Casting deer hair - How to Question ???? - International Association of Penturners
     International Association of Penturners
Pens for Service Members
Support The IAP

Go Back   International Association of Penturners > Community Forums > Blank Making > Casting & Stabilization
  Forgot Password
Register FAQ Members List Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Casting & Stabilization Making your own blanks & stabilizing wood blanks.

Logged on members can hide ads!

Welcome to!

You've found the home of The International Association of Penturners. You are currently viewing our site as a guest, which gives you limited access to view discussions, photos, and library articles.

Consider joining our community today. You'll have full access to all of our content, be able to enter our contests, find local chapters near you, and post your questions and share your experience with our members all over the world.

Membership is completely free!!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us.

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-13-2009, 03:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
juteck's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 861
Photos: 49

Default Casting deer hair - How to Question ????

I just had a request to commission a story pen, based on a bullet/cartridge pen construction. The person insterested in commissioning me is a self-proclaimed "good" hunter, whereas his hunting buddy supposedly lacks those same aiming skills. The good hunter wants this pen to tell a story about his buddy taking several shots at a deer and missing the kill, but knocking off a tuft of hair here, a bone chip there, a spot of blood over there, etc., and ending with the good hunter finally tracking and making the kill.

I have the design for this story pen worked out, but need to learn how to cast deer hair. Without getting into the serious casting skills at this time (I am interested, but I don't have the pressure pot, etc. in my near future budget), what is a good simple economical method to cast some deer hair that I can use to turn a 1/4" plug to fit into a 1/4" hole in the pen body, and keep it looking like deer hair and not a cat hairball? The hair that I have available is still attached to the hide, so I can cast with the hide in place, or trim the hair and cast it loose.

I already have an air compressor and vacuum pump, and can put together a makeshift vacuum/pressure chamber from PVC pipe or black iron pipe if necessary -- I expect vacuum or pressure may be necessary to make sure no air bubles are trapped between the hairs when casting?? Will the clear casting resin available from my local Michaels store provide a good starting point to try this?

Thanks for your casting expertise help!!
John U - Charlotte, NC
juteck is offline   Reply With Quote Top
Old 04-13-2009, 03:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
PenTurnerfromMaine's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Gorham, Maine
Posts: 498
Photos: 2


I have no idea how to help you but this sure sounds like an interesting pen, I'd like to see the final product.

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. - Winston Churchill
PenTurnerfromMaine is offline   Reply With Quote Top
Old 04-13-2009, 04:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Old Orchard Beach, Maine
Posts: 1,940
Photos: 5


Deer body hair is hollow with air trapped inside. this makes it excellent for insulation and for fishing flies but may cause you some interesting times when casting it. The tail on the other hand is not as bouyant and may be easier to cast. I have not attempted either. Please let us know how your experiment progresses.
Old Orchard Beach, Maine

You're never too old to learn something stupid.
LEAP is offline   Reply With Quote Top
Old 04-14-2009, 06:35 AM   #4 (permalink)
mostangrypirate's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Palestine, TX.
Posts: 269
Photos: 12


the resin from the hobby stores..."Castin' Craft" is what many people on here you. sounds like the smallest container will give enough to cast about 500 of these things. plenty of time to perfect it. check all the hobby stores around you, someone might even carry a 1/4in dome mold tray. using pressure would be very handy in atleast sugnificantly reducing the size of the bubbles, but I would put my ball valve on a hundred feet of air line, and stand way the heck back before I aired up any McGuyver inspired aparatis. you seriously might have to do a dozen of these things to find the right look. sprinkle in the hair, pack it on, whatever. I think hair will look like hair. for casting how to's there are many in the threads.
BTW really want to see final product.
__________________ It burns my squirl punches!!
mostangrypirate is offline   Reply With Quote Top
Old 04-14-2009, 07:07 AM   #5 (permalink)
AceMrFixIt's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 625
Photos: 10


Dont know if deer hair is long enough but you may be able to tie it to a sleeve like I have seen done with feathers. Just my head hurts....
Rick Roberts FCC(SW) USN Retired
Jacksonville, FL
AceMrFixIt is offline   Reply With Quote Top
Old 04-14-2009, 07:39 AM   #6 (permalink)
juteck's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 861
Photos: 49


Originally Posted by mostangrypirate View Post
using pressure would be very handy in atleast sugnificantly reducing the size of the bubbles, but I would put my ball valve on a hundred feet of air line, and stand way the heck back before I aired up any McGuyver inspired aparatis.

