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Using the EZ Eye Rotation System

The EZ Eye Rotation System is the answer to the struggle of creating the correct angle or cant of an eye set. The premise is to create a round eye that fits into a round socket just like in a live animal. This allows you the option of rotating the eyes to any desired position during the first day or two before the mount begins to dry. The tool has one arbor that will except different size cutters. The cutters range from 24mm to 38mm in 2mm increments with the eye backs to match. It is developed for Whitetail mounts but will work for any mammal that requires a 24mm through 38mm eye.

This is a Whitetail Deer eye in 32mm glued with 5 minute epoxy to a 32mm eye back. What we are trying to achieve with this system, is to cut out the same amount of foam in the eye socket that we have placed on the back of the eye with the eye backs.

Take a pencil and mark the center of both eyes. Check to see if these marks are in the same location with calipers. Using reference points like the center of the nose pad and under the jaw, you can measure from these points to your eyes for symmetry. Make any adjustments necessary to get these points the same. To help understand eye rotation, these two points in the center of each eye should not change when an eye is rotating. If the eye moves forward, back, up or down, the center point stays the same.

Put an eye with no back on it in the socket and take a straight edge and lay across the jaw and lower eye brow to see how close the eye comes to the straight edge. The eye should come close to or may even touch the straight edge. This will help with the depth.

Check for the wood block in the mannikin. Take a pin and place the tip on the mark you made in the center of the eye and push the pin in the angle you will drill. The angle will be straight in and angled back for most animals like a deer. If you have a skull for reference, place the round eye in the eye orbit to understand this. If you don't hit the wood your are ready to drill out the socket.

If you hit the wood, mark the pin and hold it against the point of the tool. The distance between the tip of the pin and the back of the cutter will show you how far you will need to drill into the block.

Drill a pilot hole the size of the tip of the arbor for the tool to run in. If the wood block is just under the foam, the tool will cut the wood but, it will not be easy. I have found that if the wood is just under the foam, this might not be the the time to use this tool. This step is not necessary if there is no wood block.

Optional: Color the eye orbit with a marker to help see what you are cutting away. This photo shows half the orbit colored to show this process. Place the tool in a drill and put the tip on your mark in the eye and start cutting. Go slow and take your time until you are more comfortable using this tool.

Place the round eye in the socket and check with the straight edge until you have the depth you want. Now you have an eye that you can rotate in any direction and the center does not change.

Place a small amount of hide paste in the eye socket. Then place the eye in the opening and push until it touches the foam. It is very important the back of the eye and foam touch so the eye can be moved if necessary later. Also place a small amount of clay around the eye to hold in place. Now you can rotate the eyes and put your pupils and cant where you desire. Finish your clay work and you should have two rotated eyes. The neat thing with this system is, after the piece is mounted the eyes can still be rotated with your fingertip before the mount begins to dry. This will not change the location or depth of the eye.

Eye set with white in front.

Same eye with white showing in back.

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