Simple is Best

I have done hundreds of horn mounts.  I've done elk, moose, longhorn, deer, audad, black buck, you name it and I've wrapped the skull cap in leather and put it on a plaque.  I remember when my dad first taught me how to do a horn mount.  It was a cold winter day, we had the heat turned up in his drafty shop on the windy plains of Amarillo TX.  As the lesson went on I became tired, I started doing the head bob which I learned in church and perfected in the classroom.  At one point my father told me, "Go lay down."  I'm not sure if the lesson was ever finished but from that point on, I was the horn mount guy.  At 5 ft 10in tall, 130 pounds, and a beard full of peach fuzz, I was an entrepreneur with a dream.  You see, I have a long history with horn mounts but never did it cross my mind to simply put deer antlers on a plaque.  Not until I had a wonderful customer request a non traditional horn mount.  As emails were exchanged we settled upon a winner and this post details the transformation of the idea into reality.

Lets start with all the materials you will need: Plaque, screws, hanger, antlers, liquid nail, two part epoxy, drill bits, counter sink, drill.

First: Cut the skull cap so that it fits flat on the plaque.  In this example the skull cap already had a nice cut.

Second: The brain is fatty and leaves an oily residue on the skull cap, so I cleaned it with lacquer thinner and added the screws for an additional point for the epoxy (next step) to grab.

Third: Fill the brain cavity with epoxy.  You could also use bondo but I chose epoxy because it's stronger and easier to work with.  This step doesn't show it but I pressed some sawdust into the epoxy to give it a nice color and texture to blend in with the skull.

Four: Add hanger, I prefer "The Noose" hanger.  Pre-drill and counter sink holes in plaque.  Not shown: pre-drill holes in epoxy for screws.

Five: Optional step.  Add liquid nail for better adhesion.  I've grown to love glue because when combined with screws it creates a super strong bond.

Six: Use drill to attach screws to epoxy.

Hang on wall and enjoy

A simple life is a happy life and a simple horn mount is a happy horn mount.

Happy Hunting!

David Williamson

Gravity......and Longhorns

The story begins with a grandson trying to preserve the history of his family.  The young man's grandfather received the longhorn mount as a thank you gift from the contractor who built the grandfather's house.  As the story often goes, houses come and houses go, those things we grew up holding dear become the possessions of others.  We are left with memories and those smaller mementos that can be removed from the wall and stuffed in a box.  I feel a sudden connection as I write this article because it parallels the story of my life.  I have only a vague memory of my grandfather but the trade that flowed through his veins has been passed from one generation to the next.  I too, am trying to preserve the history of my family.  Even though it has fallen off the wall so many times I think it has more glue and cracks than anything else, it still resembles my family history, no matter how broken it might appear.

This is the story of how I repaired the longhorn that came loose from the wall and became a victim of gravity.

The right horn was completely broken loose and the left horn cracked near the base and was loosely attached.  I decided to repair both horns.

A&M's dream

First step was to remove both horns and save the nails and brads to use for later.  I then screwed several long screws into the wooden base.  The screws give a little something extra for the bondo to grab.

Longhorn Repair

Next step was to mix up plenty of bondo to fill the cavity of the horns then slide back onto the wood and hold in place until the bondo cured.

Lonhorn repair

After the horns are attached, to make it look pretty, I used the saved brads and nails to reattach the trim pieces.  I cleaned the horns and leather with Liquid Gold furniture polish.

This is a simple method to repair those precious family heirlooms. As the majority of my memories of my father include driving to the hardware store, so too, can all the supplies for this project be found at your local hardware store.

Happy Hunting!

David Williamson