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Detachable Moose Antlers?

Discussion in 'Deer and Gameheads' started by JEJ, Jan 9, 2019.

  1. JEJ

    JEJ Active Member

    Getting ready to start my first set of detachable moose antlers. Any thoughts on what size steel I should use? Also how far out into the antler is good on moose? It’s a 56” wide Alaskan. Thanks

    TIMBUCK Active Member

    3/4" and go at least 5-6" into the antler..

  3. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Don't try that homemade crap. Go to McKenzie and buy a pair of the precision machined inserts and use EPOXY and not Bondo to secure them.
  4. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    So true. Mild steel tubing with solid square stock inserted into it will have slack in it that you will have to try to get out. The antlers will want to twist a little, and can create real heartburn. An eighth of an in slack at the burr means inches of difference at the antlers farthest point.
    rigbobby likes this.
  5. rogerswildlife

    rogerswildlife Rogers Wildlife Taxidermy Tommy Rogers

    Did it with bondo years ago and it didn't take long to realize that ain't the way to go .
  6. juli

    juli Active Member

    Split the skull plate (if it isn't already). drill your hole from the bottom of the skull through the antler. Epoxy your sleeve into the hole. Cut the antler off at the bur.
  7. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Juli,, I don't think I've ever split moose antlers and did it just the way you describe. The Alaskan bulls are just too heavy for me to trust any connectors to hold those halves true and in place.

    In many cases, cutting the antlers with a saw will create issues. Some have wavy burrs that will leave a gap in your hide. I think Ken Walker maybe had the best approach on his Irish Elk. He carefully cut off a "roach" of hair surrounding the antlers. He kept the skull completely intact. When he fit the antlers to the form, he then upholstered the skull cap with the removed "roach". Tiny flaps cut in that hairpiece allowed him to bolt the skullcap to the form after mounting and the longer hairs groomed back over the open incision to hide it without weakening anything or aligning the antlers. When he removed the antlers, he REMOVED the antlers.
  8. juli

    juli Active Member

    I have mounted a couple over 65" like this, with no issues. Large detachable set of pins from McKenzie...(1/2" sleeve with the matched core piece?) I agree some types of burrs bay not allow for cutting through straight, but I have not had that issue with the detachable moose (and caribou) that I have done this way, and it completely alleviates guesswork or trying to hold the antler in place while waiting for the epoxy to set. The sleeve also gives more structural support than having just the pin epoxied into the antler. JMHO. I would imagined Ken's method would work well too.
  9. Whitetails1

    Whitetails1 Craig C.

    What type of epoxy do you guys use? Used to use bondo but was always uneasy on very large elk could see a little play in the connection around the bondo.
  10. socalmountainman

    socalmountainman Northwestern School of Taxidermy - Class of '73

    big dan likes this.
  11. Trophy Specialist

    Trophy Specialist Well-Known Member

    That does sound like a good method. I'm going to try it next time. Split skull plates are fairly common anyway.
    juli likes this.
  12. juli

    juli Active Member

    forgot to mention ... make sure you tape off the ends of the sleeve. LOL (seems like a no brainer, but it would suck to forget.)
    George likes this.
  13. AZ~Rich

    AZ~Rich " Africa" never fails to satisfy

    Instead of standard epoxy I have found that a better stronger option is to use Sika pro select (either high or super strength) anchoring adhesive which comes in a caulking tube with two mixing nozzles. It mixes the two parts in nozzle and sets in five minutes. Rock solid after curing overnight and designed for bolts in concrete. Found at Home Depot or Lowe’s in concrete products, but is definitely more expensive $20-22 a tube

    Attached Files:

  14. Whitetails1

    Whitetails1 Craig C.

    Thank you AZ~Rich, I am going to give that a try!
  15. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    I have used Epo-Grip products for years and you'll need to understand that fast setting epoxies are not nearly as strong as slow setting ones. Epo-Grip sells #30 paste. It takes about 6 hours to cure and will immobilize almost anything. I like to mix a bit of fiberglass chop in with mine but I'm not sure it's needed or even if it helps. Just habit.
  16. Edrevord

    Edrevord Member

    Juli, Tape off the ends??
  17. Keith

    Keith Well-Known Member

    You tape off the end of the sleeve so your adhesive doesn't fill the sleeve.