Thanks for the advice. I had planned on using 2" black iron pipe with threaded fittings for holding pressure or vacuum, or 2" PVC SCH 40 for holding vacuum only. Since pressure seems to be the recommended method to reduce the size of the air bubbles, I'll assemble with iron pipe and a pressure regulator. I'll make a plug mold to fit the inside diameter of the pipe, and a pipe support to keep it upright.

I'll wait until the next Michael's sales flyer comes out for the 40% coupon, then let the experimenting begin.
John U - Charlotte, NC
juteck is offline   Reply With Quote Top
Old 04-14-2009, 07:51 AM   #7 (permalink)
Ankrom Exotics's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Centerville, Iowa, USA.
Posts: 963
Photos: 66


Ok..... just thinking of how I might try this and here's what I've come up with.

1) find something cylindrical in shape that is slightly oversized. I'm thinking maybe a large diameter drinking straw. Cut it into about 3/4" - 1" lengths for molds that will easily turn away.

2) seal one end (wax?) and fill with casting resin (eyedropper?).

3) pack bundles of deer hair (trimmed from hide) into the molds (oriented parallel with the molds).

4) Apply pressure and allow to cure.

5) check out results and cuss your miserable failure (don't forget to be angry about the .02 you wasted on the drinking straw).
Pat & Lynn
Centerville, IA USA

Drop by our IAP Vendor Forum

Visit our Website!

LIKE us on
Ankrom Exotics is offline   Reply With Quote Top
Old 04-14-2009, 08:04 AM   #8 (permalink)
KenV's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Juneau, Alaska.
Photos: 0


If you are doing only a small amount -- think about epoxy --- maximum flexibility and smaller quantities. Still a significant cost, but special pens are priceless.

and the key question -- can you handle the amber colored epoxy with the hair. Next key question is the orientation -- are you going to want the hair end on -- think of the hair as a bunch looking down from the pointed tips looking at the hide laying on the table. or do you want the side view - or a mix.

Easy is to put a tuft of hair into a glob of epoxy as if it were a brush tip and then stick it into the hole. As you cut the hairs off, the hollow ends will need to be covered/sealed. the closer to the tips, the finer and smaller the hollows. The base of hairs is what fly tyers use for heads on hopper and the like.

Bone needs to be cleaned carefully. I like hydrogen peroixide after washing well and soaking in trisodiumphosphate (think spick and span cleaner) to reduce oil/fat in the marrow from staining the bone. The peroxide will whiten the bone some. Chlorine Bleach is not a good thing to use. Need some clean bone -- head to the pet store and find the dog chew bones.

Need blood -- tint some epoxy red -- amber epoxy with red will give you the dark colors. Want to get blood splatters -- think small holes or carved divots in the blank with the colored epoxy.

I have had good success with System 3 epoxy with turning. Plan to CA seal and shear scrape a smooth surface --

Above all have fun with this and share pictures.
Ken Vaughan
Old Apprentice Machinist - learning a new knee in Tucson
KenV is offline   Reply With Quote Top
Old 04-14-2009, 08:17 AM   #9 (permalink)
Posts: n/a


just to be a dweeb here..torturing & terrorizing an animal should not be made into a pen..The poor hunter needs to start practicing his shooting, and ask the deer gods for their absolution
  Reply With Quote Top
Old 04-14-2009, 09:57 AM   #10 (permalink)
DurocShark's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Anaheim, CA
Posts: 3,624
Photos: 18


Actually, a pen may be the embarrassing reminder he needs to get more range time in.
Don - In a Mickey Mouse town

DurocShark is offline   Reply With Quote Top
Related Content
Logged on members can hide ads


bullet , cartridge , casting , deer , hair

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:30 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0

Content Copyright © 2003-2018 by, LLC; All Rights Reserved
Terms Of Service   Acceptable Use Policy