I am getting ready to start this project and wanted to know what would be the best place to make cut for skinning out the fish. Both fish are going on the same base one above the other. How would you attach these to the base? Are their any good tapes on this subject.
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Although, one would think a belly cut for both would be best as this would be the most hidden. But, I personally have trouble with belly cuts because of the curve of the belly. Sometimes I'll even do a "backside" incision because I have the most experience with it. With any cut you've obviously got to finish the seam. I think a dorsal cut is the easiest to hide of the three options. Just my opinion.
As far as attachment goes, check the archives. A lot depends on the size and weight of each fish. There should be plenty of info on this subject in the archives (Both subjects actually)...
I prefer a belly cut as you won't be looking down on the belly cut as you would a dorsal cut. And i find belly seams very easy to hide.
If Marty can make his dorsal cut disappear more power to him.
Attaching to a base can be wooden dowels, wires, or dry wall screws. It's your choice and depends on the situation. For pedestal mounts I prefer wooden dowels and five minute epoxy.
...As I said the logical place in the above situation is a belly cut. The best cut should be where it's most hidden. But I personally have trouble with hiding belly incisions...
I know why the dorsal cut is easier for me to hide. With a dorsal cut (depending on the specie), you can do it along the base of the spiny dorsal and the soft dorsal. The cut is really easy to hide here because you've already got a "line" that your eyes see at the base of these fins. And the scales end. So in effect, you can get by without a "perfect" rebuild here because the eye is already use to seeing a line here. Then you really only have to finish the area (scales) in front and behind these fins. So I think it's less work because I don't have as many scales to rebuild. Even though it may not be the best location from a visual perspective, I think the work involved with finishing it is less and it's wasier to hide. With a belly cut or backside cut, you have more scales (all scales) to rebuild. I have less than half the number of scales to rebuild with a dorsal cut...
I like the belly cut on many fish like Cecil. I might add that on most fish I carve a V-shape to tuck the skin into and pin it with straight pins. I have used a partial dorsal cut(head to dorsal fin) on high backed brookies with good success. Not much texturing there to do on these fish. Tube skinning is the way to go if you have the right fish. Good Luck.
I dorsal cut all pedastal fish-for me they are much easier to hide. You never need to go beyond the rear of the dorsal fin. But the best incision is the one that is easiest for YOU to fix. I also prefer to attach them with threaded rod. I generally grind a flat side to avoid spinning and either apoxie or bondo them in.
I decided to try the dorsal cut after having problems with a belly cut because both Gary and Frank recommended it. Can't argue with their results.
Also, I never even thought of something as simple as grinding a flat side on the attachment rod - thanks Gary!