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fin curling

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by rnviper3, May 10, 2007.

  1. rnviper3

    rnviper3 New Member

    i have had this problem before, but though i had it licked. after my brown trout dried for about 2 weeks, i sealed it as usual with bowmans sealer. sometimes, like on this one, when i apply the silk span and it dries, it gains this curl to it. why does it do it so some and not others. this method has been working mostly good for me, but every now and then i get one that curls. what am i doing wrong.
     
  2. bdahyrt

    bdahyrt New Member

    What are you using for fin backing glue,etc..?
     

  3. rnviper3

    rnviper3 New Member

    i use ultra seal. i apply it then add silk span. let it dry and add another layer of ultra seal.
     
  4. Todd B

    Todd B Active Member

    The curling is caused by the water in the fin backing glue you are using. You only coat one side at a time and when it dries it curls. I make sure I seal the fin with a coat of laquer sealer on both sides. That stopped the curling fins for me. I know you said you coated with Bowmans, but did you make sure you did both sides of the fin? Give it a try and see if it takes care of the problem. I bet it will.

    Todd B
     
  5. Ron K

    Ron K New Member

    I have to agree with Todd. I also found out you have to do both sides of each fin to stop the curling.
     
  6. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Todd's right. Also, I like to seal the fins just like I do my gloss coats. The first coat is an extremely quick "flash coat" on the fins, both sides. Even the laquer-based sealer will cause the fins to curl if you put the initial coat on too wet. 5 minutes later another thin coat and then 5 later a last thin coat. Dry overnight and coat and back the next day...
     
  7. I seal with Shellac, get it in a spray can at Home Depot or Lowes.

    As mentioned seal both sides with shellac You can give them a medium coat two times, and once dry use whatever fin cream you want.
     
  8. rnviper3

    rnviper3 New Member

    i always seal both sides of the fins. i don't however wait till the next day to use the backing. maybe thats the trouble. guess ill wait a day on the next ones i do. thanks for all your help and suggestions.
    bob
     
  9. Todd B

    Todd B Active Member

    I do not wait until the next day either. The laquer will dry and be ready within a few minutes. To be safe wait 15 minutes like Marty mentioned. I have never had any trouble when doing this.

    Todd B
     
  10. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    I agree Todd, but I'm not sure what Rnviper is doing wrong - sorta grasping at straws here. I figured most laquer-based sealers recommend 24 hours for thorough drying and it certainly couldn't hurt to wait that long.

    Rnviper are you certain the "curling" isn't happening when you spray the laquer sealer? Sometimes it's hard to see the little rippling effect that slight rehydration can cause. Bowman's is laquer-based eh? Perhaps you're putting the Ultra Seal on pretty thick for the initial coat??? Even though it's sealed, it's not necessarily 100% waterproof. (More straws here folks - lol!) Maybe try a different sealer and or fin coating???? (Just ran out of straws - lol!)
     
  11. den007

    den007 Active Member

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    The guys are correct about the water based fin flex reydrating the fins and importance of sealing both sides. I can give you a quick cure though. Get some thin, transluscent mylar plastic.....the kind they make stencils fro in craft stores, Wally World, etc. Put some Goo contact cement on back of curled fin and plastic......let dry 2-3 min, press on, smooth out the wrinkles, and the stiffness of the plastic is just right to hold the fin in shape. Trim and you are done.
     
  12. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    That's how Doug and I back all of our fins on wall mounts - except we use .020 mil clear plastic. That not only alleviates the issues you mentioned Dennis, but it also looks nice, is durable and provides a great foundation for fin repairs. You can also heat them with a hot air gun and shape them to your desire...
     
  13. rnviper3

    rnviper3 New Member

    Marty, i do put the backer on a little thick. that may be an issue too. from all i have read tho, i think i must be getting enough sealer on most the fish i do and not enough on the ones that curl. i may be putting it on too thin too. i used to get the fins really covered. i had one drip on me when i wasn't looking and had a mess to clean up. since then i have been putting it on thin. i like the idea of a few thin coats tho. i will try that on my next few. thanks for everyones help on this frustrating issue. isn't this site awesome.
     
  14. Monty Artrip

    Monty Artrip Active Member

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    After I noticed you said it was a brown trout, the obvious question to me is why are you using the real fins?
     
  15. rnviper3

    rnviper3 New Member

    Monty, i used the real fins for two reasons. one i have never used a replacement, and two, i have never had a problem using them. well other than the occasional curl problem this post is about.
     
  16. Monty Artrip

    Monty Artrip Active Member

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    I was just curious. There are lots of advantages to using replacement fins, provided they are good quality, as opposed the the real fins. This is particularly true on coldwater fish. If casted from fresh fins, they eliminate shrinkage, curling etc. Learning to attach and blend them is the key as well as painting them. This is just my opinion,of cours, but I will personally not use real fins on coldwater fish.
     
  17. Todd B

    Todd B Active Member

    Why not use the real fins? They are there and free. Not worth the hassle of replacing unless you are doing it for competition and then it is iffy whether it is worth it or not. Maybe on a very large trout or salmon where it may be a grease problem but not on the usual sized fish.
     
  18. Monty Artrip

    Monty Artrip Active Member

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    Good question, Todd. In my shop, I have a display of both a coldwater head and fins which I let dry naturally. Next to that, I have an artificial head and fins of matching size(before dry), which are painted and finished out. The shrinkage alone is very noticable along with the lack of detail if rebuilt to the original size. Again, in my opinion, I can produce a more realistic fish using repro parts as well as actually saving time in rebuilding. I use these on both commercial and comp fish as I approach them the same way, with the commercial minus a few minute details that a client could not notice or appreciate.
     
  19. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    This is another one of those things that falls under the "what's important to me" categories. I can see the differences in shrinkage when using the real fins. But, unless you held a cast fin and a real, dried fin next to each other and explained the differences to your customer, I doubt any customer would notice the differences. At least I've never had any complaints and I typically use the real fins (unless the fish is extraordinarily large and greasy). Then on those big greaseballs, the head, tail and all fins get cast....
     
  20. Monty Artrip

    Monty Artrip Active Member

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    You have valid points Marty. I would say that if I were doing this full time, I might have a different outlook. I no longer do huge numbers of fish (40 or so yearly), and work a lot of overtime at my job. I pretty much specialize in coldwater fish and high-end mounts. I do contend, however, that once proficient at casting and using repro parts, time is saved in rebuilding and an overall higher quality mount produced.