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Discussion in 'Deer and Gameheads' started by 4000fps, Jun 30, 2007.
I have had some wts do that due to scarring in the inner ear. Alot of the bigger wts I get in will have something going on in the ear, and I have to repair them. You know you're becoming a good taxidermist when you get good at the repairs!(LOL) I know what you mean about swiss cheese.
4000FPS, I am right where you are right now. I wait until after I tan to remove the cartilage, and still often get tears to repair. I am going to try bondo on the next 2 deer I am mounting to see how it works. Your post sounds exactly like I feel today!
I tried the bondo method 20 years ago and have not used a singal earliner since, I mount everything from whitetails, to kudu with it. A little prep is neccessary with some oily wet tanned capes to prevent drumming, but sure beats the heck out of liners.
I saw a guy at a seminar that uses Bondo. When it is finished setting, he pulls it out, ruffs it up and glues it in to prevent drumming. Thought that might be an interesting idea.
I use BONDO on every deer I mount & have never had a complaint, just more business.
I use bondo on all my whitetails, and it works great. This year my comp. deer got docked for too thick ears, so next year I'm trying earliners on my next comp. piece. My commercial stuff though will always be bondo. Real nice for those split ears. I'd imagine split ears with earliners would be a pain in the a$$. Shannon
Earliners for me, except for problem ears, splits, or ears to small for liners, Mostly liners, maybe one out of ten I will use Bondo because of complications of getting a liner in.
Shannon, if you use less hardner & let it set slower you can work it thinner. Jet Smith's Mule Deer took 1st place in master's this year at the Texas show & he used BONDO ears. It can be done.
Wipe down the inner ear skin with laquer thinner to remove oils. Scratch, and ruff up the ear cartilage, and be sure to wipe it off good too with the lacquer thinner to get rid of any oils. As Michael P. said, cut back on the catalyst (hardener) so it will set slower. You can work them thin, and card. Everybody has their own way of doing things, and if it works for you by all means do it. I personally have never used an earliner, and as long as they make bondo, or ear magic, I won't change. I've been doing it that way for too long.
I agree with all you guys, I love bondo for ears. I like having my bondo ears alittle thicker on my commercial mounts. When I say thicker, I don't mean outrageously thicker, just alittle thicker than what a deers ear is naturally. You can't tell it's thicker by sight, just the feel of it. Once a head leaves my shop I don't know how it's going to be handled, so I like them thicker so they have less chance of being damaged by rough handling. As for the comp. piece with earliners, I'm just playing the judging game. We are having the same judge next year and I know he likes earliners. I'm planning on taking more than one head, and will try different ears on them. Maybe one done with ear magic. The judge also nit picked my earbutts. I know he likes the liners made by matrix masters with the earbutts, he said so during my critique, so i'll defineately be trying those. I thought my bondo ears were fine, but whatever it takes to win a blue. ;D
If all a guy had to do was mule deer, I don't know how you could possibly come out ahead using only liners. I'm sure 80% of our mule deer are notched or scarred and the size variation is tremendous. I feel your pain on the elk ears as well. They seem to stick together pretty bad anyway without removing the cartilage. And if it's been in the freezer awhile.......well.....
I used earliners on one deer. I didnt like it. I have been using bondo ever since. At my comtetion this year. the judge didnt knock me any points on my ears. I do not remove my cartlidge. i do use pliers and remove that outer skin on the cartlidge. I do mix my hardner light. and work my ears while they ae setting up. I get my ears really thin, to the point i have to card them for the first few days. I like the way they turn out, my customers love them, the judge liked them. no cutting , no trimming, no drumming, easy to fix tears and splits. Last time i said all this it started a war in here. wish you the best 4000fps. just take your time with them.
Bubba- how much bondo are you using in your wt ears? Golfball size or smaller? I've always been afraid that I would squish too much out and there wouldn't be enough in the ear to reinforce the cartilage. Shannon
Bondo is definetly an easy way to go and can produce good results. I recently started using earliners with butts on them to try and be more accurate in the shape. The liners have been hard for me to get the hang of so I tried something new the other day. I used the bases off of the new Edge Positive Set Ear system and installed them on the mannikan. Once I got them set i pulled them back off and made a bondo ear, while it was setting I pushed the base into the bondo and feathered them together. Worked really good. The only problem I had is that i horsed them back apart and broke the bondo. Next time I will be more careful.
Shannon...I guess you could say its a lil bigger than a golf ball. but i push alot out as i am working my ear. I put the channels in the back of the ear.......this also makes them on the inside. I cut my bondo off at the bottom of the cartlidge. my whole ear butt is clay. My ears are not rock hard when i mount the deer i just watch them for the first couple days, every now and then i will have to card one. but very seldom.
I use bondo and fine hardwood sawdust. I mix this to a putty like consistency before adding hardner. I dip a tongue depressor into my can of bondo three times. This is the amount I use for each ear. Just before my ear sets I take a hammer and feather the edges. I also use a wallpaper seam roller and roll my ears thin. My excess flows to the butt. I cut and round this off before the bondo has a chance to set rock hard. You will know when to do it. When I mount I use earbase and feather it to the bondo. All the posts above are correct about using liners. I can finish 2 bondo ears in under 30 minutes. We went through this before. A can of bondo is about $21.00. You can easily get over thirty pairs of ears out of one can. Earliners average $5 to $6 plus take longer then 30 minues to do. You do the math and remember we are talking commercial here. For my own mounts I order eppley liners that have no butts. I want to show and have not mastered the use of liners. Once again I will never use liners for commercial work. Just my opinion, Frank.
A little bit of perlite will stiffen the consistency also so it's not so runny.
i use the bondo hair from the auto parts place. sometimes i add more chopped fiberglass, sometimes not
I mostley use ear liners but will use bondo at times and the last beaver I mounted I used clay and it worked out great.
But I would not use clay on any thing bigger.