Repairing drying cracks in fish mounts

Submitted by J. Tucker on 6/4/01. ( )

My boss has a dolphin mount that has developed some drying cracks and some damage on the fins. Is there a way to repair these cracks, a sixteenth of an in wide and two inches long, and the fins without having to repaint the entire fish? Also, what product(s) would provide the best results? Please advise on the techniques and products used for this procedure.

J. Tucker

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This response submitted by George on 6/4/01. ( )

Let me see how many fires I can light with this response. Your fish is on a one way trip to the dumpster. The fish was probably mounted in Mexico or South America where skilled craftsmen still try to mount salt water fish using real fish parts and skin. It cannot be done where it will last. Any cracks you fill now are likely to reappear someplace else. If the body was cast in plaster, like many, the plaster ages and cracks constantly. If the real fins were used, oils within the skin will deteriorate the paint and stain the plaster. His best bet is to take measurements of the fish right now and order a quality American made replacement reproduction.

Now, on the odd chance it IS a good reproduction, any cracks would have been caused by carelessnesss. These can be repaired with the epoxy putties and pastes on the market, but the liklihood that it wouldn't need repainting is minimal.

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