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Filling the Void..Horn Cavities


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Hello!!

 

Ok I am a bit stumped here..nothing new there but still...I have just got in a mess of impala (the critter..not the Chevy) and Reebok (also the critter and not the sneaker) horns in and well..up until now these had the bone/skeletal material cores still in them..however..these do not and the hollow is cavernous.

 

The question is...what do I fill it with? Acraglass? A mix of epoxy and sawdust? I am a bit worried about anything that gets warm as it cures cause the epoxies that I use..something this massive will build up a whole bunch of heat and that may cause the horn to split..

 

Any suggestions??

 

THANKS!!

 

JPH

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Fill it with epoxy, and throw them in the fridge for a few days. It should slow the reaction down and keep the heat minimal.

 

Of course, it may never cure either. It depends on the epoxy.

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I have done stick tangs in large bone cavities by fitting it with a hardwood plug all the way through.I shape the plug to fit , epoxy the wood in the cavity , then drill you tang hole like you were making a wooden stick handle.

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Hello:

 

Geoff:

 

I dunno about the cutler's resin..might be too much of an amount for it to last..haven't used it for that much of a gap fill...

 

I am worried about thermal problems using a epoxy..that is why I was wondering about mixing it with sawdust as a filler..the cavity is rather large and well what I have planned for these I would hate to screw the pooch on something like this... I could always acraglass but here again..it may build up too much heat...

 

As for the wood core..great idea except the shape is rather complex..I have no idea about how to even go about starting to shape a core...

What I was thinking and using the epoxy/sawdust around a paper tube in the cross section of a flatten oval for the tang channel..running down the more or less center of the grip hollow...that way no drilling would be needed..well maybe a tiny bit... I will probably get some thermal build up but I do not think that it should be a problem?? What ya think??

 

JPH

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One thing I have done with two-part epoxies when I needed to fill large gaps or plug holes is to mix it up in a bowl (use the long cure type) and wait for it to turn into a putty consistency. Then working fast, pack it down into the void. That, and mixing a filler material like the sawdust in, will also help with the heat control. You could even apply it in layers rather than all at once.

Then again, what about using a more mild type of glue? Use Hide Glue or Titebond wood glue and mix in the filler. I've done that with pre-stained sawdust to match color and made wood filler for repairs. No reason it wouldn't work on the horn.

 

Show me a picture and I'll come up with something else.

Edited by Joshua States
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I've got some old (19th century) handles that are still tight, when you drill them you can still smell the pitch. It's pretty stable stuff. How about engravers pitch and sawdust? I'm trying to think of stuff that will fill the space without adding too much weight.

 

Geoff

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Geoff has a good point, look at how long old shamshir and tulwar blades have lasted with their handles using pitch-based glues, sometimes filling a large amount of hollow.

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I'd probably try pigmented epoxy, applied in multiple layers for less mass/heat. For black horn, charcoal dust makes a good pigment.

 

I've also seen some antique/vintage horn-handled blades (filipino bolos, IIRC) where the maker apparently just cut shorter, smaller-diameter pieces from near the tip of a horn, and jammed one inside the other to make a solid horn 'plug' to fill the void. This might work well if you have enough horn.

Edited by Orien M
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please show us some photos , and tell us what you wind up doing, cause now it feels like a TV show that ends with ...To be continued......I just gotta know what happened !

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Jello:

 

Will post photos of the horns once I get done with this run of 25 feet of POW barstock.. Should be tonight or tomorrow..still pondering what to do as far as the hollow goes.

 

JPH

Edited by JPH
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I've never noticed J.B. Weld generating any heat.

 

You can drill it, tap it, file & sand it.

 

Some folks hate it, but I have found 1000 uses for it and have always been pleased.

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I'd just use heavily filled epoxy, i'd either dye the epoxy or use dark filled, maybe even both.

 

P.S. You could send some along my way and I could help you with the R&D. Free of charge of-course, though I would need to retain the sample materials...

Edited by Johnathan Sibley
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Jim,

 

If the fill material will remain invisible in the finished piece, I'd suggest using something we use in the commercial fishing industry called "splash zone." It's like a two-part epoxy play-doh. It's bullet proof tough after it hardens, and doesn't seem to produce any heat when it cures. You can grind it, drill it, and smooth it too. Easy to work and doesn't run like regular epoxy.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Pettit-Paint-Splash-Zone--788QT/dp/B0032FXM9Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1461555314&sr=8-1&keywords=splash+zone

 

It's a friggin' ugly green color, however, so while it's a great, stable, easy to work fill, you don't want to grind past the horn into the fill.

 

Luck!

 

Dave

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Dave:

 

I WILL look into that...this will be completely inside the horn..

 

Everyone..sorry for being so tardy in this..my RRMS acted up a bit and RPFS is running so I am a but "behind" as they say..will be posting pics in the AM/early PM of the horn in question...

 

JPH

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Hello!

 

Sorry for this being so late...things got a bit piled up around here due to my down time..(damn MS).

OK as ya all can see that is a major hollow...I decided to try a few things to fill it ..

 

Tried a mix of epoxy and sawdust..was a bit messy bit it worked but it got very very WARM..not so good there..too wamr top hold so...that was not agood idea as I don't want to crack the horn....Acraglass would be way to $$$... and same with JB weld...

 

That "wonder putty" you see on late night TV///too thick and besides..the stuff really doesn't work...so...taking an idea from here...

 

What I ended up doing is stuffing as much narrow ash pieces into the hollow as I could and then filling the areas around the pieces with the epoxy/sawdust mix and letting it cure. Since this will not be seen the colour and all is no problem..Let it set/cure for 24 hours...Hardly got warm at all..which is a good thing. The n I drilled out and opened up the channel and mounted it up... See pics below...

 

THANK YOU all for the suggestions...I do appreciate them ALOT !!

 

JPH

DSC02762A.jpg

DSC02770A.jpg

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that looks like it worked well.

Got any pics of the inside of the handle?

Edited by Joshua States
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  • 2 weeks later...

A bit late to the discussion, but if time is not as much a factor and epoxy is the only viable solution, to avoid the heat problem you can always do it in parts. Pour in a little, let it cure, then a little more, building up chunks at a time rather than filling it all at once and having to worry about all that chemiothermal mass.

 

John

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