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Fish body carving

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by whitetails and fish only, Feb 29, 2016.

  1. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Doug - thanks for posting. It's always interesting to hear different ways of doing things to spark ideas. My money says you have some older buoyancy billets by the sounds of how easy it is to dent. I too have some of the older stuff and I only use it for other things (base for holding and molding heads upon, carving rocks, etc.) because it IS too soft IMO for fish bodies. The more recent BB is much nicer and perfectly dense IMO.

    That being said, I too add support - 1/8" - 1/4" wooden dowels actually to the throat latch and into the head portion of the foam to add support and to keep from breaking the foam while fitting up on smaller fish. Toothpicks go into the tail portion. Never cracked a form after doing these quick, extra steps.

    The newer BB holds staples pretty well. They may pop up a very small amount (never out) after drying and you simply tap them back down with a hammer before finishing your seam.

    I personally don't see much of a purpose for taking the time to create a board for the inside. I've never had any issues - not even with the softer BB. IMO it holds wooden dowels just fine (that I hot glue in for permanency). It's that older floral foam crap that you have to worry about degrading and coming loose and this is where I'll add a board inside. Just the way I do it!
  2. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    Isn't it amazing that 30 percent of our order is shipping costs but fuel prices are at record lows!

    A friend recently thought he had negotiated a deal with Fed Ex to ship fish feed in 40 lb. bags. Turns out they are adding so many hidden charges he really didn't get a deal.

    Looks like the shippers are climbing on the same wagon as the medical and law industry. The fleecing of America!

  3. Perca

    Perca Well-Known Member

    Marty, I think we must be talking about two different foams. The BB I use is the big (14" x 6" x 96") BLUE foam that is used as flotation for boat docks. That's what I buy to carve big fish bodies like walleyes, salmon, lakers, and pike . It's dense enough to hold staples but it's the foam with a rough surface after sawing that requires painting with KILZ/sanding/painting with Kilz a second time. I wouldn't use it for panfish or thin skinned trout.
    The OTHER foam I use is beige color....very light density(2-3 lb). McKenzie sells it and I usually buy blocks that are 4" x 16" x 48". I get 2 blocks that size in one box. That is the foam that dents with very little pressure. It's NOT buoyancy billet foam. It's very nice for panfish and thin skinned trout.
  4. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Doug, I believe there's only one Dow Buoyancy Billet? Although the dimensions of the ones we get are 96" x 20" x 10". All I know is both myself and DougP have been using them since the beginning of time w/o doing the extra painting you speak of. Just saw and sand and go. Different strokes....
  5. Perca

    Perca Well-Known Member

    I agree that there is only one DOW BB foam, and it is in the big blue blocks you described. They are made in at least 2 different thicknesses. I think the blocks I bought were 10" x 14" x 96". Once upon a time I was having a helluva time with the rasp SHUDDERING when I tried to take excess foam off, and it left pretty bad grooves in the foam. I whined to the right guy (Paul Borkowski) about that and he told me there was a "grain" to that foam and it had to be rasped in one direction only. Problem solved. Unless the manufacturing process has been refined in recent years, I just know that the DOW BB foam I have is too rough to fit fish skin over without sanding and painting x 2. Just my .02.
  6. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Ahhh THERE'S the difference, the rasp. I can see now why youre having issues. I use a fillet knife instead...