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Help appreciated. Fish skin lifted off form.

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by stims, Dec 21, 2010.

  1. stims

    stims Member

    Hi. I have mounted many fish and never had this happen. Put skin of a brown trout on form with hide paste as always. Dried inside where warm. No problems same as always. Last night went out to shop and put on cast head. I left the fish out in the shop over night. Didn't think anything of it. my shop is very cold right now with the weather and all. when I came out this morning a portion of the skin had lifted and rose off the form right behind the pectoral fin on the show side of the mount. looks rippled like. I don't know if the cold temp may have caused the hide paste to come undone or what. It was pretty much dried on there from what I could tell before I left it out there overnight. Do any of you have any ideas or sugestions on how to flatten the skin back down onto the form and get it to stick again as it is already dried hard.??? I though maybe a sringe with glue to inject under the skin????? any suggestions would be greatly welcomed. thanks.
  2. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    My guess is the glue wasn't completely dried yet. Hard to say w/o a pic of the problem. That being said I would probably try heating a butter knife and ironing the skin down before bothering with injecting anything. Secondly, you could always position the pec fin up over the defect and tuck it tight to the body to help hide the defect. I won't tell if you won't...

  3. stims

    stims Member

    The area is too large to move the fin over to cover. as far as heating the butter knife......... how hot we talking about?? hot to the touch but not to burn you? also, hold it down on the mount, or rub it back and forth??? Like I said, I'll take as many suggestions as I can get for this problem. Thanks.
  4. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Keep the knife moving back and forth and press firmly as you go. Test it on the backside to get the feel. Yes, you CAN burn the scales if you're not careful. Not a big deal if you do though. You need it hot enough to lay the skin down. Go easy. If it's not doing anything, go hotter and keep trying until you get the skin to lay down. The trick is to keep the hot butter knife moving. No, you will not be able to touch the knife - you want it pretty hot.

    BUT, wait a minute here. Again, a photo or two would help immensely. If you have that much ripple-age in the skin then that tells me there was some loose skin there to begin with???
  5. bnoody

    bnoody Member

    Place a wet rag on the affected area, it will rehydrate it. Cover the base of the fin with the rag as well. Once hydrated, make an incision at the base of the fin to allow you to inject glue using a large Syringe. I use clay based wall paper adhesive, but you can also use an epoxy. Work the glue around under the skin pressing it back down and it will be good as new.

    If the skin isn't fully hydrated use the epoxy so the memory doesn't cause it to separate before the glue has set.
  6. With out a pic I'm only guessing. But, for small wrinkles or raised scales I use an electric iron and iron them smooth.
  7. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    I concur. W/O a pic we're all just guessing the extent of the problem...
  9. stims

    stims Member

    Well, just wanted to say thanks for all the help. I ended up fixing the problem. put it in front of the woodstove for a few hours and when I came back, the skin had tightened back up on the form perfect!!! How bout that!! Must have still had enough moisture in it whichmade the skin pop out in the cold temp. Well anyway, thanks. i was pretty worried. Turned out fine.
  10. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Well, that's thinking on your feet. The #1 prerequisite IMO to be successful in this business. You HAVE to be able to figure out problems!!!
  11. jim tucker

    jim tucker Active Member

    I always say that the difference between a BAD taxidermist and a good one is...the GOOD taxidermist can fix HIS mistakes...as well as others :D

    Marty...what's with heating a butter knife...just get your wifes iron out. I remeber the first time she caught me using hers...I could tell by the look on her face she wasn't real happy. I just said "What? I thought you wanted a new iron...I am picking it up today" :D
  12. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    More control Jim. Easier to fit into tight spots. It's usually only one or two scales. The main drawback is you have to guess the temperature. I think one of those tiny modelling irons might be a good investment though...
  13. bowhunr

    bowhunr New Member

    Good for you for solving the problem. I did a similar fix to a big brook trout once only instead of a woodstove I used a blow dryer. I held it very close to the bad spot on the skin and could watch the skin tighten up flat against the form right before my eyes. Just had to make sure that I took that blowdryer away from the skin as soon as I saw the skin beginning to tighten up as it got pretty warm. Worked like a charm. Had butterflies in my stomach though as it was a huge brookie and it was right smack in the middle of the fish.