The amount of area you need for your do it yourself taxidermy projects depends on what you're doing. Take time to evaluate all of the work you'll be doing and take this into account before you get settled in. Good planning right now will make your work easier later.
Your work area should be well-lit. You'll want a few lights, some for general lighting and others that are directed over your work. You might even consider buying a lit magnifying glass on a stand. It'll bring your work super close to you.
Keep in mind that you'll be working with chemicals and dead animals. It's most important to concern yourself with ventilation in your work shop. Windows should be open and if there's no breeze, install a fan and use it. Don't jeopardize your health for your hobby.
Small work with frogs, toads, reptiles and birds could be done at a table in a small area. A corner of a room, small shed or workshop are good options. With care, some small do it yourself taxidermy can even be done at the kitchen table.
Larger species like deer, bear and other big game will obviously require a larger area. A garage, pole barn or work shop are obvious choices to work in. If you don't have a big enough space, check the newspaper, chances are you might find one to rent fairly cheap.
Regardless of the work you're doing, you need a work surface and storage for your supplies. You'll need a sturdy work bench or table with wheels. In fact, you'll want more than one surface to work on. You can build your own pretty cheaply.
All taxidermy requires some sort of preservative formula. There are poisonous and non-poisonous options available. Regardless of the type of preservative, great care should be taken in their use. These should be properly stored in sealed containers away from reach. Locked cabinets and high shelves in the shop will accomplish this.
For small animal taxidermy, you're going to need some skinning knives of a few different sizes. Knives should be as sharp as possible so a sharpening tool is necessary. You'll also need scissors, pliers, forceps, files, and other assorted small tools.
Large animal mounts will require everything that you need for small animals. In addition to these, carpenters tools like saws, a hammer, screwdrivers, chisels & rasps should be in your tool box. You're also going to need some iron working tools for the wiring of your frames.
For all types of do it yourself taxidermy you need smaller tools such as a fur comb and skin scraper. You'll also need some paint and brushes, wax and epoxy, clay and varnish to complete your setup.
Another important tool in your do it yourself taxidermy shop will be a small freezer. A floor or chest freezer is the best option. However, you can also convert an older refrigerator into a freezer. You'll store specimens in this unit until you're ready to begin mounting them.
It doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg to set up your do it yourself taxidermy shop. You can outfit yourself on the cheap and still produce quality work.
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