WING"TIPS" #4 formeldehyde injection
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Taxidermy.Net Forum  |  Beginners, Training & Tutorials  |  Tutorials  |  Topic: WING"TIPS" #4 formeldehyde injection « previous next »
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Author Topic: WING"TIPS" #4 formeldehyde injection  (Read 23908 times)
wingman
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« on: April 05, 2007, 10:49:38 PM »

Here's another small tip, I most birds I inject the feet and occasionally the wingtips with formalin. I use masters Blend on occasion but prefer to use formalin on most birds going out the door, My problem was my studio is not large and after mounting up a bunch of big birds geese, swans etc. the formaldehyde vapors stunk up the studio, The vapors I knew were not healthy SO I came up with this technique to eliminate the problem. I simply put a gallon ziplock bag OVER the foot before injecting and then inject the formalin right through the bag, Any excess will stay in the bag along with the smell. after about 4 days you can take the bags off and reuse them. I still wear protective gear,ie gloves goggles etc along with good ventilation This has been working well for me on the large FLYING birds On standing birds I just cover the feet with a bag after injecting. No more ''sprayback'' or annoying fumes in a small studio. GOOD LUCK
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JonHarleTX
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« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2007, 10:52:51 PM »

Great idea!  I know what you mean, that smell will burn those nose hairs to a crisp!

You are using  50/50 glycerin with the formalin right?  I didn't hink straight formalin would prevent shrinkage.

Jon~
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wingman
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« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2007, 10:57:45 PM »

Hey Jon, makes my eyes burn, Lately I have been using 38% formeldehyde with No glycerin, Having good results I think humidity and drying time also play a role in the shrinkage, I have used glycerin with the formalin in the past with good results also But as of late just formeldehyde, I sometimes will give a ''shot or two'' as touchup the next day.
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JonHarleTX
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« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2007, 11:06:20 PM »

I used to keep my formaldehyde and a water and glue mixture in VERY SIMILAR containers.  One day, I couldn't decide which bottle I had so stupid me took a big whiff....  It was the formaldehyde.. I literally wet myself it hurt so bad.. I saw stars for a good 30 minutes, couldn't see anything, and had the most horrible urge to vomit that even Jack Daniels doens't seem to come close to...

Anyhows.. since then, I've changed my containers and marked them accordingly..

As to the mixture.. I really have no clue as to what % formaldehyde I have.. It is actually called Cavity King and was purchased from a funeral supply company.  It's the stuff they embalm ya with.. but when I was deciding on which type of embalming fluid to purchase I chose the one that did say... stops initial shrinkage in facial areas when used within 48 hours of death.. (kinda morbid huh??)  It also said that it results in a solid, non-spongy epidermis.. hehe.. Geeze I was having a really strange day that day.. They even sold body bags.. I thought about getting some to keep Turkeys in for grins and giggles.

Jon~
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wingman
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« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2007, 11:10:03 PM »

I get mine from WEDOR chemical. It's in Breakthrough. I personally think the higher %age helps as basically it's ''stronger'' Maybe the Taxidermologist can chirp in on this? I don't know
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The Taxidermologist
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« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2007, 09:57:46 AM »

Wingman, you did not say whether you left the individual syringes in the feet until the next day, or simply injected and removed the needle. 37% is as strong of formaldehyde as can be bought, and it does have a very strong smell when used. Formaldehyde itself is a gas, and as water evaporates the gas becomes airborne. The concentration needed to fix a tissue varies depending on who you talk with, but 10% formalin, which is only 3.7% formaldehyde gas is usually adequate for tissues. Personally, I would not used full strength as it may be a bit overkill. I would cut it at least to 20% and you will have less vapors in the shop.

There will be some shrinkage with straight formalin, with a glycerin formalin mixture, and with a glycerin-elmers' glue mixture because water will evaporate out.

