Deer skull bleaching problem

Submitted by Curt on 10/20/05 at 12:12 PM. ( krm722@hotmail.com ) 66.44.187.14

I was wondering if anyone has had this problem. I took in a white tail skull for a european mount and after boiling, cleaning and two applications of basic white and 40% this skull is not as white as others. There are several darker spots "like on the forehead area". Also, the skull fusing line between the antlers will not bleach white. I have applied several additional coats of basic white to these areas with no luck.If any of you can tell me what I am doing wrong I would appreciate it. I have looked in the search area and have been unable to find the answer to this problem. Thanks for any help you can provide. Curt

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problem

This response submitted by Bill on 10/20/05 at 4:29 PM. ( ) 70.186.176.84

Give it a light coat of white with your air brush ,lookes great


DON'T BOIL IT....

This response submitted by John on 10/20/05 at 6:23 PM. ( ) 65.6.253.248

Maceration is the way to go. I clean off as much as possible and put it in water up to the horns. Check it once a week and spray it off with the hose in three or four weeks clean as a whistle. I soak in 40% until WHITE and let dry. Spray it with a sealer and/or gloss and viola you are done.

Works for me.

Thanks, John


That's what you get from boiling

This response submitted by Evelyn on 10/20/05 at 10:00 PM. ( ) 205.188.117.7

The heat from the water boiled blood and fat right into the bone. You are not going to get it out. That's why skulls should never be boiled. Maceration is the way to go as John said.


blah, blah, blah,

This response submitted by bonedaddy on 10/21/05 at 12:06 AM. ( bonedaddy@spe.midco.net ) 69.9.210.12

Yep, it never fails...when someone has a question about european mounts and "boiling", the anti-"boiling" fanatics come out strong. Well, I've been doing european mounts, of all species for over 25 years and "boil" all of them! and have NEVER had a problem, of any kind related to this method of taxidermy.I have chosen to keep my mouth shut everytime the above named anti's raise their ugly heads...until now. Different people have different methods of taxidermy, no matter what kind, so why do you have to always pipe up and condone someone's CHOSEN method of taxidermy? If someone has a question, and you can answer it constructively then by all means help them out. But if all you are going to do is critisize and proclaim your method to be the only way someone should do something, do all of us a favor and put a sock in it. There is far too much critisizing on this forum and sometimes not enough help. Bill summed it up perfectly with a solution to the question. That's what people are looking for on this site, not to be put on a chopping block. I know I will get blasted for this, but "whatever". This is just my $.02. I'm sorry if I offended anyone, but I felt it needed to be said. Have a good evening.


Deer Skulls

This response submitted by Nain on 10/21/05 at 12:08 AM. ( ) 66.58.221.100

Here is the deal. I run a skull cleaning service which uses dermestid beetles. What is going on is that you still have oils and fats in the skull. Boiling the skull only compounds the problem by driving the fat deeper into the bone. What you need to do is soak the skull in Laquer Thinner or White Gas for about a week. Watch out for the white gas if you so wish to use cause it has a very low flash point which means that you may burn down you garage if not careful. I clean several skulls a month and can tell you that this is what you HAVE to do. If you do bear or hog then you need to soak for a minimum of 30 days in the thinner. Hope this helps.


Boiling

This response submitted by Nain on 10/21/05 at 12:15 AM. ( ) 66.58.221.100

By the way, I also SIMMER not boil some skulls as needed but I still degrease them in the thinner. If you don't degrease, then the skull will turn yellow after about 2 - 5 years and after the client has taken it home and payed you the money which after 5 years if too late to do any complaining about. Do it right the first time ( as far as the degreasing
is concerned and choose what ever method that you wish to get the meat off. ( They all work )


bonedaddy

This response submitted by tcoop on 10/21/05 at 5:11 PM. ( ) 63.26.70.54

bonedaddy,

".....so why do you have to always pipe up and condone someone's CHOSEN method of taxidermy? If someone has a question, and you can answer it constructively then by all means help them out. But if all you are going to do is critisize and proclaim your method to be the only way someone should do something, do all of us a favor and put a sock in it. There is far too much critisizing on this forum and sometimes not enough help."

Sounds to me like that is exactly what you are doing.

"Yep, it never fails...when someone has a question about european mounts and "boiling", the anti-"boiling" fanatics come out strong. Well, I've been doing european mounts, of all species for over 25 years and "boil" all of them! and have NEVER had a problem, of any kind related to this method of taxidermy."

OK, so you criticized, now tell us your solution since you have NEVER had this problem.

tcoop


t coop

This response submitted by bonedaddy on 10/21/05 at 11:06 PM. ( bonedaddy@spe.midco.net ) 69.9.210.12

tcoop,
You obviously missed my point completely. I was not critisizing any technique, just the fact that it seems a lot of the times you can't get just a straight answer to a question without extra comments. If you read a little farther, I stated that Bill had answered the question perfectly, to the point without any "extras".
I DID NOT critisize maceration or any other style of taxidermy, just the BS that goes on here. I apologize to John and Evelyn for my posting. I had a bad day and the posting just hit me wrong. I was just trying to make a point that we should help when asked, without knocking someones technique.
My solution, tcoop,...I soak in 50% peroxide and it whitens everything it touches, including my fingers! Don't forget the gloves.
Have a great day and, again, I apologize if I offended anyone.


