Got any tips of the trade ?

A forum to discuss taxidermy techniques and mounts.

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Re: Sewing the head incision closed and carding wings

Postby duxrus » Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:55 pm

Pat,

This is a fresh bird so the bill hasn't turned dark yet . I wish I could paint that well :fingerhead:
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Re: Sewing the head, carding , and caulking

Postby Putmeincoach » Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:25 pm

Thanks for this Duxrus, especially the sewing tutorial. That bird looks amazing
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Re: Sewing the head, carding , and caulking

Postby sprigpig1 » Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:04 pm

Another great tutorial Brian
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Re: Sewing the head, carding , and caulking

Postby duxrus » Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:12 pm

Since we have been talking about using caulk I thought I would show the simple way I use it. The wings and tail area are where I inject it. To me it adds strength along with holding everything in place once dry.
Here you can see the wing wire coming from the manikin out through the wing. I simply use a caulk gun to inject the wing. If too much is injected, you can easily push the excess back up against the manikin after massaging the caulk throughout each wing. On stanging birds, I do not wire the wings and only pin them in place. I do inject the with caulk so once dry the wings are locked in place forever.
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I will suggest pushing the nozzle into the wing to make sure it doesn’t just end up against the manikin where it is about impossible to work back into the wing opening where you want it.
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Here you see the tail area being filled. When I say filled I am only adding it around the manikin and alittle around the tail quills. I just want enough to add strength .
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After the wings and tail areas have been injected and the caulk messaged into place, I add my filler to hold the caulk in place along with plumping up the areas where fat has been removed.
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As some of us discussed, this can be done by large syringes, curved tipped syringes, or caulk guns. I always use the size smaller manikin than needed to give me more “wiggle room” while working on birds. This helps with less tearing as large hands try to fit in tight spots and filler helps “me” get a smoother body shape.
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Taxidermy tips and tutorials

Postby duxrus » Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:27 pm

Wel l since I have been in picture taking mode I thought some people would find these tips and methods useful… I also thought this could be a great way to learn from each other :thumbsup:

Many times we all have seen pictures of mounts where there is no smooth transition between the head/neck/breast junction. People always say that the skin needed to be “taxied” forward. Odds are many people are thinking “what the heck does “taxi-ing” mean.

Here is a bird where you can see a head with a thin neck ending abruptly into a wide breast…
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All I did was pull the breast skin forward toward the head to thicken the neck up and to give it a smoother transition for a more pleasing look. This literally takes less than a minute to pull the skin forward and to work the feathers back into place. This is what is ment by “taxi’ing the skin forward”. Now you can pull too much forward for the no neck appearance so it is always a judgement call as to how much do you adjust. I did some modification to this hen after the picture but thought you would get the idea.
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Another easy fix is the mud or rust stain found on many birds breast and neck areas. On this pintail you can see it has quite a bit of stain…
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All I did was applied some Whink’s to the stained areas with the feathers being wet. Within a few seconds you will see the stain simply disappear. A second application may be needed if you miss a spot. After the stains are gone I just rinse the skin in water and proceed. There are numerous products that do the same thing so this is just what I use.
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I use latex gloves because of certain chemicals so I wanted to share a great brand of them I have used for the past few years. They are super strong and can be taken off and re-used multiple times. I originally bought a box for 14$ from a supplier but have since found that you can buy them for 7$ a box straight from the company. You can hardly by the cheap, rip if you look at them wrong brands for that.
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I really want to get other’s input on this topic since we are never too old to learn new tricks. Some of us take for granted that we use this or that because it has just been how we learned way back when even though some better method or product has existed. If you have any tip about this or that please post it up.
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wire and wall mount

Postby Pete-pec » Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:56 pm

I'll add this.

wiring to a base that will hang on a wall. I know it sounds silly, but without recessing for the wire and a hanger, your base will not sit flat against the wall, and the bird will wobble.

I drill three holes for the 30 cent hanger. The holes are drilled with a flat wood bit in 3/4 inch. The two lower holes are drilled deep enough to account for the screws that hold the hanger, and the top hole is deeper to allow for the screw that is on the wall that will hold the mount. I just put the hanger on the back, and mark the screw holes and the top of the hanger.