With the straight formalin, since formaldehyde is a gas, as the water evaporates the gas is either released as a gas, or the formaldehyde polymerizes to make paraformaldehyde. In the full strength stuff usually methanol is added to prevent polymerization, otherwise as the formalin ages in the jar, a white substance will form in the bottom of the jug. I actually saved this material from some old jugs and dried it - it may be a wonderful anti-pest material but I have not tested it. Unless the feet are OVERPLUMPED with formaldehyde and allowed to shrink down to normal size, there will be some shrinkage visible, as virtually all material except some white powder will leave the foot.

Mixing formalin with glycerin has been done form amny-many years now. Glycerin is reasonably inert, and will only very slowly evaporate (so slow it would take decades to see a visible evaporation in an open jar). Thus a 50% glycerin, 50% formaldehyde mixture would only shrink down to half of what it would potentially had it been straight formaldehyde. Of course the hardening of the outside tissues of the foot does reduce shrinkage in both cases, the mixture will shrink less.

The amount of chitinous material in the foot will help determine how much shrinkage happens. A bird with thick scales on the feet like a pheasant or turkey will harden up more than a less scaled foot like a duck. Large fleshy feet like pelicans or boobies will shrink very much no matter what method is used except freeze drying. The webs shrink thoroughly because it is hard to keep material inside the skin area. Some taxidermists with access to freeze driers, or even a no-frost freezer remove the feet, inject them, and dry them in the the unit. It does make a great foot.

Using Elmer's glue and formalin is another alternative. It dries the foot completelyafter the mixture dries and (I believe) leaves little struts of glue similar to struts in various bones in the bird skeleton  - thus holding the layers of the foot away from the inner tissue. The foot will dry hard - unlike the glycerin foot which is still semi-flexible for years afterwards. Some taxidermists like this semi-flexible nature in that it allows more ease of placement of the bird mount on a different base.

I am not a fan of injectable resins because there is no imparting of insect-resistant chemicals in the foot. It also traps tissue and allow decomposition in the foot. Eventually it dries out, but I would surmise it is much more likely to be secondarily infested.

One of the problems with injecting feet is shot holes which allows the fluid to dun out. These could be sealed with some material during the early stages of the mounting such that the whole would be watertight before injecting. There is a problem to avoid when using glycerin, and that is that the foot must be washed thoroughly off before painting it other wise the paint will not stick.

A lot of these finer points aren't considered that much in commercial taxidermy, but they should be. Almost every bird mount picture posted here by a beginner with a title like "my first duck what do you think" has severely shrunken feet. Routinely people say "Great duck - wished my first duck  looked like that. No one points out the feet shrinkage, because newcomers want praised not preached to.
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wingman
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« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2007, 10:47:25 AM »

Thank Taxidermologist! I guess it's time to get some glycerin again, I remove the needle each time and inject through the ziplock bag.Thanks for the info!
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mimes
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« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2007, 10:51:13 AM »

Taxidermologist, thanks for the post. Personally, i have injected with denatured alcohol, formaldehyde, and master's blend. Alll show some form of shrinkage with the alcohol and formaldehyde shrinking the most. So, my question now is, what is your opinion on the best injection material to use on commercial birds that has the least amount of shrinkage. And yes i too have seen the shrinkage on the "first" bird feet. They will learn in time.
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The Taxidermologist
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« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2007, 01:05:35 PM »

In my opinion, injecting Denatured alcohol does the foot no real benefit. Initially it will sterilize the surfaces it contacts, but it has no real ability to permeate the tissue. The amount of alcohol that is injected, even if spread throughout the foot, would not stop decomposition because the concentration would be too low. On top of that, the alcohol would suck water away from fleshy areas that it could not move too. What I mean by that, is that since alcohol is a larger molecule than water, it does not move through the membranes of the cells as rapidly as water does, so thus the gradient will pull water away from fleshy areas leaving them more shriveled than otherwise. You can see that dramatically in something as similar as preserving a salamander or small frog. If you drop a freshly sampled small salamander in 70% ethanol, it will shrivel up to half its' regular dimensions. However, if you preserve it in 10 formalin for a few days, rinse it overnight, then slowly bring the concentration up to 70% and store it permanently in this solution, the salamander will be close to its' original dimesions for decades if not centuries.

