Sunday morning questions(SMQ's) part 35
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Taxidermy.Net Forum  |  Taxidermy Discussion Categories  |  Fish Taxidermy  |  Topic: Sunday morning questions(SMQ's) part 35 « previous next »
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Author Topic: Sunday morning questions(SMQ's) part 35  (Read 7338 times)
John C
Platinum Member
Location: Between South Africa and America.
Posts: 16147

« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2006, 09:48:51 AM »

1. When it comes to smaller fish such as Yellow perch or Bluegills what in your opinion is the best way to mount fish such as these? Tell us how you handle fish with success!

I carve these from scrap foam, a penny saved is a dollar earned.

2. Lacquer or water colors which do you like to use and why? Do you find one brand better the other and tell us what makes the differences for you.

I prefer lacquers over water based, they dry quicker and I have better control over detail with lacquers.
I do sometimes use water based for hand detailing.

3. Do you leave the fins on the fish when skinning or do you remove them? If no do you remove the fins at all?

I leave the fins on regular mounts, sometimes I cast them, all depends on what I am doing with the fish.

4. How do you attach your fish to roots or rock wall bases? Tell us how or you do to make your fish look good on the wall.

On habitat bases I use two 6ga wires to help with High definition. If its on a planel ( hate fish on a board) I use drywall screws to secure the fish. I  also  install a 1/4 piece of plywood into the foam body, I use bondo and resin mix to secure

5. Head to the left or the right what do you think looks best and why. Do you give your customers an option for this?

Either way don't matter to me, I do give the customer a choice if the fish is good on bothsides.

6. When do you know it is time to go up on your prices?

Honestly Yearly, should be more often but you know how some clients can be. someday I hope to be in the position to raise the price at will or by fish. I find it a bit troubling when people say when cost go up, the reason is most are just talking and not doing on raising prices.

7. When it comes to mounting Stripers (Stripe Bass) is there any size you would skin mount or do you do all reproductions? If you do skin mount stripers up to how big would you try this before you think it may be a problem in the long run?

Size does not matter to me, once the fish is larger than 30 lbs, I make lots of reproduction parts.  I looked at a 61lb striper yesterday, I mounted this fish in 1985 an other than needing to be cleaned of dust and a new clear coat its just like the day I delivered it.

8. What do you use to reproduce teeth in fish mounts? Tell us what you use and how you do this process?

I use a velcro hooks in some mounts when I  reproduce the head, when the hooks are not long enough I will clean the teeth from the real head and bleach them with peroxide and install them. Epo Grip fish tooth and a very fine needle.

9. Are there any salt-water fish you can mount with any long-term success? What are they and what are some thins you need to know about them to make the longevity of the mount successful? I.e. special castings of the fins or head or special degreasing etc?

I do several anglefish, sea trout and a few redfish a year for my dive buddies. I skin mount them, cast the fins, I degrease for two hours in DAWN ( ifind it is still the best, then paint the  inside of the skin with H2O2 and allow this to set for about 10 minutes. This seems to stop tany grease bleed, Oh I also do this with stripers, fresh or saltwater.

Bonus Question
10. What should be the average turn around time on a fish for a customer? What do you tell them, what do you think should be fair and do you meet the delivery time? What is the percentage of fish you deliver on time 0 to100%?

 6 to 8  weeks, fish in the freezer cost money! The customers forget about the true size very quickly. When you have extended turn around times.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2006, 10:02:55 AM by John C » Logged

20% Share holder Advanced Marine Performance, LLC, Hydro hull design engineer Vexus Boats.
Silver Member
Location: Jefferson, Wi
Posts: 115

Montana Bull Trout Reproduction

WWW Email
« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2006, 12:06:35 PM »

1. Carve bodies and traditionally skin mount

2.Lacquer all the way

3.Fins are kept on unless badly broken or very oily, then they are cast

4. We avoid scenes whenever possible. Fish are attached to dwood with a screw on wood, and fish hung on this screw.

5.We try to keep the door open on rights and lefts. Both look fine to us

6. When the bill pile is higher than the finished invoice pile

7.We skin mount stripers up to 55" , and use an artificial head. NO problems after 28 years.

8. Epo Grip fish tooth with a pin

9.We try to go repro whenever possible, but sea trout , stripers, redfish, blackfish, and porgys can be done as skins with good results.

10. Retail 6 months, wholesale 3 to 4 ( ha ha) We usually get it close.

 Our best shot Krane!
« Last Edit: October 23, 2006, 08:34:18 PM by GregStehlingandSons » Logged

Ancient Mariner
New Member
Posts: 10

« Reply #17 on: October 25, 2006, 12:30:15 AM »

1.  Carved  bodies work for  me.

2.   I learned 20 yrs ago with watercolors and stick with what I know. I have tried a couple of laquer colors and they work fine but harder to clean up and the fumes are hazardous to your health not to mention fire hazard.. Water colors are easier to use for the beginner because mistakes can be easier to correct. I use mostly Llifetone and Polytranspar. Wildlife works me also.

3.  I leave the fins on.  I am not into artificial fins. Cant make them look as good as mother nature did.

4.  I epoxy a heavy gauge wire into to body and the base.

5.  I give the customer what they want, unless there is some obvious damage to one side of the fish.  Usually they want the "best side out" .

6.. It is time to go up on my prices when a customer comes in and says. I callled around and you were the cheapest. I do not want this kind of business. I want serious customers who are interested in quality  with the abiility to pay for it.
7.  Did an Ohio State record a few years ago. It was less than 30 inches (hybrid). No problems at this size keeping head on.

8.  I use a variety of materials. Like epo grip for trouts and salmons. Toothpicks for the larger teeth on Muskiies and Pike.

9.  I do not get any Saltwater fish in Ohio unless they are repros.

10.  Turnaround time is what it is. It does not matter how long you telll the customer it will be. But when they sign your contract, by God you better have it ready when you say or they will no longer be your customer.  I have not been in this business near as long as  some of you out there. I interview each and every customer. I always ask if they have ever had fish mounted before. Most say yes. I ask why they came to me and most say that they were unhappy about not getting their fish back when promised. You guys and gals out there that are doing them when you get to it and not on a schedule are making my day!!!!!!  I do about 40-50 fish and about 40-50 deer a year and my turnaround time is 6-8 weeks and up to 10 weeks and repros.  In 7 years of beiing in business, I have never been late.  If something unforseen would happen, I would call my customer before they called me and explain the delay and give them a revised ETA.
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