I finally got brave and tried going with a sewless seam on my deer mounts. I mix up my two part epoxy and smear it down the back of the deer ( short y incision ) going about 3 inches at a time. Then I carefully pull the hide together and tack it on both sides of the seam, working my way up to the antler bases. I do make sure that I have plenty of cape to begin with, so I'm not pulling like crazy to get the cut together. Works great and saves me about and hour and a half worth of sewing, plus you can't even tell there is a seam back there. Definitely worth a try!
Return to Deer Taxidermy Category Menu
There's this nasty little thing about biology. Animal tissue tends to disintegrate as it ages. That's why old mounts have to be "freshened". Steve Steinbring and I have spent countless hours with this idea and every time it comes back to that one inevitable. The skin, in order to hold would have to be shaved almost to the roots and be less than wallet leather thickness. Otherwise, the top edge of the hide will dry and the lower edge will be locked stationary. That means a gap will form. Superglue won't cut it, either as cyanoacrylate has a nastier tendency of crystalizing eventually. I hate sewing as much as anybody and I've hated it for over 40 years, but as of yet, I don't see any equitable substitute. My customers pay a premium price for work that I guarantee. I'm not about to experiment on that trust.
two years ago on a couple mounts for myself. used a two part epoxie like you did Bobbi. nothing has happened yet, i can't see a lot of difference between tacking down the hide or sewing. with the epoxies used, not much is going to move. having said that, i'm still going to sew the mounts i do for someone else. i could see the top part of the hide moving like George said if nothing were used to help keep it in place. i spaced my nails about 1/2 inch apart.
under the seam that some of it actually oozed up between the seam, then I tacked it with nails spaced between 1/4 and 1/2 inch and cleaned up the excess with acetone. Then the next day and the following day I took my hammer and tapped all the way down the seam to assure that it was down good. Luckily on the capes that I had, the forms fit nicely so there wasn't a big gap between the seams. I told the customer what I had done and to let me know if there was any problems with it down the road and I would fix it. That is the one thing that I always do with all my customers. If I have any problems I let them know up front what it was and that they can always bring them back if it shows up later and I will correct it.
Glue, sew and hide nail that seem..and tap it down during drying..
I'd be interested on knowing how it holds around the antler bases..my guess would be not good..
...and business wise...not good to tell a customer that you "tried" something new and experimental on their deer...
I may be wrong...but...seems to me that you're creaing doubt in the mind of your customers as to the realiability and quality of your workmanship...like "you're 'Experimenting' with my valuable Deer Head?...and I should let you know if you did it right, or if it starts falling apart?"
Just a serious thought to ponder.
Follow the modern Breakthrough way that traditional Taxidermists have used throughout time of discovering what knowingly works right.
'Take it from George'...he KNOWS of what he speaks...the rest is just my two-cents added on...based on how I'd feel personally if a Taxidermist said that to me when I went to pick up my Deer Head. I'd remember and have doubt and possible regret every time I looked at my Prized deer Head...whatchathink?
them to have problems with the deer I mount. As George pointed out, it's more a case of whether they would need to be "freshened", cleaned etc. I guess time will tell as far as what happens to the seam. The deer I used that method on was a friend of mine, so he knows he can bring it back anytime and I won't have a problem with it.
Too bad they haven't come up with a handy stitcher like they advertise on tv for using on mounts! One of these days they will come up with a better method.
I don't mean to ruffle feathers, but the industry wouldn't have come as far as it has if everyone was afraid to try new methods or chemicals.
Of course, you're right about new innovations in Taxidermy pushing our Profession ahead for betterment of all.
One technique which many Taxidermists have used is Stapling with a Staple Gun. Not the desk type for stapling papers...
manufactured by Arrow company.
Some Taxidermists also use it for stapling Fish skins in place on the backside.
That's probably the closest you'll come to the TV stitcher you mentioned.
Bobbi, we all agree with you that taxidermists shouldnt be afraid to try new things. what we are trying to get through is...we HAVE tried this already! With results less than acceptable. By the time we add epoxy, nail it, hammer it, clean it, etc, its easier to just squeeze hide paste in there and sew it up! Three inch short incisions take about 15 minutes. Im not saying dont do it, Im saying we hear ya, and heres OUR results. Best of luck to you.
speed up your sewing by using 1.- a large S curve needle 2.- a producket like fire line. You can FLY through that short seam