I was skinning out a bobcat today and got to thinking--is there a tool that isn't normally considered a taxidermy tool that you could not do without in your shop? For me it is a pair of what we call catfish skinning pliers. They are wide grip (1 inch)pliers that have a reasonably sharp edge. I use mine for taking out the bones in mammal feet. It allows me to put just enough pressure on the bone/skin to pull it all the way down to the claw as I'm cutting the tissue loose. I also cut thru the joint at the toes with them when I'm as far as I need to be. I use them for pulling the cartlidge off deer,prong,elk, etc ears and many other situations.
I'm always seeing comments here and on other taxi sites that there is no helpful info. I thought this might be a helpful thread (at least for me) if others would comment about such tools and how you use them.
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A Drill and the drill bits
I don't know how original they are.
I cut eight inches off stainless steel auto antenna, the round tip makes a perfect tool for shaping epoxy inside noses.
Dull band saw blades cut and formed into different size loops inserted into 1/2" cpvc plastic pipe imbedded in bondo make good form scratchers. Grind a sharp edge on the opposite side from teeth and they make good fish fleshing tools. The left over antenna can be made into rust proof skewers.
And Her Broom, best taxi tool I ever had.
A dark skinned, dark eyed brunette. Probably not taxidermy related, but definitely not replaceable in my studio.
The taxi-net forums. Without this, my shop would have never gotten off the ground.
Oh and yes..two chairs. One for my 4 y/o son, and one for my two y/o daughter. They sit down in there with me at times when I'm working on mounts and watch the TV, or ask me two hundred questions about why I'm doing what I'm doing...and tell me how nice my caribou mount looks (when I'm mounting a whitetail).
He's like a hoover with a wag to it. He may die of seven different kinds of cancer before he turns 5, but we're both lovin' it in the meantime.
cant be beat for holding together cut forms when being foamed back together. I got one of those brunettes with a broom too.
I have a speculum for holding deer ears open while I put the bondo in.If you have a Doctor friend you can talk into getting you one this is a great way to keep ears open while you are putting in the bondo.
I used to hate fleshing thous turkey skins , now I pull one out of the freezer when the weather gets hot and go to work cooling off in a nise spray of cold water and turkey grease . You gota love our jobs .
I use it to invert legs on mammals such as bobcat and squirrels. A little air, and the leg is inside out, or outside in. Also great for grooming when pressure is turned down.
i know so many taxidermists that still use a handsaw when trimming up skull plates when getting ready to set them on the manniken. a band saw can save you a ton of time and wear and tear on your shoulder. its also the best way to go when cutting the ball off the humerus of the birds you skin.
but before you even get to use the bandsaw on your skull plates you have to get them off the skull. thats where the sawzall is worth its weight in gold. I have rigged up a piece of 2x4 with three large nails driven into and through it. slam the skinned out skull down on to the nails and you can use both hands to run the saw.
your skull holder sounds good. show me a pic of your design. thanks.