Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Ivory tusk reproductions

  1. #1
    Member DanC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Haines
    Posts
    158

    Default Ivory tusk reproductions

    I have a question for R.J., or any of the other taxidermists on board. That was a very nice and impressive elephant mount R.J. posted on the other thread (Fairbanks Taxidermist) and I am curious whether you reproduced the elephant's own tusks or used reproductions that are commercially available from Jonas Brothers or McKenzie. I have to assume that the elephant's own ivory could not be used for the mount.

    The reason I am asking is because I have a couple of narwhal tusks and also some walrus ivory I would like to reproduce. I have done reproductions of bear claws but nothing as large as a tusk. Can you offer some insight? I am an amateur, working in my own garage, and these would be for my personal use.

    I hope I do not appear to be asking for trade secrets, although that is probably what I am doing (insert sheepish smiley face). That other, well known, taxidermy discussion group has a lot of information regarding antler reproductions but nothing specific about ivory.

  2. #2
    Member Lone Wolf1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    327

    Default

    It can be done with a little planning and research online for ideas. One good place to start is here: http://www.smooth-on.com/

    There are a lot of videos and pictorial explanations of the various processes. They also have helpful folks who can steer you toward the best stuff for your intended project.


    Also, do an on-line search for "casting antlers", "casting horns", etc. There are a lot of good ideas and videos.

    Finally, here's a link to a taxidermy forum that is focused on "Casting and Molding". http://www.taxidermy.net/forum/index.php?board=12.0

    Experiment with a few smaller projects first, as the materials are not cheap.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
    Member DanC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Haines
    Posts
    158

    Default

    Wolf,

    Thanks for that reply. I found everything I need at smooth-on.

    Dan

  4. #4
    Sponsor protaxidermy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    731

    Default

    Hi Dan,
    Sorry it took so long to reply back. Been Busy in the shop.

    Anyways, Yes I have cast Several Elephant tusks, Hippo, & even Warthog Tusks using the same methods.

    We have put the real Tusks in a couple of the Elephant mounts but Most guys want the realones to display in front of their fireplace or on the wall so we just repro the ones for the mounts.

    Most of the time we use Bondo mixed with Fibreglass resin as the cast boot but it MUST be over coated with Several coats of Fiberglass mat to be strong enough to get the plastic tusks out of the mold or you will not be able to reuse it.

    ALSO VERY IMPORTANT, You Must use a Good release agent or you are going to give yourself fits trying to get the tusks out of the bondo mold.


    I use JOHNSTONS PASTE WAX.


    Make sure that Every INCH of the tusks are waxed or you WILL have problems.


    We have also used Latex 74 for a quick couple time use mold.


    For my Sheep & Cape Buffalo repros though I used RTV Silicone. Its VERY expensive but you can pour hundreds of casts from the one mold as long as you take care not to rip it apart taking the plastic horns out.

    Anyways looks like your on you way , so good luck with the project.

    RJ Simington
    PRO Taxidermy Fairbanks
    Custom Taxidermy, Experience the difference !!

  5. #5
    Member Hughiam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Palmer, AK
    Posts
    380

    Default

    Ive used Dragon Skin on several pieces as a base layer, then build up using silicone. then covering with bondo/fiberglass. I did this for broken sable/scimitar. Ive also used Latex 74 for mountain goat and have a really big set of bison horn sheaths that I cast as well.

  6. #6
    Member DanC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Haines
    Posts
    158

    Default

    Thanks for all the suggestions. I have a shopping list and will be ordering a variety of products soon.

    In the meantime, I found some left over two-part mold putty I had used for reproducing bear claws. There was barely enough to form a thin mold over a small tusk. This was a practice run until I can get some better materials. Getting the spiraled reproduction tooth out of the mold kind of ruined the mold but I have enough confidence that I can do it right the next time.

    After cleaning the silicone out of the grooves I will attempt to darken it with coffee - it worked on my own teeth. If it wasn't obvious, the more yellow tusk on the right is the real one.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    northern alaska
    Posts
    1,159

    Default

    I have the opposite problem. I have two nice matched tusk that I took off a walrus who was rolling in the Bering Sea surf. No way I could get the skull though. How do you find a walrus skull for sale?

  8. #8
    Member Hughiam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Palmer, AK
    Posts
    380

    Default

    Try Skulls Unlimited in Oklahoma. They may have a "bone clone" that is an EXACT replica. The really set the industry standard in skull replicas. Even casting prehistoric animals.

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    northern alaska
    Posts
    1,159

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hughiam View Post
    Try Skulls Unlimited in Oklahoma. They may have a "bone clone" that is an EXACT replica. The really set the industry standard in skull replicas. Even casting prehistoric animals.
    Thanks for that info, I'm trying some contacts out West first for the real thing. I'm sure there are skulls available, I'm not sure what has to be done to them to make them legal to sell to me though. Anybody know the regs on selling walrus skulls? Do they have to be worked on like ivory?

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •