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Support System for Small Taxidermy Mounts without Extended Leg Wires

Purpose


The purpose of this storage system is to provide cushioned support for small mounted specimens that have had their leg wires cut off and must be stored on their backs or sides (Fig. 1).

Figure 1. Taxidermy mount on padded support.

Author(s)

 Tamsen Fuller
325 S.E. Alexander Ave.
Corvallis, OR 97333 USA
Tel (504) 752-1475

Illustrations: Tamsen Fuller

Publication: 1992

Description

The system uses a plank of polyethylene foam as the basic contoured support. Additional supports are made from polyethylene foam blocks and soft crosslinked polyethylene foam pads (Fig. 2). Because of the low melting point of polyethylene foams, the supports are covered with acid-free fabric or paper. These materials will separate the specimen from any melted foam in the event of a high temperature resulting from a nearby fire.

Materials, Tools & Supplies

  • Blotter paper, pH neutral, unbuffered
  • Cotton jersey
  • Crosslinked polyethylene foam sheeting, 1/4in thick
  • Hot air gun
  • Pinking shears
  • Polyethylene foam plank
  • Utility knife


Construction

  1. Measure the size of the specimen. Add 2in to the dimensions on all sides of the specimen.
  2. Cut two planks of polyethylene foam according to these dimensions.
  3. Line one plank with pH neutral unbuffered blotter paper.
  4. Attach the blotter paper by heating various points of the foam with a hot air gun, and pressing the paper down while the heated points are tacky.
  5. Cut a hole through the blotter paper and foam to accommodate the main body portion of the specimen.
  6. Attach this shaped piece to the uncut piece of polyethylene foam by softening the surface with the heat gun.
  7. Cut a piece of cotton jersey with pinking shears big enough to cover the hole and place it over the cutout.
  8. Position the specimen gently over the cloth. The fabric provides additional support and isolates the rough edges of the cut foam from the specimen.

    Figure 2. Cross section of recessed support.

  9. Cut blocks of polyethylene foam to support the specimen and to hold it in place.
  10. Heat bond the blocks to the upper surface of the blotter covered support.
  11. Pad the surface of the blocks that are supporting the specimen with soft, crosslinked polyethylene sheeting. The sheeting can be heat bonded or left as unattached pullout pads, thus facilitating the removal of the specimen.
  12. Cover the foam in contact with the specimen with pH neutral unbuffered blotting paper.
  13. Additional areas needing support, such as the head, legs, and tail, can be padded with soft, crosslinked polyethylene sheeting cut into small pieces and lined with blotting paper (Fig.3).


Figure 3. top, Stop to stabilize specimen. bottom,
Support used in contact with specimen.

Comments

As an alternative to covering the polyethylene foam blocks with blotter paper, the entire mounting system can be covered with cotton jersey or muslin to protect the surface of the specimen and facilitate removal.

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