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Very nice HuronView!!

For many years I made one style of antler plaque to display our antlers on - pretty much just a plain old "shield" type:

View attachment 619561

Then I decided to make different plaques to differentiate between archery, muzzle loader or regular firearms season deer... I write the date of harvest on the back of the plaques.

View attachment 619563

Left - Archery....Right - Muzzle Loader...

View attachment 619565

Most of them are displayed out in the "Situation Room" (man cave) in the barn but we also have them I think in every room in the cabin... Part of our successful hunter patch collection is on the wall in the background, above the bi-fold doors but we also have some patches displayed with shoulder mounts or antler plaques.

View attachment 619567

For the past several years we have been doing Euro Mounts for deer heads and also on bear skulls...

View attachment 619569

I like the plaques some of you guys are making with outlines of the State of Michigan...and especially those of the U.P. :)
Is that Plaster of Paris you put around the cap to make it round, and then have a board attached to the antlers?
 

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Is that Plaster of Paris you put around the cap to make it round, and then have a board attached to the antlers?
You could probably use plaster of paris mich buckmaster, but I started out using Celluclay and have just continued to use it. A 5# bag will do a lot of antler plaques. You just mix it with water and it is pretty easy to work with. One thing I did start doing differently is I now use Bondo on the inside of the skull cap and the base coat as it doesn't shrink any and it really locks in the single bolt that I use for mounting.

IMG_4924.jpg


If you look closely at the first 2 at the bottom right, you can see that the Celluclay has dried up some inside the skull cap...or maybe I didn't get enough of it inside there to fill it completely, but it is not a tight fit. If you can see the reddish colored ones which are filled with Bondo, there is a tight fit and no shrinkage. The Bondo also dries a lot faster than the Celluclay.

IMG_2052.jpg


I have a scrap board for molding the Bondo and Celluclay. If you put wax paper down first it doesn't stick to the board. After molding the Celluclay, I use a kitchen butter knife dipped in water to smooth the surface. If you keep the outside of the Celluclay moist you can work with it for a long time to get the finish just how you want it. I would leave it sit like this for maybe a week to make sure it is completely dry before covering with deer skin or felt.

IMG_1971 (1).jpg


I drill one hole through the skull cap and use a single 1/4 - 20 bolt for the mount. I cut the bolt off to the length that I need it and usually grind it down a little to make sure it fits inside of my countersunk hole. I usually grind down part of the carriage bolt head so it sits more flush on the front side also. A flat washer ensures that it won't pull through the board. I have a keyhole router bit for making the keyhole on the back.

IMG_4926.jpg


The hardest part for me is getting the deer hide wrapped on it without getting too many wrinkles in the folds. I cut the deer skin to get the folds flat and just use Super Glue to tack it down on the back.

IMG_4838.jpg


As I mentioned, there are probably many different ways of mounting the antlers to a plaque. Probably no right way or wrong way - this is just the way I do it.
 

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This is all the Bondo that I apply. It dries fast and really locks in the mounting bolt.

IMG_1974.jpg


When the Bondo dries you can mix up the Celluclay and start applying it.

IMG_1981.jpg


Shape the Celluclay the way you want it and then just let it dry.

IMG_1979 (1).jpg
 

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I've got this vintage, authentic, Wyoming-ranch cedar fence post and I'm planning to install it in one of the upper corners of my trophy room and affixing the final four spike horn skull plates not currently displayed on plaques.

It currently weighs 18 lbs. and is roughly 5 feet tall. Anyone have a good method to secure it to the wall, as-is? Or should I try to reduce the size beforehand?

View attachment 620227


As an aside, I'm thinking about starting an open heart surgery thread or something in "Sound Off" just to see if @Wild Thing has pictures of one he did. :lol:
Cool post, you forgot to add that its "Free Range" haha. Sorry couldn't resist.

If you're still looking for mounting options, I have an option for you. Put two or three mortises on the back of the post where the top of the mortise angles up at about 20 degrees. Then you just mount the same number of cleats on the wall and can hang your post right up, or take it down easily if you need to paint or something. I do this to anything heavy I want to hang on a wall.

Edit: I think it goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway. Make sure you mount your cleats directly into the stud.

KIMG0387.JPG
 

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Cool post, you forgot to add that its "Free Range" haha. Sorry couldn't resist.

