I am new to taxidermy and I am currently working on a deer cape. I watched McKenzies video on tanning where Phil Helms shaves a deer cape with a knife. I am attempting the same thing on a mature buck. The hide is quite thick and so far I think I've done a good job. I have a little more to shave before I tan it. The areas that are complete have a blue shade of color to them. I know this method isn't as good as a fleshing machine but what kind of effect will any small ridges in the skin from the knife strokes have on shrinkage after the cape is mounted? The measurements are 7 1/2 from eye to nose, 19 behind the ears, 21 a little lower and 23 1/2 3 more inches down. Should I go with a little smaller form to account for more shrinkage or unexpected shrinkage since I fleshed by hand? How much will brads help to keep the hide in place while drying? I will be tanning with LiquaTan and I want to use a McKenzie semi-upright mannikin. Your help is appreciated.
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Blue is Blue. it doesn't matter how you got there, the end result should be the same.
also---(brads=rust) I don't recommend them for anything(except maybe paneling).
use a good adhesive to hold your skin in position(scroll down to the epo-grip discussions)
Use a coarse wire wheel. I use one and it works fine for me. If you have a bench gringer use it or you could chuck one in a drill. either works great.