I have a customer that wants a repair done on a set of Dall Sheep horns. One side is broomed at 36 1/2" a and he wants it to match up with the other side which is 40 inches. I have never done this type of repair before and any suggestions would be appreciated. Personally, I would have left them as is but this is what he wants done. Any Ideas?
Thanks in advance...Mike
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just use bondo to recreate the short side of the horn. email me if your having a hard time.
I've done a lot of these and if done right,the owner won't even know which side you've fixed.First you need to epoxy in a rod for support.The rod needs to be stiff enough not to flex if bumped.I have fixed a lot of other people's repairs because they used wire etc. that wasn't stiff enough.Epoxys or bondo don't stick as tenaciously to horn as they do other substrates so if it gets bumped,it may seperate from the end of the horn.I often bend a 1/4" rod in a "U" shape that is close to the shape of the horn tip.Cut or grind off any splintered horn material first.You may have to square off the horn end sligtly to make it easier to drill 2 holes for the rod.Bevel the edge of the horn,though so that the epoxy can feather out over the edge,not butt up to a square edge.I like to build my new horn with either Sculp-Epox or All Game because of the color.I tint them slightly with raw umber tube acrylics.The trick here is to tint the epoxy about a shade lighter than the real horn.It will darken slightly as the epoxy sets up.Sculpt the general shape first.The real trick to this part is to let it firm up some and cut in a little more detail.Keep playing with it as it sets up.The finest detail,cracks and hairlines are cut in with a scalpel when the putty is very firm-almost hard.The biggest mistake is cutting this detail when the putty is mushy-it will look man made.When the putty is very firm you can make cracks and hairlines that look exactly like the real thing.After the epoxy is set up you can lighten the high spot by lightly sanding with fine sandpaper or darken if needed with the raw umber paint.You seldom need to darken it.When you finish,you have a repair that looks real,feels real and even if scuffed or scratched,still looks like real horn.Use your existing horn as reference.Just stay after the detailing until you can't work the putty anymore.
a how-to article in Breakthrough or Taxidermy Today.