Taxidermy is a hobby and craft that dates back ages and is both technically challenging and artistically rewarding. Because it requires not only the preservation of tissue but also the manipulation of that tissue in fine detail, taxidermy requires a long list of tools and supplies to be effective. Luckily, not many of the tools are highly specialised and can be found around the house or at your local craft store.
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The taxidermist is going to need a long list of tools capable of making all sorts and sizes of cuts, so you'll need tools ranging from a hacksaw to surgical scalpels. Common suggestions include a small pocket knife, a paring knife, tinner's shears, wire cutters, a small pair of scissors and a small but solid handsaw. You will probably want to include a series of small, fine files, and both a bone scraper and a skin scraper. A small hand drill is also recommended.
It's simply not enough to preserve and position an animal once it has been properly prepared. Half the fun of taxidermy is making the animal look as lifelike and styled as possible. To this end, tool recommendations include a series of fine combs and brushes to style the fur and feathers. A pair of jeweller's tweezers, a claw hammer, hot glue gun, staple gun and cotton swabs are also highly recommended. When it comes to creative mounting and styling, your imagination is the limit and you can end up using just about anything.
The most important part of taxidermy is making sure that the animal doesn't rot away. Invest in a chemical product, such as Stop Rot, that inhibits decomposition. Not only is this highly recommended as a tanning and skinning tool to prevent hair and skin slipping, it has also been shown to help increase the efficiency of leatherizing acids and finishing chemicals. You will also need a fat remover and an acid pre-soak.The use of a shrink tonic and relaxer is recommended when working with subtle skins.
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