Making wall habitat-By oldterryr
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Taxidermy.Net Forum  |  Beginners, Training & Tutorials  |  Tutorials  |  Topic: Making wall habitat-By oldterryr « previous next »
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Author Topic: Making wall habitat-By oldterryr  (Read 10866 times)
Lisa M
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« on: January 19, 2009, 07:46:35 PM »

Some of us were blessed to have known Terry Davis both personally and professionally for many years, while some of us only knew him for a matter of weeks.  In May of 2008 he lost his battle with cancer.  There are no words to adequately express the grief many of us felt for Terry & his family.  For many months we read his Cancer Blogs.  Through the good times and bad, Terry tried to smile and tried to help.  He gave his life, his family, and this industry that he loved so much, everything he could, until he could give no more.

I hope that in some small way, by putting the tutorials that Terry had on his website, here on Taxidermy.net, he will continue to teach, inspire, and watch over all of us.  His beloved wife, Maggie, has given her blessing to this project.

I havent changed a word of the tutorials.  The methods described within are entirely Terrys.  I made the pictures taxi.net friendly, but other than that, this is the exact tutorial Terry had on his website.  ;)

Enjoy, and God bless.  L



Step by Step Instructions for making wall  habitat
Introduction
I developed this method to make fast, easy and cheap ledges and rocks. I sell a lot of mammals on ebay and they sell much quicker and for higher prices with habitat included.   I am sure I have pirated some ideas but I have never seen any of these ideas in print or on video.  If I have inadvertently taken one of your ideas Ill apologize right now.. To me , as I developed this, it  was all unique.  Lets get started..
Figure 1)  You need:
1.        an animal (red fox shown here)
2.        plywood can be junk grade but need to be real wood not panelling or presswood
3.        2x2 scraps
4.        caulking (used for glue)
5.        spray paint (orange and black in this example)
6.        spray rock (available from wal mart (color is manhattan mist))
7.        dry wall screws 3
8.        2 part polyurethane foam
9.        2 insulation (get from lumber yard comes in 2 x 8 sheets)

Figure 2)  Depending on the weight of the animal (in this case fox) you may need a slab of wood under top ledge piece. This foxs weight was marginal but for examples sake I used it.   We will cut 3 pieces of wood to start.  One for backdrop one for bracing ledge to sit on (2 x 2) and one for support ledge.  As you are building your ledge you have to think two or three steps ahead so you dont cover up something and have to tear it apart and start over.  I laid the fox on my workbench and figured out the measurements before I started.  I have done a number ( a big number) of these ledges so I normally get it pretty close on the first try.  If you screw up it is a simple matter to start over from scratch because your cost is low.  Here are the 3 pieces cut and we are ready to get started.

Figure 3)  I have screwed the parts together in this picture.  The 2x2 support doesn't show well here but it is screws to the backboard for support.  Everything is leveled as it goes together.

Figures 4 & 5)  I have positioned hanging holes so they will hidden behind ledge material.  I prefer to put corner brackets over the holes.  This gives the hanging screw something to grab on to in case someone ( or something) grabs onto front of mount.  I used to just drill holes but I have found this way to be better.


Figure 6)  We want the first piece of ledge to hide our support ledge.  Cut the styrofoam slightly larger than an exact fit.  I use a rapala filet knife to cut the styrofoam.  When cutting the styrofoam close is close enough.

Figure 7)  We have now cut our first piece of foam.  I always scallop and taper the 90 degree edges to give a rock look.  Cut chunks out and really play with the look of the stone.  You cant do anything wrong here.  In this picture I have applied my caulking (glue) and am ready to attach.

Figure 8)  Our first piece of rock is now attached.  I also use a 3 dry wall screw to attach to wood.  These screws only give very minimal strength.  That is all that is really needed.  The insulation is truly as light as a feather.

Figure 9)  I have continued to put piece after piece until the basic ledge is finished.  Make sure and caulk and put in screws between sheets.  Our support ledge is still showing but it will disappear soon enough.

Figure 10)  Mix up a small amount of 2 part foam.  You may have to mix up a second batch so make this first batch small.  If you are working where it is hot it will take off like a rocket and your batch make kick before you can get it all applied,  Start small.

Figure 11)  Paint the foam (use throw away brush) into cracks and anywhere else you feel it may be needed.  If you have pieced the styrofoam the 2 part foam will act as a very strong glue.  The foam kills all the manmade look in an instant.  If you miss a spot or it looks like you need some more mix up another small batch and paint it on.  You cant do anything wrong here.

Figure 11a) Here is a closeup of previous picture

Figure 12)  Tone everything down with a LIGHT coat of black.  You are not trying to blacken everything just knock the white color out.  You can also use gray as the tone downer (new taxidermist word).

Figure 13)  Figure out what you want your underlying color to be.  I am partial to the sandstone color look so I use brite orange and put a medium coat of orange over the black and on the high points of the polyurethane.  Spray some areas heavy and some light.  Skip places too.  Have fun with this.

Figure 14)   Get out your spray rock and put it on.  Again some areas light and some heavy.  Let some of the underlying color show thru.  You cant do it wrong!!  After drying seal the spray rock with spray on lacquer.  If it is cool it takes a long time for the spray rock to dry.

Figure 15) VOILA!!!!
Try this simple and easy method.  Taking pictures and thinking what to say took longer than just making the habitat.  One nice thing about this method is there is NO LEARNING CURVE.  The first one you make will be great.  Get going


Look below (16 & 17) for other samples of technique.  All animals on gallery pages that have rocks or ledges were done this way.... go get 'em!



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brushwolf
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Location: Baytown, TX / Colorado Springs, CO
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« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2009, 08:19:29 PM »

ive used this method many of times to make rocks and its easy and gives good results . this method was used on this piece.

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Lisa M
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Location: Rifle, Colorado
Posts: 5906


Swing like no one is watching...lol


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« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2009, 07:37:37 PM »

We know the photobucket pictures are down.  I've done what I can to fix it.  I am at a loss for anything else I can do.  Ken Edwards & Patrick J are working on it and I am very grateful to them.  I am hopeful that Terry can continue to teach future generations of taxidermists for many years to come.

Thank you for your patience.
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If you don't stand behind our soldiers, remember you are free to stand in front of them. 

My e-mail address is in my profile. Holler if you need to.
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