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Finishing Time

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by 1tahr, Jun 1, 2021.

  1. hi guys i seem to spend way to much time sanding and blending seams on my replica fish im making, what are some tips in the molding process that would save time if this makes sense thanks
    Mudbat likes this.
  2. Mudbat

    Mudbat Well-Known Member

    How big are the seams?

  3. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Cast without fins so you can make a sleeve. You’ll have a smaller cut to pull out otherwise keep on sanding
    Clew likes this.
  4. hi guys i have been working out of the book MUSEUM QUALITY FISH TAXIDERMY its been my bible over the years , ive molded in plaster or bondo/resin mix , i do remove the bottom paired fins and mold seperate , i wet a thin layer of activated chop strand and lay on the mold edge and into the mold , then thicken resin and trowel around the edge of the mold and clamp together , most times resin will seep out after tightly clamping , so my seams can be a couple of inches wide and quite thick and seem to take alot of finish work , am i making my mold shelf to wide ? or maybe not getting my clamps close enough to the fish impression. hope this makes sense , ill post some pics of a cast before trimming tmorow thanks
  5. it kinda depends on how big the fish i was molding is , im thinking i might be making the mold flanges to wide and not getting a tight enough fit when i clamp them , some of the replicas if i hold them front on and look along the back they dont roll over smooth theres an area along the seam need filling and sanding to make a nice smooth back or belly, not sure im explaing this correct ill post some pics tommorow
  6. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Lol yep I do ant it might be due to heat or your fish shifted during the set up time and the warped during the heating. So now when you pull your fish you’ll have a high spot and a low spot or indentation as one side higher than the other. When that happens I throw out the bad half , repair it recast it.
  7. crablover

    crablover Well-Known Member

    There is no need to glass anything other than the fish itself. Many finishing problems on the seams are caused by glassing the flanges. This causes thick seams, all kinds of air pockets and many other problems. Fiberglass cloth or strand will not bend around a 90 degree angle. So when you glass the flanges and put your 2 halves together and clamp, your matt material inside the parts will pull away from your gel coat inside the fish, causing no back up of the gel coat along the seams. Often, these appear when you prime or start to paint the fish. To eliminate seam problems, try this method.
    #1 Prep mold and apply NO WAX gel coat only to the fish part, not on the flange.
    #2 Let gel coat dry completely, and follow up with NO WAX resin only over the gel coat.
    #3 Lay up with strand or matt NO WAX only to the fish body and fins. Not on the flanges.
    #4 When your strand, matt and resin reaches a rubbery state, trim with razor blade any material flush with the flange and around your fins and tail. Let dry completely. At this point, only the fish body and fins should have strand, cloth and resin.
    #5 Mix your resin with micro balloons, cab-o-sil or dry talc to make a thickened paste. Mix and transfer into a zip lock bag and cut off one corner.
    #6 Squeeze this paste completely around the 2 fish halves and on the fins. You can spread out this mix on the fins with a paint brush. Again, avoid any material on the flanges.
    #7 Match up the two halves and clamp together and let dry. Since there should be nothing on the flanges, when clamped together the resin mix will be pushed and bonded inside the fish and not on the flanges. This will give you a solid connection of the two parts, without any air pockets and a very thin seam. You will get some push out on the flanges but it will be very thin and can be broken away very easily.

    Another thing to speed up working with resin is sun light. Resin itself is not photo chemically reactive but MEKP is. Direct sunlight will push the chemical reaction time close to 15 minutes from mixing to set up. Knowing this can save you time in casting, and finishing a blank. Hope this helps those that end up with thick seams and the air pockets that will cause you alot of extra work.
    Lance.G, Mudbat and ARUsher like this.