Artificial Skull - European Mount

This post will cover how to take antlers and attach them to an artificial skull. This can be done with shed antlers or antlers taken from a hunt.  In this post we use antlers taken from a buck harvested many years ago.

Supplies needed:

  1. Artificial Skull (McKenzie Taxidermy Supply)
  2. Pair of Antlers
  3. Plaque
  4. Hanger and screws
  5. Drill bits and counter sink
  6. Not pictured (epoxy and Martha Stewart paint)

1. Cut off antlers using bone saw.  I like to use a vice to clamp the antlers.  If you are using shed antlers you can skip this step.  This is a great learning opportunity for the little one.

2. This photo shows how the antlers will be attached to the skull with the square pins.  These pins were too long so I cut them in half which made them the perfect size.

3. Drill hole in antlers for metal pins

4. Test fit to make sure everything fits properly.  This photo shows how the metal pins have been cut down and the antlers are drilled out.

5. Put epoxy in the antlers and the artificial skull.  Do not put too much, you want the metal pins to be able to slide in and move a little.

6. Once the antlers are in the desired position, tape them in place and walk away for several hours.  Come back once the epoxy has hardened.

7. In this case the base of the skull was larger than my antlers.  I used a Dremel tool to grind down the skull to better match the antlers.  This step may be unnecessary if you have larger antlers.

8. Fill in gaps with epoxy and let dry.

IMG_0079.JPG

9. Paint the epoxy to blend into the skull.  I've found Martha Stewart "Wedding Cake" with a chalk finish blends in nicely with most skulls.  This paint can be found at Micheal's.

10. Seal the skull with Krylon, Matt Finish 1311.  This is a non yellowing sealant.

11. Add hanger and pre-drill holes and counter sink for screws that will go into skull.

12. Screw plaque to skull.

13. Hang on wall and enjoy!

Another shot with a filter.

I hope this post was helpful.  Feel free to leave comments below and I'll respond as soon as possible.  Also feel free to shoot me an email. 

Happy Hunting!

David Williamson

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