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Support System No.1 for Small Taxidermy Mounts with Extended Leg Wires

Purpose

The system is designed for small taxidermy specimens that have been removed from their bases and are now stored lying on their sides or backs. Such specimens may be restored to their original position if specimen leg wires are long and strong enough to provide support.

 

Author(s)

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

Illustrations: Tamsen Fuller

Publication: 1992

Description

In this system, leg wires are inserted into a new base constructed of polyethylene foam plank. To prevent lateral stress on the feet and legs of the mount as they are inserted into the foam base, the path of the leg wires is restricted. This is done by inserting lengths of polyethylene tubing through the foam base at specific locations to receive the leg wires (Fig. 1).


Figure 1. Cross section of foam base showing leg wires
inserted into polyethylene tubing.

Materials Tools Supplies

 

  • Calipers
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Polyethylene foam plank
  • Polyethylene tubing
  • Scalpel
  • Vise
  • Wire cutters


Construction

 

  1. Straighten the leg wires if necessary. To do so, grip each wire in a bench vise at a point just below the specimen foot. This maneuver frees both hands of the operator. The kinks in the wire may then be straightened with pliers. The teeth of the pliers should be taped or padded. Do not attempt to straighten the wire completely.
  2. Measure the distances between leg wires with calipers and mark this distance at two points on a 2in thick plank of polyethylene foam.
  3. Using a scalpel or other sharp instrument, make cross cuts into the foam at each one of the marked leg points (Fig. 2).


    Figure 2. Top view of base showing slits cut in foam for insertion of poly-ethylene tubing.

  4. Choose polyethylene tubing with an inside diameter that will accommodate and hold snugly the leg wires.
  5. Cut lengths of the tubing to protect the entire length of the wires; the tubes should protrude slightly above the upper surface of the foam.
  6. Push the tubes through the cross cuts into the foam. The protruding part at the top will allow easy removal in the future.
  7. Place the leg wires into the tops of the tubing and verify that all measurements are correct.
  8. Using needle-nose pliers or heavy forceps, grip the leg wires and push them in increments down into the tubing, alternating back and forth between legs.

Comments

Do not straighten leg wires unless adequate facilities and personal technical skills are available. Improper handling may cause damage. If in doubt, use a different storage system.

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