Mounting your rack...yourself

Discussion in 'Bucks and Does' started by vc1111, Dec 17, 2008.

  1. I thought I'd share a pretty easy way to mount your rack.

    I'm sure there are other ways, but this is how I do it and its pretty easy.

    Here's the buck I killed on November 7th this year. I just finished mounting it. The lighting in these shots isn't what I'd like it to be, but you'll get the idea...

    Here's a closer shot of the padded skull plate trimmed in roping:

    The first thing you'll need aside from your rack is some type of board to mount it on. The one I chose is arrow shaped, since this was a bow kill, and its made of cherry with a bit of routing along the edges for effect.

    I've also used cutting boards like the ones you cut bread on. They can be found in Walmart and other stores and they come in a variety of sizes. Of course you can make your own, use a piece of barn siding or anything else your imagination can provide.

    Place the rack on the board and figure out where you want to secure it. If it doesn't lay nice and square and flat on the board don't worry. Secure the rack to the board using a few drywall screws. Pre-drill the holes through the skull plate and board. If necessary, just place a few shims where needed before you tighten the screws all the way in and your rack should be secure and nice and square.

    Next get some batting from a fabric store (or do like I did and steal it from your wife:D :D ). This is a cotton-like material that is used in sewing. You may also be able to find cotton in sheets. Here's what the batting material looks like. What you see pictured is actually some type of synthetic, but I've found cotton batting before in sheets and it works as well:
    (The batting is actually about 1/2 to 3/4 inches thick; it just looks thinner in the picture.)

    After securing the rack to the board, lay enough batting over the skull plate to pad it and cover the sharp areas so they don't show when you cover the skull plate with a cloth material. Fill in any areas that need a bit of extra filling. Trim off any excess with scissors. As you know, when you cut the rack from the deer, there is usually a sharp "drop off" where you made the cut behind the rack. Fill that area in so that you get a nice round looking skull plate.

    Then take a piece of material, lay it over the padded skull plate and carefully trim it around the antler bases.

    After you've trimmed around the antler bases, use a hot glue gun and glue the material to the board. Take a razor knife and trim it off all around the base of the padded area. Don't worry if the batting shows a bit around the antler bases or if the padded area is a bit rough where its glued to the board. You'll cover those areas in the next step...

    The last thing you'll need is some roping material, which is also available from a fabric store (I got mine at JoAnn Fabrics, which I believe is a chain store).

    Here's what the roping looks like; it is sold by the yard and it also pretty cheap, about $3 a yard and you'll need about a yard of each:

    The last step is the trimming...Place the roping around the bases of each beam and secure it with the hot glue gun. Glue it behind the base so that the joint (where the two ends of the roping meet) does not show.

    Again use the hot glue gun and glue some roping around the padded area, where the padding meets the board.

    That's really all there is to it. It may sound hard, but it really easy if you take your time. I chose black velvet to cover the base and I actually used two types of roping around the base itself.

    You can also use camouflage material to cover the batting, which is what my bow hunting partner prefers. And if you like you can use "bow rope" instead of the fancy roping from the craft store.

    I have my rack from 2007 to mount yet and I'm considering using plaster of paris to mold around and cover the skull plate. I will then secure some autumn leaves and glue them to the base and coat them in a clear epoxy. Still thinking about trying that and I'll post pictures if I do.

    This year I went one step further and had a little plate made with my initials, the stand location and the date of the kill:

    Here's another one I did a few years back:
  2. Thanks for sharing...I have 3 racks in the garage that I need to put on a plaque. I just haven't got around to doing it yet.

  3. Great job! looks great, inexpensive and do it all yourself, can't beat that.:)

    Thanks for the instruction.
  4. ezbite

    ezbite the Susan Lucci of OGF

    ive got a few in the garage too and this looks like a great winter project to do. thanks.
  5. Thank you this is the kind of stuff I like to read. I have a nice 12 that I would like to do. I'm going to do it like that.
  6. I have a few that I pretty much shortcutted when I did them. I put them on a plaque but never finished off the covering. My son is going to be doing his this winter so this provides a great start to doing his and mine.

    Thanks for sharing.

    I have thought about trying to tan a small section of a hide and using it for a cover. Has anyone ever done this? Any thoughts on whether it would be a good or bad idea? I just think it would look pretty nice.
  7. Nice job VC1111...Back in my younger days ..when I was a cowboy I became friends with a saddle maker ...he also made cowboy chaps if you know what i am talking about...gathered up the soft scrap leather he was throwing away ...Rounded the skull with plaster of paris..covered the skull plate with the leather...trimmed the edge with fringe I made with a razor blade...Looked pretty good...Your mount looks pretty damn good to me...
    GREAT JOB...C.L...:!
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2015
  8. Thanks, guys.

    Crappie Lover, I've considered working with leather also. I'd like to try trimming it in brass tacks. Have any pictures of those mounts?

    bkr, I also thought about using hide, but I thought that trimming the fur around the bases might be tough. If you try it let me know how it works out.

    I have one more rack that I may mount this winter. Instead of the tradtional way of mounting it, I'm going to invert it and have the tines sticking out from the wall but angled slightly up so that the rack can be used to hang hats and jackets. The tips of the beams and the crab claws can be used for keys, etc.

    I'm now looking for the right lumber to use and working on a way to secure it to the wall (without seriously piercing the wall with heavy screws or nails) so that it will hold the weight of coats and jackets without twisting under the weight. I'll probably need to secure it on the east and west sides of the board somehow or maybe all the way around somehow.
  9. ...vc1111..Sorry I never and don't know why never took a picture...I only had two racks of my own and lost them in a camp fire in Pa..years ago...Did my uncles mule deer rack he got in Colorado..but havn't seen him in twenty years...I like the idea of brass tacks...I just used 1/2 in brads...I know you will do a great job...C.L...
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2015
  10. Guys, if you boil the plate to make sure it's clean, remember not to get any boiling water on the rack itself. The brownish coloring is actually blood staining from the velvet stage and will bleach out. I did one carefully to get the gristle, etc from around the base of the antlers and it turned out great.