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Sunday morning questions(SMQ's) part 47

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by Rick Krane, Jan 14, 2007.

  1. Rick Krane

    Rick Krane Fish Taxidermist/ Judge/ Sculptor/ Instructor

    SMQ’s Week 47

    Good Sunday Morning! 5 weeks left and Think about all the great information we have shared in almost 1 year! I want to again thank all of you for helping making this string one of the first and the best of weekly periodicals of sharing and learning which has become a trademark of this section of the forum!

    This week I want to thank few more long time and generous contributor in Mark V and Paul B for their weekly sharing of their knowledge and Fish wisdom! Thanks you!

    I sure hope this week's contribution of fish food for thought shares some entertainment and knowledge for you.

    I thank you and WASCO for letting me share in my passion "FISH! As long as you keep answering the questions, I will keep writing them.

    So with out further ado! Lets Get the morning stared to a new week with some fish taxidermy talk! The good people at WASCO give us the free opportunity here to share information so we can be better-informed taxidermist! So in the spirit of WASCO generosity we share freely with each other!

    Answer what you can!

    1. In your taxidermy career have you eve3r has a customer tell you they were not happy with their fish? How did you handle this or how would you handle this situation?

    2. What do you tell a customer the proper height to hang a fish mount n is in your opinion?

    3. A customer never picks up their 5 LB Bass, which you contacted them and told them is finished. What do you do?

    4. How do you measure a fish when it comes in to your shop?

    5. What tools do you need to Skin and flesh a fish?

    6. What is your average turn around time on a fish?

    7. What month do you take in the most fish?

    8. How does one know how long to keep a fish in a solution or a fish pickle?

    9. Can being a Member of a State or a National organization help you in Taxidermy? How so?

    Bonus Question
    10. What is the difference between a Salmon, a Trout, and a Char?


    From beginners to the seasoned pro's every one contributes and all benefit from your great experiences!

    My Best and have fun with this!

    Rick Krane
    Anglers Artistry
    312 Chesterfield Rd
    Hinsdale, NH 03451
    603.336.7296
     
  2. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    1. In your taxidermy career have you eve3r has a customer tell you they were not happy with their fish? Yes ,only once in the begfining. How did you handle this or how would you handle this situation?
    It wasn't that hard for I had plenty of photos of the fish on hand with him agreeing that it was the photo of the fish but it looked smaller now than it was then.

    2. What do you tell a customer the proper height to hang a fish mount n is in your opinion?
    Eye level shows off the best.

    3. A customer never picks up their 5 LB Bass, which you contacted them and told them is finished. What do you do? Send out a certified letter in the mail and explain to them about the contract they signed. From there they have thirty day to pick it up and I give thirty days more with a dollar a day for storage, After that it's abandon property and becomes mine to sell.

    4. How do you measure a fish when it comes in to your shop? Laid down and a ruler is underneath it to get the proper measurement of legnth. I go from tip of tail to the tip of the mouth.

    5. What tools do you need to Skin and flesh a fish? Scissors, fish skinning knife, scalpel,shears and fleshing tool. Borax for spreading on the fish and for fleshing.

    6. What is your average turn around time on a fish? One year.

    7. What month do you take in the most fish? I don't have any to be honest.

    8. How does one know how long to keep a fish in a solution or a fish pickle? I follow the manufactures recommendation.

    9. Can being a Member of a State or a National organization help you in Taxidermy? Yes
    How so? Knowledge. You can find any member and go to them and ask questions about any thing you want. If that person does not have an answer, they will usually help you find that person. This goes for any question...

    Bonus Question
    10. What is the difference between a Salmon, a Trout, and a Char?

    For one the difference in the size of scales.
    The teeth in a char, the center row they only have one where as a trout or Salmom has two.
    It is also true now this is pure strain that char have vermiculation in the top of their body where as trout won't.
    Salmon are a bit more streamlined than trout
    The maxilla bone of a salmon does not go past the eye where as a trout does
    Usually there are fewer spots on a salmon than a trout
    forked tail in a salmon trout are more square.
     

  3. Monty Artrip

    Monty Artrip Active Member

    1,665
    0
    1. In your taxidermy career have you eve3r has a customer tell you they were not happy with their fish? How did you handle this or how would you handle this situation? Yes, a couple of times in the beggining. One was a coloration on a bass that the customer did not agree with and another from being inexperienced with blending an artificial head. In the first case I simply corrected the color to his liking(which I felt was way too green), and in the second case I ended up refunding the deposit. This was a customer which could not be satisfied and refused to allow me to correct the problem.

