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Bird Work, Speed

Discussion in 'Bird Taxidermy' started by Honeycreek, Sep 15, 2019.

  1. Honeycreek

    Honeycreek New Member

    Increasing my workload. Eventually to full time in the near future. Thoughts on speeding up birds. Any tips and increasing output, speed. While maintaining quality?

    Theres always alot of discussion about tumblers. Im using a blower/dryer right now. But my thought is I could have one birdon the bench- fleshing, While one is soaking in Dawn, and a third tumbling most of the way dry while I work. OR tumbling three or for at a time to speed things up. before blowing dry

    Paint thinner? Gas. I abandoned that years ago as I didnt like the health risks. Also fear what one spark could do..........

    Any thoughts appreciated

    AFTHUNT Well-Known Member

    WOW lots of stuff to think about. The only thing i see helping with speed and keeping up with quality is lots of repetition with the process you prefer to use and you will get faster at it. For me it is wash & wash & rinse a lot, gas, tumble, blow dry. I believe you can only get so many quality birds done in a 8 hr day, want more birds add hours to your day. Just my thoughts!
    magicmick likes this.

  3. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    About one per day, start to finish, is my speed.
  4. you will very rarely put out a quality bird by rushing it, take your time and like Afthunt said repetition will help
    AFTHUNT likes this.
  5. whitetails and fish only

    whitetails and fish only Well-Known Member

    If you can stay organized like you stated and pull it off it can't help but speed things up without lowering quality. There is no doubt that a tumbler would help a lot. Also a good bird flesher, if you don't have one, would be invaluable.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
    Wally Gator likes this.
  6. byrdman

    byrdman Well-Known Member

    having done wholesale birds for thirty some years, this is what I normally do. Take birds in "batches" say 10-12 puddle ducks.... I will wrap bodies first so they can dry(you dont want a wet body in a bird) then I will do nothing for 2-3 days but skin/ flesh/wash/rinse. when rinsed wring them out and lay flat in freezer. next I will put all the neck wires and neck foam on bodies and cut all wires for each. If using fake heads you can paint them now.When everything is ready to go next morning take 3-4 skins and put in water in sink ,they will thaw in an hour then tumble and blow dry them all and attach neck to heads, and wire them up, set eyes, put in filler at shoulders etc.then I will set them aside and take one at a time and pose, sew up , and finish grooming... then next... if you dont finish them place in freezer overnight and finish next day... after a while you will know how many you can skin/flesh in a day and how many you can dry,wire and pose... as far as gas, I used it for 25 or more years but finally listened to George and ultimatly found it was un- nessecary and an extra expense and risk. my elbows and wrists and hands lost there ability to produce oilsand had skin problems but back to normal now after 7-8 years . if you wring out birds after rinse ,wrap in paper or cloth towels, then tumble you will not need to gas. When fleshing use lots of borax to soak up oils , keep hands dry, and it helps the wheel grip fat. also keep paper towels handy to wipe hands off. Another thing is if you use TXoutdoors method on wings they pretty much come out of tumbler dry.Make sure you have all your eyes wire clays bondo etc all on hand.
  7. Jim McNamara

    Jim McNamara Well-Known Member

    Tumbler will certainly help. You can spin the skins in a washer too to get a lot of moisture out. I find that I can make hay by doing multiples like byrdman . It will take some time to get a program worked out but it will come. Oh, a good flesher, as mentioned, will help.
    AFTHUNT likes this.
  8. rigbobby

    rigbobby Active Member

    Raise the price. Do one a day.
    KLFL and BrookeSFD16 like this.
  9. byrdman

    byrdman Well-Known Member

    1 a day would be a waste of time and not very good for any kind of production .... only 5 per week..... skin 6 a day for 2 days... mount 4 a day for 3 days....= 12 per week with my method to your 5...hes looking to up his production
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2019
    bucksnort10 likes this.
  10. bucksnort10

    bucksnort10 Well-Known Member

    Hopefully you get the gist of it IF you really want to increase the number of birds you do. One is really limited if one solely works on a bird at a time. Appreciate what byrdman and others are saying/doing. (There is a lot of wasted time just doing one at a time .... meaning once you are "set-up" for a task/action why not use that to do multiple similar tasks at the same time, rather than "setting up" again and again.)
    AFTHUNT likes this.
  11. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    I have found that doing taxidermy in a production line worked well for me. Like birdman was saying.
  12. MallardsFowlLife

    MallardsFowlLife Well-Known Member

    Byrdman is dead on for this one. Do everything in batches and it will save you time and effort.
    Skin and flesh one day or split it up depending on how many, wash, soak, rinse and (insert words that rhyme with gas and tumble so we don't start WWIII) and then you're ready to assemble many at a time. If you re-freeze birds after drying, put some powdered borax in the wings to grab any excess moisture you may have in there. I like to wash, rinse and then re-freeze if I need to and dry when I take them back out.
    Repetition is key to speeding it up and while your birds are soaking in the wash or rinsing you can cast/paint heads, wrap bodies, cut wire, etc.
    Oh yeah and a pet dryer. You can get them on Amazon for like $60 and they will change your life. I've had the same one for about 2 years and no issues. The combination of the high speed/heat will have a bird dry in a few minutes versus using a blow dryer 10-15 minutes.
    Wildthings likes this.
  13. Wildthings

    Wildthings Well-Known Member

    Which one? Link?
    MallardsFowlLife likes this.
  14. MallardsFowlLife

    MallardsFowlLife Well-Known Member


    I guess they went up but you still cant beat it for $70 and free shipping. The only thing I had to replace was the power switch but that was my fault for dropping a hammer on it SMH...Ace Hardware $3.99 for a new 120v switch and good as new. This one has the rheostat on it so you can turn down the speed for smaller birds. I tried another brand that was cheaper and the brushes wore out in less than a year.