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preserving soap

Discussion in 'Bird Taxidermy' started by fox hunter, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. fox hunter

    fox hunter New Member

    Hello to you all, i have just started doing some bird taxidermy and have learnt so much on this forum reading and looking at the work you all turn out, and it gave me the confidence to have a go, now the question i have is i use borax to preserve the bird skins, and in the old books i have read on taxidermy they say to use a preserving soap to keep the skins moist while mounting them,and to help preserve the skins as well as borax, but try as i might i can't find a recipe for preserving soap, can anyone tell me please of a way of making a soap to use on the skins, and like i said thanks for all the great information ive found on this site :) cheers.
  2. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    My question would be why? You not being able to find it might be because, to my limited knowledge, it's not needed. I have many DVDs by world class bird mounters and non of theme used preserving soap. They just washed the birds and used borax.

  3. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    ROTFLMAO You need to stop reading those old books. LOL

    The "soap" they're referring to is arsenic soap. It's what we used on birds 50 years ago. You NEVER had any decay or bug infestations EVER. It's been classified as the "perfect embalming fluid". And it's been illegal to sell commercially for almost as long.

  4. fox hunter

    fox hunter New Member

    thanks for the replys, i just thought the soap would keep the skin moist when reversing the head thu the neck, as i find that is a problem for me, also after drying the bird with a hair dryer the skin is very dry and the soap would help moving the form easier in the skin, but like i said ive only just started and got a hell of a lot to learn, but will keep reading and looking at the pics on here to try and get better at mounting a bird, cheers.
  5. smalliestalker

    smalliestalker and a river runs through it.

    George, I thought for sure you were going to say it was "Stop-Rot".


    But I did want to say I took your advice George. The other day I burned my forearm (with grease while browning a roast). Not having any "burn" ointment, and wanting to get back to work at a bird, I liberally applied some Stop-Rot. It did indeed help lessen the pain. I applied it again 10 minutes later. Let it dry (it stayed sticky for quite awhile), and then put on a couple dabs of Neosporin and wrapped. Today, two days later, the burned area looks fine. Thanks again.
  6. smalliestalker

    smalliestalker and a river runs through it.

    fox hunter, do not fully dry the head until as near the end of the process as possible.

    Before your blowing, after the pat dry, … you could place the head and half the neck skin into a sandwich size zip loc bag. Tape the plastic bag so the diameter of the opening is less than that of the head skin. Dry the bird from mid neck down. Place your body and neck into the bird. Attach wing and leg wires. You could even sew together, before finally drying the head skin, glueing the head on the wire, and then the skin around the bill.
  7. M.T.

    M.T. Active Member

    Fox Hunter, why in the world would you even entertain that idea? If you have spent numerous hours on this forum reading and looking at mounted birds, then why would you even look at a fifty plus year old taxidermy book? Everything is right here for all the newbies!
  8. idbatman

    idbatman Active Member

    Haahhahaah..... well I have got to tell you that the 2013 WTC waterfowl champ uses an Ivory soap and boric acid mixture in his birds . Just saying .... I think I have the recipe here some where . I will see if I can find it.
  9. You are correct Jay. A recipe Henry Wichers Inchumuk used at the Denver museum.

    Fox Hunter some of the old taxidermy practices are still the best used methods today.

    I am sure this is a spin off of the original recipes that used arsenic. I use this at the head neck junction, neck- clavicle area and where ever else I see fit. We are very dry in Montana and this gives me a bit more working time to taxi the skin.

    8 bars of Ivory soap, grated
    4 oz. Boric acid
    1/4 cup of Luiqi-tan
    1/2 cup warm water
    Mix all the ingredients in a container that you can seal tightly. Let sit overnight to let the soap absorb the liquid. Stir or whip until you get the consistency of peanut butter or something similar. To achieve this add more water if necessary.
  10. fox hunter

    fox hunter New Member

    appreciate all the replys, and will try and have a go at making a mix.