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Do you have an ergonomic workshop?

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by Kimberley, Dec 5, 2017.

  1. Kimberley

    Kimberley Member

    Hi Guys,
    Anyone have a workshop that's really efficiently organized and a joy to work in? If you'd like to share your tips or pictures of how you organize the best taxidermy shop, what creative way do you store and use your tools, chemicals, etc., what is your favorite 'go-to' tool that you can't live without, etc., please post them. I'm doing some instructing on taxidermy shop set up. ( If I use your pictures, tips, etc. I will certainly credit you). No, there's no monetary advantage to this, only instructional, but, you will be helping all of us who take your suggestions, to streamline our shops and increase productivity.

  2. What is good for one person may not be good for someone else.

  3. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    I would like to see a Picture of George’s shop. I would bet it’s neat with everything in a proper place.
    When we move I plan on having the shop more work friendly some benches that are larger in diameter and a little taller.

    The shop has a large roll up door to back in with an over head electric winch



    Good lighting over office storage, a separate office with built in book shelves.
    Bathroom, sinks, storage, 220v for compressor with air line chucks on walls.
    This used to be a custom car shop that’s why it has a car hoist. But what guy wouldn’t mind having a car hoist? If for no other reason to make other guys jealous. You can’t have too much lighting, storage and square footage for work benches. I also plan on having a one of them with rollers in case I need to lift something very heavy with the over head hoist onto a work bench. Separate office is nice to keep all reference books and paper work in a dust free area.

    Can’t wait to get in it. Others would find this small but I don’t do that kind of volume at all.

    If you are going to build one make it way bigger than you feel you need. It’ll never be cheaper to expand and you just can’t have too much space.
  4. Kimberley

    Kimberley Member

    That's the spirit DLYork! !
    Thank you for your thoughts. Love the idea of the compressor with the air line chucks on the walls. I also agree about having an overhead hoist, especially as we get older (or aren't yet but wish to get there gracefully) ...and, of course, I couldn't tell clearly from the picture, but who wouldn't want a bottle of Jim, Jack, or Johnny in the office, especially if we haven't been using the hoists all these years.! Lol. -Kimberley
  5. socalmountainman

    socalmountainman Northwestern School of Taxidermy - Class of '73

    My shop is the single garage of my 3-car garage. Roll up door is usually closed to keep my nosy neighbors out but I have a side door. Except fpr the bamboo flooring in the center of the floor which I am installing in my home, my garage floor is clutter free. I retired from state service and plan on taking in a little more work. I was spending a little too much time on my recliner with a Jack Daniels on the rocks...

    Attached Files:

  6. socalmountainman

    socalmountainman Northwestern School of Taxidermy - Class of '73

    ...a couple more...

    Attached Files:

  7. pir^2h

    pir^2h Retrievers give you the bird

    A tool I couldn't do without? A good pair of bent nose pliers! I use them to bend wire mostly when attaching the mount to a base but they are extremely handy to replace the blades in my scalpels. My fingers never touch the blade (therefore I never cut my fingers) when removing old blades and installing a fresh one. (Hey, don't laugh, when you get old and your hands are not as steady it is easy to cut yourself with those blades!)

    Bolt cutters - makes for fast easy work of cutting thick wires and threaded rods to the required lengths

    Tree limb trimming cutter - I use them to cut off bones at the joint. Much easier than a scalpel

  8. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    $50. Electric chainsaw from harbor freight to make short work in altering Mannakins. Don’t use any bar oil. The bolt cutters
    Are a must like mentioned. I have three different sizes.
    One of the many things I learned from being a HD Mechanic for 28 years is,
    Have work benches on rollers or tool boxes on rollers. Move the tools close to whatever you are working on. Wasted steps is wasted time and energy. Keep tools organized (at least try). Again, looking for tools or supplies is more wasted time.
    Stephan Savides used a trolly used at hair salons to hold bird mounting tools. It’s lite and cheap. Roll it to your work area and sit down. Everything’s there.
    Time is money.
    The one phrase I detested hearing as a supervisor is “I can’t work any faster”. Figure out small ways to cut down seconds in a job. Don’t sacrifice quality. The problem with most people is we get stuck in a rut and can’t see how change(which most hate) will accomplish anything. Spending 5 minutes looking for a tool adds up and going somewhere to buy another one is even worse. I’ve done it. Everything I put down I’ve been guilty of.
  9. Jimmy Lawrence

