How to Close Waterfowl Heads without Sewing
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
September 22, 2019, 04:18:52 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
1794012 Posts in 224167 Topics by 49577 Members
Latest Member: SaraJean
* Home Help Search Calendar Login Register
Taxidermy.Net Forum  |  Beginners, Training & Tutorials  |  Tutorials  |  Topic: How to Close Waterfowl Heads without Sewing « previous next »
Pages: [1] 2 Print
Author Topic: How to Close Waterfowl Heads without Sewing  (Read 22282 times)
GulfcoastWF
Silver Member
***
Location: texas
Posts: 421


Email
« on: April 03, 2008, 01:36:52 AM »

I figured since wingman gave such a great tutorial on the real head artificial method ( thanks eugene, I used it today on a whitewing scoter.  you are the man!), and everyone keeps asking if I have a unique way of skining the head, I thought I would share my rather simple but different way of closing a head without stiches.

because I really hate to sew, and I mean I really hate to sew, and never do... I skin out through the back of the head.  I know that many of you guys already do this, but I figured I would show how this is done while keeping the back of the skull complete.

First of all, I never pop a hole in the back of the skull.  I want the skull to be as solid as posible when I drive my neck wire through.  Brain removal can be done easily through the back of the eye socket, keeping the skull solid and in tact.  I have found that once the cranial cavity is cleaned this way, cotton can be inserted in place of clay.  This makes the head much lighter and is also less stress for a mount during travel/shipping. 

Once the head is rolled out, blueberries removed (what we call bird's eyes in the shop), and jaw and pallet devoid of tissues/meat.... take a 1/2" drill bit and drill out (by hand) the front of the skull/back of the eye socket to access the brain.  once removed, the bird is ready to continue its journey onward through the taxidermy prep processes.

With the bird finally preped and dryed, I can now insert the form and neck wire into  the base of the unfractured skull. Now, because I optted not to break the back of the skull for brain removal, the cranium remains extremely strong, like an egg; not very stong once its cracked but very durable when it is solid.  I like to drive the sharpend wire right throught the spinal passage, on through the skull, and out the front of the head so that the end is protruding 5 or 6 inchs.  Not only does this give me three points at which the wire has locked head and neck together without any loosness, it really gives me a great handle to shape and bend a pose without touching any part of the birds head/neck area with my dirty fingers.  just clip off the excess when done. 

Now, at this point, I am ready to close the head up.  I leave the area under the incision clean and dry so that my glue will stick (clay or cotton just at the head/neck juncture)  starting from the bottom of the opening working toward the top of the head, I glue a little bit at a time, slowly closing the hole.  I dab a bit of glue on the neck adhear one side at a timeIt is very important that the skin lay flat and both edges rejoin FLAT, just as it looked when first cut, keeping the feathers parted AWAY from the incision helps. If you try to "pinch" the pieces together, you will have feathers standing up on the back of the head like a mohawk.  take your time, it will yeild some great results. I love skinning the head throuh the back because the feathers are longer than under the neck and hide the seam much cleaner for me.  Anyway, give it a try if its something new....

beats the you-know-what outta sewing ***shudders***

voila! there it is to try.
LJ
« Last Edit: April 22, 2008, 05:42:33 PM by Ken Edwards » Logged

Gulfcoast Waterfowl                Freestyle Custom Art and Murals
www.gulfcoastwaterfowl.com         www.freestyleartist.com       

mimes
Gold Member
****
Posts: 883


Email
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2008, 12:27:59 PM »

Thanks LJ. I never use the real head/incision because of the sewing. Hope to give this a try. Do you do anything to prevent the shrinkage/wrinkles in the real bill?
Logged
Pascal
Gold Member
****
Location: DeRidder, Louisisana
Posts: 801


Wahoo!


Email
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2008, 04:39:45 PM »

Another great Tutorial. I hate sew head incisions. I will give it a try. Thanks.
Logged
M.T.
Platinum Member
*****
Posts: 3770


Email
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2008, 09:30:24 AM »

Thats pretty cool, turning a wood duck into a mallard, now if I could turn a mallard into a nice wood duck, that would be awesome!
Logged
George Roof
Platinum Member
*****
Location: Magnolia, Delaware
Posts: 33146


The older I get, the better I was.


