Removing a Broken Core from Inside a Cow Horn
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Taxidermy.Net Forum  |  Beginners, Training & Tutorials  |  Tutorials  |  Topic: Removing a Broken Core from Inside a Cow Horn « previous next »
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michael p.
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« on: February 18, 2008, 06:43:15 PM »

Well, this happens sometimes & it's never fun.....so I figured I'd post a how to tutorial on it & make the best of of a bad situation.


Sometimes when rotting cow horns off the core you will come across one with what I refer to as a "soft spot" and while one horn simply slides off the core, the other may play holy heck with your patience and break of twist off with the core still inside. Well in some cases such as this one the core broke off well inside the shell. I have had this happen a few times & this is how I remedy it. It may not work for some, but it works for me. Hope this may help save someone some time in the future.


As you can see, one side slid off why the other broke off near the skull base.






I first take a screw driver & pry loose the exposed edges.



I then make a mark on the BACK side of the horn where I will drill.


I then take a paddle bit & drill a hole through the horn & core.




I them take a screw driver & hammer, stick it in the hole & tap hard enough to get the horn to slide up some (just basically getting it loose & workable)


I then take a regular drill bit & drill a hole. Then I take a nail punch & slide it in & hit sideways with a hammer.







Then repeat the process, going on down the line redrilling & tapping as you go.





The horn will slowly but surely protrude out. As you can see here, I had to drill three separate holes as I was sliding down before the horn completely lost grip & slid out.





Since the skull was macerated, I will now soak in a solution of scented bleach & hot water to help remove residual smell of rot.


I will close the hole made from the paddle bit by combination of "All Game" & paint, it will be unnoticeable once blended. As I go along through the finishing process I will update this post till the finished product is complete.






-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
continued


The weather has sucked for drying & bleaching so I had to go to plan "B" and ddid the bleaching at night while working.

First I set it a short distance from the heater to dry


Then I took a solution of erubbing alcohol & dry preservative to the inside of the horns





Now to the bleaching. As I said, it's been overcast & not that nice for bleaching. This is what I do, it works damn good....but be careful. First I mix my 40 volume developer & whitener together. Then I wrap the head in Saran Wrap & set in front of the heater. Be careful not to set it so close where it melts the plastic wrap and open doors & windows for ventilation. It will whiten the hell out of ANY skull doing it this way.

(I'm gonna get off track here for a second & discuss this bleaching method. Too many times I have read on here that you have to have this bright sun light, yada, yada, yada to bleach a head  & that you do not need to use the whitener with the developer liquid. Well I will say it since nobody else will....."THAT IS BULL $H!T!"...... You do not need any type of light to make a 40 Volume with whitener bleach a skull, you need HEAT! Now granted, light doesn't hurt your cause & I personally love a bright, hot day to do this in. But, heat is what makes your 40 volume developer & whitener react, not all the ultra violet rays. Some will disagree, but you others will have to trust me on this, heat, not light is best!!)

Now back to the point at hand, brush your skull, wrap in saran wrap, put in front of heater if it's cool outside for an hour or so (yes, only an hour, not days like I have heard others on here say :P ) and then you can rinse off. I also did the deer skulls the exact same way while I was doing the cow skull.




Immediately after rising off using heat only ;D


now that my skull is bleached & dried I line it up on the wood I am using.....because of the size of the skull (smaller) and the surface of the wood I am using a dowel rod instead of a 2x4......I paddle out my hole in the wood & have previously cut the back of the head out, make all my markings & first set my dowel rod. I keep folding bondo up the side so I can sand & paint to match the wood I am using















I use the alcohol to thin down the paint in a paper cup.


After all that is done, I fill the brain hole with bondo & set the skull (before the horns)

notice how the painted bondo has become one with the wood after drying



Now to the tricky part. I tried to square off the broken horn as good as possible, but it was shorter than the other, even at the twist so I had to make do & align it as symetrically as possible with the other which as a pain in the butt, but like a deer rack, there is nothing you can do if one side is shorter than the other. Be sure though if & when you are working on something like this to have a cloth measuring tape & a straight ruler to get it as square & close as possible as you can.


