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How To Cast My Own Jawset

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by antjelly, Aug 14, 2020.

  1. antjelly

    antjelly New Member

    Hello! I am a beginner working on a woodchuck. I would like for the woodchuck to have its mouth open, but there are no jawsets for woodchucks. Closest I found was beaver, but I don't think that will work. So I want to make my own. I am having trouble finding tutorials on how to make jawsets. I am aware that Taxidermy University has a DVD on whitetail jawsets, but I simply don't have $280 to drop just on a DVD.

    Does anyone here have any advice? Thanks!
  2. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Cheapest way is to get a hold of Breakthrough magazine. You’ll find it in there but you need to call them and they’ll tell you which one have it
    You’ll need bedding clay, silicone, plastic or dental polymers
    Plus it’s nice to have a vacuum chamber but not real necessary but a pressure pot is a need.
    If you think $280 is expensive wait till you buy the materials
    rogerswildlife likes this.

  3. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    This may not be the best way but clean the jaw bones and use them, rebuild soft tissue.
    antjelly, Mike Powell, tem and 2 others like this.
  4. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    I'm with bears here. Rodents of all sizes don't have a lot going on. Remove the jaw and put it in a metal wire Callander or flour sifter that will fit in a pot of boiling water. Cook it till the meat falls off. If on the rare chance, a tooth dislodged, the screen will make it easier to find.
    Clean the jawset and work the top and bottom separately. Use Elmer's Glue to secure teeth in their sockets. Use Apoxie in white, pink, and a mixture of both to bebuild gums, palate,and tongue before gluing your jaw back together.
  5. msestak

    msestak Well-Known Member

    i did a jawset for a squirrel once, a long time ago. i used rtv silicone caulking from a tube.
    froze the jaw set in the position i wanted (tongue included) and simply coated it with the silicone. maybe not the best way but it worked.
    probably because of the small size. but what the heck. woodchucks are plentiful, give it a try.
    doesnt matter which woodchuck the jawset comes from ;)
  6. msestak

    msestak Well-Known Member

  7. antjelly

    antjelly New Member

    Thank you for the help everyone! Just one more quick question:

    I plan on casting my own head forms. I've seen people use both bondo and foam when doing the final cast. Which would be the better option? The head forms would be for small mammals.
    msestak likes this.
  8. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Molds are made from taking either a casting the carcass or a cleaned skull and rebuilt with plasticine clay. Then the mold is made with gel coat. ( it’s stronger than bondo or fiberglass) then generally 2-6 lb foam can be used to make a form
    msestak and Lance.G like this.
  9. Dave York

    Dave York Well-Known Member

    Smooth on makes all kinds of great products. They have a two part putty that can be used to make a mold. Freeze jaws with it open. Mix the putty and press into jaws and up into gums. You can put it back in freezer or wait until it’s set. Now you have a mold and can now use a casting resin to create a jaw set. If you want a completion quality set remove real teeth and replace cast ones.
    This is how Ken Walker creates them.
    He also makes artificial tongues.
    Smooth On makes every kind of product you’ll need plus they have online videos.
    msestak likes this.
  10. crablover

    crablover Well-Known Member

    Gel coat stated above IS fiberglass resin with titanium dioxide added. Unlike pure resin, gel coat is water proof. Regular resin when exposed to water will turn white and eventually break down. Gel coat is not used for strength at all, but for the detail, trixopothic qualities and as a waterproof barrier. It is not stronger than bondo nor fiberglass resin! It is fiberglass resin with additives. Either one, gel coat or just resin have very little strength without the matt, strand or cloth. Also, as stated so many times on this forum, mixing bondo with resin does not make gel coat.
    msestak likes this.