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Thread: Otter Stretching

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    Default Otter Stretching

    Ok, guys i fleshed out two of my otters and stretched them on some boards. I used the belly boards and let the buggers dry for a few days. Then i tried to remove them and they do not want to come off. I have used what i could of thought of as every trick in the book. dropping the boards on the ground to using an air hose to help lift them off the board. To even laying salt all over the hides to help dry them out even more. Who else has had this problem with their otter boards? Any suggestions from those that have done this before? After this ordeal i am going to make my own boards that are a bit more modified. I will post pictures of the new boards when i make them.

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    From what I know, They want the fur on the inside on an Otter. Not sure why, but thats what I was told.

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    yeah my otters are stretched fur side in or leather out. They just don't want to slip off the boards.

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    Probably adding salt didn't help anything. Driying it more would shrink it, making it tighter. Try soaking it in fresh water long enough to make it plyable.

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    Wrap the hide in a damp towel and put in a warm place. Let it sit overnight or so. That should rehydrate the hide enough to remove it.

    If all else fails, you can try to split the board (Carefully!!) I have not had to resort to that yet, rehydrating them and working them for a while has always worked for me...or tearing a hide (I've done that a time or two as well)

    Not that I recommend it, but I have also grabbed the nose with a vice grip to give me something to grab onto. I wouldnt do that unless it was a hide I was planning to use for sewing or a wall hanger...

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    thanks guys for all the tips it sure does make me cautious about stretching my next two otter.

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    The point of the belly board was to give you slack once its removed so the hide will slide right off, sounds like your belly board was too thin? In any case re-hydrating it a bit won't hurt it any and it should make it easier to remove.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 16bravo View Post
    From what I know, They want the fur on the inside on an Otter. Not sure why, but thats what I was told.
    Protects the gaurd hairs from UV damage, the tips burn easily.

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    If sending to NAFA or another auction, make sure that you provide the "window" that shows the fur quality. It's easy to do, and that is what they use to grade them.

    I should add that on the otter that I have stretched, the place that they seemed to be stuck is on the faces. Might not be a bad idea to wax your boards slightly and especially the face area before stretching a hide. Maybe I'll even take my own advice next time...

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    In the process of getting one of them off the board i ended up tearing it about an inch. Is it to late now to try and sew it back together?

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    I had a long winded post that somehow dissappeared when I tried to post it...Long story short....Yes, sew it. If it is papery/thin, then you'll have to rehydrate the area to sew it. If it will hold a stitch, then you may be able to sew it as is. It is worth it to sew it, when you have it tanned, the rip could get alot bigger...

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    alright thanks for the advice i will sew it together before i ship it to the tannery.

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    in the future do the following, wax your boards around the nose face area , I always make my belly boards so they have a handle at the end to grab and like to push them an inch or two past the end of the main board it gives you something to tap on the floor so they slide out , The main thing do not leave the belly board in and let the otter dry rock hard I take my belly boards after the first day and leave all the push pins in place for the rest of the drying period. I learned this after having to destroy my only good board while living where there was no lumber readily available to replace it. Avoid putting otter that are really wet on a stretcher especially those that are wet in the head area . I think that pretty well sums it up rehydrating is easy but you need to stay on top of the process and rehydrate as much or as long as it takes to get the job done don't wrap in a wet towel and walk away for 24 hours .As warthog said overnight should be long enough and damp towels not soaking wet
    meats meat don't knock it till you try it

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    They make a three piece stretcher board that works well for otter. You can find them at Alaskan Range Trapping Supply. They are made so you can collaps the outer boards after you remove the center piece.

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    Dry off your fur with old towels or t shirts. Use a two piece stretcher that way you can close it to remove your hides. Another trick that works is to use fine saw dust and put a bunch in the hide to coat the fur, then when you pull it off the stretcher the saw dust falls out. You can shake the rest of it out or blow it out. For otter,mink and muskrat the national fur market wants it fur in. But to get max dollars for your hides at Fur Rondy fur auction out it fur out on everything. That's from seeing the prices there the last few years.

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    I am going to experiment on a board that i am making, by making it a 3 piece otter board. I am going to impregnate the board with wax as well to give it that extra precaution. And for what i am going to do with the otters i have no idea yet. I know i am going to get them tanned and go from there.

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