I had a very odd cape yesterday. Actualy it's one from last year. To start with it was measured fresh. 7 X 20 X 18 1/2 and the same after he was tanned using Whitetail Designer Systems. I went to install the earliners on him and the skin was nice and tight but had a lot of stretch to it. (sorry I don't know how else to describe it. The ear skin could be stretched to fit the earliner but would come back to shape well. Like elastic) After I had them instaled I had to leave the shop for a few hours, So I crammed the ears full of paper towels and covered the cape with plastic and went about my merry ways. When I came back and started to test fit the cape to the form. I noticed the form was way too small. I mean way to small. I pulled it and tried the next larger size form. It still had quite a bit of extra skin. I ended up mounting him on that form but had a lot of extra skin in the head. I was able to move it around and make it look good.
I have had capes that seem to "grow" in the neck before but never the whole thing. Any ideas why this happend?
Like I said, it was tanned using WTDS. I have tanned many capes using this method and NEVER had any thing like this happen before. Not complaining about it. Just think it's odd.
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did you check the archives before asking that question? Shame on you.
It's too bad your Uncle George isn't here, nah, let him keep using his bloomin' inner tube. (I'm sure he'll be reading this from his sister's place).
To much stretch?
I was thinking that post was more about the necks than any thing. I too have had the necks grow after tanning. But this was the WHOLE cape. And I have tanned capes before with WTDS. Yes it's nice to get a little extra stretch, or just flat out have a larger skin. But this was a LOT! I mean the skin was saging on the jaw and in front of the ears. Joe
I had three capes all tanned in the same batch. I will be getting to the rest in a few days. I am very interisted to see how the others will come out. The deer I did yesterday was NOT a post rut deer. I should also note; these are the first deer I did with out salting before the pickle. But rather did a "pre-pickle" before the normal tanning steps.
Like I said, I am not complaining. But the form could very well have been a 7 1/2 or maybe even a 7 5/8. Just to take up all that extra skin.
What does worry me. The elastic like nature of the skin. It almost felt like an acid swell cape without the sponge feel. Oh well.
You kids have fun!
I am done with the second one. It too had so much stretch that I had to go up a size on the form. Joe
it sounds like you can throw away your "Inner Tubes R Us" catalog.
And, Joe, all ya really got to do is taxi the skin and hair patterns into position. The "memory" of the collagen fibers (which will be still intact) will take the skin back to shape as fluids are evaporated off. Kinda like pulling up the skin on the back of your dog's neck, unless Ol' Rover is dehydrated, it goes right back into place. Back in the old days, like way back when, the term "elastin" was used as a collective to describe this property of skin.
Long haired deer and furred animals don't go running around with their hair all slicked down like a short haired dog. The hair has a loft to it, that's part of the insulation against the elements. It's also part of the visual effect that you will get from looking at the animal.
If you pull the skin too tight, you can cause the hair to lay down towards the skin when the mount dries. That could be compared to not plumbing your fence post, and tamping it in at whatever position you have it set in at. The hair shaft follows the same direction as the hair follicle, just like the section of the fence post that is underground.
If you start grooming hair with comb and brush in a motion as you mount, I think you will be surpised at how much "softer" your mounts look. And that will be quite noticeable. Same amount of work, but just a better looking end product.
Remember too, the hair follicles don't go any deeper than what was the actual cellular layer of the skin. The cellular layer also must have a degree of elasticity in order to "follow" over the fiber structure. Needless to say, it is quite possible to physically break these bonds, but if everything is groomed and moved back into place as you go, you would never know the difference if you did actually cause breaks in the skin.
I imagine a number of you have already seen the photos that are on the web addresses below. But I think if you were to go back and look again with a critical eye at the hair loft and it's effect, grooming and too large of a form can take on a different perspectivc in your thinking.
In order to do this one seamless, I had to gain 5" in circumference to make the neck fit over the head. I just went by measurements off the deer. You can see that there is a softness, or fullness to the hair coat at a glance. One of the "problems" with winter haired deer is that the hair on the head and face also has a loft to it, and I do "slick" that out to a pretty good degree. The truth of the matter on that one is that I do that for customer acceptance.
The first two deer photos on thie page are of the dead head. The one right below those two is of the finished head. Check out the loft of hair of each and compare.
If you scroll on down the page, you will see the finished mount. You will see the softness right away. This one was a real shaggy boy. His natural lay of hair was more vertical than normal, and I really started grooming him out to look like he did as a live animal, and even started to let him dry with the hair in it's natural position, but chickened out over that customer acceptance thing., and wound up splitting the difference in hair lay.
Here again, even in a little bitty picture, you can immediately see the effect on softness of the hair coat at a glance. That again has a drastic effect on that overall look.
Here's some badger, beaver, squirrel mount photos that were done by a couple of the other guys. You can readily see the difference in the hair.
Another winter hair whitetail. I remember the guy wanting me to make the neck as big as I could. I also remember telling him if he wanted a bigger neck he was just going to have to shoot a bigger deer. Once I had tanned this one, I could have easily put it on a form that had a five inch greater circumference. He got back size wise what he brought in.
Check this wolf out by Dan Jennings and you can see how he has all the hair patterns groomed into place and has displayed the loft properly.