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Advice on antler mounting-pics added

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by randydb, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. randydb

    randydb New Member

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    Hi,

    Been lurking and researching antler mounts for the last week. Got a late season Elk hunt in Dawson Creek over Christmas and the 3 teenagers from our party managed to take a bull each. 4x4, 5x6, and a 6x6. WAY more work than I expected, but very rewarding. All want antler mounts as well as Tristan wants to mount a 4x4 buck he got earlier this season.

    I do a lot of woodwork, including building custom made drum sets, so making plaques would be no problem. I want to help the kids make their own mounts because it would be great family/friend time, teach them something new, set them up to do many more in the future, and of course be MUCH cheaper ;D.

    After much research I have a few questions.

    1) If I want to cover the mount with leather or felt, do I need to use a form? Can I just cut a tear drop shaped(if that is the shape the kids choose) piece of 3/4 plywood and screw the antlers to that? Then use something to give the shape I want around the antlers and cover with felt?

    2) if my #1 idea is ok. Tell me what thickness of plywood I should use. Is 3/4 good? Thicker?

    3) If my #1 idea is ok. What should I be filling in the space around the skull with. Do I need to use something solid like bondo(body filler), paper mache, or modeling clay? Or would it be fine to get a few pieces of foam from my buddy who does uphosltery and cut them to shape a bit big and then cover/compress them to the shape I want?


    If my idea isn't so solid. Tell me the next best. I have looked closely at a tutorial thread at archerytalk on using a antler form and flocking which seemed very easy to me too.

    This is a great site by the way.
    Thanks
    Randydb
     
  2. Re: Advice on antler mounting

    I make my own wood panel then attach the antlers to it, then keep mixing up some bondo hot and putting it on over the wood and antlers, the i take a rasp and make my shape, then ready for leather....... simple..... 3/4" wood is fine
     

  3. chongo

    chongo Member

    Re: Advice on antler mounting

    Elmers Wood filler. Cheap and easy to shape to whatever form you like- consistency of clay.
     
  4. randydb

    randydb New Member

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    Re: Advice on antler mounting


    Thanks guys. Kind of what I suspected would work. That is what I will do. Never thought of wood filler. I have a number of partial cans of that stuff out on my bench. Different colors that I always look at and wonder why I don't throw em out cause I never use them. Now I know why. Old can of bondo is sitting out there too. This is great, I can use up a bunch of stuff that has sat in my garage for the last many years and justifies my packrat never throw nothing out mindset that drives my wife wild.
    Randydb
     
  5. AlaskaSportsman

    AlaskaSportsman New Member

    Re: Advice on antler mounting

    I have always had good luck with "Fix it All". Its a water based powder patch like plaster of paris. It comes in green and yellow bags or boxes. I like it because as it hardens you can smooth it with a butter knife. If you wait a little longer take a wet sponge to do the final smoothing. I screw the skull plate to the 3/4 plywood piece. Pre drill the skull and DON'T over torque the screws; it could crack your skull. The fix it all cures rock hard with minimal shrinkage. I back fill the under side of the skull plate for better support. I have used both real and synthetic suede. I start by dry fitting a piece of suede to the form, making initial trimming. I then staple the suede to he back of the plywood at the top. Use contact cement on the fix it all and let it dry. Then apply the cement to theunderside of the suede. Pull the suede tight over the skull and work from the center out to remove wrinkles. Work around the antler bases. There will be a seam directly under the antlers on the outer edge (at 3 and 9 o'clock). Work your way around and staple the rest of the suede all the way around on the back side of the plywood. Then braid some suede and wrap it around the bases and over the seems at 3 and 9 o'clock mentioned earlier. Use a hammer to drive the staples all the way in flush. Then attach the finished hardwood plaque of your choice. I counter sink the mounting plate flush so nothing sticks out. I then glue a piece of felt over the entire back of the plaque so it won't scratch the wall when hanging. Total time is about 1-2 hours. Good luck.
     
