1. Welcome to Taxidermy.net, Guest!
    We have put together a brief tutorial to help you with the site, click here to access it.

Caulking of Birds

Discussion in 'Bird Taxidermy' started by RichMO, Mar 11, 2015.

  1. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    I have never mounted waterfowl, but I have mounted several upland and on those I did what Nancy does, just use it as a hide paste. Cotton batting for filler.
  2. muscle20

    muscle20 New Member

    Even in my competition days I never used caulk on my birds, and I placed very well, but I am from back in time and still have my secretive ways LOL.

  3. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    Nancy I've taken several older paper form mounts recently from different taxidermists. One was a full body mount grizzly. NO hide paste of any kind was used. They just used nails to secure the skin in creases and low spots.
  4. RichMO

    RichMO Well-Known Member

    This is an interesting post.... Didn't even suspect caulk as a hide paste??? One thing that comes out is the cotton batting that I have never used. I have used and had seen the nails used on paper forms and on foam forms.......
  5. Re-creationartist

    Re-creationartist "tel me I can't, I'll show you I can"

    I use caulking on turkeys and some water fowl, on turkey usually a caulking gun with aquarium hose attached through the back before I install the bonded tail, but Im curious about the quilt batting, those of you that use that method, how do you use it?
  6. ryan rhodes

    ryan rhodes Well-Known Member

    I like caulk in the head neck junction and tail slot. I also like it in flight webs and wing bones. The rest of the bird I like to fill with other media...
  7. JerseyJays

    JerseyJays Well-Known Member

    Quilt batting you just rip a chunk off and send it in a hole with tweezers..
    usually in crop area, cheeks, and under scaps.

    I don't bother most of the time... only if the body looks a tad small I'll put some.
  8. I use the cotton batting on the wings but use a fiber fill around the chest, neck and web area...I tried the caulk and silicon but found out quickly I was not cut out for that. I will use the tiniest bit of caulk occasionally through the eye if I get the balloon head going on.
  9. I was trained by Wingman using Liquid Nails. The red tube (LN704) interior projects adhesive. It cleans up with water if you make a mistake. Always use it on the tail. He has me cutting holes all over the bird after it's sewn up. On standing birds I make an incision under the wing and shoot some along the back of the manikin to give it some lift and especially under the scaps. On flying birds I make a small hole under the scaps and shoot a small amount into the flight webs (squish it around with my fingers from the outside) and then also along the back again. Don't use it on the head and never as filler. Cotton batting in the cheeks, crop, etc. No caulk. It seemed awkward at first to purposely create holes after sewing the bird up but feathers sure hide a lot.
  10. webfoot123

    webfoot123 New Member

    I use a little caulk myself and the reason I do is to stop from having drumming in the head and neck area and the rest of the bird depends on the pose of the bird
  11. byrdman

    byrdman Well-Known Member

    speaking of the past..when fake bird heads were first coming out,a lot of guys used bondo to glue the skin to the head....I still have a bird that I did that way and skin is still very secure around beak...the first deer I ever mounted was using the real skull boiled clean then a 2x 4 screwed into skull and to a backing board...then wrapped with excelsior and covered with a smear of potters clay.....when you put the wet skin on it would soften the clay and kind of "bond" to form.....was a lot of work and weighed a ton,so I was glad when the "chieftan" paper forms and Jonas forms came out....they were the sh*ts back then .then when foam forms came out I thought these things will never take over for a good paper form...they were made of bead Styrofoam and had no detail,antlers would not stay secure like the wood block in paper forms,you could not cut a lip slot so you had to sew lips together first......van dykes solved all that
  12. Doug B

