This is my last question on this subject. Thanks in advance for all your help. When doing a leather cover antler mount please tell me if this is the correct way to make it. If I am using a mount plate I will cut the antlers to the desired position and attach to the plate. I will then use clay or mache to cover the section around the antlers, wait until it's dry and sand it down smooth. Then I cut a piece of leather to the correct length and fit it around the antlers, stapling it at the back of the mount plate. I can then put rope or other material around the antler burrs and attach the whole thing to an antler panel. Am I correct in this? Any corrections or advice would be appreciated.
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pretty much the way I do it. You shouldn't need to sand anything though. Actually, you missed something. I use a piece of 3/8" all thread to attach to the plaque. Drill through the skull plate. Put all thread through it. Put one nut on the outside and another on the inside to lock it into place. Then when you do your mache, it'll cover the nut that's on the outside. No rocket science here Bud. You've been obsessing over this for weeks now. If it don't look right the 1st time, re-do it...
Alright, thanks for the help. I just want to make sure I get it right the first time. I ought to know how to get it right now. I'm no taxidermist. I have no experience on these whatsoever. Perhaps I should post in beginners category.
when you're doing your mache, bolt it to a scrap piece of wood. I just use an old piece of plywood, and cover it with butcher paper so the mache doesn't stick to the wood. After a day or so, I pull it loose from the wood and let the air get to the back so it dries clear through. Wrap your leather and staple to the back. You lost me with the "mounting plate". Put it on your plaque when complete. Have your local engraver or trophy maker make a little label for it. Usually a couple bucks. Makes a nice finishing touch...
Use a antler mounting block. Screw down skull plate. Bondo seams, covering screw heads. Cut away excess bondo with knife before it totally kicks. Sand with Extra coarse paper. Grind off the screws that stick out the bottom of the block. Now for the leather. Get wide masking tape. Tear off strips(A lot of them) about 4 to 5 inches long. Lay tape in every direction, cris crossing and overlapping each other. Be sure to get right up next to the burrs. The tape should extend about 2 inches past the edges of the form, on to your table, cardboard or whatever is underneath the block. A moderate layer is what you want. Trim the Overlap tape (outside the block) to about about an inch. Now, cut a straight line through the tape at a point in back of the antlers. Peel off tape. Now you have an exact template that you can use to cut out your leather cover! No wasted leather or time, fighting to get what you need. Remember not to reverse the pattern when cutting out the leather. I use an awl instead of a pen when tracing on the leather prior to cutting out , no errant ink marks. I've gotten so good at doing this, I don't use rope anymore. That's because there are no gaps to hide! Now spray glue lightly both the leather and bondo/block, Don't wait too long to position the skin or it will get really sticky. I like to use a 'T' pin to taxi that leather into place. Use care when superglueing down the seams. Particularly if it is needed around the Burrs. When stapling the skin under, if you cut with scissors where the skin naturally bunches, you will find that it leaves an open "V". Pull these areas together and staple...Viola no puckers where the block contacts the panel! Any area's that you think that your not clear on will become self apparent as you are doing this! Also the tape pattern is reusable over and over and over..just a little extra tape here and there and you saved a bunch of time. It may sound like a lot of work, but you'll just have to trust me...its not!
I really appreciate the tips
Do you think I should use an antler mount form? Which is easier? Did you mean I shouldn't use one, Crusty? Maybe I should have referred to it as a mount form, not plate.
This way has always worked 4 me. Cut a heart shaped piece of 1/2 or 5/8 plywood,just big enough for antlers to set on. Attach with 2"drywall screws, if they go thru just snap them off with a pair of pliers,they"re hard and brittle. Cover with smooth mache (VanDyke"s) ? An old type butterknife works great for this. Bring the mache all the way up to the antler burr, and form it to your heart shaped base. Smooth it with the wide butterknife & out flush with burr. I"ll do several at a time, aslong as you beat the set of the mache.Once you"ve smoothed it well enough (no sanding) let the mache just start to harden, then make a small groove all the way around burr(this lets you tuck the leather or fabric in), just like tucking lips on a deer. I never cut my leather first(too much waste),start at the top of base and staple leather,stretch down to bottom of base and staple stretch to both sides and staple(just one staple at each spot),then go back and finish stapling just the sides leaving the top.Next take a razorblade and make a cut starting at the outer edge of the leather to the start of the antler burr,then cut around to the right first ending in the back of the burr(trim off excess), then to the left, cut to back and trim excess,leaving enough to fold over previous cut(they meet in back). Start tucking around burr from front to back(I leave about 1/8 in.to tuck in after cutting around burr).Go right till end is tucked,staple once on very edge into mache, then tuck to the left,before you get all the way back fold over edge of leather and lay over the staple you put in the right side. Bring fold over edge of base and staple, repeat other side making sure it is stapled all the way around base. Cut all the way around staples and your"e done. No ropes needed. If you want the glossed look on your antlers spray it before you cover. And, deerskin works great(lots of stretch and thin enough to work with). They also have a new cloth out that has a leather texture to it(thin & velvety finish).Alot of people like it. Hope you can figure these directions out ! Better off seen than heard.
I cut a piece of 1 by 4 pine into a teardrop shape and screw the horns to in. I then take bondo (auto body filler) and build up to the desired size. It will set up in about 15 minutes depending on how much hardener you use. Then sand making sure I have a real defined center line and cover with leather stapling it to the back
The others are describing fairly close to the way I do it. I just don't use a piece of wood other than the final mounting plaque. I don't need to do a bunch in one day. I have formed a bunch in one day, and did the leather/cloth whatever another day. I like the mache. Easier to work with and no smell. I know Patrick/trappenfool has bondo sitting around since he does body work too... :}
I definetely have build up some knowledge on this subject and should know where to start. I appreciate it.
Do you form the whole thing before attaching to the panel or screw the antlers to the panel and then form it? You all probably do it different, but tell me your style. Thanks once again
before it hits the finished panel.