    2. What do you tell a customer the proper height to hang a fish mount n is in your opinion? Eye level and keep in mind most guys hang everything too high.

    3. A customer never picks up their 5 LB Bass, which you contacted them and told them is finished. What do you do? If no response in a reasonable time, I attempt to call them. (never leave a message with answering machine or another person, it is too easy to say they did not recieve it). After 30 days, I send a copy of contract through the mail. After that, it goes in the showroom or ebay for the balance.

    4. How do you measure a fish when it comes in to your shop? ruler or yardstick and make sure the customer notes length.

    5. What tools do you need to Skin and flesh a fish? Scraper, cheek tool, shears, skinning knife, spoons(baby), borax, and a radio.

    6. What is your average turn around time on a fish?6 mos

    7. What month do you take in the most fish? It is different year to year, sometimes at unexpected times (late fall)
    8. How does one know how long to keep a fish in a solution or a fish pickle? ehis can differ from fish to fish, but I normally mount between 12-24hrs.

    9. Can being a Member of a State or a National organization help you in Taxidermy? How so? Sure can, it gives you an opportunity to meet with people who have like interest. Invaluable learning tool from competing and seminars as well as fellow competitors.

    Bonus Question
    10. What is the difference between a Salmon, a Trout, and a Char? Same as Frank's answers except I might add spots on char light on dark background and trout dark on light background.

    From
     
  4. Monty Artrip

    Monty Artrip Active Member

    1,665
    0
    PS- Hi Rick!!!!!!!!!
     
  5. Chad See

    Chad See Certified "Fish Head"

    Hey Rick! Thanks for taking the time to put out another great round of questions! Take care!


    1. In your taxidermy career have you ever has a customer tell you they were not happy with their fish? How did you handle this or how would you handle this situation?

    1. Honestly, I have never had a customer that was not satisfied. If that ever happens, I would like to think that I took enough measurements and pictures of the fish before hand to cover myself and the way the fish looks in the end. I try to save all my patterns and photos until the customer picks up the fish, that way I feel I am covering my bases should they disagree on the end product.

    2. What do you tell a customer the proper height to hang a fish mount n is in your opinion?

    2. I always feel that fish are best viewed from eye level. Too low and you are looking at the fishes back, too high and you are looking at the belly.

    3. A customer never picks up their 5 LB Bass, which you contacted them and told them is finished. What do you do?

    3. My contact states that a customer has 60 days to pick up a mount once contacted my me to tell them it is ready. After 30 days from the first contact, they will be sent a certified letter so I can be sure they get it and it will tell them that they have 30 more days to pay off and pick up the mount or it becomes property of my shop and reserve the right to sell it to redeem any costs.

    4. How do you measure a fish when it comes in to your shop?

    4. Lay the fish on a flat surface and measure from tip of the nose to the tip of the tail. I like the yard stick to be under the fish as I feel it gives a more accurate measurement. I like to do this with the customer present, but we all know that sometimes that isn't possible as fish often come in frozen. When I thaw the fish and measure it, I make sure to take pics of the fish on the rule so that you can see the whole fish and still read the numbers on the yard stick. I feel this is a good way to show the customer just how you measured the fish and how long it was.

    5. What tools do you need to Skin and flesh a fish?

    5. I use a fish skinning knife, a good pair of serrated fish shears, a curved knife and of course some borax. Have to agree with Monty, a radio is a must as well.

    6. What is your average turn around time on a fish?

    6. Being a full service shop, my turn around is a bit longer than others, but I get most back within 6 months.

    7. What month do you take in the most fish?

    7. It would be a close call between March and April, but it varies a lot. Mostly it depends on when our local hatchery decides to dump the big boys in. ::)

    8. How does one know how long to keep a fish in a solution or a fish pickle?

    8. Usually overnight at least.

    9. Can being a Member of a State or a National organization help you in Taxidermy? How so?

    9. Absolutely! First off, they can try to get you to join which will be one of the best things you can do to better yourself. Also, they can pass along any info that they may have learned from attending seminars and from being judged. Being a member can do nothing but make you a better taxidermist if you go into it with an open mind willing to learn!

    Bonus Question
    10. What is the difference between a Salmon, a Trout, and a Char?

    10. Hard to add anthing to this that hasn't already been said.
     
  6. Pescado

    Pescado Biggest in 2011

    1. In your taxidermy career have you ever has a customer tell you they were not happy with their fish? How did you handle this or how would you handle this situation?

