How to hang a large set of elk antlers from a mud wall?
October 25, 2021 5:43 PM   Subscribe

I found a gloriously large and heavy set of elk antlers - not attached to anything, just shed in their seasonal cycle. I'd like to mount them on the living room wall of my Cobb-mud house, but the mud is fragile so I'd like to make as few holes as possible, and not destroy the wall with giant chunks taken out of it if I mess up. What are my best options for mounting it?

Many thanks! This is what the earthen plaster wall looks like, to give you a sense of it.
posted by egeanin to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
A photo of the antlers might help. I don't have an answer but I'm thinking about how wide and deep you can drill into the antlers to anchor various bolts.
posted by SaltySalticid at 5:51 PM on October 25, 2021

I don't think you should believe any advice that wasn't tested on a cob wall of the same kind -- eg, do you have cob over straw, solid loadbearing cob, cob between post and beam?
posted by clew at 5:53 PM on October 25, 2021 [2 favorites]

Do they need to be on the wall? I would think about getting a stand they could be attractively mounted onto so they come up to somewhere between waist and eye level.
posted by soelo at 5:57 PM on October 25, 2021 [4 favorites]

Build a mounting plate by drilling all the way though and adding a backing plate on the outside.
posted by sammyo at 6:07 PM on October 25, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Do you have wood or beams above the cob where the roof sits? You could hang them off the roof, and they could just “lean” against the wall.
posted by nickggully at 6:18 PM on October 25, 2021 [6 favorites]

We have a strawbale home with fragile plaster walls and hung a shelf directly on the wall by drilling two large holes in a window buck, putting adhesive in the holes, then rebar, then drilling corresponding holes in (the shelf and hammering it into place.

It's not the same as your project, but the strategy might help as you think through possibilities.
posted by 10ch at 6:33 PM on October 25, 2021 [2 favorites]

What is your ceiling construction? If it is more conventional you could mount the antlers on a standard taxidermy panel and then hang the panel with heavy duty nylon fishing line or picture hanging cable from the ceiling right at the wall. Essentially a single location picture rail.
posted by Mitheral at 9:25 PM on October 25, 2021

Response by poster: I'm not 100% sure what is underneath the Cobb mud wall as we just bought this place -- but I do have wooden beams in the ceiling so I think hanging them from above and having them rest against the wall is probably the way to go.

Does anyone have a recommendation for what kind of wire to use that is strong but not super visible, and what kind of hook to use for the wood beams in the ceiling? I'm not someone who generally knows her way around a hardware store.
posted by egeanin at 10:42 AM on October 26, 2021

Best answer: I have used 100-pound-test nylon fishing line for jobs like this.
posted by Scarf Joint at 2:49 PM on October 26, 2021

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