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Bird tanning solution

Discussion in 'Bird Taxidermy' started by JCGaydos, Nov 27, 2006.

  1. JCGaydos

    JCGaydos New Member

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    Hi all, I have been mounting birds for about 3 years now as a hobby, (all of my own stuff for the wall) and was wondering after reading some of everyones posts;

    What does everyone seem to agree on as the best or most efficient way to preserve skin?

    I have been using Knoblachs Liqua-cure, but I see some of you use the dry method? Just curiuos as to how the dry methid works versus a tanning agent.

    I also use laquer thinner, or Knoblachs degreaser. Do some of you just use dawn or the like?

    Thanks for your replies
     
  2. owen

    owen New Member

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    JC, Skin your bird, wire wheel the fat off, wash in warm water with Dawn. Then rinse well in cool water and squeeze water out. Soak in coleman fuel,fluff in borax and blow dry. You'll be amazed at the results. Don't get caught up in the bird skin tanning crap. The borax will sufficientally preserve the skin.
     

  3. BeckyBird

    BeckyBird My Baby Bluebirds

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    I don't tan either--just use borax, or dry preserve if I have it.

    I have tried the commercial degreaser, I believe it was Kemal-4 or something. It wasn't nearly as good as Dawn though. I really like the fact that you can buy antibacterial Dawn, and it just smells better too.
     
  4. MarkB

    MarkB New Member

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    How long in colman fuel? Why? I believe ther would be a fire hazard. Coleman fuel from walmart? Soak the entire bird?

    Why not just rinse in Dawn, wash off, and then tumble in borax?

    Just a few questions.
     
  5. JCGaydos

    JCGaydos New Member

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    Thanks for the replies, I think I will try the next bird using just dawn, fleshing, coleman fuel and the borax and see how it turns out.

    I appreciate your time in responding.

    Oh yeah, is their an alternative to the coleman fuel? like laquer or something else?

    Thanks again.
     
  6. Many people will tell you not to use gas. I was taught to use it but I do it in a well ventilated area. All the white gas is doing is displacing the water.
     
  7. owen

    owen New Member

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    Mark, I usually let the bird soak for about a half an hour. The water is heavier than the fuel so it sinks to the bottom of the gas along with the grease from the skin .Yes there is a fire hazard just use common sense and in a well ventilated area. When you are through using the gas pour the clear gas off the top back into the original containers. Properly discard the remaining liquid. Wal Mart brand is actually better than coleman it is less expensive and is clearer.
    The fuel displaces and degreases,drying your bird faster.Don't use laquer thinner or acetone as it tends to dry out the skin too much and too fast.
    As I mentioned before never tumble a bird it's to damaging to the feathers. I have a 3 foot by 4 foot plywood box 8 inches deep filled with borax that I fluff all of my birds in. Sand all of the edges so ther is nothing to snag the bird skin.
    Try it you'll like it! :)
     
  8. Just a question on Borax, How well will a borax treated skin handle a tropical (humid) climate? I live in the Northern Territory, Australia and will be attempting to mount a magpie goose. The breakthrough manual says to tan the skin as a borax treated skin can return to its previous state. Any thoughts on this?

    Bakes
     
  9. Rick RR GBirds

    Rick RR GBirds Let's go kill some birds...I'm psyched!

    MANY here DO NOT use fuel! Does it displace water?r...Yes...Degreases?...That is debateable! If you care about your long term health...I would think twice!
     
  10. owen, just had a question about your fluffing box. do you put the bird skin in after its dripped dried for awhile. then put it in the box and tumble it of just move it around in there. ive had troulbes getting the feathers all the way dry and then they dont lay right on the form. or do you mount it alittle wet and blow dry it.

    thanks

    jon
     
  11. owen

    owen New Member

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    Rick,
    While I appreciate your concern for my health, I saw absolutely nothing in your posting that was helpful to any of us trying to learn new techniques.

    Jon,
    I squeeze as much fuel out of the bird as I can, of course always using gloves, a respirator and in a well ventilated area.You can let the bird hang for a few minutes if you like to let some fuel evaporate. Fluff the skin borax shake the excess borax out and completely blow dry the bird until all of the down is fluffy and dry. If the skin dries out mist it with a misting bottle to keep it soft and moist.
     
  12. gwp

    gwp Guest

    Don't get caught up in the bird skin tanning crap

    Well l use to say the same about the repro head thing when l first saw them done by David Spears back in the 80s .......now l do admit its an alternative method for superior bird mounts.

    Years from now,, tanned bird skins will be recognised as a superior skin preservation and mounting process for birds.
    If your looking for competition quality mounts that allow minimal distortion during drying, better feather grooming qualities, and pigment retention in legs and bills, tanned skins are the superior alternative to "salted "skins.

    And to answer your question Bakes, humidity in Darwin is worse than Florida at times, however bird guys there do handle the humidity ok. Just rinse any tanned skins thoroughly to flush residual salts so moisture is not absorbed back once the wet begins. It is best to keep such mounts in the tropics in a controlled environment.
     
  13. cake

    cake Guest

    I have used mineral spirits from wal-mart but changed over to rittel's degreaser. Smells good and does the same job as the fuels. Lots safer also.
     
  14. Thanks for the reply GWP.
     
  15. Rick RR GBirds

    Rick RR GBirds Let's go kill some birds...I'm psyched!

    Owen...Hate to break it to you...Using Fuel to displace water is NOT a new technique! So drop the attitude. Letting a newbie know that he or she DOES NOT have to use fuel in the mounting process is a GOOD tip in my opinion! It's really a matter of choice.
     
  16. owen

    owen New Member

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    Rick,
    Wow, just trying to help some people out. Some of the techniques or ideas on this forum maybe new to some individuals.Just letting people know what works for me. Again, the wealth of information you have provided everyone trying to learn from these postings.....zero. Attitude, look in the mirror.
     
  17. Rick RR GBirds

    Rick RR GBirds Let's go kill some birds...I'm psyched!

    I guess I will check with you Owen first, before I post...to make sure it's something helpfull to add. Me warning people about health concerns of fuel, not to mention safety...and the fact that they don't have to use fuel is pretty good tip in my book! It's all a matter of choice! So don't tell me that I have nothing to add by my post, not to mention talk down to me. I was just trying to help as well! Most of the people starting up here, don't have shops with proper venation to handle "gassing" their birds. Knowing that you don't have to is a good option!
     
  18. Ted C

    Ted C Guest

    I have had great results with just white vinegar (1 capful per gallon) and water. I wheel the bird, wash in Dawn and keep rinsing until the water is clean enough to drink, then tumble in grit. I only use Coleman gas in rare cases. It is usually unnecessary. The tanning may be over kill to some but when I take a bird apart to salvage the body there is no musty smell that I used to have before I started tanning.
     
  19. owen

    owen New Member

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    Rick,
    Thank you for your post. What are the other alternatives to fuel? What is your complete washing process? Do you tumble and if so what is your medium? What do you use to seperate the water out of the skin to aide in drying time? What do you use for a degreaser? I would love to use something other than fuel that works as well. Help me out. Thanks for your help I look forward to trying your technique.
     
  20. Rick RR GBirds

    Rick RR GBirds Let's go kill some birds...I'm psyched!

    Owen, I don't do anything special...I just don't use gas anymore. I was taught to, kept asking questions why...And finally realized after talking with a lot of people here...that it isn't needed. I'm certainly not preaching to anyone who does. It's just a step that I bypass for several reasons. I think it's good idea to let new, up and coming people know there is an other way.