  6. randydb

    randydb New Member

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    Re: Advice on antler mounting

    Alaska,

    Thanks for the detailed reply. I wasn't quite sure how to apply and make the felt/leather stay in place. I was thinking I would need to start around the base of one antler, but your "work from the top down and middle out" makes way more sense.

    The Fix it All you use is for drywall repairs, not the type for concrete repair? I notice I have a partial box of the concrete version of fix it all, but I know that hardens like concrete and there would be no shaping it with a rasp or abrasive. Just a chisel.

    Thanks again
    Randydb
     
  7. RockinR

    RockinR Member

    Re: Advice on antler mounting

    I have always used paper mache and have never had a problem with it. Also if you cannot get it super smooth you can also take some 1/2 in batting and wrap the mount in that before you put you seude or leather or whatever you use and it will give you a smooth looking surface.
     
  8. AlaskaSportsman

    AlaskaSportsman New Member

    Re: Advice on antler mounting

    Yes the Fix All is the cement patch kind....It turns rock hard. It's off white like plaster when wet, and cures a dirty tan/yellow tinge. Good luck.
     
  9. randydb

    randydb New Member

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    Re: Advice on antler mounting


    I got going on my daughter's elk antlers today. Mounted them on teardrop shaped piece of plywood. Used a bit of modeling clay to add support. Then got out one of my buckets of left over cement patch that has sat under my bench for years. Mixed, and shaped/formed around the antlers. Was quick and easy. Was able to shape and form as it set up. Very quick and easy.

    Only thing I am noticing now is your comment about the easy patch you use. My concrete patch has set up the color and feel of concrete. Not like you describe above. Don't think it will matter though. Have the shape I want and it will hold the contact cement just great. The only thing that would be a problem would be if I needed to change the shape I wouldn't be able to use a rasp on this stuff.

    I will take some pictures of it as I go along and will post later.

    Thanks for all the feedback and quick responses. I am really impressed with this site.
    Randydb
     
  10. TIM DUNCAN

    TIM DUNCAN surry county va

    Re: Advice on antler mounting

    paper mache is the cheapest way and you can mold it anyway you want
     
  11. randydb

    randydb New Member

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    Re: Advice on antler mounting


    I understand what you are saying, but I have a couple partial pails of concrete patch hanging around from the last house I owned. Have to be at least 5 years and one move old. This stuff was very moldable. Mixed it about the consistency of very thick mud or paste and I could shape it any way I liked. Had about a 10 minute open window before it started to set where I shaped and trimmed with a butter knife.

    I probably have enough left over to do another elk, plus the deer antlers. I also have some old bondo and a bunch of odds and ends of wood filler, so I am going to try one like that on the third elk antlers.

    Randydb
     
  12. randydb

    randydb New Member

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    Re: Advice on antler mounting

    Here are some pictures of my daughter's rack completed. Went very well. I still plan to add something to trim the base of the antlers. There is a bit of a ridge from the skull down the center between the antlers which looks like a wrinkle in the felt from the right angle. Don't know if I will add a bit of filler and redo the felt to make it look smoother there. I wound up using a 3/4 piece of plywood, some left over concrete patch n plug, and a bit of felt. Cost me less than $3.00!

    Thanks all for your advice.

    One more question. Should I make a wooden plaque to put this on or do people just hang them like this? I think it looks pretty good just like this. But maybe it would better with a nice piece of wood behind it.

    Randydb
     
  13. randydb

    randydb New Member

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    Re: Advice on antler mounting

    another
     
  14. randydb

    randydb New Member

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    Re: Advice on antler mounting

    last one
     
  15. AlaskaSportsman

    AlaskaSportsman New Member

    Great job! I would add the plaque. It will not only look better, but will add leverage. That much horn on a little base like that will pull out away from the wall more. Good Luck and WELL DONE!
     
  16. Very Nice Job!
     
  17. randydb

    randydb New Member

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    Final pictures

    Hi,
    I added a plaque to finish these off and it looks very nice. Thanks all for your advice. My daughter is very happy and they look professional. Here is a picture of the mount, also of the happy hunter and her antlers.

    Thanks
    Randydb
     
  18. randydb

    randydb New Member

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    One more of proud pappa and his kid.