Newbie... Starter Question

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Newbie... Starter Question

Postby xtrema 1 » Sun Jan 13, 2008 9:01 pm

Hi everyone I'm very new to this taxidermy thing and just starting out. I decided to do a scoter that I harvested this year. I heard there skin is a little thicker than other ducks and easier. I skinned it out allready and removed the brain and muscle around the wing. I am now removing the fat from the skin and there is alot of it. My first question is do you have to remove every little tiny morsle of fat from the skin. If a little tiny bit remains in differant areas on the duck will it be harmfull to the duck mount? What is the best way to do it if I don't have a wire wheel flescher? Is there a web site with instructions on how to make a home made flescher? I bought a book that promoted tanning. Most guys use Borax, what do you think about it? What is the best way to degrease the duck? That book i have wants me to buy all these chemicals. I would cost over a hundred dollars fo all of the chemicals they want me to get. There got to be a cheaper way to degrease it. I could use all the help I can get .

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Postby mgriffiths05 » Sun Jan 13, 2008 11:09 pm

i don't have an answer to your fleshing questions but as far as degreasing goes, i have heard alot of people doing 3 to 4 washes in dawn soap as a degreaser
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Postby duckbuster808 » Mon Jan 14, 2008 7:00 am

I used a knife to scrape all off my fat out of the mallard I did...If you miss some it may bleed through the feathers and make them all nasty. I washed my bird in Dawn dish soap, patted it dry and washed it a second time, this removes blood and somewhat degreases the bird...I then pat it dry and get coleman fuel (AKA Whitegas) and put the bird in it for 5-15 minutes. This also degreases the bird. let it sit out of the fuel for about 30-60 minutes until the bird has somewhat dried (the fuel will evaporate quickly) then tumble the bird and finish up the process as stated in the book.

For tumbling I bought some hampster bedding and put some in a pillow case with the bird them tumbled thebird in the drier (if you use this method check the bird every few minutes to make sure the skin isn't ripping if not, you might end up with two different parts of a duck!) The white gas gives the down feathers back their natural "puffieness".

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fleshing/degreasing ducks

Postby taxidermyjim » Mon Jan 14, 2008 6:26 pm

My first flesher was a variable speed skill drill with a fine wire wheel set on medium. Just be careful. I've done turkeys ducks and pheasants on this until I baught a vandyke bird flesher. Wash in dawn dish soap. I'm not a big fan of white gas, the fumes and other hazzards are not worth it to me. Just wash it out 3 or 4 times in dawn dish soap, dust with borox and tumble in gritacob its a corn cob grit, a box or bird tumbler and blow dry. Make sure the bird is completely dry, down feathers and all, and mount.
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Postby Jim W » Fri Jan 18, 2008 1:33 pm

I agree stay away from the wite gas it dose not help at all. Dawn unsented the old school stuff hot water lay the duck feathers up and set the skin on the water for 4 -5 min. and lift off gently change water and go warm water olmost hot to the touch. with a strong soap and wash the whole bird. and YES et every bit of the fat out. I use the scalding water at first so it cooks the meat and faty tishu and it keeps from rotting. then you use a hair dryer with OUT THE HEAT and fluff the bird. and continue the mounting process. hope this helped Jim
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Postby Whistlerwhittler » Sat Jan 19, 2008 1:34 pm

The first time or two that I wash the skin in Dawn, I do it with the skin inside out. This way I can try to rub the remaining grease off of the skin with my hand or lightly with an old toothbrush. Then turn it right side out and wash it a couple of more times to clean up the feathers. Rinse it. Then soak it in a couple of gallons of warm water and a cap full of Snuggle fabric softener to fluff up the feathers. Rinse again. Then put the skin (by itself) in the washing machine on the spin cycle (no water) for just a minute to get a lot of the water out of the feathers. Then tumble in corn cob grit for 4 or 5 minutes (any more will beat up the feathers). Blow dry on a cool setting till all the feathers are dry. Lightly sprinkle the inside with moth crystals or a little borax. Then assemble with the form.
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Postby loon » Sat Jan 19, 2008 11:21 pm

I use a mayo scissors With the skin inside out and your hand on the feather side each little bite takes the fat off down to the skin with a little practice. How many DAWN dish bathes are you all doing?
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Postby Whistlerwhittler » Sun Jan 20, 2008 8:55 am

At least 4 Dawn washings. Two inside out and 2+ right side out.
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Postby montana bound » Sun Jan 20, 2008 9:13 am

First remove all fat , before the wirewheel fleshers came out I used a sharp pair of sissors to carefully trim the fat away from the skin. Then like the guys said wash the skin and feathers to remove all the oils and grease that you can ,I to use Dawn , Borax is fine to use to presurve.
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Postby matchbook454 » Mon Jan 21, 2008 6:54 pm

My buddy uses a dremel tool with a small wire wheel to flesh his birds. Not very expensive to get and useful for a lot of other things too!
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Postby duckhunt » Mon Jan 28, 2008 7:20 pm

I have too respectfully disagree I wash twice in dawn and a finale wash in white gas it will get what dawn can't get off plus it will help tighten the skinwhen drying to hold the feather's tighter :thumbsup:
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Postby fowl minded » Wed Jan 30, 2008 2:01 pm

I'm with the majority here. Get the fat out...all of it..with some type of flesher or scissors. Wash a few times in Dawn and warm water (I vary based on how geasy the bird wood duck only a couple times, buffies maybe 4 to 5 times). Gas/thinner or whatever is not needed. Truely the only service is performs is repalcing the water in the feathers with gas and allows the bird to dry "quicker"(also something I would debate). Tumble it if you can, otherwise use a blowdryer with no heat, or low heat but at a distance, and taxi.
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Postby firebird » Wed Jan 30, 2008 4:40 pm

Now you are getting a taste of why taxidermists want a couple hundred dollars to do birds for their customers. A large spoon tipped on its side will get lots of the grease out and small scissors will break up the tougher fat and remaining muscle. Dishsoap and water will pull out the fat, there is no set number of times-do it till its finished! Gasoline or any other hydrocarbon will pull out grease as well as displacing water BUT they are costly and hazardous, try them on birds later in your career and master the basics for now. I suggest "corn cob grit" in an empty 5 gallon bucket with the lid on, roll it around for about 30 minutes, use an air compressor, leaf blower or hair dryer to finish, and the dryer the better, hot air works just fine but dries the actual flesh out and makes mounting more difficult. The best advise I would give a starter (good choice on the scoter!) is to get on a website sponsored by Wasco, Research, Van Dykes, or Trufitt and check into How To videos, there are dozens for every level of taxidermist that will help in every step. When you are ready check into a good wire wheel flesher and automatic tumbler-good ones are over 400 each and don't scrimp on the cost, after you have done one by hand you will appreciate the right tools for the job. Good luck
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Postby duckhunt » Wed Jan 30, 2008 6:09 pm

I agree with the corn grit it's the best choice :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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