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Detachable Moose Antler Repair Needed – Please Help

Discussion in 'Deer and Gameheads' started by northwoods, Jun 20, 2016.

  1. northwoods

    northwoods New Member

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    I was recently attempting to hang my shoulder moose mount and after hanging off the edge of scaffolding trying to line up the removable antler pins perfectly to slide the antlers on, I noticed that one of the pin bases in the skull cap was loose from whatever it was set in making the antler lay at a really incorrect angle on the head. After I took down the body and further inspected the pin, I was able to wiggle it around and eventually was able to pull it out of the skull cap without much force at all with 2 fingers.

    I can’t take it back to taxidermist who mounted it as he’s too far away now. I’m not a professional taxidermist, but have done some of my own work with skulls, antler panels, turkey fans, etc so am somewhat familiar with some of the products used in the profession.

    Should I take this to a professional taxidermist to repair or should I try to do it myself?

    If I were to do it myself, what product would I use to “glue” the pin back in the hole in the skull plate? As you know the antler is very heavy and there is a lot of weight on that small pin when the antler is attached so it needs to be set very strongly so it won’t move or come loose, ever, forever.

    The other side seems to be holding up well and there is no movement at all with that pin.

    Any help on how to go about repairing this mount would be appreciated. Thank you.
     

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  2. northwoods

    northwoods New Member

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    Another photo attached.
     

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  3. northwoods

    northwoods New Member

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    Another photo.
     

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  4. you could re set the pin with bondo,, Or smooth epoxy ( would be my choice ) it sets much harder, fill the hole with epoxy set the pin and wire the antler to the other at the correct angle, couple days cut the wire and see if it works,
     
  5. I always use a two pin system (stainless steel rods). Never had any problems.
     
  6. Paul B

    Paul B Active Member

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    The female side seems to be very short. I set them past the skull into the form, minimum would be 6 inches long and heaver rod thickness for big moose
     
  7. northwoods

    northwoods New Member

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    Thanks for the replies guys.

    Bucknot - a 2 pin system would be better, is it hard to do now that one pin is already installed or is it too late?

    Paul B - since it's already installed is it too late to fix with a larger and longer pin system?

    Both good suggestions and maybe I've learned more details for how I want it the next time. But right now I'm here with a single small pin system installed that is broke. Should I see if I can get 2 pins/antler installed using heavier stock steel? Or should I just fix what I have?
     
  8. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

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    Is the pin still in the antler? I would get a longer hunk of the tube and drill deeper into the head form and glue. You will need to be able to hold antler in correct position while epoxy cures. It may take some ingenuity to build a support for that but, it is how I would handle it. If you were OK with making that antler permanent you could epoxy it all together in the right location. What was done is pretty sub par for the size of the antlers. They tend to be heavy.
     
  9. northwoods

    northwoods New Member

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    Yes, both pins are still in the antlers and seem to be firm. The other female end is in the other base and seems to be tight too. The right antler seems to work and looks good when installed but should I still worry about the pins giving loose someday? The whole mount is hanging over a well traveled hallway and I don't want to think about what could happen if it were to fall or drop and antler that would probably cause it to turn and potentially fall off the wall.

    I want/need removable antlers... it's way too big and heavy and awkward to hang, move, etc. with both attached.

    Can you guys send me a link for the steel stock or the pin system that you would recommend for a moose?

    Also, you mention epoxy... do you mean a 2 part 2 ton liquid like I can get from a hardware store or should I get a 2 part paste sold by taxidermy companies or something else? Looking for very specific product recommendations as I'm going to have one shot at getting this right.

    Thanks.
     
  10. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

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    I'm talking about the best adhesive that you can find in your area. If you can drill a deeper hole and use a longer piece of tubing that will help stabalize the whole thing.
     
  11. You could still add a second pin. That would reduce the torque on the square stock and keep it from twisting loose down the road. It would be hard to get it perfectly lined up now but you could still get it close enough that it would help. Maybe use a 3/8 inch steel road and drill a 3/8 inch hole in skull plate parallel to the square stock and about 1 inch away. Then drill a slightly larger hole in the base of the antler.
     
  12. northwoods

    northwoods New Member

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    How about products like Gorilla Glue 2 Part Liquid Epoxy or something like Epo-Grip 2 Part Paste Adhesive?

    I think finding a longer piece of female end tubing of the exact same size is going to be difficult but I can try. Any ideas where to start looking? I'll take diameter measurements and post this weekend.

    Yeah, a second pin would probably be best but you're right... going to be impossible to get it perfect now. I was thinking I could also drill down through the back of the antler towards the base and then into the skull plate and pin down through the antler into the plate and form but I would have a hole and part of a pin that would be visible towards the back of the antler. But I could line this method up pretty well as compare to drilling 2 separate hole unaligned to fit a straight piece of steel.

    Any other ideas or suggestions?
     
  13. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

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    Either of those epoxies will probably work. I've used Loctite brand. Google square steel tubing and you should be able to find a location near you to find it or at least a place to order it from. As long as you get this reset and glued properly with a longer tube, I'm sure it will stiffen up enough that you shouldn't need 2 pins but you will have to make that call. Remember the more you remove of the antler and the skull cap the weaker it will become as well.
     
  14. northwoods

    northwoods New Member

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    Would Eco-Grip #30 Paste be a good product to use? It would be easier to work with a paste than a liquid epoxy and risk the liquid running where I don't want it. I've used the #30 before and it seems like good stuff but I don't know how strong it is.
     
  15. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

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    I don't anything know about Eco-grip products, so I cannot say yes or no. If it is a good strong glue and you think it will work I'm sure it will. When I use the tube method, I cut some grooves on the outside of the tube, not all the way through but enough to give the glue teeth into the steel. This how I would handle the situation. Acquire a longer piece of tubing, drill hole deeper. test fit everything. Build a brace to hold everything in place while whatever adhesive used sets. Take it apart apply Vaseline to the male stock and bottom of antler where it contacts the base. Apply adhesive, cover or plug bottom tube, to keep adhesive out and insert into skull. Install antler making sure it is in correct position and use your brace to hold it there and let it set up. Give it plenty of time to set up or cure and then remove you brace and check your work.
     
  16. northwoods

    northwoods New Member

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    Thanks 3bears. You and I are on the exact same page. I'll let you know how it turns out. Thank you for the suggestions.
     
  17. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Those pins are the best on the market and when installed properly will never need a second pin. DO NOT USE BONDO. Been saying this for years: Bondo is NOT AN ADHESIVE. It is fiberglass resin mixed with SOFT powdered fillers.( I suspect the taxidermist used Bondo which has led to this in the first place.) This one can be easily fixed. Pull the insert, paint the inside of the hole with EPOXY. Reinsert the insert and let cure. Once it's completely cured, tha a 1/2 inch or larger drill and drill a hole alongside the outside of the insert. Pick the weight bearing side (either upper or lower). Be careful not into or through the insert. Once the hole is clear, pour epoxy in and let it cure. That should hold it permanently, but you can do the other side if desired.