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Antler repair question

Discussion in 'Deer and Gameheads' started by sbskullworks, Jul 26, 2014.

  1. sbskullworks

    sbskullworks Member

    Hey all. Most of my posting takes place in the skulls and skeletons due to the nature of the work I do; namely skull cleaning. Been having a lot of people wanting antler repairs done and am having some trouble. I am fine as far as the repair itself, as I have used Apoxie Sculpt quite a bit before. But the trouble I am having is in the staining. From what I have gathered, there are quite a few different methods. I usually just use Pot Perm for my touch ups on antler coloring which works fairly decent. However, the Apoxie Sculpt takes the stain quite a bit differently than the antler itself, and I am having a hard time blending it. Someone told me to blend the edges of where they meet with paint and then use Pot Perm. I tried it, but when I apply the Pot Perm it just strips the paint off. Is there something I can do to avoid that? Or is there something else I am missing. I want to be able to just use acrylic paint to achieve the colors I am looking for and not have to use the Pot Perm, but need some practice getting the right colors for the job. Tried it a few times but wasn't pleased with the results. Any advise is appreciated
  2. 8Point

    8Point Member

    I'm sure that someone will be able to answer your question very quickly ( I would but don't do as much antler repair as the pros on here) but while waiting for a reply you could sift through tutorials on the subject. I noticed some real good ones on this subject. They were VERY helpful to me!

  3. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    I would hope you're building a wire armature underneath before you start with the Apoxie. I use the largest gauge wire along with two smaller ones for every repair. Then I wrap those 3 together with aircraft lock wire (Harbor Freight). When I'm using Apoxie, I mix it and press it into the armature. I build a "core" first and then I beging the layering. I use lacquer paint but acrylic will do just as well. On a palet put puddles of chocolate brown, tooth yellow, white and black As you work your outer coat, dip your fingers in a color and start working it into the wet Apoxie. USE GLOVES. I usually start with tooth yellow and then I'll add tips of brown to get it close. If it starts to become unbalanced, I'll use the white and perhaps a tiny bit of black to give it the proper tint. I keep my hand VERY WET with Windex while I'm doing this.

    My favorite method however, is to build the core with Apoxie. Just enough to cover the lockwire wrapping. Then I use Epo-Grip Seam and Repair Putty. This stuff is VERY STICKY so use lots of Windex. You only have about 7 minutes work time with it. Make your repairs oversized a bit. Let it set overnight. Next day rasp, file and sand the repairs down to contour. Use regulare antler stain to get the desired value.

    Potassium permanganate is only good for porous surfaces. It works on regular antler and will work to some degree on animal hair.
  4. michiganmom

    michiganmom Realistic Antler Repair, Re-stain, Restore

    x2 George. If all else fails, send em my way! :)
  5. huntnut78

    huntnut78 Member

    I do at least a dozen repairs a year, ranging from tips of tines to entire half racks. I use apoxie sculpt for the majority of the repairs, but George is right about the seam and repair putty also. It is sticky but much more pliable and faster curing than the sculpt. I will mix and force it out of a syringe body, no needle, to do the burrs and pearling near the bases. Kinda like a baker ices cakes. For paints I use the Wipe on Wipe off antler paints from VanDykes. I also use just regular old cheap Blick acrylics from hobby lobby. The wipe on paint does behave a little differently than the regular acrylics. It does act a little more like a stain and leaves a film of color and each layer put down can make the antler darker. The real trick is to get the antler reconstructed, then paint on a base color that matches the other side. Then seal it with a Matte Sealer like Krylon. Then you are able to add layers and washes, and if they don't turn out you can always wipe it down and start over. The big trick is how the paints are applied. Start with watered down washes to get the base color correct. I then stipple paints with a dry brush, crumpled paper towel, even steel wool to get the correct effect. It all takes some experimentation.
  6. Frog

    Frog New Member

    I have used apoxie sculpt for years & fought getting the color right, but last year I bought some fixit scupt from aves as well & that made getting the correct color so easy. Give it a try, you won't regret it.
  7. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

  8. sbskullworks

    sbskullworks Member

    Cole, very helpful link you sent, thanks. I would assume I could do this with Apoxie sculpt with the same results?

    George, when you talk about adding paint to the Apoxie, I'm assuming you are trying to match the base color of the antler correct?

    After reading your replies, I'm just accepting the fact that I need to use paints on repairs rather than the Pot Perm. Works decent on touch ups, but not on two dissimilar surfaces. Time to buy some paints and practice.

    And finally, Deb, what do you charge for antler repairs? Depending on how busy I am when I get a repair job in, I just may take you up on the offer.

    Thanks again!
  9. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    I do not get the same results with apoxie sculpt. That is why I use fix-it.