I drill a hole the size of my wire that holds the bird. I also take an electric wood carver and make a channel that the wire will sit in. I typically use 6 gauge wire for most of my mounts for added stability. I will also pre-drill a couple holes and will take a couple fence staples and hammer them in place across the 6 gauge wire. This wire will go nowhere. If you ever wanted to add that bird to a different base, a bend of the wire and it comes right out.

I like the idea of this, and I will share other things, because I certainly have my way of doing things. :wink: I'm sure we all do!
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Re: Got any tips of the trade ?

Postby Pete-pec » Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:05 pm

Tried rotating it three times from my phone. If someone is at a computer please rotate it or I will tomorrow. Thanks.
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Re: Got any tips of the trade ?

Postby Pete-pec » Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:49 pm

Eye ring made of epoxie sculpt.

One of an old squaw before paint.

Another painted for a ross.

I have posted my technique in the past, and basically plug the eye in to wet apoxie sculpt when I do my eyes. Basically wrap the eye, allow to dry an hour or two, and shave the rim to make a thin ring. This method was made by me out of necessity as I do struggle with setting the eyes. You must use a smaller eye normally. I prefer 8mm most of the time.
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Re: Got any tips of the trade ?

Postby sprigpig1 » Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:37 pm

Good stuff as usuall Pete and Brian.. Well this one isn't as technical as Pete and brians but here is what I like to do while skinning. I will take pictures of drum sticks before I remove the meat.(takes 2 seconds)
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This allows me to rebuild the anatomy very close in the legs. If you use to much filler on the legs it will take up too much room and possibly make your bird to tight around the form( we all know that's trouble ) Too little will make for a "hungry" looking bird. I use cotton batting for re -building the legs. Like Brian said there are many ways to do things this just works for me.. Especially when your to the leg and wing building stage and forget how much tissue and tendons you removed. Kinda helps me be more detail oriented..especially on bigger birds like geese where there is a lot more of it. I used to just trace it out, but I would always lose the whatever I traced it on. Obviously the pic is just reference and does not have any measurements like you would have on the neck.. Or body somewhat. But none the less, legs and wing musculature are also crucial anatomy that need to be somewhat on the money IMO.

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Re: Got any tips of the trade ?

Postby sprigpig1 » Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:49 pm

Pete-pec wrote:Tried rotating it three times from my phone. If someone is at a computer please rotate it or I will tomorrow. Thanks.


Gotcha covered
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Re: Got any tips of the trade ?

Postby fowlweatherfowler » Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:05 pm

This was finished today. Really like he outcome. I used poplar wood and then took a wire wheel on a grinder and removed some of the softer material inbetween the grain. From there did 2 coats of minwax classic grey stain making the sunk in parts dark. Then used a light coat of minwax white wash pickling stain to lighten up the surface. It does not need to be perfect or everywhere. Last I used another coat of the classic grey

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Re: Got any tips of the trade ?

Postby Tryingtaxi » Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:48 pm

fowlweatherfowler wrote:This was finished today. Really like he outcome. I used poplar wood and then took a wire wheel on a grinder and removed some of the softer material inbetween the grain. From there did 2 coats of minwax classic grey stain making the sunk in parts dark. Then used a light coat of minwax white wash pickling stain to lighten up the surface. It does not need to be perfect or everywhere. Last I used another coat of the classic grey

Image

I like it would look good for a dead mount
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Re: Got any tips of the trade ?

Postby Pete-pec » Sat Mar 29, 2014 1:05 pm

I took some puctures today while skinning a bird, turning the wings, and skinning the head. I took some pictures of that process in Brian's wing tutorial later. I wanted to show you what I do when measuring a body. I know many people take measurements, but I use a slightly smaller body. I do take sketches both top and side so I can adjust my mannikins accordingly. I also sketch the neck in its natural curvature and have length, girth and shape.

Yes, the outlines will be bloody, but they dry. I normally save them for later references. If someone needs a measurement, I normally have it. I also write down length and girth measurement using a seamstress tape.
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skinning the head tutorial

Postby Pete-pec » Sat Mar 29, 2014 5:09 pm

Many ways to do taxidermy, but I took a few pics while skinning a head today.

