Mounting an African KUDU by John Griffith
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Author Topic: Mounting an African KUDU by John Griffith  (Read 27635 times)
Big John
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Location: Stearns, Kentucky
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« on: April 15, 2009, 06:05:27 PM »

Well, I have had several request to do a tutorial on a African KUDU.  Since we just did one in the shop this week I just thought that we will put one together here on the Taxi-Net also.   The process I use is one of simplicity and hopefully common sense and this piece is done doing my method of putting it together.  When doing African work you are in a different situation because of the abuse that the hide has been through before it ever gets to one's shop for mounting.  Most of the capes and hides have a certain amount of epidermal loss and this again is due to the way it has been treated before you ever get it.  Like being stacked on top of each other in high temperatures upon weeks and months.  Also, some of the skinners that are processing some of the capes and hides don't really care or have the experience to do a good job.  But, from my understanding now  a lot of training is being implemented in several countries in Africa to a lot of the skinners who process African trophies.  Hopefully, with this being done we will be rewarded with a lot better conditioned capes and hides.

Anyway, I am going to post several photo's of mounting a table ped KUDU.  This Kudu is a customer's of mine and it has approx 57 in horns.  This is a pretty good size KUDU and the customer wanted a table ped mount and I ordered the largest one McKenzie had but I had to alter the entire manikin starting with the entire neck and head area.  You will get a taste as to what it takes to do African work.  Get ready to spend lots of time altering manikins because they don't make a perfect manikin for these Big Boys.  Also, I will be editing this topic frequently because I don't have enough time to do the entire sequence of mounting it in just one outing here   So bare with me throughout the coming days. 

First off we started out with a tanned cape which was tanned by Carolina Fur in Raleigh, N.C.  The entire cape was completely washed quickly in dawn detergent and let drip dry for 3-4 hours and then put into a plastic bag and put in the refrigerator over night.  Then it was taken out and completely shampooed in a hair conditioner know as PERT.  Put plenty of this on the entire cape and it will be nice and soft.  Then if the ears are still hard soak only the ears in a bucket of water like for 4-8 hours.  Then put back into a plastic bag an put back into the refrigerator overnight and the next day take the cartilage out.  Revert the ear and start at the top of the ear cartilage with a razor blade just between the cartilage and skin.  Use your fingers to lift this cartilage up and continue to peel it off the ear skin.  I peel the cartilage down to where the inner ear working begin and then I cut the cartilage off leaving just about 2-3 inches of the inner ear cartilage.  Now once this is done you can start getting your manikin prepped up and altered.
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John Griffith
532 HWY 1567
Stearns, Ky 42647
606-376-4380
www.griffithtaxidermy.com
Big John
Gold Member
****
Location: Stearns, Kentucky
Posts: 932



WWW Email
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2009, 06:07:31 PM »

More Photo's 

                        One of the most important things when doing these bad boys is getting the horns set properly.  In the above photo make sure you measure from behind the eye socket on the original skull to just where that horn sets.  Then transfer this measurement onto the manikin.  Now cut that skull an an angle conducive for fitting onto the manikin.  Sometime when you get these horn in they are separate from the skull and have dried up and cannot be placed on the core of the skull.  If this happens just put the end of the horn in a bucket of really hot water for about 30 min and it should then slide onto that core.  On this particular mount that didn't work and I took a large automotive sander and took that core down substantially.  I got it to fit really good.  I was lucky in this instance because the skinners drilled a key hole in the back of the skull when they took them off and this helped me to align up the horns on the skull properly.  Thank God....
« Last Edit: April 16, 2009, 06:07:06 AM by Big John » Logged

John Griffith
532 HWY 1567
Stearns, Ky 42647
606-376-4380
www.griffithtaxidermy.com
Big John
Gold Member
****
Location: Stearns, Kentucky
Posts: 932



WWW Email
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2009, 06:09:11 PM »

More Photo's

             Now when you get ready to put the horns on the skull permanently just drill you a couple of holes throughout the core with a 1/4 in drill bit.  This will enable for a permanent set or hold when you put the Bondo onto the core and up into the horns.  Take each horn once ready and put onto the core and then align it up with the back key hole.  Now just want 15 minutes and you now have a set of horns ready for mounting.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2009, 06:12:01 AM by Big John » Logged

John Griffith
532 HWY 1567
Stearns, Ky 42647
606-376-4380
www.griffithtaxidermy.com
Big John
Gold Member
****
Location: Stearns, Kentucky
Posts: 932



WWW Email
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2009, 06:22:14 PM »

      
                     I believe in a solid skull plate and that's why I set all of my skulls in bondo.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2009, 06:39:50 AM by Big John » Logged

John Griffith
532 HWY 1567
Stearns, Ky 42647
606-376-4380
www.griffithtaxidermy.com
Big John
Gold Member
****
Location: Stearns, Kentucky
Posts: 932



WWW Email
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2009, 06:23:55 PM »

         On this nose I cut a section off of the head and then used a template to drill through the back side and created my own septum.  I guess this just comes with experience.  I forgot to take a photo of the rear where I drilled it out.  Sorry.  Somefolks just drill it out and use a XLg septum inside and secure it with hot glue or you can buy a replacement nose and put on. 
« Last Edit: April 17, 2009, 06:40:52 AM by Big John » Logged

John Griffith
532 HWY 1567
Stearns, Ky 42647
606-376-4380
www.griffithtaxidermy.com
Big John
Gold Member
****
Location: Stearns, Kentucky
Posts: 932



WWW Email
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2009, 06:28:08 PM »

