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Gluing Splinters In Dall Sheep Horns?

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by Wild Coast, Sep 14, 2019.

  1. Wild Coast

    Wild Coast New Member

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    Hey everyone! New to the forums, was stoked to find this amazing online community! Thanks in advance for your help, really appreciate it.

    I found a Dall Sheep horn while pack-rafting in the Yukon. It's in amazing shape, except a few splintering pieces. Wonder what is the best way to fix this? I'm assuming some type of glue and then clamp down the splinter? Would super glue work?

    A few pics:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]

    Also, the one side of the horn appears to have a few blood stains and has a general pink hue to it, I'm guessing the animal didn't die too long ago!? I tried to scrub it with water and detergent, but the red stains and pink hue is still there - any advice on how to prepare/clean it?

    Here is a pic:


    [​IMG]

    The photos were taken right after I washed it, which is why it looks all wet/shiny btw.
     
  2. 13 point

    13 point Well-Known Member

    I believe you would need something with better gripping strength then super glue , something like a 5 min epoxy. Make sure it’s all under the area as you don’t want to see the glue. Believe it or not one of the best things to get blood off antlers and such is windex glass cleaner just spray it on soaking it pretty good then wipe off , maybe take an air hose to it to get it dry in the groves . Hope that helps ya out
     
    Wild Coast likes this.

  3. Wild Coast

    Wild Coast New Member

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  4. 13 point

    13 point Well-Known Member

    Yes sir
     
  5. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    If you use the 5 min stuff, make sure none of it is visible along the edges. It will take a number of years but it can turn a hideous shade of orange. You could use Elmer's Glue as well but it will take longer for it to dry so leave it clamped for several days to a week. Try rinsing out the interior with hydrogen peroxide. Wedge the horn into an upright position so it holds the liquid. Pour in the peroxide and let it sit for a while. It will foam up while it eats away any hidden raw tissue and trapped blood. Bonus is that it will also kill bacteria. Pour it out after a while and let it dry. Should be good after that. Glue the chips after you are done cleaning it. You can also give it a rubdown with a 50/50 mix of turpentine and linseed oil after the chips are glued.

    Really nice find. Personally, I would have gone back up the shoreline a bit looking for the rest of that head.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2019
  6. Great Skulls

    Great Skulls New Member

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    I agree 100% (as usual) with Sea Wolf. Especially: USE ELMER'S. Elmer's is basically made of the same stuff as the horn itself. It will dry more slowly, but it will ultimately give a better result over the long run. Just leave it clamped for quite a while. If the splinters are too springy to get good contact, you can try soaking the horn a bit.

    And like SW said, do this AFTER using peroxide on the inside.

    Really great find! Super jealous.
     
  7. Wild Coast

    Wild Coast New Member

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    @Sea Wolf by 'a while' do you mean 30min or a few days?

    I'm assuming I should avoid getting any peroxide on the outside of the horn as it will bleach (i.e. whiten) it too much?

    I tried the Windex on the blood stains along with some serious brushing. Nothin'! Very persistent, the one side of the horn still has a pink hue to it. I might leave it alone? Or maybe brush with peroxide on the outside as well?
     
  8. Great Skulls

    Great Skulls New Member

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    I agree with SW that you should try pouring the peroxide, or... just leave it! If it is purely a cosmetic thing, it probably is fine to ignore it (do you spend a lot of time looking at the inside of the horn?), but if it smells at all, then a peroxide pour is a good idea.

    If I were gluing those splinters, here is what I would do (others feel free to correct my idea):

    1) See how flexible they are. Do they need a lot of pressure to push down or is it relatively easy to do?

    2) If they are very springy, then I would try soaking the part of the horn that is splintered in water for a few hours (maybe overnight?) and see if that helps soften it.

    3) Next, I would add a good amount of elmers glue under each splinter, push the splinter down, clean the glue that squirts out with a wet cloth and then hold it down with either duct tape or a clamp if tape won't do it.

    4) I'd leave it to dry for at least a day. Open one up and if it seems stuck, open the rest.

    5) If they spring back, repeat the procedure but leave them clamped longer.

    OR...

    Honestly, I would just leave them! That horn is great looking! It was a natural find, so let it look natural. You could stabilize it as SW said, but really it is a work of natural art and doesn't need improvement unless those splinters really are driving you nuts!
     
  9. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    As above. If you use Elmer's I would use a furniture clamp and let it sit for several days to make sure it is really dry. They are across from each other and I bet you could clamp both at the same time with one clamp. I would resist using a set of Vice Grips if they look like they would fit. They will probably dent the horn material permanently.