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Old May 15, 2009, 10:53 AM   #1
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Turkey Claws? Preserving

I would like to make a sword holder display using turkey claws to grasp the sword. Could not find any Bald Eagle claws
Can I just let them dry out in position or do I have to preserve them in some way.
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Old May 15, 2009, 11:26 AM   #2
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I just let then dry and then later apply some varnish. The last time I checked, they were still holding up. There is just not enough flesh or blood present, to give you a big problem. I have also covered them with selica gel or borax, if you can still find borax. Then you have a problem with mounting them onto a board or some such thing. I don't know If I'd trust them to hold a sword but that's your call. If you have some good spurred legs, you might want to contact a local taxidermist to get some help. You can first bend the toes to where you want them and hold in place with rubber bands or wire ties. I have done turkey and pheasant. Good luck !!!

Be Safe !!!
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Old May 15, 2009, 11:45 AM   #3
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I would probably pack them in Borax as Pahoo suggested or even salt to draw as much moisture out as possible.

This is not based on experience in this application....
U.S Army, Retired

Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do. -Potter Stewart
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Old May 15, 2009, 02:20 PM   #4
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Walmart sells borax, less than three bucks a box. I usually cut the spurs out of the leg, remove the tendons and skin, and cover the bone/spur in borax for a few weeks. So that is not keeping the whole leg. I think you could pull off preserving the legs by covering in borax and letting dry for a couple of weeks - I'm not sure if it would work, but I think it would preserve them.
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Old May 15, 2009, 03:04 PM   #5
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I let mine dry out very well, then added 2-3 coats of varnish. I have one set from 2001 and they still look like the day I prepared them.
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Old May 15, 2009, 05:03 PM   #6
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The Borax will work. We've used it a number of times on gator toes, which have more meat and are larger. Don't skimp on the Borax, really cover them and make sure they are seperated by at least a small layer of borax.

When we do toes we use a tub with a inch or so of Borax in the bottom that we arrange the toes on top of so that they are seperated a little. The we cover them with at least a inch more of Borax. It's also not a bad idea to place the tub in a dry warm place. It'll work out in the garage but a dry closet is better.

When they are dry just rinse them quickly and coat them. If you have access to catalized laquer it's the stuff but usually only cabnet makers have it.
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