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Bird Tumbling

Discussion in 'Bird Taxidermy' started by PubGChris, Dec 30, 2020.

  1. PubGChris

    PubGChris New Member

    Will this concrete mixer be sufficient enough for tumbling birds? I was thinking about using 2x4 for baffles, sanding the corners and edges of baffles. I know people have used these, but this one is a smaller version. What do you guys think? Screenshot_20201230-085646_Home Depot.jpg
    BrookeSFD16 likes this.
  2. BrookeSFD16

    BrookeSFD16 Well-Known Member

    I use the one from Harbor Freight. I just left the baffles out, plugged the srewholes with epoxy sculpt, and it works great. Just tilt the barrel up. Mine runs at like 30 rpm, but without the baffles it only flips the bird about 12 times a minute. Use it everyday. They're loud, but mines in a separate room.

  3. jake7719

    jake7719 Well-Known Member

    How many birds do you do in a day ? I put my birds in a plastic storage container 10 gal ish and used corn cob and puffed borax tumble to finish. Put your tumble stuff in the storage container with your bird and start shaking... rest...shake...rest by doing something else... shake. Works great, and gives you a good chest and shoulder work out. Blow the skin out with the shop vac and your done.
  4. RichMO

    RichMO Well-Known Member

    Had one and sold it. If I was doing turkey or a bunch of geese I guess I might have kept it. But having taken courses with two different masters and neither one of them used a tumbler. Put the birds in a box or plastic tote and tumble by hand or shake. By the way be sure to use large corn cob grit if that is your choice... Grit gets inbetween the feathes and is a pain to even blow out.... try hardwood mulch shavings. Either one will give you problems. For me I just sit back in my chair and use a dryer....it may take longer but I don't care.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2021
    joeym, bucksnort10 and Wildthings like this.
  5. crablover

    crablover Well-Known Member

    what does the amount of birds you do in a day have anything to do with this thread?
  6. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    If you do one bird a day, hand tumbling might not be detrimental to a time schedule, however, if you were doing three a day, hand tumbling might cut into a daily schedule too much would be my guess.
    KLFL and GotHonks like this.
  7. Crittrstuffr

    Crittrstuffr Well-Known Member

    Just a side note. That I feel it is an important piece of information one for those first using a tumbler. Make sure the barrel is kept at least half full of (in my case corn cobb grit). It cushions the bird as it tumbles and helps the baffles not come into direct contact with the bird wings and legs. Been using my home made tumbler for over 20 yrs. Wouldn't be without it.
  8. GotHonks

    GotHonks Well-Known Member

    Tumblers ... Love it and hate it .... If it makes sense ... Love it .... It works pretty good to help dry the down on my larger birds mainly geese and some ducks .. What I hate is ... the grit /dust left in feathers can take a lot of time to get out .... Frustrate's the heck outta me ... I need to get more corn cob grit , the stuff I have now is dusty , birds come out really dusty and shop gets dusty .. I guess just enough sneaks out the door to completely cover my shop in dust after a few birds .... The mix has been in it for more time than I will say because I hadn't used it in yrs . ... Don't use it as much for this reason ..Any good mix suggestions out there ... And where to get it for a reasonable price shipped ?
    thanks ..
    KLFL and Kostyniuk-outdoors like this.
  9. Kostyniuk-outdoors

    Kostyniuk-outdoors Alberta free and proud

    I used to tumble, then started using the method that ben from art of taxidermy uses on his youtube channel. only guy ive ever seen do it this way but hes world class and after about 6 birds done this way myself im sold. I pat dry inside of skin with towels and then borax. (art of taxidermy tans his birds so he doesn't borax) then bird is mounted and sewn wet.

