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What Just Happened?

Discussion in 'Bird Taxidermy' started by Tom Maul, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. Tom Maul

    Tom Maul Active Member

    Today I was mounting a Canada...
    The bird was skinned, fleshed, washed, dried same as always...
    I opened a NEW bag of DP bought from a reputable taxidermy supplier and dusted the inside of the bird liberally as always. I first noticed that it was difficult to get it to flow down the neck, but that's not that unusual. As I was wiring wings and so forth, I began to realize that the DP was "crystallizing" (for lack of a better word) everywhere from the moisture of the skin. It also felt very tacky... now I'm concerned. By the time I'm trying to insert the neck and body, the skin is drawing up tight at an alarming rate. I can't even get the necking to go through the neck it's gotten so tight. The body has drawn so tight that I'm lucky to get the seams to touch. Yes, the necking and the body were test fitted just prior to DPing and I had plenty of room. This thing went from fine to a crystally, tacky, shrunken mess in less than 30 minutes. What the hell just happened? Can DP be bad? Can DP go bad? Did I somehow screw up somewhere else? Anybody ever have this happen?
  2. Dark Man

    Dark Man Well-Known Member

    Sounds like too much time is passing and your skin is drying out too much.try wiring everything up then hitting it with your dp/borax.as far as not being able to get it through the neck,try putting a length of foam neck material through.thatll open it up plenty

  3. Dark Man

    Dark Man Well-Known Member

    As far as the chrystalising goes i have no idea,never heard of that happening
  4. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    Some DP's have more alum than others. McKenzie DP is way more aggressive than Second-2-Nature DP. There might be a chance that the DP wasn't fully blended, or that more alum was added than the required recipe...just a guess. Borax and talc, the other two major ingredients in DP will not crystallize upon contact with moisture, just the alum. I really like McKenzie DP on turkeys. It wastes no time in going to work, and you can feel the heat from the reaction that occurs on the skin when its applied.
  5. Wildthings

    Wildthings Well-Known Member

    Same here but I don't use DP just Borax. I would soak it back up, borax it and redry
    magicmick likes this.
  6. Tom Maul

    Tom Maul Active Member

    You gotta be right, Joey. It must be the alum. It's a really overdosed batch or not mixed well and I was pitchin like straight alum on it.
    I just went and educated myself on alum a bit. It absolutely crystallizes (lol) and it appears that it can at least get sticky or tacky when introduced with water (depending on pH and the like). I had some on the work bench that I got wet and it crystallized and stuck to the workbench.
    It made that bird skin draw up and have the consistency of leather.
    That's five pounds of DP that's goin in the trash can. I'll stick with straight borax from now on. At least ya know what you're gettin.
  7. pir^2h

    pir^2h Retrievers give you the bird

    I would contact the supplier and ask for a refund or credit. If it is a reputable company as you say they will work with you on this. Why be out the money for five pounds of an unsatisfactory product? My opinion!

  8. rogerswildlife

    rogerswildlife Rogers Wildlife Taxidermy Tommy Rogers

    I use second to nature DP or Bess made and never had a problem in 30 years . I did however try so different form another supplier years ago and it did the same your talking about. It's got to be the alum .
  9. Tom Maul

    Tom Maul Active Member

    You're probably right, Vic. I should return it.
    Sorry to hear that you had to go through it once also, Tommy, but it does validate my incident.
    Thanks to all that replied. I appreciate your time and expertise.
    rogerswildlife likes this.
  10. byrdman

    byrdman Well-Known Member

    yup alum just use borax on birds
  11. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    I never liked plain borax. It is a piss poor desiccant. The McKenzie/Van Dyke DP Is absolutely too aggressive for birds and small game. I switched to BessMaid 40 years ago and never looked back. It seems to have just the right amount of alum, borax and talc. Beside I like the smell of naphthalene.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
    rogerswildlife likes this.
  12. Tom Maul

    Tom Maul Active Member

    thanks, guys... lessons learned
  13. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    I love Bess-Maid, but my wife can't stand the moth ball aroma. I've used Second-2-Nature preservative on 90% of my DP work for years.
    rogerswildlife likes this.