As a big hunter, I have shot many deer that are considered wall hangers. I have 5 European mounts that are hanging on the wall with some dinky looking pedestal mounts. For this week’s project I thought I would upgrade their mounts.
I found a nice design online and took to Google Sketchup to designed the paper templates I needed. I printed the paper templates out, taped them together, and applied them to 1/2″ MDF material with spray adhesive.
I took to the drill press and drilled out the holes for the screws in the oval part and the dowels in the skull plate. After the holes were drilled, I took to the router table fitted with a keyhole bit to make a slot for a screw to allow the pedestal to hang on the wall.
After the keyhole was cut, I took to the bandsaw and cut outside the template line by 1/16″-1/8″. After the bandsaw, I sanded to the line at the edge sander. You could easily cut out the templates with a jig saw and hand sand down to the line.
With the MDF templates ready to go, I attached them to red oak with double sided tape. I used the bandsaw to cut away most of the material, I cut as close to the template as possible without risking hitting the template. With most of the material removed, I went to the router table and used two flush trimming router bits. One bit with the bearing on top, and the other with the bearing on the bottom. Why did I use two router bits? This was a strategic move to avoid tear out. I used the appropriate bit at the right time causing the bit to always cut with the grain.
Once the red oak was flush trimmed to size, I installed a decorative router bit to give the oval and the skull plate a little design.
I quickly sanded to 220 grit and prepared for assembly. I used a little hot glue to hold the connecting arm and the oval together. Once the hot glue cooled, I could pre-drill and drive #8 square drive screws to secure them together. I then moved on to attaching the skull plate to the arm. I accomplished this by pre-drilling two holes, driving a screw in one hole to hold the skull plate in place and then using a 3/8″ drill bit to enlarge the other hole. I glued and installed a matching dowel. I cut the dowel flush and sanded smooth. Once the glue on the first dowel dried, I removed the temporary screw and I repeated the process.
I applied a medium walnut danish oil finish by Watco. Danish oils are quickly becoming one of my favorite finishes. It is super easy to apply with a lint free rag or even a paper towel. It dries extremely fast, and the finish is very smooth. Danish oils provide color (if desired), protection, and shine all in one application. You can apply multiple coats to develop a film of finish.
After the finished dried, I installed a screw on the skull plate, a screw into the wall and installed the pedestal mount. I then but Mike the mule deer on display!