Stench in Feathers?..

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Teenage Entomologist, Feb 25, 2014.

  1. Teenage Entomologist

    Teenage Entomologist Gotta love the pteronarcys.

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    I just got a bunch of pheasant capes that smell pretty bad. Anyone got any tricks to get rid of that smell?
     
  2. Jay C

    Jay C Active Member

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    Sounds like you got them from a hunter friend, scrape any meat/fat off if you can. Then use salt to help dry them out. Then borax after that, be sure to keep them away from your other materials until you are sure they are dried and bug free.
     
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  3. Teenage Entomologist

    Teenage Entomologist Gotta love the pteronarcys.

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    There's no meat and/or fat on the feathers. I did get them from a "hunter friend". So just pour some borax in the bag of feathers and let them dry, or lay the capes out in the garage on a flat surface and let them dry with the borax on them?
     
  4. Tacoma Red

    Tacoma Red Active Member

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    Afterwards ziplock and go thru several freeze thaw cycles in the freezer to kill bugs and bug eggs.
     
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  5. Teenage Entomologist

    Teenage Entomologist Gotta love the pteronarcys.

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    Thanks, I'll try all the ways I can.
     
  6. David Dalan

    David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

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    I second salting the hell out of them. Or drop them in the freezer for a couple of months. I have some capes and hare masks that are funky as hell too. I figure its legit scent for my carp flies :)

    But really, if you salt them till they are cardboard stiff most of the funk should leave. Can also soak them overnight in a super salty brine and then dry outside. Should get crunchy.
     
  7. Preston

    Preston Active Member

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    Borax is a much better choice for drying and curing bird skins. Salt is hydrophilic, attracting and absorbing moisture and in humid weather will cause the skin to become damp and sticky. Be sure to use straight borax and not Boraxo which is a mixture of borax and soap.
     
  8. David Dalan

    David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

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    Preston sounds like he knows his shizzle. And where i live there is no humidity (not kidding...23% is "muggy").
     
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  9. kelvin

    kelvin Active Member

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    pour gas on them an light them
     
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  10. Teenage Entomologist

    Teenage Entomologist Gotta love the pteronarcys.

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    Man would that reek!:)
     
  11. skyrise

    skyrise Active Member

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    + 1 for Borax. bag them per each in a ziplock bag. 1 cape/neck/tail group per bag. i put mine in the garage where its cool temp wise. i used ample borax, then just shake the bag to get the feathers coated good. and leave em for at least a month.
     
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  12. FinLuver

    FinLuver Active Member

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    What happens if you use Boraxo instead of straight Borax?
     
  13. Preston

    Preston Active Member

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    As above, Boraxo is a mixture of borax and soap. It would probably not have the same drying properties as straight borax and would add who-knows-what additional things like surfactants, perfumes, etc.
     
  14. FinLuver

    FinLuver Active Member

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    Thanks Preston...if you only use it on the skin side; I should be "safe"...YES??

    perfume = stench gone ;)
     
  15. Preston

    Preston Active Member

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    I think you'd be better off with borax; I haven't looked lately, but I don't think finding a box of borax shoild be all that difficult. Any large supermarket should carry it.
     
  16. FinLuver

    FinLuver Active Member

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    I tried the Boraxo (a week before I read this thread) on some skins that seemed a bit moist on the "inside" part.

    Here's what I did and found...

    Laying the skins on a paper towel skin side up, I sprinkled a liberal amount on it, being careful not to get it on the feathers (too much).

    After a week (today), I shook off the excess Boraxo into a garbage can and brushed any residue off as well. The skins are dry as a bone. There's no smell from the skin; and BTW the Boraxo didn't have any smell as well.

    I put the skins on clean paper towel, skin side down and into a ziplock baggy they went.
     

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