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Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Cowtown guy, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. Hello folks. Been lurking here for a while now. I'm from Calgary Alberta.

    I have a question for you folks. I am planning to start doing some stuff on my own. I have some mallards in the freezer from this season that will be my first cracks at taxidermy. Waterfowl is my passion and I'm not gonna lie about really hoping to be able to do a good job on ducks and geese.

    My question... What tools do I need to have, as opposed to what tools would just make it easier? I haven't recently won the lotto so I don't have 5 or 6k just to drop on something that I may actually suck at. I would rather buy something once that will work instead of buying 5 or 6 things that look like they will work. If it turns out that I have some sort of skill at this then I will invest some money and get more serious about it.

    So...Tools? Tanning supplies? Something for injecting feet and wings? The painting will be difficult for me I know. Anything that will help there?

    I gotta be clear that I have NOTHING except some videos that are in the mail on their way here to me. I am starting entirely from scratch. I would like to do some deer as well in the future but for now it'll be just doing some quackers.

    I look forward to hearing from you folks.

  2. deadstuff

    deadstuff Member

    That's a question that you'll probably get as many answers as there are people on this site haha. But seriously everyone has to find what works for them. It's great that you got some videos before you started and I think you'll get a pretty good idea what you need by watching those. You can improvise on some of the tools for now, just watch the video and use your imagination. I don't even know if there were videos when I started but I done my first pheasant with a scalpel, a pair of scissors, and a little brass brush. One more thing REFERENCE, REFERENCE, REFERENCE. While you're waiting on your videos start looking for ref. pics. There's a lot of them on here and internet. Reference is priceless. Good luck.

  3. Daryl,
    The videos will show you what you need to get started. I would seriously suggest purchasing or making a bird flesher. It is extremely important to remove all of the fat. Look on the for sale section on this site . Used fleshers come up for sale quite often.
    Good luck!
  4. Matt

    Matt Active Member

    Welcome to the industry. If you are going to get serious about birds, you should consider investing in a bird flesher. I feel it is the only way to really get the fat off birds consistantly.
  5. TWinter

    TWinter Winter taxidermy

    For tools, start out with at least a scalpel,exacto knife, etc.., maybe a heavy shear/ scissor and a needle and thread. These you will need for sure.
  6. Brent W

    Brent W New Member

    X 2 on the flesher if you can afford one. They are pretty easy to make also. If you cant get a flesher as mentioned you can get it done with a small tooth brush sized brass brush with fairly soft bristles. A scalpel, needle and thread, Injecting feet you can get the needles from a farm supply store. Paint can be done by hand but is much more difficult. An airbrush will help a lot. You usually dont do a lot of fine detail so you can get by on a less expensive one. As said your videos will show you a lot about what you could use. Imagination and innovation if you cant afford all the goodies.
  7. definitely NEED a bird flesher. There are many postings on here about how to make one to save a few dollrs...Good luck!
  8. Thanks folks. I was looking at the wire wheels. They look like it would make it very easy to get the majority off in a hurry.

    Can't wait to get started.
  9. neecf02

    neecf02 New Member

    I watched Bill Atkins taxidermy101 video on mounting a mallard. All he used for fleshing was a pair of scissors. I liked his videos cause he used very basic things that made possible for a low budget beginner get started without having fork out a lot of money. The most expensive thing I saw him use was the airbrush. Basically, what he used and what I use is a small scalpel blade similar to the ones that doctors use for skinning, a pair of good dykes for cutting the leg and wing bones from the body, I use small tweezers quit often to hold on to various thing such as the skin, borax for gripping slipper meat and skin to pull the skin from the carcass and bones, scissors for fleshing the skin, 14 gauge wire for inserting in the legs and wings and neck, 10 gauge wire for mounting the body to your hanger or habitat, bird form, poly foam (grey cylinder foam) for the neck, WD-40 to lubricate the 14 gauge wire to push it between the skin and bone on the wings and legs, hot glue gun, pliers to bend the wire, hammer to hammer wire into form, clay, eyes, super glue to glue they eye lids on the eye so that they don't move when it dries and shrinks, sewing pins, needle, thread (I use quilting thread because its really strong stuff and its what I have on hand, there's also "wonder invisible thread" thats clear and tough), card board, painters blue masking tape to cardboard and tape feathers while drying in place, injection for bird feet, syringe with small needle (I use 25 gauge needles and need more than one, they get dull after about 2 pokes), paint for they eyes, beak, and feet, I also use a high clear gloss paint for they eyes so that they look water and more realistic, I don't paint the entire eye, I just paint where the eyelid meets the eye. Also habitat materials, wall hanger hooks to hang your bird on to the nail on the wall. I also found that even though Bill Atkins uses hot glue and hot glue gun for gluing the wires in place on the form, my hot glue doesn't skin to anything and is a more of a waste of time, so instead I use epoxy glue. It takes longer to set up but it sure hold to anything. You also need like quilt batting to stuff the legs and the wings where all the meat was and dawn dish soap to wash the skin after fleshing and towels and blow dryer on low heat to dry the feathers. I may be missing things, but you'll get a jist from watching the videos. It sounds like a lot, but most of the stuff I already had hanging around the house and the things I had to purchase were pretty inexpensive. Have fun.
  10. Ironically this is exactly what is coming in the mail. I gotta say that makes me feel a little better. I ordered the full set of 13 videos.

    Thanks again folks.