WWW Email
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2008, 11:41:02 AM »

God knows I'm no bird expert, but I would forewarn any of you that using glue up on that head can lead you to making a helluva lot of apologies.  It's bad enough working with an artificial head (that would make this all a moot point EXCEPT THE GLUE), but I still use this method on upland birds and raptors.  But you WILL NOT BE ABLE TO TAXI THE SKIN unless you are VERY CAREFUL.  Superglue will melt fiberfill and will bond instantly with feathers or anything else organic.  I also never figured out the advantage of the wire protruding the skull.  I learned that way, but found that any jostling of the head or neck or body would pull the neck/body/head juncture would be separated.  Instead, I made that dreadful incision a bit longer and instead of protruding  the skull, I bent a "U" in the end and seated the tip back into the skull (It's not NEARLY as fragile as this implies.  I cut the back of the skull open from earhole to ear hole and the "U" still holds when seated in above the beak.  Sewing with invisible thread and a magnifier isn't easy, but if I can do it, there are a helluva lot better bird people than I am here, so I know you can.  This set up allows me to insure tension holding the head/neck/body by pulling the wire through the body once it's sewn up.  Now I can bend the head and neck in any position I want without worrying about separation and a "ripple" in the skin.
Logged

If the truth offends you, then by all means, avoid it.
lee, tees valley
Platinum Member
*****
Posts: 1797


tweety luvva.


Email
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2008, 12:21:49 PM »

 i would  be agreeing with george on this :o ;) if your gonna super glue any incision on a bird be very careful and remember it limit's the taxiying of the skin in the area you use the glue on . but if it work's  for ya  go for it. ;D ;)
Logged
amerriam
Silver Member
***
Location: Longmont, CO
Posts: 172


Alright, Baseball's Back!!


Email
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2008, 01:01:42 PM »

It seems to be working out for LJ.  I have a feeling he knows what he's doing
Logged
George Roof
Platinum Member
*****
Location: Magnolia, Delaware
Posts: 33146


The older I get, the better I was.


WWW Email
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2008, 03:08:57 PM »

Never meant to imply that he didn't.  Just warning those "trying" this or for beginners, there are some issues that need to be addressed.  Lee IS a bird expert and for him to urge caution should be enough warning for those who try it.
Logged

If the truth offends you, then by all means, avoid it.
amerriam
Silver Member
***
Location: Longmont, CO
Posts: 172


Alright, Baseball's Back!!


Email
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2008, 03:25:50 PM »

George,
thanks for clarifying

amerriam
Logged
Jim McNamara
Platinum Member
*****
Posts: 1605


WWW Email
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2008, 03:39:01 PM »

Great discussion guys. It is great to get so many tips and learn alternate ways of doing taxidermy. That, plus a few other things, is what makes this site so usefull . One does need to proceed with caution though. Never try new tips on customer mounts unless you are thouroghly convinced it will work O.K.  and you are really practiced well enough to pull it off properly.  I use that method to repair tears after the fact, head skin splits some after inserting art. head etc....but with the greatest caution. Never be afraid to try new things, just use some common sense.

Great job cautioning people George and Lee .
GC, keep up the great tips and previewing of your work. It is an inspiration!!


                                        My best,
                                          Jim
Logged

'Walk with the King today and be a blessing!'
GulfcoastWF
Silver Member
***
Location: texas
Posts: 421


Email
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2008, 04:10:14 PM »

George and Jim, thanks for stressing the points that you did.... They were good ones.

Everything takes practice, especially new ideas... Anyone trying anything new should always do so at their own discretion. I have explained what I do as an alternative simply because I have been asked, nothing more.  I, myself, have perfected this method over many many years and um-teen thousand birds, and I love it, just as everyone else has there own ways of getting from A to B.  I am 90% self taught over 18 odd years, never even been in another bird guy's studio nor do I know any personally. I know what I like about my job...and what I hate, and sewing is one of 'm. 

