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Turkey taxidermy

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Smittee, Jan 16, 2018.

  1. Smittee

    Smittee Member

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    I would like to try mounting a turkey but I don’t have a bird flesher or a tumbler. Is there something I could use in its place before purchasing these items? Thanks
     
  2. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Research Mannikins has a defatting tool for birds. Its like a little rake. I used a lot before I got my wire wheel flesher. I still use it on grouse and hard to get to areas with the wheel on quail up to turkeys. When used with borax, it will work well for you. I use two. One with the "prongs" wide and one with them pushed more together.
     

  3. Smittee

    Smittee Member

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    I would guess you use it like a “rake” to remove the fat and flesh correct.
     
  4. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Yep. You need to use borax with it to get the best results.
     
  5. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    I hand tumble in a plastic tub with ground corn cob grit.
     
  6. rogerswildlife

    rogerswildlife Rogers Wildlife Taxidermy Tommy Rogers

    I would get a good DVD and watch it . I pressure wash mine the clean it up a little with a wire wheel . You have to get it clean inside and out . Turkey are dirty from dusting you have to wash and wash when you think you got him clean wash him again. Get a DVD head quarters has a good one step by step.
    Tommy
     
  7. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Along with the DVD from Headquarters, Taxidermy Training Unlimited has several great turkey DVDs. Taxidermy Insider has a couple of online video courses. It has over ten hours of instruction.
     
  8. Smittee

    Smittee Member

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    I have the Taxidermy Insider turkey course and Tim Jorden dvd. Besides using the defatting tool is there any other way of fleshing?
     
  9. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

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    I sometimes use a soft wire brush for a drill to get problem areas, you have to be careful but I bet you could do a whole turkey that way. I would like to try the pressure washer trick but I presently do not have the location to do so.
     
  10. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    3beras, kind of like a mini flesher for birds. Not a bad idea.

    Smittee, you are pretty well set. I forgot to tell you that I use curved scissors a lot when working on upland birds including turkeys. With the videos, the defatting tool, a scalpel, curved scissors and the wire brush trick you should be able to do a good job of it, unless you have a pressure washer to try out.
     
  11. pir^2h

    pir^2h Retrievers give you the bird

    Hmmm...If you are using a pressure washer on a turkey what do you thing the maximum safe PSI should be to keep from ripping it up?
     
    Westexaskid likes this.
  12. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

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    I have no idea but many swear by it and you can watch videos online of people fleshing them with a washer.
     
  13. socalmountainman

    socalmountainman Northwestern School of Taxidermy - Class of '73

    Here's mine!
     

    Attached Files:

  14. Smittee

    Smittee Member

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    How long do you have to hand tumble for? Thanks
     
  15. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Since I don't do turkeys for customers, I have never timed it. I hang the turkey skin to drip dry. I then put a towel up inside the skin and lay that onto another towel and roll it up. I leave it for 15 minutes to 30 minutes. Next, I place the skin in the cob and cover it. I then go work on something else for a while. Then I roll the skin around the cob, lifting, laying down, covering, roll around and repeat. Maybe 10 minutes or so. Then to the blowdryer.
     
  16. Tom Maul

    Tom Maul Active Member

    I'll hand tumble a turkey skin just like SoCal's pic for about 15 minutes after towel drying per Tanglewood. I'm guessin I have 12-15 lbs of corn cob grit in there. I have a mix of fine and large grit. I find that you're pretty close to bein as dry as you're gonna get after about 10 minutes... and after 15 minutes I feel like I'm wastin my time. At that point, I feel more productive with the shop vac.
     
  17. socalmountainman

    socalmountainman Northwestern School of Taxidermy - Class of '73

    Yup, about 10-15 minutes just to get the feathers looking normal. I then proceed with the mounting and finish the drying with air. I use compressed air but before I had a good compressor I used my shop vac. Most you can put the hose on the output side and blow air instead of sucking air. As for my wire wheel flesher I converted my wire wheel/grinder by stealing a serving tray plastic cover from the wifey.... she's still looking for that thing!
     

    Attached Files:

  18. Tom Maul

    Tom Maul Active Member

    Yup!... I used a clear plastic tote from the big box store, I'm afraid of my wife!
     
  19. a bench grinder with a wire wheel but be careful. their not as forgiving as a bird wheel.
     
  20. boarhunter67

    boarhunter67 Well-Known Member

    Can’t answer the fleshing question because I have a bird flesher, but you don’t have to tumble turkey. It just speeds up the drying time. I wash super well with a ton of dawn, then soak in mineral spirits, and then spin in my washer and blow dry.