I have watched a couple of videos on mounting birds in which the skin is put in the mineral sprits to displace the water. My question is can the min.sprts be reused and if so how many times before it should be changed?
Return to Beginners Category Menu
i would try some of the other products that are not as harmful or flammable. but if you want to use the mineral spirits try this. after soaking the skin in the mineral spirits put the bucket in the freezer. let it sit for a day and the water and grease will settle to the bottom and freeze (if your freezer is set very cold)now slowly pour it off and you should be left with fairly clean spirits. i learned this by accident. i had the bucket outside as there is danger of fire and fumes, it was about a 40 degree below zero wind chill and i put my hand in to retrive the skin the spirits were not frozen but they were as cold as it was outside and i almost froze my hand.
I have tried to sift out used mineral spirits and reuse them. The problem is the "spirits" evaporate. The liquid looks good and smell like spirits, but they lose their potency. Use fresh spirits on every bird, it is worth the few extra bucks. I lost two very nice Cinnamon Teal trying to reuse spirits a few years back.
Also, make sure you lay your bird breast down in the spirits so the fat particles can get out. I think spirits are the best thing going for water and fat displacement.
I along with a friend both reuse our mineral spirits many times over and I have not seen any difference. But as with anything else you will eventually have to start fresh. I use about 10 gallons in a deep tank with the birds suspended about 6 inches above the bottom on a grate and the fat and water settles out. It really depends on how many birds you do and how much fat gets deposited in your tank before I change out completely. Also, I keep my tank outside and if the temp drops below freezing the water in the skin will also freeze and as a result makes the skin itself freeze. But it will thaw out just fine. If you are just getting started and only have a couple of birds I don't think you will have any problems.