1. Welcome to Taxidermy.net, Guest!
    We have put together a brief tutorial to help you with the site, click here to access it.

Sagging Magic Smooth

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by Albie, May 20, 2015.

  1. Albie

    Albie Member

    I like to rebuild some shrunken areas with Magic Smooth. Works great on top of heads like Walleyes, Bass, etc.. But sometimes I find it has sagged or run afterwards. I'll spend hours rebuilding the heads on a batch of fish with Magic Smooth, put them a way only to come in the next morning to find the dang stuff sagged away from where I put it, of course, by then, it has set up hard. Swearing ensues. This will happen with one mixed batch and not another. I can only guess it's because I didn't get an accurate 50/50 mix. Anybody else experience this? Is it too much hardener to too little resin? Or Vicey versy? Been using the stuff for years but sometimes this happens and I really get PO-ed at myself when it does.
  2. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    I usually don't apply it thick enough to sag. If you are rebuilding an area that is thick, try mixing your magic smooth with apoxie sculpt. It will still feather out smooth, but will have a little more stiffness so it doesn't move on you.

  3. Albie

    Albie Member

    Thanks for the suggestion Cole. I've been using the Magic Smooth in this application ever since the product first showed up in supply catalogs. Sometimes it sags and sometimes it doesn't regardless of the thickness applied to the top of the fish head. And, honestly, the amount required to smooth out the top of a Walleyes head could hardly be called "thick" in my estimation. The only variable I can think of is the mix ratio. I'll have to experiment to see if it sags when there is too much hardener to resin or the other way around.
  4. fishmaster

    fishmaster Well-Known Member

    Coles suggestion is a good one. By mixing those two, whether it be 50-50 mix or 75-25 you get an epoxy that feathers incredibly well but has enough body to stay put. Mix each part separately then together.
  5. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    It's good Don, because I learned it from you. ;)
  6. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    I have never heard of this! I don't use Magic Smooth, but I'm assuming it is similar to the other Vaseline consistency epoxies?

    Two things come to mind since you're getting inconsistent results and thorough mixing was already mentioned. One, could it be an old batch? Or two , temperature of your shop?

    The question I have is if it's been happening off and on for years, why haven't you switched to a different product to try to further isolate the problem? Shelf life isn't an issue for my Smooth Epox, but some epoxies have issues over time...
  7. Ive used it for years thats never happened...only thing i can think of is that MS feathers EZ and thins with water, maybe by the time you feather it out too much water is mixing with the MS? I keep it at room temp, mix 50-50 and my studio is climate controlled. I wouldn't have thought you could make the stuff run/sag if you tried...
  8. Ive used it for years thats never happened...only thing i can think of is that MS feathers EZ and thins with water, maybe by the time you feather it out too much water is mixing with the MS? I keep it at room temp, mix 50-50 and my studio is climate controlled. I wouldn't have thought you could make the stuff run/sag if you tried...make sure you are mixing very thoroughly too.
  9. torka

    torka Member

    I would think it could happen if you are not using a 50/50 mix. Too little hardener will slow the set time just as too much will speed it up. A longer set time will allow more time for gravity to affect it. Works that way with fiberglass, epoxy, bondo etc., so why not magic smooth.IMO
  10. den007

    den007 Active Member

    Try Epo-grip Mache Magic. It is not a mache, but a quick set epoxie with peanut butter consistency. You can get it from Rick Krane and Newtons. Suppliers have not figured this one out yet, and do not stock it. It is a great product!
  11. Brian W

    Brian W Well-Known Member

    X-2......never happened to me. Stays put where you smooth it.
  12. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    I don't think the epoxies are that critical that an exact 50/50 is needed. Good mixture however they do need. Assuming the poster is mixing things thoroughly? I do the two snakes deal and twist together three times then I knead the putty for a few more minutes. To me inconsistent results sure sounds like operator error to me. However, I'd question the shelf life of the hardener. Think back and try to remember if sagging has happened with certain batches of the epoxy? Or in certain temps as Brian brought up? I know hardener for bondo and poly resin has a shelf life and can be totally useless as a hardener within a year or two. Even months if it's been sitting on the shelf at Home Depot forever. I'm not sure of this brand though and have never experienced this problem with any of the epoxies. So, IMO you're down to a few possibilities that only you can narrow down and try to isolate the problem:

    1) Product (hardener) has gone bad
    2) Operator did not mix thoroughly
    3) Working temperature when using product was out of range (You're not working in 32 degree temps are you?)
    4) Improper mixing ratios (although I don't think this is it!)
  13. Brian W

    Brian W Well-Known Member

    Yeah....I use that stuff ALL the time. It doesn't run or sag...........That mache magic Denny mentioned is great stuff too.......
  14. Jimmy Lawrence

    Jimmy Lawrence Well-Known Member

    I've used it a lot. Seen it sag or move around alot. Good tip Cole and Don. I'll try that.
  15. Brian W

    Brian W Well-Known Member

    That's blows me away.....never had it sag or run. Of course maybe I don't use as much as you guys do. Just seems odd to me as that was one of the properties I like about it, staying where I put it.
    When I get the MS where I want it, I always put my fish in front of a fan to assist with drying......after it's dry, I usually fine tune my work with a little fine sanding....glad I don't have those problems I guess.
  16. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Or, #5 - the product is an inconsistent, sometimes crappy product ;)

    (P.S. Brian, isn't this the junk you highly recommended to me??? And I thought you were my bud - lol!)
  17. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Just one point. What tork said is absolutely NOT true. Proxies are made to be mixed 1:1, sometime 2:1. Never deviate from the manufacturer's recipe. Too much of one part won't accelerate or slow down curing. It will create a gooey gob of Sony. Conversely, fiberglass resin CAN be accelerated or retarded by the amount of catalyst used.
  18. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    George, I agree that the ratios won't accelerate or slow down the curing times like bondo/resin hardener does. I think to clarify the point that was made about the ratios (concerning the original topic) was that it just needs to be close. It isn't going to matter if it's 47% and 53% with the epoxies. CERTAINLY mixing it 2-1 when it recommends 1-1 would not be good. But, we're not baking cakes here. I'm not disagreeing with you about the ratios and curing times not being impacted. I just wanted to clarify that an exact 1-1 is not that critical...
  19. Steve.J

    Steve.J Member

    The same applies to bondo/resin hardener ratios. Although adjusting the amount used affects curing times, there is a point that if you don't use enough hardener the bondo will not kick completely inversely if you use too much hardener, the bondo will stay rubbery forever and never cure. Chemical reactions can be quite picky when not mixed correctly.
  20. I had a new taxidermist in my shop once for a little training, he told me that Apoxie sculpt he used for deer never hardened. Thought that was pretty weird till I had him mix some. Probably didn't spend 10 seconds kneading it together, hence the problem....