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» Trad Gang.com » Topic Archives » How To - Resources » Skinning a Wapiti Build Along (Snakeskin Applique & Photos) (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Skinning a Wapiti Build Along (Snakeskin Applique & Photos)
MSwickard
Trad Bowhunter
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Well, I finally completed my Snakeskin Project on my Wapiti TD. I still have to do a final satin coat, but need to wait on mother nature warm up into the 60's F.

Anyway here's how I did it

A pair of matched Prairie Rattlesnake skins
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Next, I sanded each limb with 60 grit paper to roughen up the the surface for better adhesion.
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Limbs were wiped down with acetone and masking tape was applied to the face of the limbs to keep them clean during the glue up.
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Before I started the glue up process, I soaked the skin in lukewarm water. This makes the skin flexible and easier to work with. I let the skin soak for about 5 minutes.
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Wipe down the limb with acetone while the skin is soaking in water. Liberally apply Titebond III glue to the limb. Remove the skin from the water and remove as much water by sliding the skin between your index finger and thumb. Then apply skin to the limb and positin the skin. Start working out the air bubbles and smoothing out the glue. At this point glue will be working its way from under the skin. Work from the center outward. One very important step prior to actual glue up is laying up the skin to the limb. Determine where and how you want the skin on the limb and make length cuts to fit the limb. Leave enough overlap. The overlap will be cut off after the skin dries.
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Continue working out the air bubbles and smoothing out the skin. A small roller used for hanging wallpaper works well. You can also use a piece of arrow shaft. If you have alot of overlap on the sides of the limb, trim it back some with a new razorblade knife. Leave about .25 inches. This will keep the skin from curling. Let the skin set about an hour to dry. Then take the back of a knife and scrap off as many scales from the skin as you can. It is much easier to do when the skin is still moist. Don't worry about getting them all off now. After the skin dries overnight, you can trim the excess skin flush with the limb with a razorblade.

Take masking tape and apply it to the skin to remove the remaining scales. Make sure you remove the tape in the same direction that the scales lie. Make sure you get all the scales off the skin.
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After 36 hours, complete a final close trim of any skin hanging over the limbs edge. Check for any spots along the edges where the skin may have not taken hold. Use superglue or Zap a Gap to fix these spots. Once the skin is secure to the limb, take some 220 grit paper and touch up the edges of the skin. Wipe down the skin with a damp cloth to remove any residue from the sanding step. Let the limb dry for 1 hr.
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Next, take superglue and apply it to the surface of the skin and along the edges of the limb. To apply, I used a surgical type glove made of nitrile. The blue ones. Pour a small amount of thin superglue and rub it as smooth as you can onto the skin. Do two coats and sand with 220 paper after the first coat. You can apply the second coat after 1 hour. To do my limbs, it took a little less than one ounce of super fine CA superglue. Best place to pick it up is in a Hobby store. I got a 1oz bottle for $5.00.
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Posts: 410 | From: Lakewood, Colorado | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MSwickard
Trad Bowhunter
Member # 4974

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Part II

Finally, spray the limbs with Varathane Professional Gloss in the black can. I found mine at Home Depot. Do about 5-6 coats. Spray the last one from a distance to reduce the gloss. After it dries hit it lightly with steel wool or a 600 or finer grit wet/dry paper to take the shine off.

Final Product:

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Hope you all enjoyed this and find it helpful.

Mike

Posts: 410 | From: Lakewood, Colorado | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Brute killer
Trad Bowhunter
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Looks good. [thumbsup]

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Martin
"The first deer that gets close enough and I'm goin Womack on his ass!! " Charlie Lamb

Posts: 1126 | From: Llano, Texas | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
2Knives
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Great write up...thanks!!!

--------------------
USAF AMMO Retired

Shoot True!!!
Don't Squat with your Spurs on!

Posts: 968 | From: a TEXAN living in South Dakota | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
RickD
Trad Bowhunter
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Best write up yet

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TGMM Family of the Bow

Posts: 909 | From: Georgia | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mohillbilly
Contributor 2016
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Is the purpose of the CA to fill the irregularities in the skin? Thanks
Posts: 614 | From: Missouri | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BillW
Trad Bowhunter
Member # 257

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Mike, I skinned a Osage selfbow a few years ago and did just as you did except I did not use the superglue. I finished mine off with Tru-Oil.

