getting started

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getting started

Postby ptlkmg » Sat Sep 24, 2005 3:59 pm

HI to all
I am going to give this a try this winter after I get a few ducks to pratice on. I am starting to get my list of items I need to get started and would like to know if anyone has a "get started list" which can help me out. I am not sure exactly what I will need. I am going to try to figure this out by video/book and looking to start with birds. Any assistance would be great.
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Postby Pete-pec » Sat Sep 24, 2005 5:38 pm

First off are you going to do this as a hobby or as an extra income? The only thing I can say is don't skimp, and don't take shortcuts. I would suggest taking some training from a reputable taxidermist. The tools you'll need are:

a scalpal
a set of curved scissors
a grinder to sharpen the wires
a set of wire cutters to cut the wires
a means of fleshing the fat from the quills (I suggest a motorised flesher, but make sure you are really into this before making that investment.)
a curved 4 inch needle for sewing the cavity shut
a good thread as well
dry preservative (borax Bleach)
dish soap for cleaning the duck after fleshing
Odorless mineral spirits to evacuate the water after washing
a means of drying the bird after cleaning (blowdrier, or corn cob grit in a garbage bag, or a motor driven tumbler.)
super glue (if you are going to make the "around the bill" incision) (By the way the video probably won't show you this method.)
some painters tape
paper clips
pins and "T" pins
epoxy or clay
a MEASURED artificial foam body (get youself a seamstress tape)
an artificial head if using this method
Glass eyes
and that is about it. I know it sounds like alot, but it really isn't that costly to actually mount a bird, just alot of time and true patience. If you have any questions while mounting your first duck, I'd be glad to help you. I'm on this site usually at least twice a day. So feel free to ask me. You can either post up here or send me a private message, and I'll get back to you. I can't wait to hear how your first fleshing went! :toofunny: Pete
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Postby ptlkmg » Sat Sep 24, 2005 7:16 pm

Thank you for the list I have not been able to get this anywhere. I was thinking of buying one of those starter kits which gives you enough stuff to do one bird, was not sure if I should get one or just buy a bunch of supplies. I am thinking of just starting as a hobby but when I get good mabey go for profit. Do you recomend any good easy starter video's that show step by step hands on. Thanks
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Postby Pete-pec » Sat Sep 24, 2005 8:43 pm

I have no recommendations on a video. I was taught by a full-time taxidermist. I started out just skinning his birds for free, then worked my way to fleshing his birds. I soon was able to skin and flesh a bird faster and cleaner than he could do. I am just a hobbiest and am filling the North American collection right now. I do however skin and flesh for three full-time taxidermists, and do as many as 600 birds a year. I will tell you that besides understanding the anatomy of a bird, that fleshing is probably the biggest hang-up that a newbie will face. That's why I made the comment in the previous post on hearing about your first fleshing. They are thin skinned little buggers! Especially the puddle ducks, such as a Teal or Wood Duck.
Frank Newmeyer, Stephen Savides, and Dave Luke would be some Pros that I'd recommend trying to see if they have a video for you. Again, feel free to ask any questions. You may struggle trying to invert the wings or making the bill incision etc., and I have quite a bit of good experience to share with you. For further information on where to find videos, try going to That is an awesome forum for Q and A's. Just remember to use the orange search button first, then ask if you can't find it in the archives. Good luck, Pete
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Postby Gooseboy » Sun Sep 25, 2005 3:58 pm

Thin sorta cardboard stuff, like the stuff business cards are made out of.
The group ended up with 420 birds.

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Postby stampnducks » Mon Oct 03, 2005 6:27 am

I have some videos I would sale to you if you are interested. They will help out alot. Asking 8 dollars a pc.
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