Does anyone know of a compound used in making Antler replicas that would have calcium in it? I purchased a deer head with a huge rack, but I'm concerned it may be fake. It smells strange when I drilled a tiny hole into an obscure spot on the base. That said, I had a chemist friend test a small sample of it against real antler and he found that both samples had relatively low calcium levels, though not identical. from what I've read, most replicas are made of resin and or a polymer of some sort, I wouldn't think calcium would be a component of either. Any thoughts?
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some use plaster as a filler in their resins
Won't replicas melt a little if you hold a real hot needle to them?
For the calcium content. Bone is @ 18 % calcium not sure about antler but since they are bone, my guess would be near that number. Alternately, If I was that concerned I would probably tear the mount apart and check to see if they are on a natural skull cap, sheds reattached, or whatever...
heat a small needle to red hot and press into a small never to be seen area on the antlers. Does it smell like burning plastic? Does it smell like burning bone (if you dont know what burning bone smells liken, burn one)? That will tell you. And just think of the cost I saved you.
By the way. Some people use bone meal in the castings to develope depth in the finish on the repos.
Have any of you ever seen tiny holes in a real antler? I know it sounds crazy, but a certified B and C scorer and I sat looking at this rack and the look and feel and sound (resonating tone when struck) are perfect. Then there are the weird things, one the smell of the "antler dust" is not like bone, the one that reminds you of the dentist! Second, there are some tiny holes on the main beams. That said, I don't see any seems and the antlers are not that "exceptional" that it would be worth making castings. It's a true mystery.
You hit the nail on the head. Yes the smell of burning tooth enamal. Small pin holes may be from a casting. Try the hot pin test. You should get an answer real quick. Look for melt.