I was talking to Frank one day and he asked if my skins were smooth or did it have texture. I knew exactly what he meant because I have a 04 Dakota that Bob Morrison skinned for me. The skin's on that bow look like an underlayer. They are just perfect and super smooth.

My thought is that your superglue step might fill those voids that my selfbow has. Too late I know but am I right? Does the superglue fill the voids with the ending product being something like what Bob Morrison does?

Thanks,
Bill W.

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Aim Small

Posts: 1232 | From: IL | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MSwickard
Trad Bowhunter
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Mohillbilly & BillW

As for the superglue step I cannot take credit for it. Before doing this project, I endlessly went thru the archives on Tradgang to see how everyone was doing skins on glass bows. O.L. Adcock mentioned in a post that he used superglue and finished it with Fullerplast.

So I contacted O.L. and asked him about the CA. Basically, it acts as a primer. Use the thinnest stuff you can get. It does fill in the voids and gives it the appearence of being under glass. On my bow, even though I put the same amount on each limb, the top limb has less texture than the bottom limb. I think the bottom skin had more initial scale texture than the top. I though about really filling in the scale area on the skins but didn't want to add anymore material to the limb. Also, by sanding more between applications of the CA, you can achieve that under glass look.

Even though I have already put varathane on my limbs, I my go back and sand them down to the CA layer and add more. But then again, the way it is know gives the bow character.

One other thought I had when I first read about using the CA, is that it is the idea stuff to apply to the skin. CA is used as a quick way to close up a cut. So applying it to the skin really seals it up. Lastlym, when using the CA, make sure you do it in a well ventilated area. The vapor is not real eye and nose friendly.

Ciao

Mike

Posts: 410 | From: Lakewood, Colorado | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MSwickard
Trad Bowhunter
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Thanks Guys
Posts: 410 | From: Lakewood, Colorado | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
RTR Dave
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I am super pumped now!! I just bought the Kodiak from justin newell. and am going to do this on it. Thanks so much for this. Great article. It will give me a purpose to killing rattlers on my desert wanderings and bunny bashing trips.

Again Great article and what kinda bow did you hang the skins on?

Dave

--------------------
Over, Under, Around and Through, 2 roads diverged in a yellow wood.....I cut my own...

TRAMPLE THE WEAK...HURDLE THE DEAD

Posts: 214 | From: New Mexico | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
2Knives
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This needs to be moved to the HOW TO section...along with the pics. I really want to do my bow when I get back to home station...anybody got any copperhead skins? How about a bull snake? How many coral snakes you think it would take to do a bow??? [Big Grin]

--------------------
USAF AMMO Retired

Shoot True!!!
Don't Squat with your Spurs on!

Posts: 968 | From: a TEXAN living in South Dakota | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MSwickard
Trad Bowhunter
Member # 4974

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RTR Dave

The bow is a Keith Chastain Wapiti Take Down. It is a 62", 60#@28. I had this bow built back in 1987, and decide it need a new look.

If you need any info on doing the skins feel free to ask.

Ciao

Mike

Posts: 410 | From: Lakewood, Colorado | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MSwickard
Trad Bowhunter
Member # 4974

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ttt
Posts: 410 | From: Lakewood, Colorado | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MSwickard
Trad Bowhunter
Member # 4974

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The Superglue that I used I purchased at Hobby Town USA. It is a Super Thin 1-3 sec glue, Cyanoarcrylate (CA) called Insta-Cure. It is made in the USA. Web site is:
http://www.bsiadhesives.com/Pages/hobby/ca.html

I paided $5.00/1 oz bottle. For my project, used about .75 oz.

Ciao

Mike

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Tony Phillips
Trad Bowhunter
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Mike,

Thank you,I'm going to give this a try the next time I put skins on a bow.

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Tony Phillips
“What we do in life echoes in eternity”

56" Striker Stinger
52" Saluki Scythian
54" Saluki Turk

Posts: 712 | From: Elyria, Ohio | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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