    Jimmy Lawrence Well-Known Member

    Don Frank had a few articles in old Breakthroughs about making the most of your shop. I would encourage you to find them. Early 2000s or late 90s.
  10. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Impressive organizational skills SoCalMountain! Dang, that is one organized AND clean shop! I wouldn't say my shops have been ergonomic, but I do have a knack for figuring out how and utilizing my space that gives me the most bang for the buck. I only do fish however, so I don't need as much space and also have different needs. Although the Billfish and Goliath Bass reps tend to take up some space - lol! The one thing I always did was to not be afraid of changing things around if they're not functioning 100%. I have several work stations that double - eg my mount up table/area also double for fin backing and other tasks. Also, as mentioned be conscious of how often and how far you're walking from station to station. Tools-wise, this may seem obvious to many but having only one tool in an area works best for me. I have a few exceptions where I'll have two of the same tools in different stations. But, if you have only one tool AND you put it back each time you will save a ton of time in the long run not searching for tools. Initially I purchased a couple of tools that I used a lot (and misplaced often!). And found out it's much easier to keep track of just one. Also, for me due to a herniated disk in my upper back, I have to rotate tasks to keep loose. I'm very conscious about posture and standing in one place too long. I have very comfy office chairs to sit on and 1 3/4" antifatigue mats to stand on. So, from that aspect my shop flows and is easy on my body so I guess it's ergonomic!
  11. socalmountainman

    socalmountainman Northwestern School of Taxidermy - Class of '73

    Thanks Marty but there are flow problems. My paint station is great for my fish but when painting game heads on a stand in the middle of the floor my airbrush hose doesn't reach so I have to drag my stand over.... it needs to be on the pegboard "wall" that separates the double garage but I'll overspray my F350 Super Duty which is always garaged so, I plan on building a wall to separate the single from the double, put a door in to have access to the house and then I'll have one more wall and I can move my skinning table to the center of the floor after my bamboo flooring is installed which is taking up my floor space. I also want to run PVC on the ceiling over the table for my air tools. I can have flex hoses drop down for easy connects but, the big compressor is fine for my mini-flesher and grinders yet way too much for my stapler and brad gun! I have a 2hp - 4 gal compressor to use for those but...... well, you get the picture. Problems - problems -problems!

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  12. Kimberley

    Kimberley Member

    Wow, Socalmountainman, I'm in agreement with FishArt. Those pictures of how you organized your shop are just great! Problems? No, nothing's perfect but your shop makes a taxidermist want to get in there. When I see a shop like that, I can't wait to skin a bird! And that leads me to FishArt and his mention of 'easy on the body' is ergonomic. There's a lot of positive psychology in the layout and all these suggestions. DLYork again thanks for the 'rollers' ideas.
    Again, keep the ideas on tools coming. Thanks Pir^2h for the bent nose pliers suggestion.

    You probably wonder why I asked?
    I have been tasked with making a Chinese taxidermy factory more ergonomic, modern, and less wasteful with it's resources and human 'steps' , as described by DLYork, (you hit that one on the head DL).
    I had only 'common sense' when I started this project..had no idea how much I was going to learn. Now, I'm all inspired to remake my own little shop. But, even more so, I'm also excited enough to go dealing halfway around the world and cross a culture to try to get them excited too: a picture is worth a thousand words (or maybe 500 characters). A concept? Ah that is priceless. Keep the ideas coming! I have until May.

    Thanks again,
  13. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    Check this out. If you have a small work area this is a help




  14. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    There are individuals out there that buy up entire business equipment when they close. A local Honeywell was closing one of its companies. I had a friend that worked there and got me in touch with the buyer. I bought two of the pictured swiss made Lista work stations. They are beyond HD Made. They sell for over $2000. new. I bought them for $250. each. Office desk $25. Double door metal storage cabinet that sell for $450. I paid $25. My friend and I bought 12. The Lista work stations pictured weigh 450 pounds. I also bought a fire proof cabinet for storing flamibles for $50.
    The person that had bought this whole branch’s business wanted to sell all he could before the deadline where he had to move it.

    My goal when I move is to have a work station set up for doing birds, another mammals. Each one will have the necessary tools to do each one. If you google “tool storage” and go to images you can get great ideas for organizing tools. Usually on pegboard. Some very creative ideas out there.
  15. Kimberley

    Kimberley Member

    OMG DLYork, I'm also a quilter and I'd LOVE one of those cabinets!
    Seriously, you have been very helpful with your suggestions and I'm grateful. Actually, IKEA has a history of doing small shop or room ergonomic makeovers for their advertising in Asia. So, I figured I'd also give them a heads up, though that's a long shot...no one knows a taxidermy workshop like a taxidermist ;D -Kimberley
  16. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    Kimberly here’s a Solon trolley. You can load it with specific tools and supplies for birds or other animals. Then roll it right to your work area.

