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essential tools for beginner?

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by mtbehm, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. mtbehm

    mtbehm New Member

    I'm just starting out and have done one deer and one bobcat, working on my second of both and am wondering what would you consider to be the most essential tools to have for doing shoulder mounts/small lifesize mounts? I am trying to get a few tools but I want to get the ones that are most practical. I have always been interested in taxidermy and have just recently started my first few personal mounts because I had a little extra money, but I want to better them and strive to be the best I can. I am in college and working as much as possible to support myself but don't have alot of spending money to play with, hence why I want the most practical tools for the time being, until out of school. Thanks a lot, Matt

    P.S.- I had decided in the beginning that instruction was the most important thing to have first so I bought instructional videos before I started.
  2. Adam Edwards

    Adam Edwards Member

    I am a beginner myself and i have come to find that even if you have a limited amount of tools to work with, i would have to say that nothing improves your mounts more then reference photos! Collect and study as many reference photos of the species you work on and if you use them throughout the entire mounting process your mounts will look better.

  3. mtbehm

    mtbehm New Member

    Ive collected tons of reference photos, I could look at them for days non stop, they are a huge help. Thanks for the reply
  4. HAPP

    HAPP Active Member

    I hope one of your videos is Rick Carter's A-Z Whitetail.
    Has to be the best for beginners.
  5. theguyyouknowtaxidermy

    theguyyouknowtaxidermy The Guy You Know Taxidermy<Daniel Elkins>

    MTBEHM, I know exactly where you are coming from. I started out using a tiny flat head screw driver and a engine stand. I slowly bought a tool per project and my work is getting easier every job I do.
    I consider myself to be a beginner too, however my suggestions would be the follower in order of importance.
    Havoline knife
    Modeling tool
    air brush
    paints (buy a new color per job)
    hide moving tool (not sure the exact name)
    mounting stand

    I am sure there is more that I am not thinking of. I hope this helps
  6. Get a good quality video for anything you want to mount (I.e. Rick Carter). Watch the video and then buy what you need.
  7. mtbehm

    mtbehm New Member

    Yep, that was the first one i bought after reading that it was the best.
  8. CannonQ

    CannonQ New Member

    Scalpel, skiff knife, blades for each.
    Use an old insulator or bowling pin for a beam, ear tool , or a sharpening steel to help turn ears, mounting stand of your choice, good sharp needles of different sizes, artificial sinew to sew, electricians scissors ( perfect scissors ), flat screwdriver for separating burr, critter clay , apoxie sculpt , level , modeling tools, lip tucking tool, good lighting (drop lights) , stout ruffer, regulator needles, dremmel tool, staple gun , saw to cut skull plate, drill, counter sink bit, 3 inch screws, hide paste, brush to apply, surgical gloves, truck tire inner tube
    ( hillbilly cape snake), grooming brush, air compressor with moisture trap, air hose and nozzle, bondo kit, cloth tape measure, calipers to measure, eye tool to help shape eye, speed septums, I'm sure I missed something, good starter list . I do use all this stuff on each head.

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  9. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    If you are advanced in age, like I'm becoming, you'll probably need reading glasses and magnifying lenses. A thumbnail is also a tool I couldn't do with out.
  10. mtbehm

    mtbehm New Member

    Only 20 with good eyesight, hopefully it stays that way for a while. thumbnail for sewing?
  11. theguyyouknowtaxidermy

    theguyyouknowtaxidermy The Guy You Know Taxidermy<Daniel Elkins>

    Thumbnails for everything! That is how I turn a ear to its end, I take my thumbnail and keep flicking it and pulling at the same time till it is all the way turn.
  12. Duckslayr

    Duckslayr Active Member

    Don't forget 3D reference for your clay work areas. Eye set cast, ear butt casts and artificial nose for reference are a huge benefit starting out. It takes a while to see the underlying muscle structure accurately from photos. I keep an ear/butt cut off a fresh euro with the hide on in the freezer for reference.

    HOOKJAW Member

    IMO-other than the essentials already suggested, investing in an Opti-Visor will pay huge dividends. Viewing your detail work thru this tool and comparing it to reference will humble you and motivate you to constantly improve.
  14. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Opti-viser is what I was referring to. I just couldn't think of the name. You don't really need a thumbnail to sew, but it sure has saved my thumb from getting the needle imbedded in my thumb. ;D I do use it for skinning ears, skinning birds,facial details, to list a few.