Could someone advise on anything forgotten? I've been searching the archives and I think I might have this under control but if I'm missing something please advise. I've been asked to do a bobcat rug by my son-in-laws grandpa. I explained to grampa that I've never done a rug before nor a bobcat for that matter but he said he would like me to try it out and that he would cover the cost of materials plus a little extra for my time. I plan to purchase a McKenzie rug shell head with the cast lip/ nose system, (aggressive pose - open mouth,) Bobcat eyes with round pupil, a set of ear liners (aggressive position) and I'll purchase felt at the local fabric store. The steps I plan to take to proceed with this endeavor is to flat skin the cat, turn the ears, split the eyes and lips, skin out the feet by splitting the pads up the middle and skinning to the claws. I'll flesh as much as possible with a knife and scalpel and wash, rinse and tan with Krowtann 2000. Now, I've never soft tanned anything before this point in my few years of beginners taxidermy so I plan to hang the cat to drip for two hours as the directions for the Krowtann state and then proceed to use Krow oil and leave on overnight. (I need to buy the oil so I'm assuming it's over night but I'll check the directions) Ah, I just stumped myself here. Do I only Krow-oil the part that won't be glued to the rug shell form and let the rest dry only to re-hydrate later? I read on here that an oiled skin won't adhere to the form. Then I would proceed to break the hide on a rounded off board till soft and pliable. Also I forget to state that I would cut off all the pads of the feet (foot and toe pads) so that the feet would lay flat with just the claws attached. Then when ready to mount the head and upper neck, I would re-hydrate the head (What would be the best way to do that? Soak in salt water? Wet towel and plastic bag?) and proceed to mount as best as my ability and reference would allow. After the head is completely dry and finishing work is done on the eyes and ears I would trim the outer edges of the cat to make it uniform in size all the way around, I would turn the skin under about a quarter inch and staple it to the under side edge of the form then continue with the turned edge of the skin and affix it to a piece of felt cut to just a size larger than the skin leaving about an inch of felt showing all the way around. I would then cut another piece of felt in a contrasting color another couple of inches larger than the first and sew that all the way around finishing it off by gluing the layered pieces laying directly under the head to the form. Do you place any batting between the layers of felt? Would my household sewing machine be able to handle this type of rug work if I use a leather needle in it? I'm not sure how thick skinned a bobcat is. Would I need to hand stitch it. Another thought, do I need to stretch and tack the skin to a board during any part of the oiling process prior to breaking the hide? I hope I've explained my plans so you can understand them. Any pointers, tips or tricks would be most appreciated. I read in the archives that the Rinehart Bear Rug video would be beneficial and would also apply to a Bobcat rug. Any other videos recommended? I do plan to buy a video but I am trying to see if I might have a handle on this before I let Grampa know whether I'll attempt this. He's anxious for a call back. Thanks for all help in advance and I'll be watching this site for replies or you can e-mail directly. Please, if you e-mail directly put "Bobcat Rug" in the subject line of your email so I won't accidentally delete it.
Again, thanks for all the help this site provides.
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...1- home tanned skins do not make good rugs. You should really have the skin professionally tanned. you will never be able to get that bobcat soft , it will be crinkly to the touch , like a rolled up piece of paper.
2- Do not remove the toe pads...just large pad only.
3- If you plan on sewing it, you will need a heavier duty sewing machine, a regular fabric sewing machine won't do the job.
4- Batting does give the rug a nicer loft.
5- You will need to tack the skin out flat to make a rug.
My advise would be to have it professionally tanned and get a good video or read Roger Martin and my article on mounting and rugging a mountain lion from start to finish in Taxidermy Today. We did the article a few years ago.I have also written a two part article for Breakthrough Magazine on rugging , issue 77 and 78 I believe.
Do not work for free, or just a little over your cost prices. This will be quite an endeavor for you and, I am assuming, not so rewarding if you don't get paid for your hard work.
wont be as soft as garmetn tan but perfectly adequyate for a rug - krowtann - oil and hand break - it will be fine
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