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Part 2 My Mounting Method

Discussion in 'Bird Taxidermy' started by wolfgang, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. wolfgang

    wolfgang New Member

    I feel like I started something and left everyone hanging. This isn't a wood Duck but I found the file of the Pintail I did a few years back.
    The first picture shows the skin dried to just the right consistency. I do gas my birds but use whatever method you are comfortable with. While the skin is soaking and sitting outside I get the body and head ready for mounting. I use the head neck I saved after skinning as my reference. Bend the real head neck in whatever position you are mounting then insert wire into the head bend to the same position as the real one. Now cut and attach your neck material to the head and wire. I super glue gel the head to neck as well as tape the 2 together.



    Now move onto the body. I use Coruthers from Matuska. Cut slot for tail, push a sharp wire where the neck attaches to the body up through the back. You are just making a hole at this point so it is easier to attach head neck later. This was a standing on one leg bird so I have notched out the form so the leg will lay under the wing. The other side is grooved so the leg will bend under the bird as it should.


    In this picture I have the standing leg wired making sure to keep the wire about 1/4inch longer than leg bone. The hidden leg is wired with a short piece about an inch longer than the leg bone. I then attach a short piece of wire to each wing bone again about an inch longer which is then bent at 90 degrees. Now I pump some caulk into the wing pocket making sure not to over fill. Better to have to little than to much! The skin is now ready to receive the body.


    I caulk the tail slot and insert the body into the skin locate the tail feather butts and insert them into the caulk. Now I fan out the tail a bit and pin the first feather on each side to the form. I have changed this from these pictures to what I do today.
    Next I grab the standing leg wire and locate the top of the groove and push in that first inch. Next I pull the leg up the wire a little and keep pushing the wire farther into the body. You will be going at an angle so as to come out near the front of the breast. Once you break through the form I move the skin down and grab the end of the wire with needle nose pliers and pry out enough to bend over and secure to the form.


    Now you can look into the incision and see the wing wires which you grab with the pliers and insert into the foam at the shoulder. Make sure you snug up the bone next to the body. The hidden leg is felt into the groove at this time also.
    Make sure both leg bones are pushed tight to the body also.
    You can now bend the standing leg down a little so it is flat to the table or the whole bird keeps turning on you.


    Now I insert the head neck wire in through the head working the neck all the way in. Locate that hole your pushed through at the beginning, insert wire and bend into the form on the back.

    Everything is wired now and ready to be sewn up. I shoot compressed air into the skin and watch everything fall into place. The tail is locked, the wings are locked, and your bird should look like the picture, no grooming has been done at this point. If the skin is not dry enough it will look wet and feathers wont fall into place, dry some more, check your breast feathers for the same thing.


    Start sewing at the back and work forward, don't be afraid to give the skin a couple shots of air as you go helping things stay in place.


    Once I get to the neck body union I pump a little bit of caulk in there and then top off with a little cotton filler. The cotton is to go over the caulk and helps you keep caulk off the skin while making the last few stitches.



    Everything is sewn up and I am ready to move on to the head, attaching the skin as you would on any artificial head. Put a pin into each ear hole and give the head a few blast of compressed air. The head feathers should fall into place just as the body feathers have. Bend your head neck into desired position. When the caulk dries it will help lock everything together.


    This last pictures shows how the bird should look prior to bending the support leg under the body injecting the feet and attaching the bird to driftwood etc. for final grooming. Once you get the mechanics of this process down and learn just how dry the skin should be mounting goes much faster. If I spend more the 90 minutes doing this I am having an off day. Don't worry about speed though, get it right first speed comes through repetition.
  2. CR

    CR New Member

    Wow Wolfgang, you are a true artist!!! Definately will try this method a couple of times to see if I like it, and of course you make it look so easy........Thanks again

  3. full fan

    full fan New Member

    Question on the wings, our you just pushing the wing wire into the body with out locking it back into the body? Didn't see our read were it came out of the body & this is for a setting/ standing pose not a flying pose.....right?
  4. Nicely done. Thanks for sharing. I will be trying this method soon.
  5. Ranger8292

    Ranger8292 New Member

    Thanks so much, very insightful
  6. robolson

    robolson www.frozeninflight.com

    Very informative! Thank you Eolfgang for being so generous with your knowledge and expertise. :)
  7. RichMO

    RichMO Well-Known Member

    I'll have to try the dorsal cut.. I have always been afraid of it because not enough feather to cover my mistakes...LOL. Fantastic I wish you would put this on Youtube or a disc it would be a great reference.
  8. wolfgang

    wolfgang New Member

    I should clarify a few things as it was 3am when I did this, LOL!
    I use this method for all my standing birds and breast out flying ones. When flying I usually increase the length of the incision to take away some of the tension on the skin. Also when inserting the wing wires I try and go straight across the body and out the other side just behind where the other wire goes into the body. You have to jump from side to side and insert the wires a little at a time. I am in the process of trying a different method for this.
    Also I don't tumble my birds at all, to many things can happen in a tumbler and I like to have control over the skin while drying. If you tumble go for it!! I am asked all the time what the most important tool is......compressed air. I would be lost without it. With the proper touch you can almost groom the bird with it.
    I think that covers it. I am also going through with the Wood Duck next week and will post more in depth photos of the grooming and pinning process.
  9. bucksnort10

    bucksnort10 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for going the extra mile to share some of your knowledge.
    It is all greatly appreciated.
    I have always wanted to try a dorsal incision but always held back as I never had a practice bird in the works - in case I got into a pickle : ) . Now with your added input, I will take the plunge on my next skinned bird.
  10. srholmes30

    srholmes30 Living each and every day

    Thanks for posting,very helpful
  11. mcrib1981

    mcrib1981 New Member

    awesome post... thanks a ton
  12. Much appreciated mr. Wolfgang ...thanks fo sharing, i will definetlly try it on my next ducks
  13. mimes

    mimes Member

    Can someone put this in the tutorial section.
  14. hambone

    hambone Well-Known Member

    Very much appreciated thanks for sharing.
  15. huntin_justin

    huntin_justin Active Member

    Awesome post. I compare it to my method and very close but I think im gonna try it like you did next time. Not much change so it shouldnt be bad.
  16. rai_red

    rai_red Active Member

    Thanks for your awsome photo-story Wolfgang, never tried your method but have got some skins that are skinned your way and put them always back into the freezer, now I will have a try,

  17. CR

    CR New Member

    wolfgang.... your the bomb. I am always amazed and have realized that all you great taxidermists seem to have your birds almost groomed in the mounting process. I will try this method, and also the compressed air!!! Thanks again!!!
  18. Lizardfeathers

    Lizardfeathers Thank you for teaching me through your works...

    Thanks for the great method of skinning ducks! I just tried my first duck yesterday and for some reason I didn't skin it the same way as you, but I used the compressed air to preen the feathers and it is an amazing trick. My next duck will be a back incision!
  19. scandler

    scandler New Member

    cant wait to see your woodduck process. you have the best woodducks that i have ever seen. look foward to it soon !!!!!!!!
  20. X2 on the Wood Ducks