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Gassing again.

Discussion in 'Bird Taxidermy' started by John C, Aug 18, 2015.

  1. Ok we all know the rumor, that gassing a bird only removes the water.

    Today I washed a turkey allowed it to drain for about 30 minutes.

    Then I poured three gallons of gas in a tub, swished the turkey around, allowed the bird to drain over the tub.

    Now if the displacement rule was infact true, I would have had three gallons of liquid.

    But in stead I had 2 gallons and 8 ounces of gas back into the cans.

    So if this is a displacement issue I would have gotten the same of close to the same amount back.

    Lastly the bird is way to heck cleaner then the last one, washed the same, just gassed in place of strictly water and drying.
  2. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    John, I'm not going to get back into this "solvent versus degreaser" issue, but I will get into chemistry. If you set 3 gallons of naphta ("white gas") out in an open bucket for 30 minutes, you could end up with 2.8 gallons even if you didn't put a turkey in it. Aside from being carcinogenic, it has an extremely low(the lowest petroleum) vaporization point. That's why Coleman uses it in their equipment. It is not water soluble and therefore displaces water. That means that as a solvent, it dissolve a the grease and chemically bonds to it, eventually becoming saturated with the grease it dissolves.

  3. Well put George.
  4. dwimberly

    dwimberly Member

    so explain this to me then. I have always used gas on my birds. I tried not using gas. Only blue dawn. I washed and scrubbed really well and let soak for 30 minutes in hot hot water and repeated the same process 3 times, each time with clean water and using cooler water each time. I dired the bird and it was not as clean as I would have liked. Having said that, after washing and gassing the bird, if you let the gas settle, what is the white(ish) colored junk in the bottom of the gas? It has to be fat and grease, it sure is not water. I have also washed a bird 2 and 3 times and gas it and still get the same stuff in the bottom of the gas. Having said all that, I would agree that gas does speed up the drying process but I can't be made believe that it does nothing else.

    I am willing to try other washing methods if anyone has some.
  5. The crud on the bottom is bird grease, you can freeze the stuff and even cook it, its grease.
  6. wa

    wa Thanks John...this depicts me better

    ''Then I poured three gallons of gas in a tub, swished the turkey around, allowed the bird to drain over the tub". Started to see rainbows around the lights is that bad?
    10$ of gas to clean a bird and all the risk when tide and dawn will do better.

    And boom goes the dynamite
  7. Kerby Ross

    Kerby Ross KSU - Class of '83; U.S. Army - Infantry (83-92)

    A few years ago ......

    A few years ago I did a test. I poured the Coleman fuel into 2 containers and put an ice cube in one and a chunk of raw bacon in the other. I left it for 2 hrs. The container that had the ice cube had "crud" on the bottom. The container that had the bacon was clean and had no affect on the bacon.


  8. wa

    wa Thanks John...this depicts me better

    How was the bacon did it cook faster
  9. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    dwimberly, try this. Mix a cup of water with some food coloring (anything but yellow). Then pour a cup of gasoline into the cup and tell me what hits bottom. Then take a bit of motor oil (it's about the consistency of bird fat that's been wheeled off the bird) and add it to the mix. Tell me where everything ends up.

    BTW, Dawn is a detergent (DAMMIT, here I go again) and as such, works best when the water is warm to hot (all your dishwashers use similar detergents but with lower sudzing). Hot water tends to soften oils and grease, allowing the detergent to wash them off. A soap is alkali and alkali will actually break down the fats and proteins. It becomes a bit dangerous if you leave a bird in a soap solution for an extended time. The soap can't distinguish fat from skin and feathers and the alkali will have destructive issues. Petroleum, mineral, and chemical based products are solvents. Solvents work by dissolving the fats, but just like dissolving sugar or salt in a glass of hot water, dissolving doesn't remove the the fat, it just becomes contaminated by it. Eventually solvents will saturate with the oils and fat they've dissolved. I tell people, if you doubt any of this, take a drop of white gas and put it on a piece of copy paper. Let dry and hold it up to the light. You'll see the stains created by impurities in the naphtha. Once you wash a bird, the stain will be even more noticeable. That means that your bird still has fat residue in the feathers and though it may look clean, it is not.
  10. davehyer

    davehyer New Member

    Some guys use acetone, aside from the potential health issues, how does it compare to dawn and naphtha for results?
  11. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Acetone, xylene, methyl ethyl keytone, lacquer thinner,et al are all "solvents" and work the same way as naphtha
  12. A- Fish

    A- Fish Stehling's Taxidermy

    I quit using gas on my turkeys 5 years ago. I find the end results are better without using gas and it is much easier to work with. Aside from the dangers of dipping in gas, I couldn't see any real benefit in our operation to using it.

