Form frustrations
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Taxidermy.Net Forum  |  Beginners, Training & Tutorials  |  Beginners  |  Topic: Form frustrations « previous next »
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phoenix-cry
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« on: April 27, 2012, 12:33:08 AM »

So first I got a form that was too big.  I bought it local and he'd measured it wrong.  No worries.  I bought a form that should be the right size.  So now the neck fits and the eye to nose fits....but the face isn't wide enough by a *long* shot!!  There is perhaps an inch or more in all of the outward directions around the muzzle, under the eyes, back along the jaw.  The face on the one that didn't fit right on the neck was perfect but of course the neck was so fat (three inches too much) that I just couldn't get it to work. 

It seems like if I add clay to fill in the face the mount is going to weigh a ton. 

Any thoughts on what I'm doing wrong? 
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rasorbackq
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Location: Just outside Halifax Nova Scotia Canada
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« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2012, 06:15:28 AM »

I just posted a similiar post . Glad to see its not just me  Its very frustarting to get the cape to fit with all the filing and cutting sanding .

 In your case cut the head off the first and attach to the second neck that fits.
 
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phoenix-cry
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« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2012, 10:05:46 AM »

I actually was thinking of swaping the heads, I was just worried the connection between the head and neck would look weird.  Deer are a LOT more difficult than predators. 
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George Roof
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« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2012, 10:20:08 AM »

Was your E-N measurement correct?  Was the Atlas measurement correct.  If both of these are "yes", then the hide has likely been overstretched around the muzzle (which is common and happens during fleshing. Remember, whitetails take whole apples and ears of corn in their mouths.  That skin STRETCHES.)  You simply fit the hide and align your anatomical markers (i.e., nose, nares, back corner of the mouth, eyes) and then, using a good hide paste, simply "pack" your hide down to constrict it to fit the form.

You said "one inch".  That's a lot.  If the head IS too narrow, then you cut the head off the form.  Best bet is to alter in instead of changing it out since usually you'll have larger E-N's to deal with then.  With the head removed, split it vertically.  cut a wedge of foam to lengthe with the rear being 1/2 inch thick (there's your inch back).  Insert the wedge, pin the form together and test fit it.  You can make thinner or thicker wedges so that you feel good about the fit.  When you get it like you want it, screw the halves together and foam it. The screws will keep the foam from spreading farther.  Remove the screws and shape the addition to fit.  Reinstall it on the form and, again, shape it to fit the neck.

This is NOT a usual case however.  If your measurments are correct, you must depend on the form with those measurements MOST TIMES.  Cutting and shortening/extending can make you animal look misshapen or even grotesquely distorted.  Make SURE you're correct before just starting to alter any form.
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TX Pat
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Location: 20 miles from MP
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« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2012, 10:32:29 AM »

In adding to what George said, next time you have a deer to skin, take your hand and see how you can roll the skin around, see how loose it is, especially the face, and around the ears.  Its all about Taxi, Taxi, Taxi, Taxi, the skin when mounting. Thats why we are called Taxidermists and not Critter Stuffers.
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phoenix-cry
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« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2012, 11:36:45 AM »

Unfortunatly I did not take the original measurements.  I purchased the deer already tanned as a 'practice' cape.  I will try that splitting, that sounds like it should work well!

Also I think perhaps the cape was a little dried out because there was no way that the hide paste would be able to keep the hide down, when it was on the form it was 'trying to hold it's shape'.  I have it soaking in salt water.

Thanks all!
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HAPP Mark S.
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Location: Indiana
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« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2012, 12:11:23 PM »

Unfortunatly I did not take the original measurements.  I purchased the deer already tanned as a 'practice' cape.  I will try that splitting, that sounds like it should work well!

Also I think perhaps the cape was a little dried out because there was no way that the hide paste would be able to keep the hide down, when it was on the form it was 'trying to hold it's shape'.  I have it soaking in salt water.

Thanks all!

If it is already tanned....why are you soaking it in salt water?
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phoenix-cry
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« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2012, 01:03:11 PM »

I'm soaking it in salt water to try and rehydrate it, someone told me that when a wet tan gets dried out or stiff to give it a salt water soak.  Was this bad information?
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George Roof
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« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2012, 01:45:06 PM »

Yes and no.  For every gallon of water, you should have a SMALL bit of salt (i.e, handful) added to prevent "acid swell", but not "salt water.  If you want to rehydrate a hide, use WARM water and a capfull of Downey (or any other surf actant that will make the water "wetter") along with the salt.  Let it set for an hour in the water and then take it out and allow it to drip dry.  When the water stops dripping, put it in a plastic bag, tie it shut and set it in the fridge overnight.  If you don't have room, just set it in the corner of the shop.  The next day, the hide should be stretched to include pulling it over a dull dowel end.    Most professionally tanned hides will need some carding to insure the hide stays in contact with the form.
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If the truth offends you, then by all means, avoid it.
phoenix-cry
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« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2012, 02:27:35 PM »

That's about how much salt I used. I have no real shop im just a hobby gal.
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phoenix-cry
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« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2012, 05:28:15 AM »

The salt bath did wonders the hide is very supple now. Going to do the split suggestion and try again
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George Roof
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Location: Magnolia, Delaware
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The older I get, the better I was.

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« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2012, 08:06:01 AM »

Before you do any cutting, you should stretch that hide and remeasure it. I'd bet you need a new form and not just a wider head.
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If the truth offends you, then by all means, avoid it.
phoenix-cry
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« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2012, 09:07:20 AM »

Good point. Luckily I have three sizes around
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