This first picture shows the feather line where the feather meets the bill. You must cut slow and close to the the bill.
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Re: skinning the head tutorial

Postby Pete-pec » Sat Mar 29, 2014 5:14 pm

The next pic is peeling the skin back as you have the skin cut free from the bill.
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Re: skinning the head tutorial

Postby Pete-pec » Sat Mar 29, 2014 5:19 pm

I usually use the heel of the handle and push the skin and cut at the bone of the skull to help release the skin further, basically peeling towards the eye and ear hole.
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Re: skinning the head tutorial

Postby Pete-pec » Sat Mar 29, 2014 5:27 pm

When you get to the eye, the skin will usually flip over the crown of the skull. By pushing the skin towards the ear, and cutting downward with the blade exactly where the skin meets the skull, you can free the eye ring from the eye socket. By cutting downward, you lessen the opportunity to cut the skin. Once past the eye, you will free the skin from the ear canal as well. Once you get past the ear, the head is basically free.
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Re: skinning the head tutorial

Postby Pete-pec » Sat Mar 29, 2014 5:40 pm

Now the skin on the head has been completely inverted, and the head is free.

I will show a tutorial on rebuilding a real head. The lamile combs on a shoveler can not be duplicated, so I will rebuild this head and when I do, will post pictures.

I save the neck for measurements and reference for later. Add a bit of water in a baggie and freeze with skin.
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Re: skinning the head tutorial

Postby Tryingtaxi » Sat Mar 29, 2014 7:13 pm

Thanks for the tutorial I usually cut through around the eye socket I will try to cut downwards next time.
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Re: skinning the head tutorial

Postby sprigpig1 » Sat Mar 29, 2014 8:25 pm

Nice tutorial Pete
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Re: Rebuilding the original head tutorial

Postby Pete-pec » Thu Apr 03, 2014 5:58 pm

Bottom view all filled in.
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Re: Got any tips of the trade ?

Postby canback » Sun Aug 31, 2014 2:43 pm

Can you include the link as to where we can buy the black viper gloves?
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Re: Got any tips of the trade ?

Postby duxrus » Sun Aug 31, 2014 3:32 pm

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Re: Got any tips of the trade ?

Postby canback » Thu Sep 18, 2014 11:25 am

So I ordered a case of the dermatec black viper gloves,unfortunately they use fedex and it takes fed ex over two weeks to get them from Florida to Nevada.
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Wing bones (fixing and repairing)

Postby duxrus » Fri Jan 30, 2015 3:47 pm

Just so happened today I had the joy of fixing a few broken wing bones. The first one was a teal where there was only one bone missing. Now I wire my wings by running a wire out the manikin and thru the wing where the wire comes out underneath. I add caulk into the wings to fill any open space as needed and to add a lot of strength once dry. On a small bird like this the wire and caulk will give it all the support it will need.
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As you can see I just take a piece of cut paper towel and roll it around the bone until the desired shape is gotten. I then tape the paper into place.

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I then sew the tape to the skin so it can’t come off during tumbling
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Now it is fixed and I am ready to proceed with mounting it. Since it was a small duck I don’t spend a lot of time rebuilding the actual bone but just make the needed filler where the muscle and bone were.

On this white fronted goose I rebuilt everything because of the larger wing and extra weight. There was basically nothing to really start with accept a connection point.
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In this case I used 12 ga wire to reshape the missing bones by using the intact opposite wing as a blueprint.
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Once the wire is in the needed shape I hot glued the ends into the small remaining portions of bone.
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Now that the wire is secure, I wrap and tape it like it was the actual bone. I have seen many other ways to rebuild the muscle but this is the quickest and easiest way I have found with good results. This is the opposite wing since I treat a rebuilt bone and real deal the same way…

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Here is the bird after being tumbled with the rebuilt and normal wing for comparison…
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As with anything I post, this is the way “I” do it….nothing more, nothing less :tongue:
Last edited by duxrus on Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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