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Fish fill for cheeks,tail and head junctions.

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by Slick, Mar 2, 2008.

  1. Slick

    Slick Something smells fishy?

    I have been using Rineharts smooth fish fill for my cheeks,head junction,finbutts and tail junction. It is so hard that my dremel bit starts to smoke sometimes when I am grinding out the eye sockets. So what I am wondering is if Rineharts regular fish fill will work for what I am doing with it? Is it softer than the smooth fish fill? I have used Jim Hall mache and liked it but I do not want to order it from where I got because I do not have anything else to order with it and shipping is horrible for just one item.
  2. Clay

  3. Jason O

    Jason O Active Member

    avery paper mache for cheeks and eye sockets
  4. Slick

    Slick Something smells fishy?

    I was told that clay can be a little tricky since it does not firm up as fast.Avery paper mache, wil it work for fin butts and how hard is it when dry. What about Rineharts White Fish Builder.
  5. Perca

    Perca Well-Known Member

    Rinehart's white fish builder is very sticky and messy to work with. :p I use Tom Sexton filler to do cheeks because it can be made to a texture that both has body to it AND can be easily pressed into small spaces...eh? I use white fish clay(McKenzie) in the fin butts and tail juncture. If I had to use just one filler for everything it would be Tom Sexton's. Good luck.
  6. Slick

    Slick Something smells fishy?

    I am not using it as fish filler just for the cheeks,head and tail junctions and fin butts.
  7. ArtistcAnglerInc.

    ArtistcAnglerInc. New Member

    I swear the main ingredient in a couple of those fish fills out there is concrete! lol
  8. Brian W

    Brian W Active Member

    I use Apoxie Sculpt and has never failed me. You can fill the cheeks and put a pin-hole or two at the bottom of the pocket to extract trapped moisture. Sets up fast but not so fast I can't smooth out a tail juncture while setting up.
  9. I love clay over all the fish fills. It gives me time to make the best union and smoothest cheeks I can. all the fills setup way to fast for my the way I like to work fish.

    There is not real trick to it just make sure you have the dripping water soak up, the skin is still wet and the clay can be packed in and smoothed over to your ideal levels. I use the cheapest clay I can find it never shows thru the fish skin either. Hobby lobby is where I get most of it. $14.00 for a box.
  10. Slick

    Slick Something smells fishy?

    When using apoxie sculpt wouldn't that take a lot of it for the head junction, do you fill the head cavity with the appoxie?.I have gotten use to the mache products I have been using, just wanted to see if there was something softer.I used jim halls fish mache when I first started doing fish and if I remember right it do set up really fast.
  11. Brian W

    Brian W Active Member

    That all depends on the size of the fish I guess. Yes, I fill any void in the head area. You don't necessarily have to use Apoxie Sculpt because I'm sure the stuff John gets from HL is basically the same and probably cheaper. Not sure, but critter clay is most likely similar also.
    I just like the clay and pack it almost overfill, then smooth it out. I use the "natural" color for the cheeks as is kind of a gray color. I use brown and white Sculpt also. Just a preference, I guess. I have used fish filler but "clay is the way".
  12. Slick

    Slick Something smells fishy?

    Is Super white fish clay that is sold by McKenzie any good. About how long before it sets up and is hard? And how hard does it get when dry?
  13. midwesttax

    midwesttax New Member

    white critter clay works well
  14. Scrubby

    Scrubby New Member

    I use the white fish clay from Mckenzie it works well for the cheeks make sure all the water is out and shape them properly. Clay is the way to go you can smooth them over a day or so.
  15. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    If you like the Jim Hall Mache' (which is all I exclusively use too!), then just order a big batch. It'll last you quite some time to offset the shipping costs.

    I don't normally dremmel the mache' out of the eyes anymore - too messy. I use an Old Timers (Shrade) "pointy" knife and "whittle" the mache' out of there. Try it.

    Also fyi, you can slow down the J.H. mache' to taste by adding a little vinegar. Play with the amount to get the right set-up time you like. Personally, that's why I like mache' over clay or epoxy - it sets up faster. Clay seems to be messier too and the Critter Clay I've used seems MUCH harder than the mache' (try getting it off after it dries if you miss something - lol!) I also can't see spending the extra money on something that cheap mache' works for. BUT, the bottom line is the extra cost is minute IF some of these other products work for you. Try a firm knife to scrape away the mache' from the eye sockets. Just be careful...
  16. Brian W

    Brian W Active Member

    ALways trying to start trouble. ;D I guess if I did the numbers of fish you do, I would do something different. You do use clay for the tail junction right?
    I don't really find Apoxie Sculpt messy at all. I think it's a little "cleaner" than critter clay. For external shrinkage I have to fully endorse "Magic Smooth". That stuff is awesome.
    I also use Schrade's. You name it on knives and I got it. Been collecting them forever. My first knife WAS the LB7 Schrade which is still a classic today.
  17. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Brian - you probably did MORE fish last year than I - lol!

    I don't even have any clay in my shop! Yes, I do use a little mache' in the tail junction, but most of the tail juncture detail is carved into the body. I just need a little mache' for the shrinkage areas where the foam doesn't cover. I do like the clay or epoxy better back there because the mache' isn't quite firm enough, but once I card and peg the tail everything stays in place (with mache') and I'll use a water/spray bottle to get rid of any mess. Quite frankly, I'm too lazy to break out another product at this point!

    Apoxie Sculpt is definitely firmer and less messy than the clay. (I thought the clay was even "messier" than the mache'.) I could see using Apoxie Sculpt back there as an alternative. But, I think it's too firm to use in the cheeks (do you thin it with Safety Solvent here Brian???)

    Me, "start trouble"??? No way baby!!!

    P.S. Going to N.I.U. for STATE this weekend!!!!
  18. Brian W

    Brian W Active Member

    Yeah YOU............Hey, I don't thin the Apoxie at all for cheeks. I poke a couple small pin-holes at the base of the cheek pocket, stuff wet Apoxie in, and smooooooooooth out the cheek. Done deal, and I don't have to worry about it recessing in.
    Cooper or Zach this weekend? My friend's son, I believe is going to State this weekend also. Good luck to you guys and hope they bring their A game.
  19. Slick

    Slick Something smells fishy?

    I thought you could scrape the Jim Hall mache out with a knife. Like I said I used it when I first started and wasn't sure I was right about it being soft enough to scrape it out. I have been using the Smooth Fish Fill from McKenzies and that stuff is like cement. My dremel bit starts to smoke if I have the speed to high. I have always put mache at the tail junction. When I card the tail I put some pins through the hardware cloth and into the form to support it until the mache dries.
  20. den007

    den007 Active Member

    I have always liked the Jim Hall mache......clay for the cuadal fin juncture. I would be wary of actual paper mache. I have had mold problems with it.....retains moisture for a long time, and can be lumpy as heck.