I am fortunate enough to have built a brand new house and I have set aside the basement for a taxidermy shop. I am a bit past the beginners stage and I really enjoy it I have done mostly WT & coyotes at this point and I am taking on a couple of moose and a bear. My question is If you could layout a shop to work in how would you have it and what do you use for such things as salting racks hangers benches etc.... I am just looking to here what works good for everyone else. Before I worked on one bench about 6 feet long and had no room and I used a hose and a bucket for a sink. I do my own tanning also. Anyway if anyone has any suggestions I would appreciate it.
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This is going to be a lot like sex education class. No matter what we tell you, you're going to do it your way anyway.
First off, the very WORST place in the world you could pick for a shop is a basement in your NEW house. Even a Bilco door to the outside isn't going to keep "strange people" from coming and going through the middle of your home. Secondly, everything you do down there permeates through your new home. Lacquer paint, DP dust, acid fumes, chemical smells, all of it. Salted hides drip blood and fluids on the basement floor and there's only one way to go with any of it: through the house.
You'll be so much happier if you don't START there. Build an outside building and put it all there. Then when you close the door at night, you don't have to sleep with it.
That is the kind of stuff I am looking for I also have anothe option of the second story of my garage which is 26X28 with ten foot cielings.
I sure wouldn't put my shop in my house.
I may be one of a few but I've been in the business for 8 years and lately have developed severe allergies to the critters and chemicals used in taxidermy.
Luckily I just mount the birds in our shop so I am able to leave the shop and work in my garage by myself and avoid all the exposure to that blood and salt and hair and chemicals that make me sick. I wear a hepa filter now and my chemical usage is minimum.
If our family shop were in the basement.
I'd have to move out of my home I love. Think the garage idea is the best.
Shop size is like closet or garage space ,its never enough. The upstairs option in your garage sounds perfect .I would suggest maybe putting some kind of lift or dumbwaiter in so you can hoist machines or large mounts up & down without falling down stairs. Also ,Install a good ventilation system for your paint and finishing room or the whole thing if you do a lot of fiberglass/bondo work.My shop is in 1/3 of my garage and the shop (heated and airconditioned)itself is 10 X 28 with a small 6 x 12 paint room separated to exclude the fumes and overspray from finished mounts and the general shop area. I basically set it up so all of my storage is along one wall and my machines and work space is on another wall with the floor taken up by a couple of mounting stands.I don't have much display area unfortunately so I provide as many high quality photos as possible.My computer and file system is set up near my 2 glass display counters(old jewelery counters)so I can enter all info in my Taxishop program as well as have visual access to any online reference photos while I'm working.I always have the stereo going while I work also .For a one man operation it is ok but I always wish I could have more space. Plus,it seems with all my projects going at once I occaisionally have to clean up the whole shop after a week so I can find things (tools)better. Clean never lasts long.I have moved things around in the shop to work more efficiently at least once a year in 4 yrs and I'm still not perfectly happy with how its set up but its closer to where I think it will end up.
On one other note,If you put your shop IN your home -when DNR comes calling ,and they will,they'll be able to check the whole house(freezers,refrigerator,den,etc) .Your personal mounts included.Have fun
What if when you do a full mount bear can you get it outside,or a huge elk with big horns have you got a big enough door to get it out