    Then you use a pet groomer or compressed air to blow dry bird. b4 posing. the key is a pet groomer or compressed air. my 70 dollar pet groomer blows dry everything within half an hour max and there is no tumbling grit all over shop floor to sweep up afterwards. Did a specklebelly with a ton of down this way 2 weeks ago it was dry and fluffy within 20 mins. grouse I did yesterday was dry in 10 mins. Honestly faster than when I used to do with tumbling and a hairdryer.

    of course this would take forever with a hairdryer but those pet groomers have insane air volume and do the job fast. Plus so much easier to sew the skin wet to keep feathers out of inscision.
  10. I agree I have been doing birds this way for last 30 years tumbling in corncob grit or saw dust is messy and will stick to feathers and cause split ends in plumage blowing out takes longer but the end result to me is better
  11. GotHonks

    GotHonks Well-Known Member

    I've watched that guy a few times and your right .. he is pretty dang good , it's like I say it all boils down to how you want to do it , personal preference .. I 've Sewn up wet birds before and believe it or not Id rather them be fluffed for stitching .. I don't have a pet dryer , with a blow dryer a bird already mounted that's even a little wet takes forever to dry so maybe the pet dryer helps a lot ... Where did you get one for 70 .oo , more importantly what brand and model .. I've looked and almost bought one but didn't know which one to get ...
    There must be something to drying the inside of the skin first , sometimes it's the little things that can make a huge difference ... And if you think about it the wings alone hold a lot of water ...good tips .. Thanks
  12. byrdman

    byrdman Well-Known Member

    nice to groom a dry bird from the inside before stiching up
  13. BrookeSFD16

    BrookeSFD16 Well-Known Member

    I buy corn cob grit from Home Depot online. Free Delivery right to my door. I don't have any issues with grit sticking to feathers. I get approximately 6-10 birds per tumbler full, and 10-12 fill ups per bag. I do however gas with Oderless mineral spirits, then roll up in a towel, then I fluff the feather with the air compressor before I put it in the tumbler. Then when I take it out I hit it with the air compressor again before I finish drying.
  14. pir^2h

    pir^2h Retrievers give you the bird

    I have one of those pet dryers (actually my wife does for out golden retrievers) that has an adjustable output from almost zero CFM to 28,000 CFM. It cost about $180.00 when we bought it but well worth it. I also use it on fur critters and it does great. I finish with another pet dryer like a hair dryer but heavier duty.
    BrookeSFD16 likes this.
  15. Wildthings

    Wildthings Well-Known Member

    Are you saying you change the grit completely out of the tumbler after 6-10 birds. If so what is your trigger that says "time to change"
    BrookeSFD16 likes this.
  16. Wally Gator

    Wally Gator Well-Known Member

    I’m curious about that too. A friend of mine uses a small tumbler and changes after every bird, so I get his used grit to fill my large barrel. I have found that drying the primaries from the underside thoroughly with a hair dryer gets rid of the grit and also closes most of the split ends.
  17. BrookeSFD16

    BrookeSFD16 Well-Known Member

    I change it when it quits drying them as fast. You'll get a feel for how long it takes and when you go to get it after the usual time, and the birds not as dry, then I change it. I'm using the small harbor freight concrete mixer so it only takes about 3-4 gallons of grit at a time to fill it. I do around 150 birds a year and buy maybe 3 bags of grit.
    Wildthings and pir^2h like this.
  18. Wildthings

    Wildthings Well-Known Member

    OK cool! Hey put the used grit in the oven and dry it and then recycle it..Waste not want not
    BrookeSFD16 likes this.
  19. BrookeSFD16

    BrookeSFD16 Well-Known Member

    Don't put it in the oven if you gas.... Just sayin .... Comin from an old retired Fireman.

    I use it to fill holes in the yard. And I pour my used gas on the fencerow to kill the weeds. Less Roundup.
  20. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    I have a tumbler that I made 30+ years ago. I rarely use it anymore. It takes a while to dry with a hair dryer, (turkeys about 45 minutes, ducks 15-20 minutes) but there is no messy grit continually falling out of the plumage.
    bucksnort10 likes this.