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Acetone To Dry And Degrease Birds?

Discussion in 'Bird Taxidermy' started by buffalobill20, Sep 9, 2020.

  1. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    If your feathers do get a little damp, they can be hit with the hair dryer after it's mounted too. I read articles in one of the trade mags where a famous bird taxidermist explains how he mounts some upland game bird wet and drys them after it is totally mounted. They looked great in the magazine.
    buffalobill20 likes this.
  2. buffalobill20

    buffalobill20 Member


    Thanks! Kind of a tangent but I often before mounting wash my skins in water until it is clear (the water bath), I read that people borax or salt the inside of the skin before mounting. What are your thoughts?

  3. buffalobill20

    buffalobill20 Member

    Yes I think I was wrong in thinking it degreased the bird skins lol.

    i am givkng up on solvents in general. I tried a bit of acetone and spirits a fee weeks ago and I felt a bit dizzy even tho i was outside. Not worth it. Better to just corn grit it.

    You mentioned you borax the skins before mounting. Do you find the feathers fall back to place with no problem? I had tried salting and tried to fluff up feathers again but it didn’t work. But then again, I made the mistake of thinking acetone would degrease the birds.
  4. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    My thoughts are that it's time to invest in a DVD. I use borax and in some cases DP.
    buffalobill20 likes this.
  5. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    I suspect it wasn't only the salt that made the feathers not fall into place. Feathers falling into place requires ALL steps completed meticulously from skinning, fleshing, degreasing, washing and rinsing, fit of skin to form, form prep, mounting procedure, Drying and finishing and a DVD will show you all of theses steps. Borax will not help if one of those steps are skipped or not done properly.
    Wildthings and BrookeSFD16 like this.
  6. byrdman

    byrdman Well-Known Member

    used to use a spray bottle... now use a syringe... easier to dirrect water where I want it
  7. Wildthings

    Wildthings Well-Known Member

    BuffaloBill not trying to be harsh but you are all over the place with what you are doing or say you are doing!! A good DVD would benefit you greatly!!
    buffalobill20 likes this.
  8. buffalobill20

    buffalobill20 Member

    no worries! yeah, I am not kidding when I say I am darn new to bird taxidermy. Mammals are straightforward for me lol
  9. buffalobill20

    buffalobill20 Member

    Yeah, I think it's about time for that as well lol. At this point it seems most sensible because I have to many birds from collecting. At first I was just gonna give it a shot and hope it was same as mammals lol. But no, I think you are right that it's time for a dvd lol.
    Tanglewood Taxidermy likes this.
  10. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    In the 80's, I did 3 or 4 birds going by instruction from a booklet from Van Dyke's. I never did another bird until I got a turkey in a believe 2005. I couldn't find the booklet, so I just went by memory. It was a breast/head fan mount. From that experience I wanted to start hunting birds, so, I got several DVDs and I was overwhelmed by all the steps. I told my wife it just seemed too much work. She said write down all the steps of doing a deer head from start to finish, then compare it to the birds. I realized from that, that anything new can seem overwhelming when in reality it is just a little different.
  11. Dave York

    Dave York Well-Known Member

    I used to use Coleman fuel. Now I wash and wrap in a towel for several hours then tumble.
    Here’s the reasons I now linger use gas.
    1. Added cost
    2. Gas in a shop, not good
    3. There have been several cases of tumblers blowing up from gas vapors and static charge igniting it
    4. Really don’t see any difference in not using it
    5. My brother used to glass surfboards for Oniels years back. He used acetone to clean up. Renal cell carcinoma showed up in his body that was caused by acetone use. Lost a kidney, part of one lung, left leg and has been in and out of the hospital for 15 years.
    I realize we all think we are indestructible but we now know what things are harmful to our bodies. Most of us are also selfish and don’t think about what will happen to our families if something happens to me. I’m guilty and have used more chemicals and asbestos incorrectly for years. That was before I knew how harmful they were. Now I try and eliminate exposure as much as possible.
    Wildthings likes this.
  12. turkeyshooter

    turkeyshooter Member

    you don't lose many feathers spin drying?
  13. Keith

    Keith Well-Known Member

    I don't do many birds, but I put the bird in an old pillow case and spin dry.
    turkeyshooter likes this.

    TIM SCHLOSS Member

    Whether you decide to use solvent, just water wash. A tumbler or no tumbler. One piece of equipment you may want to look into, is a mater blaster pet drier. Much faster in drying birds. Careful on Woodcock and such. they really put out the air. It will speed up the process.
    GotHonks and Wildthings like this.
  15. GotHonks

    GotHonks Well-Known Member

    Get yourself a pet hair dryer for like 75.00 wish I’d bought one yrs ago they are awesome , I spin my birds in the washer after the wash to get most of the water out … then comes the pet dryer , mine has a dial that sets the airflow from very light to so hard it will blow everything outta your shop .. mine has a warm setting that helps some … with this thing a teal takes maybe 5 min , Duck probably 20 ,and a Honker bout an hr 10min.. Turkeys pretty fast too but I actually put them in my cloths dryer on med heat for 30 min … does a great job just have to re wet the skin a little ..saves time but I also remove the wings , tail and feet .. prior to washing …. Never tumble or put a bird skin it the cloths dryer with feet on .. it beats the wings up .. I remove almost all feet , shoot them up , let them dry , paint them and install when I mount the bird .. everyone has a little diffrent process to get there .. let’s face it drying bird skins sucks , almost feels like a waste of time but it’s as important as starting with a clean skin … feathers track much better when completely dry .. saves time in the long run ..
    Wally Gator likes this.