     I have found out over many moons there is nothing more disgusting than have ears that drum and just plain don't work.  Well, to eliminate any problems I have found out that it takes noting but hard work to do these ears properly.  Once you get that cartilage off there then start doing work on your ear liners.  On this one I used plastic ear liners from Research.   When using any plastic type of liner you got to spend time in roughing it up properly otherwise they just won't work.  A lot of folks soak these plastic liners in lacquer thinner and then sprinkle dry sand or dust material on them just for adhesion.  But, I have found out that if you use a stout ruffer and a file you can rough up these plastic liners and when using this Pro-555 you shouldn't have no problems when you size up the liner properly.  One thing good about this Pro-555 it gives you enough lea way time to fix or arrange the skin properly for hours after it's mounted up.  On these Hugh ears of a Kudu this liner worked out very well with the adhesion.  These ears are light weight, strong and very thin.  Yeah, I know there is a thousand ways to do ears from Bondo to bleach bottles.  But, I want something that works effectively now and looks like a real ear when done.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2009, 06:41:10 AM by Big John » Logged

John Griffith
532 HWY 1567
Stearns, Ky 42647
606-376-4380
www.griffithtaxidermy.com
Big John
Gold Member
****
Location: Stearns, Kentucky
Posts: 932



WWW Email
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2009, 06:35:19 PM »

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John Griffith
532 HWY 1567
Stearns, Ky 42647
606-376-4380
www.griffithtaxidermy.com
Big John
Gold Member
****
Location: Stearns, Kentucky
Posts: 932



WWW Email
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2009, 06:36:43 PM »

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John Griffith
532 HWY 1567
Stearns, Ky 42647
606-376-4380
www.griffithtaxidermy.com
Big John
Gold Member
****
Location: Stearns, Kentucky
Posts: 932



WWW Email
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2009, 06:37:55 PM »

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John Griffith
532 HWY 1567
Stearns, Ky 42647
606-376-4380
www.griffithtaxidermy.com
Big John
Gold Member
****
Location: Stearns, Kentucky
Posts: 932



WWW Email
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2009, 06:39:22 PM »

           OK, if you are going to start doing African work you had better start learning how to sew up properly.  On this kudu top side I used what is called a hidden stitch.  I use Fireline 20# test thread or line to sew up all my big game mounts because it's very Strong and doesn't ravel up so bad.  On a hidden stitch you always start on the top side or hair side and go through the entire skin about 1/8 in from the cut side.  Once you go through you then stay under the skin and go approx 1/4 in over and then push through coming out on top and then cross over to the other side of the skin going down on top through to the bottom and again going 1/4 inch over and the upward going through and coming out on top again.  Just repeat this over and over until your finished.  Now you need to put a strip of clay on your manikin from the back of the skull plate down to the end of the back.  When you get the skin on there just set your seam into this clay pressing it as much as you can and it will help to smooth out the underside of you hide and also keep any mane you have on your game head sticking upward better.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2009, 06:43:26 AM by Big John » Logged

John Griffith
532 HWY 1567
Stearns, Ky 42647
606-376-4380
www.griffithtaxidermy.com
Big John
Gold Member
****
Location: Stearns, Kentucky
Posts: 932



WWW Email
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2009, 06:40:39 PM »

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John Griffith
532 HWY 1567
Stearns, Ky 42647
606-376-4380
www.griffithtaxidermy.com
Big John
Gold Member
****
Location: Stearns, Kentucky
Posts: 932



WWW Email
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2009, 06:42:28 PM »

Now for the next sequence on photo's you will see where I had to alter the length of the nose about 1/2 inch and also I had to alter the entire head to make it bigger by cutting from the back side all the way up to almost the septum of the nose.  This gave me about another 1 1/2 thickness thru the middle and back portion of the head.   I also had to add about 2 in to the neck.  In order to do this I just cut the entire head off.  Then I made one cut down thru the center of the entire neck and just dropped the lower section of the neck down about 1 inch.  I placed shims of foam 1 in thick throughout the neck line and then wrapped the entire neck up with duct tape.  I then poured foam into the top of the neck head area and this gave me the 2 in I needed.  This was a 31 in manikin and I had to make it into a 33 in manikin.  Once all this was done I just simply bondoed the lower part of the head onto the neck and once this was completed I drove a 5/16 rod all the way down through the top of the head down into the neck area about 20 inches.  This will give me the support I need to hold up this heavy rack.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2009, 06:55:15 AM by Big John » Logged

John Griffith
532 HWY 1567
Stearns, Ky 42647
606-376-4380
www.griffithtaxidermy.com
Big John
Gold Member
****
Location: Stearns, Kentucky
Posts: 932



WWW Email
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2009, 06:44:07 PM »

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John Griffith
532 HWY 1567
Stearns, Ky 42647
606-376-4380
www.griffithtaxidermy.com
Big John
Gold Member
****
Location: Stearns, Kentucky
Posts: 932



WWW Email
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2009, 06:46:01 PM »

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John Griffith
532 HWY 1567
Stearns, Ky 42647
606-376-4380
www.griffithtaxidermy.com
Big John
Gold Member
****
Location: Stearns, Kentucky
Posts: 932



WWW Email
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2009, 06:51:46 PM »

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John Griffith
532 HWY 1567
Stearns, Ky 42647
606-376-4380
www.griffithtaxidermy.com
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 Print 
Taxidermy.Net Forum  |  Beginners, Training & Tutorials  |  Tutorials  |  Topic: Mounting an African KUDU by John Griffith « previous next »
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