    Yes, last year. I did a very large pike for a guy. When he picked it up he acted like he liked it,but I could tell something wasn't just right. I told him if anything was wrong don't hesitate to call me. He left and two days later the phone rang. Guess who. He brought the fish back and told me what he thought was wrong, which was the markings coming down the side between the pec & pelvic fins. He said they didn't come down far enough. I showed him the back side, which showed how far they came down with no paint, which is how it came out of the water. I told him that I could paint in some markings and bring them down as low as he wanted. He left the fish and when he came back a couple weeks later his grin was ear to ear.

    2. What do you tell a customer the proper height to hang a fish mount n is in your opinion?

    I leave that up to them , but I have them at about seven foot level when they pick them up and let them know that's a nice level to view them.

    3. A customer never picks up their 5 LB Bass, which you contacted them and told them is finished. What do you do?

    In twenty plus years I have only been stuck with three fish. A brown , which I sold on ebay, a tiger musky, which has been hanging at Gander Mountain since 1995. And a salmon , which I sold to another customer. Not a bad track record, especially since I normally do not take a deposit

    4. How do you measure a fish when it comes in to your shop?

    I measure the finished product, that's what I am getting paid for.

    5. What tools do you need to Skin and flesh a fish?

    A very sharp Knife, sharp snips, large and small (with curved blades), a good fish skinning knife, a good cheek tool ( for the cheek and fin buts and tail). See photo


    6. What is your average turn around time on a fish?

    18 months to 24 months

    7. What month do you take in the most fish?

    June & July seem to be about the best.

    8. How does one know how long to keep a fish in a solution or a fish pickle?

    I suggest a 24 hour soak, but have left them in for several years. I notice too long in the solution I use and I will sometimes get a residue from the salt or something.This never happens in 24 hours of soaking.

    9. Can being a Member of a State or a National organization help you in Taxidermy? How so?

    Absolutely, my state organization, of which I have been a member since 1988, has been the best learning tool I have had.

    Bonus Question
    10. What is the difference between a Salmon, a Trout, and a Char?

    From a taxidermist point of view, nothing, they all fall into the $15.00 - $18.00 per inch range, unless of coarse they want a two sided mount with two eyes, then it's X2.
     
  7. montana art

    montana art New Member

    407
    1
    N.C.
    Hi Rick!
    1. Some customers might not agree with paint marking at first thinking theirs would be bright vivid colors like western bass or clear water. but most are from farm ponds made up of acidic rotting pine straw leaves logs makes bass a black dark color with light markings showing thru. But still none have complained after a picture of their fish was shown to them before I mounted it. And compared later.

    2. Mount fish at eye level.

    3. Contact real person after two weeks contact again Monday Send certified letter 30 days sale . P.S. I charge two dollars a day after two weeks in contract.

    4.Closed mouth small thin tape laid on top of fish measured from tip to base of tail unless large saltwaterfish then to tip of tail.

    5.Basicly same as every one else except cutical sissors for tail of small fish


    6.4 months to 8 if striper because of oily head if too large for artificial one

    7. March bedding time

    8. I soak mine in coelman fuel for thirty mins. then rinse and borax or dry presv.

    9. Have not entered yet but competetion shows areas that need improving


    10. Leave this one to pros have not recieved any yet not enough research for this one !



    Thanks agin for your time Rick and all who reply to give us answers on this site.
     
  8. possom hawk

    possom hawk Luv the smell of black powder in the morning

    1.Can not say I have as of yet. Like the others stated after talking with the customer and showing photos everything seems to work out.

    2. I tell the customer to hang it at eye level when ever possable. This will show off the characteristics of the fish.

    3.I send out a copy of the workorder with the paragraph highlighted showing the 30 day limit. After 60 days the mount is put up for sale or kept in the studio for display.

    4. Like the others the ruler has it.

    5.The list seems to be the same all over, definitely the radio or favorate CD.

    6. I just started doing this full time and I am trying to stay within a year.

    7.I can span from March through September

    8.Never less than 24 hours

    9. You know this is a good question to ask. My opinion is it depends on your State's organization and how it is supported by the taxidermists in that state. I will agree that being a member of an organization has many benefits too numerous to mention. But it seems that in some cases an organization is made up of the same folks and hardly ever expand and end up loosing more than gaining.
    I will always tell anyone that asks that they should join an Organization of their choice be it State or National. It is for their own benefit.
    10.
    This question I will have to pass on.

    Rick, thanks again for time and efforts in putting this together. This is the best thing I found going!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  9. UFD

    UFD New Member

    1. I’ve never had anyone tell me that they think the fish that I did for them was totally in all regards as "f’d up as a football bat", but in the near twenty year span of doing this full-time I have had some folks who could be classified as very nitpicky (and justifiably so for what they are paying), whether it was a shade or hue of color or a fin position. I haven’t always handled it completely gracefully, but nowadays I just roll with it and see if I can work with them to alleviate their concern without getting either of our blood pressure up into the critical levels.

