Ok, I've had a lot of you Guy's, and Gal's, ask me about the Fish Drying Box.
What it is , is simply a BIG Plywood Box with the end's hinged, on whatever side you'd like, I personally have the front, and side door open up, because when I Pin Fins, I sometimes suspend strings that are Paper clipped on the fin, for that exact placement I'm looking for.
I have on the back wall, several screw Loop- Screws Placed all over to tie the string onto.
Now for the heat supply. Hi-Low Hair Dryer ...Simple enough !
What to do : When you have your Fish placed in your 5.Lb Vice, (I have Larger Vice, for Big Fish...) and all that is is a T stick ,that is screwed on to the Back of the Fish into the Block of Wood, that you have already built into it. Place your Fish in the Box, your Fin's should already of been set, you might want to have some "Tail Lift" or some "Extreme Bend" in the Tail... that's where the String comes into play.
When you have it "Just Right!" then simply close the Box and Turn the Hair Dryer to LOW ! Let it run for about 30 Min on and Off, Because you don't want the Fish to "Melt Down" in the beginning ! Trust Me ! Slow and easy for the first Hr...Then...you can let it run at LOW for about as long as it takes ..Lm .Bass 18 In...Ca 4-Hrs and It should be really starting to dry by then !
*After your Fish is Drying for a while, check on it ! Periodically, to make positive She's not Cooking ! Literally !
In my Box I have several 2 ' 3/4 In holes drilled in here and there..about 8-9, because I sometimes want to stick the Hair Dryer in different holes to direct the Hot Air on the Head,Belly,..or Tail. I'm checking to make positive the thing's not getting too hot as I go.
*I will stick a couple of holes , With a Pencil in the Clay, in the Eye socket's, to help the Hot Air get down in the Cheeks. (Drys Faster)
I let the box run about 2 Hrs...then, I shut it off..Because it gets so warm in the shop ! I open the door's for a while to cool the shop down..It will get warm, and If you work out of your Garage, in the Winter...It'll heat up the Garage reasonably quick.
*Don't get too GREEDY and just let it run...That WILL Shrink it too quickly !
*You can do Fox, Badgers. I have even done Geese ! (The BIG BOX !)
* I would NOT do Deer because of Drumming !
*Yes, I Have tried Deer, but I prefer a Slow Dry for them !
You can run a Thermostat..I'm OLD SCHOOL Don't need it !
*NOW "! READ THIS !: I use a , what I'd like to call a "Pre Tan!" It's a Tan I have made here in Germany that takes out the Fish Oil, and Accelerates the Drying Process !
I'd Imagine you Beginners might ONLY use Borax !, and It will work just as good.
I'm not ready to disclose what It is yet ! (Might want to Market it?) Who knows ? anyway Good Luck !
Now , I'll answer your Q:s