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Trying to come up with a plan. tools, set up, space. etc.

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Outdooraddict, Mar 22, 2015.

  1. Outdooraddict

    Outdooraddict New Member

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    Ok, so I have a plan in mind for working into doing taxidermy part time. Are there any good tool kits out there for mammals, fish and birds? I'm thinking I will try my hand at some fish this summer, then hopefully a couple of whitetail this fall. And some pheasants as well. I will just be starting off self educating and using all the resources available online. If everything works out and I get set down the right path I will move onto some additional training.

    I will be chipping away at the tooling, focusing first on fish, then whitetails and finally our feathered friends. I should be able to use my garage for the fun stuff (anything my wife may be grossed out by ;)) and finishing the work in our basement as I have a fair amount of space and can get set up with good lighting. I've been wanting to get into the profession for a very long time, and have finally decided I'm not getting any younger (I'm 30) and if I get into it now and dedicate myself to the art it just may be my ticket into an early "retirement", supplementing income with taxidermy work.


    I know this has been a bit of a rambling session, I'm just looking for any advice anybody had to offer. Must haves, gimmicks that you wouldn't waste your money on, any past experiences you have had while getting into taxidermy that you care to share...

    Thanks
     
  2. it just may be my ticket into an early "retirement"

    HAHAHAHAHAHAH thats funny ! early grave maybe.
     

  3. Outdooraddict

    Outdooraddict New Member

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    Hence the quotes, just hoping with my current job it's something I could get into and get out of the hell hole I'm in and still make a little money ;)
     
  4. Mike Powell

    Mike Powell Well-Known Member

    To my knowledge, there are no "kits" with regard to tools. There are many variables and and a diverse array of tools and every taxidermist has some personal preference tools. My suggestion would be to buy a few videos and and note the tools the taxidermist is using in the video. Do research on here in the archives in regard to tools (this same question has been asked before...many times.) I would recommend for starters, a scalpel or exacto knife and blades, assortment of victorinox knives, fleshing knife (I prefer the Ulu knife), fish flesher/scraper, knife sharpener, honing steel, fleshing beam, ear splitting tool, stout ruffer, rasp, clay modeling tools, air brush, air compressor, staple gun, assortment of needles, pins, wire pliers, needle nose pliers, ice pick, sawsall, electric drill/driver, various plastic tubs, vats and buckets, measuring cup, measuring bucket (for gallons), tooth brushes, wire brushes, grooming brush, mounting stands for the different types of animals you intend to mount, bench grinder with both stone grinder and wire wheel, and a chest freezer. That might get you started.
     
  5. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    There is only one set of tools you need right now to start fish taxidermy. Well, maybe two. DVDs and Breakthrough and Taxidermy Today magazines. From that there you will see all the tools you will need and learn how to use them. Taxidermy Training Unlimited and Research mannikins have great fish DVD's as well as Kulis Kastaway for Rick Krane's DVDs. You can also purchase directly from Rick. Dan Rinehart at T.A.S.C.O. has a fish kit that comes with a "tool kit" to get started in fish, but I would hold out until I had watched several DVDs and went through some of the trade mags mentioned. I would recommend not rushing in to it until you see what it takes to produce a quality product. I have never done a fish and never want to, but I read all the fish articles and watch fish DVDs, because I feel that I should know how to mount a fish. I have learned some things from those DVDs that I have used in mammal and bird taxidermy. This how I have always approached a new taxidermy project. I studied for probably two or more years before I ever tried to mount a bird.
     
  6. Outdooraddict

    Outdooraddict New Member

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    Awesome. Thank you for the suggestions, my first plan is to read and watch as much as I can before attempting anything. just figured I better chip away at the tooling instead of trying to buy it all up in one shot.

    Thanks again for the serious replies.
     
  7. My feelings are hurt :'(

    Fish tools that is required to begin with, is a fish scrapper (big and small), serrated fish Skinner,Good big scissors , small pruner shears, air brush & compressor, Staple gun. with just that little bit you can do most any fish swimming.
     
  8. Outdooraddict

    Outdooraddict New Member

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    Sorry, I appreciate sarcasm too.

    THANKS BUD!!
     
  9. twinrivers

    twinrivers Active Member

    Good video is mounting a Largemouth A-Z by Tom Sexton. Very informative and includes the finish work techniques he uses. It shows tools as well, and goes over airbrushing techniques.
     
  10. twinrivers

    twinrivers Active Member

    I PM'd you some information. Email me if you didn't receive it.
     
  11. dablaw

    dablaw Member

    I have a shop full of anything and everything tool wise, and I can now honestly tell you what I need to mount just about everything that goes through my shop, I could fit those tools in my back pocket..
     
  12. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    This applies to me also. Of those tools, there is a set at each station. For example, I have a scalpel, favorite modeling tool, hammer, measuring tape, etc, etc, at my mounting station and the same set at my skinning table and again at my receiving station etc. Even if they are only 3 ft away from each other. This way I'm never walking round, waisting time looking for the common tools.
     
  13. Outdooraddict

    Outdooraddict New Member

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    Thank you.
     
  14. jigginjim

    jigginjim Active Member

    I wife always asks me "how much more do I need to buy?" I have found my biggest expense has been advertising, which I have dialed way back on, now that I have more people have seen the type work I do it sells it self. I am put allot of extra time into my mounts, (being a quality inspector in a machine shop,) I like the attention to detail. This extra work, attention to detail, I can only think will pay off later.
     
  15. Metalwolf

    Metalwolf Member

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    I recommend besides just the tools to have a first aid kit and stuff, just in case you nick yourself with a knife or cut yourself on a sharp bone. And always wear gloves (nitrile gloves are best) because you never completely know what those things are carrying or where they have been.

    Also you before get into birds and mammals, I'd recommend looking up your state's laws at what you can and can't possess. Some places don't let you possess bear parts (like raw skulls) or certain species and others require the animal to be tagged with where, who and when it was taken. I don't know if it's the same with fish, but I do know this is case with mammals and birds, so it's always best to be aware of it. Most places don't let you have Raptors (owls and hawks) without special licenses and you likely also have to have the same to have wild songbirds.
     
  16. jigginjim

    jigginjim Active Member

    For my shop, I only do big heads and fish. each big head will have the customers hunting tag attack to antlers or some part the body that be identify. Same of fish, only name and license number, I also place an id tag on each fish. All critters are on file in a log book that customer must sign for me to do the work, along with deposit amount.