The Feather Curler was designed by Master Taxidermist and World Champion Bird Taxidermist Danny Owens. This simple tool quickly puts a curl to the primary flight feathers without damaging the feather shaft. We suggest practicing with a wing from an unmountable bird just to get comfortable with the tool and also to better understand how the tool works. The most important issue is the amount of pressure that is applied, 5 minutes of practice and you will be a pro!
Texturing the Tool:
Before you begin you will need to texture the tools inner facings, this is a simple process of using 40 or 60 grit sandpaper and abrading the inner concave/convex surfaces lengthwise. This gives the tool a rough surface that will not allow the feather to squirt out the end of the tool.
Directions for Use:
The top of the tool is the tang with the concave inner surface; the bottom of the tool has the part number on the bottom plate.
Start with the inner-most primary feather.
Grasp the tool in your right had with the thumb on the top tang and index finger supporting the bottom tang. Your thumb and finger should be approximately 2 inches down from the open end of the tool.
Center the feather directly between the tool tangs and directly between the fingers and apply moderate pressure with the thumb and index finger. Slide the Feather Curler along the shaft from the base towards the end. At the same time twist the hand in a counter clockwise rotation.
On heavy feathers (Goose and Turkey) it may be necessary to repeat steps 3 and 4 to get the desired curl.
Continue on with the next feather.
To reverse the direction of the curl simply turn the tool upside down and rotate the wrist in a clockwise rotation.
You are not limited to up or down curls, nor are you limited to only curling the primary feathers, as long as the feather shaft has the necessary spine stiffness the feather will take the curl. The Feather Curler gives a permanent curl to the feathers, however if you have to much curl just turn the tool over and slide straight along the shaft without any rotation.
Please Note: Van Dyke's Taxidermy and McKenzie Taxidermy offer these instructions in an advisory capacity and assumes no liability. Such information is the same as used in our own successful experiments, and since we have no control over the environment, or the materials upon which our products or instructions will be used, we do not guarantee success. Trial must be performed to account for individual circumstances. In all suggestions we recommend reading the formulas that have been provided for your evaluation. These are proven formulas that you may find beneficial, form the experience of other tanners.