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Stripping old Bass

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by Albie, Aug 9, 2017.

  1. Albie

    Albie Member

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    I regularly restore old skin mounts as part of my business. The first thing I do is strip off the old finish. I want to get down to the bare fish skin if possible. I usually accomplish that. But I occasionally get a fish, like the one I have now, a Smallmouth Bass, that is finished with, what looks like, Envirotex. You Know. The thick, shiny stuff that's used for artificial water and for bar tops. Do any of you know of anything that will melt that stuff? I think it's not removable. Am I wrong?
     
  2. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    I avoid stripping fish if I can. I white them out, seal with lacquer sealer, then antique like a repro and repaint.

    That said if someone used environtex you may not have any scale detail left if any.

    Can you test a spray on paint stripper on the back side? Maybe it will take more than one application?
     

  3. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    I never strip off old fish. I apply aerosol white Kilz and build off it. You are trying to make a "silk purse out of a sows ear" when doing old fish. They will only win you "green ribbons", not Blue ones.
     
  4. I agree with Cecil and Joey.
     
  5. 1fish2fish

    1fish2fish Well-Known Member

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    http://www.davecampbellfish.com/restorations/40-steelhead-restoration.html

    I've never done it, but ENVIROTEX is an epoxy resin and there are epoxy resin dissolvers and removers. (E.g. http://www.esslinger.com/attack-epoxy-resin-and-adhesive-dissolver-solvent-remover-cleaner/?utm_medium=googleshopping&utm_source=bc&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIoaet2czM1QIVjD2BCh0w_QE-EAQYAiABEgKMFfD_BwE) Don't know how the fish would handle this.

    Fixing the anatomy as required and blending with paint (white if you choose) is an option, but you may be erasing some visual ques that could help you paint especially if you've no scale detail.

    Best, Scott
     
  6. there is a product called aircraft stripper. This is the name and there are several levels of strength and chemical compounds. You need a good auto paint store, they will probably carry it. While I have used other brands this is the Rolls Royce of stripper brands.

    http://www.kleanstrip.com/product/premium-stripper-aerosol This is what you are looking for it will remove the crap envirotex . it will get you back to the bare fish. of course once you are past the two part goo go easy. If the body of the fish is carved styrofoam you can melt it out.
     
  7. Albie

    Albie Member

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    Thanks for your input guys. First, let me say I don't restore old fish to win any ribbons. I do it because there is a demand for it. I do it to make a customer happy and I've done a couple hundred of them in my 50+ years in taxidermy. I prefer to strip them whenever possible. If not possible, I too, will white 'em out and treat as a repro. But, in this case, as a couple of you mentioned, the Envirotex coating is so thick there is no scale detail texture, making antiquing impossible. That's why I asked if anyone knew of a way to dissolve this stuff. Again, thank you for your opinions.
     
  8. 1fish2fish

    1fish2fish Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like you've got it all figured out.

    Though, I think Joey's comment was just a figure of speech. Still, I think Dave's work demonstrates that "blue ribbon" quality is achievable in restorations, and that this type of work has value.
     
  9. Galen

    Galen 218-263-7177 www.EdgewaterTaxidermy.com

    The GREEN ribbons have pictures of Presidents on them.
     
  10. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    I like those better these days. No one seems interested in taking my blue ribbons as legal tender. :)
     
  11. Albie

    Albie Member

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    OOPS! The reference to "green ribbons" went right over my head. Thanks for explaining that to me. In my long, undistinguished career, it turns out, I have never competed for any other kind of ribbon but the green ones. In my ignorance about the taxidermy competition world I know little to nothing about the color of ribbons awarded. The only judges I have ever worked to impress were the thousands of customers I've satisfied. Now, as my career winds down, I'm mounting fish for the grown up grandchildren of customers who first came to me over 40 years ago.
    I don't visit this site often. But, when I do, it's always interesting.
    Thank you folks!
     
  12. I had a competition skin mount fish that I stripped 3 times because the paint separated on me after I glossed it and I painted it one more time and finally it turned out nice,I took it an won 4 state championships in masters and a National championship with this fish..I tried painting it white before stripping and the bleeder colors came threw the white and it looked like crap.the way I stripped it didn't bother the fish at all.