    Doug B Well-Known Member

    The reason I started useing caulk in my birds(I was very reluctant at first) was to fill in the space in the wings and set the feathers, same with the tails.
    I do rap my wings with cotton batten , I pump the wing with caulk then squeeze the exec out toward the body .
  13. alan webfoot

    alan webfoot New Member

    byrdman I remember those Chieftan forms ,,can we really be that old?? Doesn't seem like that long ago.But Jonas Bros. were selling paper forms for quite a while after that.
  14. Great topic! And I'm glad to see I'm not the only one that still uses plain ol cotton. I've used caulk but I'm to messy with it and it scares the you know what out of me around all those feathers! haaa. If I was better at it I would probably use it but I'm not so I don't. It's nice to see some of you really good bird guys still using cotton now I know there's still hope for me without caulk!
  15. kyle916

    kyle916 New Member

    I'll admit, I haven't read the entire thread. I just wanted to add my two cents and address the question.

    Caulk... never used it, never will.
  16. At a seminar recently I told those present to go home and throw their caulk and caulking guns away. This is because 90% of those using it don't know how to use it properly. Caulk is very over used. It is a craze and is one of the most misused materials in bird taxidermy. It is used as a crutch to fill voids that later cause more anatomical problems than it fixed at the time it was used. Some experienced taxidermists may have some success using it, with that said, it will cause more problems than it fixes for the inexperienced.
  17. byrdman

    byrdman Well-Known Member

    that's a by product of the "snap-together" taxidermy that is taking over the trade....how many newbies actually study their subjects all they worry about is getting the right fake bill...body form....and right kind of caulk......take the time to learn about the basic anatomy before worrying about the details....proper color and injected feet wont matter if your mallard looks like a canvasback.......
  18. Museum Man

    Museum Man Well-Known Member

    I also don't caulk....and also use cotton to fluff the feathers....I have birds that were mounted well over 40 years ago and still look great....if done right, they will always look good....
  19. clschake

    clschake New Member

    I know this is old... but as a newbie I'm glad it's still here. Being told by so many to use caulk and not understanding why or how it can work with someone that might need to make minor adjustments. This reinforced my "fear" of using it as a beg. If you haven't done enough to realize where things need to go it could be a real mess. I'm glad I didn't use it right off. Now if the bird doesn't hold up or needs to be worked by a vet. taxidermist, they won't have the trouble of having to try to rip any of that out.
    I still need to sit down and write up a list of all these terms too tho'. Preening, drumming.... and look it all up..
    Found this very interesting and can now see the use of it in specific areas, but overall I'm betting I'll be with the non users.
    I also saw many saying NOT to use cotton.... hum.. ??
    anyhow thanks for this one!
  20. vmax

    vmax Member

    I am with Dale on this one......It takes practice on how to use it properly!

    In my opinion it should only be used as a thin hide paste to hold the skin in place so that less pins are used allowing you a lot more flexibility for you to taxi the skin.

    If you end up using too much caulking it will be one heck of a fight getting the skin to lay properly especially in the head.

    Head Assembly:
    I inject the caulk with an irrigation syringe as I am gluing the skin back onto the head. The first line goes over the top of the head starting as far back as I can, extending all the way down to the notch.

    Then a line on each side of the head along the jowl line and then it curves up and stops in front of the eye. This allows you to fluff the cheeks, jowls & form the forward eye trough

    The final line is the throat area going all the way to the point

    I don't like putting any in the area around the ear hole or in the area of the rear eye trough because the line over the crown and jowl holds the skin in place very nicely

    Body Assembly:
    The entire tail section gets a thin coat and in the trough I cut to hold the tail feather butts. Only go about an inch up the body.

    Next is the leg pocket. This is the area between the leg bone and body where the down feather get tucked to pull the tail section up and to take the extra skin out of the rump section to get rid of that full diaper look....LOL

    The last place is in the wings....I over inject this because I want to work the caulk down around the humerus, around the shoulder joint and under the scaps. This will allow you to tuck the skin in the wing pockets to pull your side pockets and chest feathers into place. Plus the obvious wing web area

    All these areas are just small amounts to hold the skin in it's proper locations in lieu of using pins. I don't want to use pins unless I have to. I don't want that skin locked to the form unless they are the 7 known lock points.