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Author Topic: Antler restoration thoughts....  (Read 852 times)

Offline blindluck

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Antler restoration thoughts....
« on: December 19, 2019, 06:44:46 PM »
I just acquired a big old weather checked 4x4 mulie rack that looks like itís been nailed to a barn for the last 20 years, cracks throughout but not yet chalked. Iím looking for any professional knowledge on stabilizing and filling the cracks to a smooth finish. I have a little experience in doing this and have used Apoxie sculpt in the past by creating a slurry to coat the antler which I think will work fine but would love to hear any better or other solutions. Iím not real keen on using wood filler as Apoxie sculpt seems superior but any other thoughts or suggestions would be welcomed. Thanks in advance I plan on posting before during and after pictures once I get started. blindluck

Offline blindluck

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Re: Antler restoration thoughts....
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2019, 06:47:41 PM »
1st pic

Offline BlackRiverTaxidermy

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Re: Antler restoration thoughts....
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2019, 07:57:25 PM »
Cool looking rack. Something to consider is how you are going to stain or paint the antlers? I would agree with you on the epoxy sculpt, if fills in better and is stronger. However, the problem with the epoxy sculpt or magic smooth, similar two-part epoxies, is they don't hold a stain. They hold paint okay, but when you try and stain the antlers you will see a great difference of color between the actual antler and where the epoxy sculpt is. When I do a antler tine replacement/repair I will use the epoxy sculpt due to the structural integrity and easy to mold, however for what you are doing, which is just to fill small cracks I would choose something differently.
For what you are trying to do, I would honestly use a light colored wood filler by watering it down slightly to make an easy fill into the small cracks. The wood filler will take stain in the same consistency as the weathered antler and will look better.
Stain is a biggie too..wouldn't use a regular wood stain as no matter how 'flat' the stain claims to be it comes off making the antler have a wet look. I would only use paint as a LAST resort to getting color to antlers. Commercial antler stain works great, but only for 1 or 2 coats at the most and then it does the same thing. For those antlers, especially being weathered, I would do a coffee stain. Get a small can of the darkest roast coffee you can find. Wear gloves and do this over some cardboard or an area you don't care about getting some color on. Mix the grinds with just enough HOT water to make a paste. Liberally rub the antlers down with the paste and let them antlers sit with the grinds on them for at least 30 minutes. Brush off and do it again if you want a darker look. Its a great way to stain weathered antlers, gives a more natural finish, and ends up smelling great too, lol. When you get the color level you want, just used a brush to remove any excess and wipe the antlers down with a light coat of MinWax 'Light' or 'Medium' Walnut floor wax on a paper towel. This will seal them and enhance the color slightly.
Give me a call if you have any questions and best of luck!
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Re: Antler restoration thoughts....
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2019, 07:58:07 PM »
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Offline blindluck

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Re: Antler restoration thoughts....
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2019, 08:11:06 PM »
Thanks Joel great information, I did not plan on using any stains asIíve used acrylics with good results and thought I might try my hand at oil based paints with lacquer thinner to create wash coats. My thought was covering the entire rack with a slurry layer of Apoxie sculpt and would hopefully build me up a strong layer between the paint and the actual antler.Then hopefully the color consistencies would be the same throughout the whole rack. I hope

Offline blindluck

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Re: Antler restoration thoughts....
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2019, 10:37:53 AM »
One issue I have run into will be in the coloring process. I have restored the antlers and filled in all the cracks sanded And ready to start coloring. I used a waterbase wood filler so now my dilemma is that I need to seal the repair so when I use the oil paints thinned with lacquer thinner it will not eat into the wood filler.Need to come up with a sealer barrier between the lacquer thinner and the repaired antler any thoughts on this?

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Re: Antler restoration thoughts....
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2019, 11:25:37 AM »
I think there was an earlier thread on here about this? Cant remember what it was called. I used some acrylic paint Burnt Umber and some other browns and was able to bring some mule deer sheds back to looking nearly fresh. paint it on in lines and then wipe off with paper towel. Rub the tips white again with steel wool. worked really well.
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Offline blindluck

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Re: Antler restoration thoughts....
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2019, 11:37:58 AM »
I have done quite a few using acrylics raw amber burnt umber cut with Windex and work pretty well just trying to step up my game By using oil paints as the reproduction antler professionals do

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Re: Antler restoration thoughts....
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2019, 08:06:21 PM »
I have some water based antler paint I order from van dykes. A couple different colors I used on my moose shed restoration project last winter. Plenty of paint left over. If youíre ever in the gig harbor youíre welcome to some of it.
The lazy do not roast any game, but the diligent feed on the riches of the hunt.

Proverbs 12:27

Offline blindluck

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Re: Antler restoration thoughts....
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2019, 04:51:06 PM »
Thanks, much appreciated

 


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