Often asked questions.

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Re: Often asked questions.

Postby Pete-pec » Tue May 06, 2014 9:15 pm

It's all preference. I prefer to have my skin ready in towel in the fridge, the night before the mount. I will have all the holes stitched up where caulk can leak (head, neck, breast, wings, and larger dime-sized holes). The next morning I borax, dry with air compressor. Run wires, and mount bird. I like a fresh skin. I never dry the head and most of the neck until detail work like inserting the head. Basically last thing I do. An air compressor is an amazing tool for many reasons.
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Re: Often asked questions.

Postby duxrus » Fri Mar 06, 2015 9:52 am

I skin and flesh, wash, degrease, rinse....refreeze

Get frozen skin out the night before and rinse again just before starting the drying procedures. I feel that refreezing the skin toughens them up somewhat and tend to not have skins ripping as I mount the bird like issues I had way back when before doing so.
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Re: Often asked questions.

Postby alanwebfoot » Sun Mar 15, 2015 7:12 am

duxrus wrote:Who does "good" work....

This might not be posted but more of a thought by people. Here are some rules on that...

NEVER just take a taxidermist on his word..."Yes, I do great ducks"

NEVER just take someone else's opinion...there are many different definitions of "good", "great", "awsome"

SEE someone's work with your own eyes and YOU decide

NEVER accept work that you feel is unacceptable "shotty" work. Let the taxidermist know so they can possibly correct an issue. Once you pay and walk out their door it isn't their problem.

NEVER go for a "deal".....if price is your majory concern then quality isn't hven't even read the rest of this post but this one speaks volumes great advice

Just because someone can mount the best deer in the world far from means they have a clue about mounting something other than a deer.

Don't be lazy and just choose the closest taxidermist to save time if you truly care about the end result.

I hope this helps. :welcome:
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Re: Often asked questions.

Postby quigby979 » Mon Feb 29, 2016 11:47 am

Hi, I am just starting as a hobby wanting mainly to do upland and Waterfowl. I only have some green wing teal to practice with. I did my first attempt at skinning, defleshing and washing yesterday. It went OK. The bird was more shot up than I wanted. My question is how do you know when you defleshed enough? This forum has been very helpful so thanks to all of you for being helpful.
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Re: Often asked questions.

Postby Pete-pec » Mon Feb 29, 2016 12:31 pm

There's a fine line between fleshed enough, and too much. There are some pictures and posts on what is clean, but if you are hand fleshing, I think you're behind the 8 ball. You want to see the skin between the quills. Not fat, and not holes lol.
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Re: Often asked questions.

Postby quigby979 » Mon Feb 29, 2016 4:47 pm

Thanks Pete, I was using scissors yesterday. I will try a grinding wheel to but Thought the experience by hand would be good, lol. I didn't pull the skin down the wings far enough either. I only went the first joint and did not pull down to the ulna/radius joint. It's a start and will keep at it.
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Re: Often asked questions.

Postby Pete-pec » Mon Feb 29, 2016 5:31 pm

Take time to go through the tutorials, and search key words, and you'll find a ton of good free info!
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Re: Often asked questions.

Postby Pete-pec » Mon Feb 29, 2016 5:41 pm

Here are a few pictures I took a while back. Now your bird is a teal, and I'm fleshing sea ducks which are completely night and day, but the feather butts will show you that scissors just cannot get as close as a wheel.

viewtopic.php?f=73&t=376273&p=3736481&hilit=fleshing#p3736481
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Re: Often asked questions.

Postby quigby979 » Mon Feb 29, 2016 10:12 pm

I have a much clearer picture of what a good fleshing should look like. Thank you and much appreciated for your help.
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Re: Often asked questions.

Postby Pete-pec » Mon Feb 29, 2016 10:15 pm

Not a problem
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Re: Often asked questions.

Postby quigby979 » Mon Mar 14, 2016 8:31 am

I attempted skinning another teal. I am struggling getting the wings, the second joint skinned. I keep cutting those secondaries that hug the bone. I am starting to think that learning on a teal is a mistake, but that's all I have. I will keep trying. If anyone has any tips I would appreciate them.
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Re: Often asked questions.

Postby Pete-pec » Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:12 am

quigby979 wrote:I attempted skinning another teal. I am struggling getting the wings, the second joint skinned. I keep cutting those secondaries that hug the bone. I am starting to think that learning on a teal is a mistake, but that's all I have. I will keep trying. If anyone has any tips I would appreciate them.


Super simple. So you get to the elbow, and you'll notice there's a slight knob where the first secondary is connected? You'll also notice on the opposite side of the wing where the radius bone is, you can start to see a downward slice of muscle? This means you're far enough to put the knife away, and use a simple method of removing them. Take the wrist of the bird and stub it against your work bench, and take the handle of your blade and ride it along the ulna straight downward, scraping against the ulna and removing those secondary feather butts in half a second. Drive the handle against the bone all the way to the wrist. Now simply invert the wing. It's literally that easy. There are sometimes a couple tendons gripping the skin to the wing muscle, but normally it just inverts real easy. Most of us can invert a wing in a minute. Use borax as a gripping agent.
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Re: Often asked questions.

