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Alginate sucks for molding fish heads

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by Cecil, Sep 16, 2006.

  1. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    More often then not I don't get optimum results casting fish heads with alginate and today was no exception. Anyone else agree? Going with bondo/resin from now on as Gary Brunch does in his Breakthrough article. I've also been suspending my fish to cast the heads while they are still on the fish but that has it's drawbacks too once the fish get to be good size. Time to learn new things.
  2. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    I'm certainly not the greatest fish head caster, but the few times that I had issues were traced back to the alginate. Have you switched brands/types recently? Or perhaps you got a bad batch? Otherwise, IF I know I've got some good, quality alginate I've never had any problems. I also remove and cast my head via a pour over the fish head, not dipping the head in alginate. Perhaps that is creating some issues? What's happening that it "sucks"???

  3. I think its the alginate.

    A good quality alginate is the first step.

    I clean the head with aluminum sulphate, removes all the slime!!!

    Suspend the fish head down, but the fish minus the head is wrapped in a cloth.

    I rinse the head with lacquer thinner to remove all the water.

    Place a paper or foam cup under the head, and mix the alginate, then slowly pour it into the cup, this removes trapped air.

    Once the alginate is firmly set up allow another ten minutes!!!

    Slowly work the head loose and remove, mouth plug may break away and remain in the fishes mouth, thats fine, cast it separately.

    Now dry the mold with air and rinse a couple of times with lacquer thinner. the mold should appear dry.

    Use a rolled paper towel to remove the rest of the water in the nose and lower jaw tip if any water remains.

    Now mix your bondo/resin 50/50, all you need is the paste hardener to set the mix.

    Paste hardener is nothing more than MEKP with a colorante added so the user can see if it is mixed well.

    I mix it a bit hot, pour into the mold roll the mix around until it setsup.

    If you are carefull you can remove the reproduction and make another from the same mold.

    Hint, use a bit less water in the alginate than recommend.
  4. B.Fish

    B.Fish Good excuse not to get my work done!

    I definitely agree. I used Alginate awhile back, but I now use the same method a G. "Bruch". For whatever reason I had problems with Alginate from time to time. I'm sure it could have never been my fault! ::).
  5. DaveT

    DaveT "But with God all things are possible"

    jeltrate II 'nuff said

    GBRUCH "I am nothing without christ".....John 15:5

    Nice to hear that those articles have helped. I agree alginate for me was useless although it does a fine job for some. I tell all students "the best way is the way that provides the best results" and that could be different for everyone. Glad I could help you Cecil.

    Gary Bruch