Skin taxi on the back of the head? I really have no need to taxi the skin when I glue, cause its pretty much alreadywhere I want it.  If thats the case, and you feel you have to taxi that one little part, lay a piece of celephane or doubled over masking tape.  works great.  I have not to my knowledge had any seams busting open nor have I had any melting issues with the foam neck material I use (McKenzie by-the-foot cheapo neck foam).  All good points, but none have ever been an issue for me. 

Sometimes you find easier ways of doing things for yourself.  I encourage anybody in any art field to play and experiment as much as possible.  I just dont like to drive all the way around a lake when I can just take the bridge :P lol

cheers
LJ
Logged

Gulfcoast Waterfowl                Freestyle Custom Art and Murals
www.gulfcoastwaterfowl.com         www.freestyleartist.com       

GulfcoastWF
Silver Member
***
Location: texas
Posts: 421


Email
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2008, 04:21:23 PM »

Oh also, George...the wire in the head...

I try to keep my fingers off the head as much as humanly possible so as not to disrupt those feather anymore than needs be.  I preen very little on the head for the fact I dont relly come in contact with it until I close the head incision.  Also the wire can really work in your favor when laying the bird down to sew or coming into contact with the work bench/table.  That head rollin around on your work staion does not help your preening or finishout. bend the wire up or down and it can suspend it off of the table until he is upright for positioning.  I sometimes slide a piece of foam about 6 inces wide on there.  that, too, will suspend your head off of your work area while jostling and finagling your bird in "pre position" stages, or laying the thing down for extended periods of time.

LJ
Logged

Gulfcoast Waterfowl                Freestyle Custom Art and Murals
www.gulfcoastwaterfowl.com         www.freestyleartist.com       

lee, tees valley
Platinum Member
*****
Posts: 1797


tweety luvva.


Email
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2008, 08:23:17 PM »

 :-[ ;D thank's george expert ;D :D ;) i wish   :( but maybe some day never.. ;D ;)
Logged
byrdman
Platinum Member
*****
Posts: 5597


Email
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2008, 02:54:53 PM »

I never liked the wire protruding out the top of head either...instead I make a round loop on end of wire and fit into skull cavity then fill with bondo and insert wire loop...very solid attachment ...learned this from Kenny Asproth...he uses hot glue but I went to bondo...faster.......I also love to sew so still using throat ins. just stay back from chin a ways.........but never mounted a woodduck that I had to make any insicion to skin head?
Logged
GulfcoastWF
Silver Member
***
Location: texas
Posts: 421


Email
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2008, 12:47:49 AM »

Bondo in the skull! I love it.  I used to use it on my geese for years... but, I found it unnecessary and it takes up time (mixing, CAREFULLY spreading, drying, etc.) Also, it wont alow me to turn or twist the head as easily after the bird is mounted up. I could be doing other things or mounting more birds instead of mixing bondo and trying my darnedest to no get any on the feathers.  I dont spend but a few minutes on the head area on any given specimen....eyes, throat, incision, clay, you name it.  wire through the head, *clip* and there you go. takes but a second.

We all have ways of doing things.  My ways are fast and comfortable for me. If it didnt produce the same or better quality results in better time I would not do it.  I do love to learn , though.  :)

never mounted a woodduck that I had to make any insicion to skin head?

byrdman, PLEASE tell me how you do this without any incision.  I would love to learn how you do that on your woodies. Anybody. I mount probably 100 or more a year and that would definatly help with grooming. thanks

LJ
Logged

Gulfcoast Waterfowl                Freestyle Custom Art and Murals
www.gulfcoastwaterfowl.com         www.freestyleartist.com       

Pages: [1] 2 Print 
Taxidermy.Net Forum  |  Beginners, Training & Tutorials  |  Tutorials  |  Topic: How to Close Waterfowl Heads without Sewing « previous next »
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP
Contents © 2006-2017 Taxidermy.Net, LLC. All rights reserved. © 2017 Carbon Media Group Outdoors. Privacy Policy.
Powered by SMF 2.0.9 | SMF © 2011, Simple Machines
| TOS | Privacy
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.028 seconds with 32 queries.