    2. I like the eye level fish positioning also as it seems everyone else does, but I try to make a point to ask my client if they have an idea of how and where they will hang their fish so that I can work with them to display it in the best possible manner for the location. Many times they will tell me that they had planned on hanging it on a higher wall (a big possibility with a larger fish), and in that case I will put the attachment of the fish to the base or to the hanger with an angled shim so that when they hang it up higher the fish will be tipped down (so that the side of the fish is more visible from eye level). The neat thing about doing it this way is that if they at some point decide to hang it at eye level, they can simply unbolt the fish and remove the shim.

    3. I can count the number of times I have truly been stuck with a finished fish over a twenty-year period on less than a hand. I handle it roughly the same way everyone else does, but I don’t get my shorts in a wad too much because they have surely had to wait for me as well and I’m not always on time with my backlog. There have been a few unusual situations here and there that aren’t worth the words to tell. Anymore with my deposit and payment requirements the situation of actually being stuck with a finished fish simply doesn’t occur.

    4. I measure the fish from the tip of the lower jaw to the center fork of the tail over the body, which appears to be different from most here. I do have a reason of why I do it this way, which is because that is how the mount will most likely be measured when it is finished. I shy away from measuring to the tip of the tail especially if it is relaxed because once the tail is spread the fish will appear to have lost some length because as the tips of the tail spread out they move forward and more in-line with the center fork of the tail. For example, on a Steelhead or Salmon that might measure 40” to the tips of the relaxed tail and 38 ½” or 38 ¾” to the fork, once the tail is spread the length at the fork will still be 38 ½” or 38 ¾”, but it will also now be that at the tips. I make a point in asking the catch-and-release guys if they measured to the tips with a relaxed/scrunched tail when they want a repro and explain the difference in length – meaning that (based on our same example fish) if I give them a 40” replica based on fork length (which is the only way I can prove a length measurement now that the tail is spread on the cast fish), they are actually getting a fish about 41-41.5 inches based upon how they might have measured it. I don’t think there is any correct way of measuring a fish and everyone is justified in having their own way, but a person does have to know the possible changes in length that can occur if one measures to the tips of a relaxed tail versus a spread tail. Another thing a person might have to be aware of when dealing with catch-and-release salmon is whether to measure to the tip of the upper jaw or lower jaw and if the mouth was closed or open when measured, because there can be some differences in length there too with spawning kypes.

    5. I use pretty much the same tools as everyone else. For skinning I have a sharp scalpel, fish skinning knife, a cheek type tool (mostly for separating skin at fin bases) and grape shears. For fleshing I substitute the grape shears for a small pair of sidecutters, the fish skinning knife for an oval fish scraper, and the cheek tool for a small pair of scissors, but I still use the scalpel with replaceable blades. I have been using the Paul Borkowski (Pescado) designed fish skinning knife and cheek tool and they are perfect tools for the job. (So you need to contact him and buy them from him! ;) )

    6. My average turn-around time on fish has historically been about 2 years, rarely less and at times closer to 3 years (and sometimes longer). Mock me if you will, but it is what it is. I’m getting older (of course), so I plan on doing a number of things to get a better grip on the backlog so that I can control it rather than it controlling me.

    7. February/March are the big Steelhead months and July/August are the big King months, but I take in oddities and stragglers throughout the year.

    8. I will keep fish in a solution for just as long as it takes for the process to do what I want it to do, and that depends upon the actual make-up of the solution. Some solutions I am comfortable keeping the fish skin in for short-term storage (such as alcohol), and others (detergents, petroleum degreasers, etc.) I try to soak no longer than necessary, which can be from a few hours to overnight depending upon the size and thickness of the skin.

    9. Being a member of a State or National organization can help you in your taxidermy pursuits, but I shy away from them because I am afraid of help. LOL!

    10. Paul’s got a great answer :D , and everyone else did excellent keying in on some similarities and differences. Nice easy one, Rick - guys have written books on this topic! ;D
     
  10. dougp

    dougp Active Member

    UF D....unc, you are my kinda guy!! Loved your answers!! I give all you who answer Rick's questions a lot of credit. I haven't had the n*ts to do it yet. Would take me FOREVER! It would be full of... except when's , but's and then again's!! My hat is off to those who accept the Krane challenge every week!

    BTW....what the heck is a "football bat"?
     
