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Beginners, Training & Tutorials => Tutorials => Topic started by: George Roof on April 10, 2007, 09:37:10 AM

Title: Make your own custom tree limb
Post by: George Roof on April 10, 2007, 09:37:10 AM
I'd thought about this in the beginners section, but I hear the same things from older taxidermsits about not finding an appropriate limb to do the work they want.  Here's a very simple way to build a limb using 4 inch and 2 inch PVC, chicken wire, and foam.
Title: Re: Make your own custom tree limb
Post by: George Roof on April 10, 2007, 09:38:33 AM
Here's the rest
Title: Re: Make your own custom tree limb
Post by: George Roof on April 10, 2007, 09:42:55 AM
And the stained log with a leopard manikin in place.  No leaves yet, but no dead Steinbok draped across the limb either.
Title: Re: Make your own custom tree limb
Post by: Blade on April 10, 2007, 10:56:09 AM
NICE JOB!!!  :o
Title: Re: Make your own custom tree limb
Post by: Dean on April 10, 2007, 11:22:10 AM
That method I've done for years now. My leopard in the tree was done that way at Nationals in Sioux Falls a couple years ago. The tree was 12 tall and I could carry it myself over my shoulder. You don't have to use the mesh the foam sticks to the pvc fine with out it. The branches are made by reducing down the pvc pipes. After foaming I scratched and textured the foam to create the bark. I them mixed bondo and fiberglass resin and painted the tree with it. It gives a nice durable hard shell over it. It is then painted with different colors of flat paint. I make my rocks with the same foam and bondo/ fiberglass method.
Title: Re: Make your own custom tree limb
Post by: Dean on April 10, 2007, 11:30:40 AM
I was going to put up a photo of the tree but haven't got a clue where to start. I'll try to figure it out.
Title: Re: Make your own custom tree limb
Post by: kosterman on April 10, 2007, 01:33:05 PM
that looks pretty sweet. im gonna have to give that a shot.
Title: Re: Make your own custom tree limb
Post by: AndyB on April 10, 2007, 02:33:34 PM
nice step by step
Title: Re: Make your own custom tree limb
Post by: George Roof on April 10, 2007, 03:12:52 PM
If you've never done this type foaming, you mix only about 6 to  8 ounces of each part and mix them with an electric drill and a bent wire mixer.  Then you pour it out on a plastic sheet and allow it to start foaming up.  When you can lift that plastic without it running, you flip it over on to your "log".  You can then use the plastic sheet to move foam into areas as well as rough form it.  Do NOT try to pour the foam directly on the log.  You'll simply have a big mess.
Title: Re: Make your own custom tree limb
Post by: [email protected] on April 10, 2007, 04:08:33 PM
You can also make great looking bark with bondo & latex press molds. Pick out atree with a lot of texture in the bark. Although your  limb looks good like it is. Good job George.
Title: Re: Make your own custom tree limb
Post by: PJK1944 on April 11, 2007, 11:46:24 PM
NICE JOB LOOKS REAL GOOD...I USED THE PVC WITH 1/4 MESS WIRE, USING WATER PUDDY AND BURLAP MAKES A GREAT LOOKING TREE..AFTER THE FIRST COAT OF BURLAP DIPED IN WATER PUDDY AND WRAP IT AFTER IT DRYS MAKE SOME MORE WATER PUDDY AND PUT IT ON AND CREATE YOUR OUR DESIGN SMOOTH OR ROUGH ,ALSO MIX PAINTS INTO THE WATER PUDDY MIX.. JUST ANOTHER IDEA.. BASES BY RICK.
Title: Re: Make your own custom tree limb
Post by: mk on April 12, 2007, 10:19:57 AM
how are you going to attach it to the wall?  nice job george!
Title: Re: Make your own custom tree limb
Post by: Paul K on April 12, 2007, 11:44:25 PM
George , how much time into it ?
Title: Re: Make your own custom tree limb
Post by: George Roof on April 13, 2007, 07:44:40 AM
Too damned much.  I spent about 3 days on it.