If you're still looking for mounting options, I have an option for you. Put two or three mortises on the back of the post where the top of the mortise angles up at about 20 degrees. Then you just mount the same number of cleats on the wall and can hang your post right up, or take it down easily if you need to paint or something. I do this to anything heavy I want to hang on a wall.

Edit: I think it goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway. Make sure you mount your cleats directly into the stud.

View attachment 628173
Thanks for the full explanation (including the picture). Yes, it's necessary to dumb-it-down for me!

I was also thinking about flattening the back of the post with a saw like time2hunt did (easier said than done, maybe?), installing three wooden wedges directly into the corner of the wall, and then screwing the post to the wedges.

Looking forward to getting back to this. I appreciate your help.
 

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Very nice HuronView!!

For many years I made one style of antler plaque to display our antlers on - pretty much just a plain old "shield" type:

View attachment 619561

Then I decided to make different plaques to differentiate between archery, muzzle loader or regular firearms season deer... I write the date of harvest on the back of the plaques.

View attachment 619563

Left - Archery....Right - Muzzle Loader...

View attachment 619565

Most of them are displayed out in the "Situation Room" (man cave) in the barn but we also have them I think in every room in the cabin... Part of our successful hunter patch collection is on the wall in the background, above the bi-fold doors but we also have some patches displayed with shoulder mounts or antler plaques.

View attachment 619567

For the past several years we have been doing Euro Mounts for deer heads and also on bear skulls...

View attachment 619569

I like the plaques some of you guys are making with outlines of the State of Michigan...and especially those of the U.P. :)
Hell of a room.Iam jealous
 

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You could probably use plaster of paris mich buckmaster, but I started out using Celluclay and have just continued to use it. A 5# bag will do a lot of antler plaques. You just mix it with water and it is pretty easy to work with. One thing I did start doing differently is I now use Bondo on the inside of the skull cap and the base coat as it doesn't shrink any and it really locks in the single bolt that I use for mounting.

View attachment 628009

If you look closely at the first 2 at the bottom right, you can see that the Celluclay has dried up some inside the skull cap...or maybe I didn't get enough of it inside there to fill it completely, but it is not a tight fit. If you can see the reddish colored ones which are filled with Bondo, there is a tight fit and no shrinkage. The Bondo also dries a lot faster than the Celluclay.

View attachment 628011

I have a scrap board for molding the Bondo and Celluclay. If you put wax paper down first it doesn't stick to the board. After molding the Celluclay, I use a kitchen butter knife dipped in water to smooth the surface. If you keep the outside of the Celluclay moist you can work with it for a long time to get the finish just how you want it. I would leave it sit like this for maybe a week to make sure it is completely dry before covering with deer skin or felt.

View attachment 628013

I drill one hole through the skull cap and use a single 1/4 - 20 bolt for the mount. I cut the bolt off to the length that I need it and usually grind it down a little to make sure it fits inside of my countersunk hole. I usually grind down part of the carriage bolt head so it sits more flush on the front side also. A flat washer ensures that it won't pull through the board. I have a keyhole router bit for making the keyhole on the back.

View attachment 628015

The hardest part for me is getting the deer hide wrapped on it without getting too many wrinkles in the folds. I cut the deer skin to get the folds flat and just use Super Glue to tack it down on the back.

View attachment 628017

As I mentioned, there are probably many different ways of mounting the antlers to a plaque. Probably no right way or wrong way - this is just the way I do it.
:)good write up
 

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Here we go. I am going to order an artificial cardinal on amazon and see how it looks sitting on top. That's Grandma's favorite bird, and a fitting tribute, for all she's meant to me. She's born in 1929 and starting to slow down a bit.

752129


Top to bottom: First bow buck (1997), 1994 firearm (memorable hunt because that buck was chasing does all around the rye field before I could get a shot), 2004 bow buck, 2002 firearm buck (memorable because I killed it on Nov 24 -- never expected to see a buck that late in the season), and 2003 bow buck. Most have green paint on the antlers from my buddy's F150 he helped haul them out in.

752130


I ended up using a circular saw and chainsaw to flatten the back of the post. Then sanded it with a belt sander. Then cut a scrap section of 4x4 post in half, painted the wedges, and scribed them into the corner. Then mounted the cedar post. Then added the skull plates and barbed wire I took off an old fence post here at the homestead. I am happy with it. All my bucks are now on the wall! I certainly appreciate everyone that helped me get to this point. Didn't do it alone, that's for sure, and thank God for all the lessons learned along the way.

Installation:
752133
 
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