re: Fixing busted wing for flying mount

Postby daffy... » Fri Dec 28, 2012 8:20 am

All great tips thank you. Lastly, if at all where do you make your head cut?
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Re: Fixing busted wing for flying mount

Postby Pete-pec » Fri Dec 28, 2012 9:12 am

Brian could elaborate more on this, because he uses the original head, and leaves it attached. I believe he cuts at the back/top of the head. If I was to use the original head I would still remove it like I was going to use an artificial. I would then remove all the flesh and brain etc. And dry it in borax. I would then rebuild it with two part epoxie sculpt. If I have a picture I will post it.
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Re: Fixing busted wing for flying mount

Postby daffy... » Fri Dec 28, 2012 9:22 am

i have been using the orginal head. are head cuts mostly vertical or horizontal? does he leave some of the skin on it while he removes the flesh from it, could be a good technique cus gluing around the beak takes me awhile to be please with the work there. do you no if he fills the inside of the beek/mouth to keep from shrinking? ive been filling the nostrils with hot glue then filling the mouth with the same clay to model the eyes.
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Re: Fixing busted wing for flying mount

Postby Pete-pec » Fri Dec 28, 2012 9:31 am

Let's see if he replies? His technique is one of a kind, because he fills his in with fiber fill. If I remember correctly, he leaves only the skull cap in place, and fills fiber through the eyes and mouth. It would be best if he comments it you PM duxrus directly.
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Re: Fixing busted wing for flying mount

Postby Pete-pec » Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:01 am

I've certainly used both artificial and real heads, but I now only use artificial heads. They are simply easier for me. To each his own at this game. I don't think original heads look any worse than some casted heads, but I find artificial heads just plain simpler to use. As long as you have an adult bird, you will be able to match that same bird with an artificial head. Gluing takes some practice, but it's a piece of cake once you learn it. Get a very nice pair of pluckers. The kind for removing metal slivers. Use gel super glue. If you are applying to much glue, that will be a problem. Inject some in a syringe, and lay a bead with that instead. The pluckers will give you the dexterity to hold the very end of the skin (at the juncture) pull it up and over your bead of glue, and lay it in place where it belongs. A second hand with a pin will help you tack it on like you were welding this skin to the juncture where this fine bead of glue is sitting. I usually start at the top of the bill, then got to the bottom of the bill starting at both "V" notches and working my way to the cheeks. There may be some sag in the cheeks, where the skin has extra room, and I simply fill the this in with some clay based wallpaper paste using a heavy heavy gauge syringe through the ear hole. This plumps everything right up, and you can smother it out as you desire. This is a technique I use. I'm not the only one who does it, nor does everyone do it. You have to work with these birds for a while, get used to the fundamentals first. Don't expect miracles. As a matter of fact, expect disasters. Just keep learning from your mistakes. I am. I'm still learning, and I'm never quite satisfied.

Here is a picture of a rebuilt lesser scaup head. It takes a lot of time, and is something I would say you should learn. Not for a shortcut by any means, but instead you will have the ability to match any head to any bird. When you dump these first birds in the future, you won't be as sorry. It takes me at least a hour to rebuild one head, that takes a total of four days (in short bursts) to complete. I have to remove all the flesh I can, drill out the brain matter, wash and rinse, and dry in borax over night. The next day I rebuild just the upper and lower bill to prevent shrinkage from within. I also lay a bit of sculpt at the bottom of the head at the jaw line so my lower bill is aligned with the skull. Dry overnight. The next day is rebuilding the remaining skull, and then hanging it through its nostrils. The last day is eye muscle as well as sockets, and smoothing out imperfections, and rebuilding more muscle on the top of the head as well as the jaw. Yeah, it's a pain in the ass. Fortunately it was a hobby, and I didn't mind rebuilding them. I no longer have the patience to do so. There are certain species you can get by with this, and others I would not attempt.

I am not knocking anyone for using a real head. They work just fine if that's what you prefer. I think it's labor intensive using my method, and I feel fleshing without the head attached is far easier and cleaner using the incision around the bill. With the ability to completely invert the neck and flesh to the very edges of the skin, it only seems like it would be a cleaner mount?
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Re: Fixing busted wing for flying mount

Postby daffy... » Sat Dec 29, 2012 1:19 am

So crazy. So many way to do this. I guess I gotta keep practicing and mixing it up. I appreciate your time to describe these methods.

Ill starting post pics for you guys to give advice on
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