As for the attach point:
The client lived in a big ranch style home with a full basement on the top of a hill. When he decided on building a game room, he insisted that the contractor make at least an 18 foot tall ceiling.  The contractor dug out the hillside to the basement level and extended the foundation out 40 feet.  When the roof came, it had to be tied into the original so he chose to go up on the existing roof about 4 feet to tie it in.  The left about 3 feet of old roof exposed which was hidden behind some dynamic trim work.  If you look at the back of my "log", you'll see about 3 feet of and 8 foot piece of 2 inch angle iron.  This piece is cut and welded to go inside the PVC for about 4 foot and the tag of the iron is bent at the 4 on 12 pitch of the old roof.  I will bolt that tang to the old roof rafters.  I had to take the rough PVC over and prefit it to insure teh angle was correct.  As soon as I get the pieces back from the tannery and I get Ken Walker down here for a week, we're going to mount the leopard, the 800 pound lioness, and a life-size nyala to finish of this damned safari.  Did I mention I hate doing African stuff?

Just a note.  Last time I had Ken down on one of these adventures, he carved and mounted a lifesized grizzly over 2 days.  The DTA offered this seminar to anyone for just $50 and we included a light lunch, sodas, and snacks.  Take a crack at how many people came to see the seminar.    THREE PEOPLE.

Now if there's some interest in Ken doing a similar seminar with this diorama in maybe July/August (depends on when Carolina gets me the wet tanned hides back) maybe, just MAYBE we'd consider doing something similar.  I can tell you right now, however, it won't be $50 this time, more like $250.  Sandy Slyvester and I will be doing the work with Ken, but if you know Ken, most of his seminars are "hands on" and I certainly won't get in your way if you like to sew.
Title: Re: Make your own custom tree limb
Post by: mountingman on April 13, 2007, 08:01:54 AM
I would definitely be interested in that George! just let me know when. Especially in august as my schedule is clear that month. Thanks to you and DTA for considering it
Title: Re: Make your own custom tree limb
Post by: Paul K on April 13, 2007, 07:42:58 PM
Well, George 3 days aint bad if your getting paid good to do it, I figure I'm probably slower than most but probably more expensive than most. I'd sure be interested in that Deleware get together
Title: Re: Make your own custom tree limb
Post by: gab on April 26, 2007, 05:55:49 PM
George,
 Thank you for sharing.That's one of the best tips I've seen in a while.
Title: Re: Make your own custom tree limb
Post by: JonHarleTX on April 27, 2007, 10:41:38 PM
wow George, You really do work!  Nice job!

Jon~
Title: Re: Make your own custom tree limb
Post by: sarahdj on May 02, 2008, 05:11:53 PM
Looks great- thanks for the info!
Title: Re: Make your own custom tree limb
Post by: ed150 on May 04, 2008, 05:17:06 PM
thanks for sharing,great job
Title: Re: Make your own custom tree limb
Post by: tazzymoto on May 05, 2008, 05:05:45 PM
Very interesting George, I've learned something today
thank you
Title: Re: Make your own custom tree limb
Post by: 2wbdft on February 26, 2009, 11:30:52 AM
i know its an "oldie but a goodie"....

just wanted to say thanks to George, i recently used this technique to build "the Perfect limb" and it turned out great! 8)
Title: Re: Make your own custom tree limb
Post by: Southland Taxidermy on August 07, 2011, 03:44:03 PM
what was the flat white paint? or primer? what did you use to stain it with? and why do you put you freezers on casters?
Title: Re: Make your own custom tree limb
Post by: George Roof on August 07, 2011, 06:11:22 PM
I thought I said the paint was flat white latex/acrylic interior house paint.  It's stained with Minwax Dark Walnut stain.