Before setting the broken horn, I bondo (or foam, your choice) a support rod in place.


I then stick the horns into HOT water causing them to expand for easier fit onto the cores. I put some bondo near the opening so it will slide back with the horn sliding on the core. I the sand then if need be......which this one did because of the rough skin texture.





After my horns have set, I first use a little bondo to fill the hole in the side of the horn I made which I then go over with All Game. I set it tonight & will finish the blending in back whenever I wake up this morning.

 




Otherwise, I went ahead & finished everything else & this was the final product.









« Last Edit: April 22, 2008, 05:37:36 PM by Ken Edwards » Logged

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Ron Elkins Taxidermy
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« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2008, 06:53:05 PM »

EXCELLENT post Michael P. 
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JLW
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« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2008, 06:59:42 PM »

Michael P, great teaching tool for everyone. Thanks JLW/Wagner's Taxidermy.  see ya in Altoona!! ;D
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michael p.
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« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2008, 05:23:00 AM »

Added a few more pics, hope it helps.


Here's some of a Whitetail European mount I finished tonight

I attach the 1x2  first to the driftwood, & I just paint the wood to match. I grinded the back of the block with a wheel to contour to the driftwood. I put my bondo on the block & inside the brain hole. Notice I drilled holes in the block to help secure the bondo. As George always says, Bondo is not an adhesive. If you do not put the holes in it can slip if all sides are smooth once it has cooled & contracted down. I just use something to hold it in place while drying, in this case a simple drill bit & then clean it up.









finished product


« Last Edit: February 21, 2008, 05:53:28 AM by michael p. » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2008, 06:25:49 AM »

micheal p. you tried that with other horns? If so you get the same results. Just about every goat(antelope) I do I hav etrouble with. I dont have trouble with my sheep though. JUST curious

ROB
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Justin P.
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« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2008, 07:17:31 AM »

Good post!
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Rick Carter
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« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2008, 07:57:40 AM »

Good job MP!
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Monkey Man
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« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2008, 09:57:11 AM »

Excellent Post!  It sure is nice looking around on this site to find out all these little tips and tricks. Thanks!
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Jon
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« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2008, 10:12:09 AM »

great post mp, what did you put on the longhorns to make them shiny?
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Frank from PA
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« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2008, 10:20:38 AM »

Thanks MP. That was very educational and enjoyable. Thanks again for posting about the HIstory channel and taxidermy. Frank.
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michael p.
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« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2008, 11:08:56 AM »

micheal p. you tried that with other horns? If so you get the same results. Just about every goat(antelope) I do I hav etrouble with. I dont have trouble with my sheep though. JUST curious

ROB

Yep, all horns with sheaths get treated almost the same way :)

great post mp, what did you put on the longhorns to make them shiny?


I had just finished spraying the horns down witrh satin laquer. After they dry, they will tone down a bit.
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Spent my whole life lookin' back
 Not lookin' ahead to see
 Trying to keep my feet on track
 Doin' what was expected of me
 Kick my shoes off so they can't trace me
 Leave no forwarding address
 Before they all drive me crazy
 And I leave 'em all in a bloody mess
C.C.
George Roof
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« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2008, 11:28:21 AM »

Michael, that's some very nice work - even if you do use that damned Bondo in the wrong applications.  LMAO
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Monkey Man
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« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2008, 11:42:07 AM »

Michael, that's some very nice work - even if you do use that damned Bondo in the wrong applications.  LMAO

That's as close as you can get to a complement from George. lol
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Jon
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« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2008, 04:11:44 PM »

Thanks for taking the time to provide that many photographs, very helpful.

Beginner question.  Why do you take the sheaths off and leave a part of the core?  I'm guessing there is material in the core that will rot.  Do you remove the material on the inside from the portion of the core left intact?
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tub
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« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2008, 07:14:52 PM »

Very nice work Micheal.
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