My view on master's blend or other injectables is that it also does not penetrate the cells, but only fills up voids that would normally be occupied by blood vessels or the lymphatic system - IF you find the right points to inject into. There is difficulty in finding these areas, but when found, it does fill the void. However, the resin does nothing to retard the fleshy areas it can't get into, and shrinkage will happen disproportionally.

Formaldehyde as a gas is very good at crossing cell surfaces - infact easily able to transfer up to a quarter inch of muscle tissue. The formaldehyde acts by "cross-linking" the proteins which stiffens them up. You COULD equate it to hard-boiling an egg. The crosslinking firms up the tissue and retards shrinkage as it dries. You could inject three sets of feet with water, alcohol and formalin straight up, and the least shrunken would be the formalin, but they would all shrink. If you placed all three in a freeze dry machine after plumping, they would all come out okay - but the gas released by the alcohol, and I believe the gas released by the formaldehyde may potentially damage the gaskets in the machine. However, the formalin will always add a bit of sound mind to the taxidermist, as a properly prepared foot does not attract any bugs - even if fat has leaked from the tarsals inside. My belief is that the glycerin also acts to keep the fat inside these bones, so I would prefer formalin/glycerin over formalin/glue for all fatty birds.
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DLYORK
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« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2007, 02:04:36 PM »

It's a wonder I am alive. In the 70s I commercial fished and one of the major problems you have is wet hands. They are very soft and tear, get leader cuts easily and don't heal well. You need to build calluses as fast as you can but when you are out at sea for weeks at a time it is very difficult to get your hands dry. Someone suggested rubbing your hands several times a day with formaldehyde to build up calluses. I bought some formalin and used it on my hands plus preserve any unusual critters I found at sea for a friend. It built a callouse in less than a week that was like shoe leather.
 Who can forget dissecting animals in Biology that were in formaldehyde and using only eye protection.
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ludvik
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« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2007, 02:23:58 PM »

thx for the tips wingman
i like the ziplock bag. i always getit over the feaders >:(
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Kastaway
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« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2007, 02:29:31 PM »

Dear Taxidermologist. I have always looked for a solution to inject into tissue to plump it up and fill sagging areas. Never found anything that worked well. Any ideas. Thanks
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Joe Kastaway Kulis
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Fooshman
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« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2007, 02:58:13 PM »

What can one clean glycerin off with?
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The Taxidermologist
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« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2007, 03:57:33 PM »

Mr. Kulis,
There were a few posts a while back describing something called feature builder used by the funeral industry - from a post Jan 2003 there is a company which manufactures a possible material -
"Feature Builder Firming - from the Dodge Company in Cambridge Mass. It is a formaldehyde based injectable that is used in the mortician business. You inject the stuff and in a few minutes it hardens and preserves."

The company still exists and they do handle the material. Unfortunately, the MSDS only has to list the hazardous chemicals in the solution, and the material that "hardens it" appears to not be listed. The MSDS sites are at http://www.dodgeco.com/msds/msds/msds_list_acc.cfm
One can get a good idea of the chemicals they use in mortuary science by simply looking through all the MSDS sheets. It appears the catalog isn't on line though, so you can't get the exact descriptions of what the chemicals claim to do to a body.

You would be the most likely person to know if formaldehyde damages the rubber gaskets in freeze dry machines. I either read it in Hower or Merriman's publications, or Rod Connelly told me of it. I have freeze dried materials at times but never owned a machine. I do know alcohol does hurt gaskets also.
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TrailsEnd
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« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2007, 04:18:17 PM »

I thought there was some solution sold somewhere that does the same as formalin but has no toxic vapors and is not a carcinogen. Does anyone know what it is or where it can be purchased?
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