The freezers are on casters so that when I decide to clean the shop, I can unplug them, move them away from the wallls, vacuum, and then hose the floor down before moving them back into position.  I figure I'm like most others and use the freezer tops as additional shelf and work bench space.  I'm constantly "losing" things behind the freezer. Try getting back there to retrieve them when you're dealing with  two 21 cu. ft. freezers.
Title: Re: Make your own custom tree limb
Post by: shammy on August 07, 2011, 10:48:36 PM
Thanks George for the info. Now I know how to do it if I get the opportunity someday.   shammy
Title: Re: Make your own custom tree limb
Post by: ManHunterUSMC on September 13, 2011, 05:03:20 AM
Hey George, I haven't been on here long, but I sure have seen you on just about ever post i read through! You are a big inspiration
to all of us beginners and I'm sure plenty of pros see as a big help too.

I saw a few holes drilled into the tree mostly around the point where the limbs come out. Are these hose for the foam to set into? or are they just black marks with a Sharpie to mark where you need to put your limbs. Thanks, I hope I don't sound too much like a new guy.

Christian
Title: Re: Make your own custom tree limb
Post by: George Roof on September 13, 2011, 08:17:15 AM
The black spots around the PVC "limbs" are actually the heads of drywall screws holding the PVC in the position I wanted them.  As there were no "joints" that would allow for slanted limbs, I drilled oversized holes in the main "limb", inserted the smaller OD PVC into the hole, moved it to a position I liked and then held it with screws.  Afterwards, I primed the gaps (purple rings) and filled them with joint cement.  The only holes in the limbs ended up being the ones were the anchor bolts secured the leopard to the limb.  

Just to follow on, the leopard is not "bolted" to the limb.  I made the holes close tolerant and a bit farther apart than necessary.  Since the limb had to be mounted to the roof about 15 feet in the air, that was precarious enough for me.  After installing the limb, I balanced the mounted leopard and set it in the predrilled holes.  The extra space between the holes allowed the mount to be "spring loaded" and it locked itself in snugly.  Setting nearly 18 feet off the floor, I didn't figure anyone would be messing with it to dislodge it easily.

Here is what the final piece looked like in the clients game room with him and his wife looking out over the gameroom.

(http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u260/GeoRoof/AndyandFayeAndrewTrophyRoom.jpg)
Title: Re: Make your own custom tree limb
Post by: ManHunterUSMC on September 13, 2011, 11:00:43 AM
That's Amazing! I can't wait to make this a full time adventure once I get out of the Marine Corps!
Title: Re: Make your own custom tree limb
Post by: rasorbackq on March 18, 2016, 01:29:58 PM
 Yes its  been 6 years  but this is the only place I could find  info.
 George I need to make a custom branch for a full mount bear 126lber.
  I came across this thread a month ago when there was only a few pics left . Now they are all gone.
  So you used plumbing pipes to get the shape  then foam on a bag and flip onto the pipe.
  How do you shape the foam to look like bark.
 I have done a few other foam  displays but they are so fragile and the pain seems to eat the foam .
 Hopefully you can help me out again like in the past.
Title: Re: Make your own custom tree limb
Post by: George Roof on March 22, 2016, 05:56:03 PM
I shape the foam under the plastic, obviously. When it cures, I cut the "bark" by using a teardrop shaped, coarse Riffler file. I use a Stout Ruffer on the rest of the foam so as to create a good "tooth" to hold paint on the foam. Then I use a quality "one coat" flat acrylic paint. The first coat I let dry completely before adding a second and final coat. I add about a half can of unscented talcum powder to a half gallon of paint. This serves as a great crack and seam killer as well as making a super stain absorbent surface when you color your bark. This mix will never shine as you've created a super flat white paint.
Title: Re: Make your own custom tree limb
Post by: rasorbackq on March 22, 2016, 06:06:56 PM
 Thanks George..

So you apply the foam  and take off the plastic right away  or leave til it sets? Any chance after all this time there is still a pic of the log handy?
 

Title: Re: Make your own custom tree limb
Post by: George Roof on March 22, 2016, 06:20:14 PM
As long as you don't fold the plastic under foam, it will peel right off. I'll have to get to my PC and look for the pictures. I'm sure they're on there someplace.