It was not cut off in the typical way...Instead of a 110 degree angle, I have a 90 degree angle to work with..can I still drill holes in it or will the shull shatter? What do I need to do to build up the skull plate with less skull to work with?
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You are asking basic questions here, I strongly urge you to order a video on mounting a whitetail it will explain the basics such as how to measure for form size and cape and form prep it will also show you how to set the horns on the form correctly you will then see that a wood shim or bondo can be used to replace the missing skull cap
once again buy a video and see the process and the steps to take in mounting your deer, have I mentioned that a video would be helpful?
Hope this helps
I mount quite a few with too short of a skull plate. After boiling all the meat off, I smear some bondo on the inside of the skull cap, some more on the form. Then I'll place a small handful of wood wool on the inside of the skull cap, mix some more bondo with the wood wool. Place the horns on. Put two or three long screws through the skull plate to keep it from falling off while the bondo hardens. You'll probably need a shim or two to bring things up to the right level. I finish things off with paper mache after the bondo hardens. Hope this helps...Steve
I saw bondo at home depot. Is this the same bondo you all use? Does the wood wool thicken up the Bondo? While drilling, what do I do to prevent the skull from cracking? Also, after setting the antlers for the final time, can I rebuild the meat with clay instead of mache?
... this isnt that hard - all bondo will work - the wood wool strenghtens the bondo - you can also get it with reinforcing fibres in it - drill the holes big enuf so the screws dont bind on the skull - tighten to snug the skull plate against the form - i rebuild all of my mounts with potters clay - some use mache some use bondo - it is a matter of choice
mix up enought bondo to form a false "brain" for the skull cap to sit on. Mix the bondo and the harderner first, then to this mixture, add sawdust, enough so the bondo dries up some and forms almost a clay. Make a pile of bondo on the skull base on the manikin and lay a small sheet of plastic(like a Walmart bag) over the bondo.
Next, you will set the antlers down on the bondo with the plastic cover until they are in the correct position. Only set the skull plate down as far as necessary for correct positioning, all the while holding the antlers from putting their entire weight on the bondo. If you are satisfied with the position, gently remove the antlers, and you should be left with a bondo mold that fits you antlers covered in plastic. Just after it starts to harden, you should carefully trim the excess bondo off the sides by trimming down with a knife, not up as you do not want to pop the bondo off the form. After the bondo hardens you can remove the plastic.
The purpose of the sawdust is to give the bondo extra thickness and strength so that after you press the real skull into it, it holds its shape. You can later set the antlers permanently by using 3" drywall screws through the skull and bondo(afer it is completely cured), it is not necessary to predrill the bondo, but you must predrill the skull plate.
This way, you can take the antlers on and off as you desire during the mounting process as the bondo becomes part of the form.
Now the trick is, setting the antlers in the right position. And if you are a beginer, you need to research this first.
This method is from a video done by Paul Cales and it works well for me. If you would like the videos, post again and let me know.
I would begin by cutting the skull plate again so it fit better, if that is possible,( if you have enough to work with).
Mike, very insightful info...I know this stuff isn't rocket science but I want to do a good job the first time!