  17. socalmountainman

    socalmountainman Northwestern School of Taxidermy - Class of '73

    Here is a list of Mr. Franks articles in Breakthrough...

    Frank, Don. O-So Sharp Sharpening Wheels, Issue 5, p39
    Habitat Construction: Upstream Bound, Part I, Issue 6, pp38-39
    Habitat Construction: Upstream Bound, Part II, Issue 7, pp18-19
    Bass Mannikin Breakthrough, Issue 8, pp38-44
    Upstream Bound, Part III, Steelhead Paint Schedule, Issue 8, p55
    Organize Your Books For Profit, Issue 10, p27
    I Hate It When That Happens! (Just Another Day At The Shop), Issue 34, p101
    The Aztec Airbrush (review), Issue 35, pp94-95
    Arp’s New Artificial Gills (review), Issue 35, p112
    I Hate It When That Happens! (The Hot Tub),Issue 35, p117
    Finishing Touch Hangers Are Truly Unique (review), Issue 36, p83
    I Hate It When That Happens! (Asbestos) Issue 37, pp108-109
    I Hate It When That Happens! (Dremel) Issue 38, p91
    I Hate It When That Happens! (The Bar), Issue 39, pp110-113
    I Hate It When That Happens! (The Dog), Issue 40, pp98-99
    …You Might Be A Taxidermist, Issue 41, p99
    I Hate It When That Happens! (The Party), Issue 43, pp119-120
    …You Might Be A Taxidermist, Issue 44, pp100-101
    I Hate It When That Happens! (The Stamp Collection), Issue 45, pp96-99
    …You Know You’re A Taxidermist, Issue 46, p151
    I Hate It When That Happens! (The Buffalo Ordeal), Issue 47, pp132-135
    I Hate It When That Happens! (The Deer Hunt), Issue 52, p103
    I Hate It When That Happens! (The Shed Hunter), Issue 55, pp84-91
    Review: The Eliminator is Non-Toxic and Nonflammable Issue 58, p117
    Installing Cast Heads on Large Fish, Issue 62, pp56-58
    I Hate It When That Happens! (The 1-800-Miss-Understanding), Issue 62, pp118-120
    Paint Schedule: Rainbow Trout, Issue 62, pp129-131
    Air Compressor Blues, Issue 63, pp30-31
    I Hate It When That Happens! (Doggie-Doo), Issue 63, pp84-86
    Tom Sexton Gets Married, Issue 65, p121
    Part 1: Mounting a Rainbow Trout, Issue 67, pp49-53
    Part 2: Mounting a Rainbow Trout, Issue 68, pp27-31
    A Tribute to Gary Zehner, Issue 70, pp132-133
    Review: Fish Carving Stuff You Gotta Know, Issue 74, p109
    Saving Time, Saving Money, Issue 77, pp26-30
    (with Eric Engbretson) Brown Trout Underwater (reference), Issue 78, pp52-59
    I Hate It When That Happens! (Fire & Ice), Issue 79, pp116-119
    Stripers by Design, Issue 81, pp34-45
    Armadillos, Asian Carp, and Polar Bears, Issue 95, pp108-112
    I’ve Grown to Love the Badger PAC Valve, Issue 101, p100
    Frank, Charles W. Taxidermy & Carving: Viewpoint, Issue 27, p52
    Frazier, Mark. Wild Kingdom Part I (steelhead paint schedule), Issue 20, pp8-11
  18. A- Fish

    A- Fish Stehling's Taxidermy


    go to the " our facility " and " virtual tour" pages to see our shop layout .
    Wally Gator likes this.
  19. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    Very nice. You can never have too much space.
  20. socalmountainman

    socalmountainman Northwestern School of Taxidermy - Class of '73

    I bought these off a retired engineer for $50 a piece. I bought 8 of the 12 he was selling. It seems he went through the Hughes to Raytheon buyout and these "computer hardware cabinets" were being thrown out to trash. I made shelves from 3/4 inch plywood to make storage cabinets out of them. They actually still have the cooling fans attached to them but they are out of the way.

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