  11. UFD

    UFD New Member

    Doug, I'm glad you liked the answers. :) If you get the time, I know I for one would look forward to reading your take on the questions. You could start out all of your answers with "Wellllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll", just to let everyone know that the answer you give that day may not be your answer for every situation every time. ;) Your LM Bass paint schedule this week on the fish pic post was a superb one, by the way.

    I don't know what a football bat is either, but if a guy tried to imagine what it would be............it would probably end up being something pretty f'd up. :eek: LOL!
     
  12. Mark V.

    Mark V. Chinook Salmon replica

    1. In your taxidermy career have you eve3r has a customer tell you they were not happy with their fish? How did you handle this or how would you handle this situation? Yes Try and fix it to the customers liking

    2. What do you tell a customer the proper height to hang a fish mount n is in your opinion? Its their own personal choice and honestly have never been asked.

    3. A customer never picks up their 5 LB Bass, which you contacted them and told them is finished. What do you do?
    Registered letter stating their obligation to pick it up and sell it after 30 days. No refunds on deposits.

    4. How do you measure a fish when it comes in to your shop? Tip of jaw follow the belly to tip of tail on finished fish mounts.

    5. What tools do you need to Skin and flesh a fish? Tape measure,calipers,skinning knife,scrapers,cheek tool, (I use ones from Paul Borkowski) and a few others but these are the basics to skin any fish.

    6. What is your average turn around time on a fish? Under a year

    7. What month do you take in the most fish? Hard to tell but maybe July or August Sometimes its weird and September is good also.

    8. How does one know how long to keep a fish in a solution or a fish pickle? Follow instructions or trial and error.

    9. Can being a Member of a State or a National organization help you in Taxidermy? How so? Not sure

    Bonus Question
    10. What is the difference between a Salmon, a Trout, and a Char? Alot. Different shapes,colors and characteristics. Some are only found in certain areas.

    From beginners to the seasoned pro's every one contributes and all benefit from your great experiences!

    My Best and have fun with this!

    Rick Krane
    Anglers Artistry
    312 Chesterfield Rd
    Hinsdale, NH 03451
    603.336.7296
     
  13. Rick Krane

    Rick Krane Fish Taxidermist/ Judge/ Sculptor/ Instructor

    What an awesome week! I thank you all for taking the time and give your knowledge and your passion to others so we all can be better at what we love!

    Thank you!!!!!

    Have a great week and make money or at least mount a fish!

    Rick
     
  14. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Alright, I've got a few minutes here!!!

    1. No, I've never had a customer dissatisfied with their fish (knock on wood!!!)

    2. I've never actually thought about it and don't recommend any height. Perhaps assuming that most know how to hang a picture. I do however hand out a care sheet and recommend things like not hanging in direct sunlight, etc.

    3. I really haven't had a problem here except for one customer that left two fish with no deposit. And, hasn't returned my calls nor responded to the letter I sent her. I currently have her two, tiny rainbows sitting on the bottom of my freezer. One of these days I'll send her a registered letter and eventually pitch them...

    4. I measure the way the DNR recommends. If any discrepancies I take a couple of digital photos of their fish once unwrapped along with their wrapping also in the pic (along with a tape measure showing the length). Any discrepancies where the fish measured LESS by a couple of inches or more and a stop work and phone call is in order. If the fish is over by a few inches I may call or just wait until pick up time to tell them.

    5. I'v been using the cheeker tool for removing cheek meat AND doing most of my skinning. I've finally found a use for that goofy angled Thompson skinning tool (pictured above) - I don't like using it for skinning or fleshing but those tight teeth are nice for removing stubborn tendons when fleshing on certain species. A Shrade knife dor fleshing. The little serrated tool (with the sharp, non-serrated edge on the opposite side) for removing cheek meat on smaller fish. The usual assorted shears. Fillet knife for initial seam cut. Sharp scissors. And I think that's it.

    6. Depends on the year, but on average about 6-7 months now.

    7. Usually April and September are my best months with April usually the biggest. Although this past year was WEIRD to say the least. July and August were HUGE months for me and due to the heat (I think) they normally aren't my greatest.

    8. It depends on the solution but degreasing in MS overnight is a good rule of thumb. Much longer and you can begin to deteriorate the fish. In the DA solution fish can be stored indefinitely. So a lot depends on my schedule here.

    9. I'm sure being a member of any organization could help in any field because it concentrates people with similar interests and jobs. Having more people at your finger tips can only provide benefits. And, I'm sure competitions are also a great learning tool.

    10. No clue. I don't pay too much attention to the biology of any species. I rely heavily on reference photos - especially with these species as I don't see a lot of them AND I don't typically fish for them either...