1. Welcome to Taxidermy.net, Guest!
    We have put together a brief tutorial to help you with the site, click here to access it.

How do I re-attach sheep horns to the cores when the bases are warped?

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Elkstalker2, Mar 2, 2009.

  1. Elkstalker2

    Elkstalker2 Member

    Hello, I have a bighorn sheep skull that has horns that fit most of the way onto the cores, but the bases where the horn is very thin has warped and won't fit all the way down onto the cores. I think I heard that you can soak the horns, but is this the best way and I would appreciate it if anyone has a good way of doing this. The ram is a large one and still has the entire core. The skull is older but in solid shape and it looks like the horns have been loose for a long time. Thanks beforehand for any ideas.
  2. joeym

    joeym Jeannette & Joey @ Dunn's Falls

    Cut off all but 4 or 5 inches of core and then glue/bondo/epoxy the horns back on.

  3. If the horn has curled inward you will need to soak it for a short while in a hot water to soften it and then slip it on the skull. It will shrink up and should form a good bond with out glue or having that unnatural curl to the cap.
  4. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Not sure about the "warped" part. If you mean the apron at the bottom of the horn case, all you need to do is to get a pot of boiling water and HOLD the end of the horn in the water for a few minutes - not to exceed 5 at most. This softens that apron and the case should slip down. (You DO need to cut the cores off so there's only about 3-5 inches of it left, however). If the horns are OLD, heres a last ditch method that the OLD GUYS used to use. Set the bases down in vinegar for a few days. Vinegar will turn horn to an almost rubbery substance - even Cape buffalo horns I recall. Don't set the whole horn in either as this is a fragile process. When soft, slide the horns over the cores and let them dry. You get only one shot at this one however and I would not recommend it except as a last ditch effort.
    robertandphoto likes this.
  5. You can also use a heat gun, heat up the bottom of your horn, inside and out , then you can slip the horn over the core.. As stated already, be sure to cut the core down...
  6. RDA

    RDA Active Member

    let me ask the obvious,, r u sure they go with that skull cap?? :D
  7. Elkstalker2

    Elkstalker2 Member

    I very much appreciate all the help on this. To answer the question about the horns matching the skull, yes they are a match, I will try some boiling water and get the skirt to soften up to allow them to slip on and cut the cores down. You are all great and I think this is a great place to learn the "Art" of taxidermy as it truly requires talent and dedication to learning this fascinating craft. Thanks everyone. Oh just one other question. What is a good epoxy to use when attaching the horns? Should I apply the epoxy shortly before softening the skirt and do this at the same time, as someone mentioned that the skirt will shrink solidly when it dries and hardens again. Thanks
  8. bill@hogheaven

    [email protected] New Member

    RDA...I take it you have tried that too.
  9. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    If you're using a slow set epoxy, you can do it before to the cores I suppose. When I'm doing them, I paint a thin layer on the shortened core and then glob the rest up inside the case to insure that I get a good coverage. The heated horn sheath is going to accellerate the cure time of the epoxy remember. When I'm doing it, I have a 6d sharpened finishing nail and a cordless drill with a similar sized bit right next to the mounting stand. When I get that core down to the skull, I quickly drill a hole through the backside of the case into the core and set the nail in. I drive it all the way to the end of the bit hole to lock that case on the core. I can cut the nail and Apoxie over it later.
  10. Elkstalker2

    Elkstalker2 Member

    Thanks George, Sounds like a plan. Very helpful instructions and again, appreciate your time in helping me figure this out.