    There is no substitute for adequate fleshing and keeping the feathers clean during the fleshing process.
  13. Try using paint thinner to displace the water,,after washing spin dry in a washing machine twice,, then paint thinner and spin twice more,, way less fumes to deal with and not explosive either,
  14. I started using mineral spirits then later used gas. I'd wear a respirator until the bird was dry. I really started to think about it later & decided that can't be good breathing all those gas fumes even after the bird is dry. I went cold turkey last year. I got a pet dryer which sped up the drying process a lot. Birds do take longer to dry after they are mounted, but only a couple extra days. If I'm doing a competition bird, I'll still gas him, but that's the only time. It does seem to put a sheen on the feathers that looks pretty good, but I can't justify doing it regularly.
  15. davehyer

    davehyer New Member

    Just mounted my first two turkeys with out any kind of solvent. Both turned out great. Took 1:45 minutes to blow dry, but I never timed it using a solvent.
  16. I have been gas free for years. Love it, no more head aches, doesn't smell like a auto repair shop anymore. I can dry a Turkey in 40 minutes. ( when using gas it still took about 40 minutes)
    After washing bird I rinse, rinse , and rinse again, then put bird in tub of clean water so it floats, this gets any soap that I may have missed. Important step. I then put in box corn grit to soak up some water, 15 minutes or so then I do tumble them, Turkeys for about 15 minutes. I then fill inside of skin with crushed up news papers, this really seems to help with drying process. DRY ONE feather tract at a time. not the whole bird. I use a pet groomer blower with a hair dryer attached.

    I had a great friend that did wood working and always dealt with bad fumes, he always got on me to get away from the gas. Well one day he got home from work & could not talk, know one knows just how he was able to drive. A trip to the ER then many tests, they found a tumor on his brain. 30 days later he past away. I smartened up the day he was found to have a brain tumor , I STOPPED using any slovents on my birds. I just hope I stopped soon enough , you guys can do what you want but I will never use solvents on my birds ever again.

    Gregg I
  17. bucksnort10

    bucksnort10 Well-Known Member

  18. Switched to the Tru bond products lippa-solve77 and lippa-solve 55, 1/2 oz each per gallon of water. you can see the grease float to surface.Very low oder, bio degradable. cant find a chemical write up on it. still take percautions wear resperater and gloves. But truly degreases and makes very fluffy turkey skins with less tumble and dry time.
  19. capnmike

    capnmike New Member

    I use the trubond products on my turkeys also.
  20. I started doing bird taxidermy at a shop where we gassed every bird in mineral spirits and dried them in a ventilated paint booth while wearing a respirator. You'd still walk out high when finished. We also used lacquer based paints. The feathers looked and dried nice.

    I've been a hobby guy for years and do an occasional bird from the work station in the basement of my house; so I was forced to switch to no gas, lacquer, etc., and go all water base paints and rinsing. The feathers look and dry nice.

    It wasn't that big of a deal. Switching from lacquer paints was a much bigger adjustment IMO.

    Sure, there was a small learning curve as with any new method and a few times where I wished I was set up to do it the way I'd done it hundreds of times before but there's no friggin' way I'd ever go back now...for lots of reasons.

    Any mount put together more than 60 maybe 70 years ago is essentially a pile of toxic waste surrounded by old feathers. There's no way anyone in their right mind would use the same materials today, even if they could find them. We had lead in our gas and paints. Asbestos was awesome at one time too. DDT also worked great.

    Times change.

    The old timers most likely didn't gas birds because they felt it was a vastly superior method, they did it because that's how the guy who taught them did it, because he learned that from the guy who taught him. They weren't aware of the health consequences and most didn't live long enough to where it would've mattered anyway. Personally, I'd like to make it past 80 with a semi-functional brain and organs.