Postby quigby979 » Mon Mar 14, 2016 11:08 am

Thanks Pete, I think I get what your saying...of course a visual would help but your saying the downward pressure is enough to free those secondaries instead of trying to cut them, correct?
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Re: Often asked questions.

Postby Pete-pec » Mon Mar 14, 2016 11:31 am

Yes, you cannot screw it up. You use the bone as the guide, and the blunt end of the scalpel blade to pop them right off. Don't stop until you hit the wrist, right near the bench. I usually have the radius toward me, and the ulna away from me as I pop them off.
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Re: Often asked questions.

Postby quigby979 » Mon Mar 14, 2016 12:30 pm

I found a you tube tutorial that shows what you described. I got it. He also showed another method where you just cut the radius side and clean it out without removing the secondaries. I will learn your way first and try that later. Thanks Pete
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Re: Often asked questions.

Postby quigby979 » Mon Mar 14, 2016 7:43 pm

What is used to plump up the feet? Where can you get it?
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Re: Often asked questions.

Postby duxrus » Mon Mar 14, 2016 8:43 pm

That probably was covered in the tutorials. I personally use Masters Blend and really like it over a lot of other things i have tried over the years. Store it in the freezer or frig because low temps extend the "kick" time.

There are about as many injectibles as there ate methods to mounting a bird so i suggest trying a few and see what you like

As far as your previous question as to inverting a wing, once you get to the joint all i do is cut the first secondary free and just use my thumb nail to detach the rest. ( go slow especially if the bones are broken. On larger birds like geese or swans a butter knife works great. Sharp blades tend to do damage as you go but the dull edge of a butter knife pushes instead of cutting
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Re: Often asked questions.

Postby alanwebfoot » Mon Mar 14, 2016 8:54 pm

Pete-pec wrote:Yes, you cannot screw it up. You use the bone as the guide, and the blunt end of the scalpel blade to pop them right off. Don't stop until you hit the wrist, right near the bench. I usually have the radius toward me, and the ulna away from me as I pop them off.
OR use your thumb nail listen to them pop off one at a time,except for the elbow area I rarely use a scalpel on a wing
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Re: Often asked questions.

Postby quigby979 » Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:03 pm

Thanks everyone for the tips, I will try it again Wednesday. I am going to complete that all the way through so Hopefully it will look like a duck.haha
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Re: Often asked questions.

Postby Pete-pec » Mon Mar 14, 2016 10:15 pm

alanwebfoot wrote:
Pete-pec wrote:Yes, you cannot screw it up. You use the bone as the guide, and the blunt end of the scalpel blade to pop them right off. Don't stop until you hit the wrist, right near the bench. I usually have the radius toward me, and the ulna away from me as I pop them off.
OR use your thumb nail listen to them pop off one at a time,except for the elbow area I rarely use a scalpel on a wing


Alan, I use the handle, not the blade itself. I can literally zip them to the wrist in half a second. I used to use my thumb, but that was not needed. The method I describe is about as easy as it gets. I agree, I use a scalpel for cutting away the occasional tendon away, otherwise a bit of borax for grip, and perhaps the initial turning at the armpit with the blade.
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Re: Often asked questions.

Postby quigby979 » Fri Mar 18, 2016 11:24 am

Well I got the Duck skinned, defleshed, cleaned and packed away in a towel in the freezer. The wings came out great. The teal skin is thin. I could not use the wheel cause I kept burning holes. I finally gave up and just used scissors. I cleaned, rinsed, clean and put into freezer. I have 2 holes in the tail that I need to sew and 3 small ones in the neck that I caused. My concern is the 2 holes in the tail, pretty good size. It's going to effect how it will fit when I mount it.
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Re: Often asked questions.

Postby duxrus » Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:34 am

Here is the wing of a pintail I worked on yesterday. I hope this helps in showing how I invert wings on small waterfowl (ducks)

Like Pete said just start by skinning the wing down to the main joint.

Image

Then take your blade and cut the tendons and skin around the joint to just below to where the secondaries are attached.


Image

Then I use my thumb nail to pop each feather free along with pulling the skin loose. On larger birds where the quills are harder to separate, I use a butter knife or screw driver instead of my thumb. Always proceed slowly because you never know when there is a broken bone hiding like this one.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
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Re: Often asked questions.

Postby duxrus » Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:38 am

After it is skinned down to the wrist I go back and cut off the meat.

Image

Image

And a picture of one that wasn't broken.

Image

I remove any additional meat with the wheel when I flesh the entire bird. As you can see I use hangers to skin and let gravity help. This process takes about two minutes to complete a wing. Hope this helps :thumbsup:
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Re: Often asked questions.

Postby Pete-pec » Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:45 am

Looks good Brian. I'll try and post it in the tutorials.
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Re: Often asked questions.

Postby quigby979 » Tue Mar 22, 2016 12:55 pm

Great Pictures!! It doesn't get any clearer than that. Thanks.
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