Deer Skulls

This response submitted by Aaron on 10/22/05 at 10:57 PM. ( ) 12.218.46.81

I am a beginning taxidermist that is going to mount just antlers for now. These european mounts look like something that would fall into the catagory and expertise level I want to pursue. Now without fighting, ha-ha, can someone give me a step by step of how to prepare a skull for a european mount?


Skull Preparation

This response submitted by Nain on 10/25/05 at 1:23 PM. ( denalibeavertrapper@hotmail.com ) 209.193.41.171

Take your freshly killed skull and remove as much of the flesh as you can with a small knife being careful not to make cut marks in the bone. You also need to remove the eye balls and all of the fat that lies behind it. Take a coat hangar or something like 9 or 12 guage wire and mix the brains up with H20 and rinse out with a garden hose. Also you can get a female copper garden hose adapter and affix a small diameter piece of hose or copper pipe to use as a spray wand to remove the brains.
Next you need to find a method for cleaning the skull. There are many methods for doing this, and yes some are better than others. Emersing in simmering water NOT BOILING is one method. You will want to add some baking soda to the water and a few drops of Dawn dish soap to cut some of the grease that comes off. Simmer for 30 - 40 minutes, remove, dump the water and start all over again.

Beetles are fast and excellent but take a while to grow a good sized colony. I have two that are 1.5 years old and still need to grow. Also like any pet, a lot of care is needed.

If you dont have much time then you can dump it in a rubber maid tote full of water ( for antlered animals ) or a 5 gal bucket for bears and such and let them rot. Change 3/4 of the water every 4 days or so depending on the temparature outside. Bla bla Bla......

When this is done you need to soak in Laquer thinner or white gas for at least two weeks, my bears get it for 30 days. Pull out and dry for a week...........
Bleach out with Peroxide.....Hair care stuff from a salon in 40 VOLUME ....The 40 does not represent percentage..... I use Industry 38 %. You can mix the other stuff to a paint on sludge with Clarol Basic White or regular old Magnesium Carbonate ( Rock Climbing Chalk )

when white and dry seal with elmers glue and water several coats or a clear matte finish acrylic sealant that is used to spray pictures and crafts. Make damn sure that if you use this though that it is not something that is going to yellow over time.

Hope this helps


Habitat for Dermestid Beetles

This response submitted by Ed on 10/29/05 at 7:23 AM. ( ) 70.157.18.81

I have had dermestid beetles for three years now. I started them in a large rubbermaid container...then I went to an old deep freezer...had severe humidity problems. Now I am back to large rubbermaid containers. I have great problems with an invasive beetle (green ham beetle) in the summer months. I cannot seem to keep them out. How are other people housing their beetles. I need something large enoungh for elk, moose , caribou, that the beetles can't crawl out of, and with some type of vented screened lid to keep flys out and try to keep other small insects out also. My beetles are housed in a dedicated, isolated 8 X 8 insulated building that I heat during the winter, and I am going to AC it next summer just to control the temperature. Other pests are a real problem for me in the deep south.
..fire ants are a perpetual problem, but I think I have a way of keeping them out.

Thanks...


cleaning deer skulls

This response submitted by mark r gillott on 10/29/05 at 10:52 PM. ( ) 24.47.84.80

I found a deer skull on a camping trip recently.It was just sitting on the ground, all the skin is long gone off of it,just the bone remained.If anyone can tell me the best way to clean it,I would appreciate it.I have already soaked it in peroxide,but,it didn't turn white.It still a little yellowish.Is there anything I can do to make it whiter?And is there a way to seal it when I'm done?

Thanks Mark


I need help cleaning my dear skull

This response submitted by brad sams on 11/1/05 at 10:14 AM. ( ) 168.8.48.220

my name is brad. iam 16-yeasr-old. i killed a 7-pointer last saturday morning. i want a european style mount but i don't know how to clen the skull.
any help would be nice thanks


I need help cleaning my dear skull

This response submitted by brad sams on 11/1/05 at 10:29 AM. ( ) 168.8.48.220

my name is brad. i am 16-years-old. i killed a 7-pointer last saturday morning. i want a european style mount but i don't know how to clen the skull.
any help would be nice thanks


Skull Cleaning 11/2/05

This response submitted by Shane on 11/2/05 at 11:23 PM. ( steiner31669@yahoo.com ) 207.200.116.130

I have been cleaning skulls for several years by boiling and I have had very few problems making them white. I do things a little backwards but found this way to be the best. I will clean as much of the flesh as I can and remove all the brains (this will take some time). I then place in 50 volume peroxide until the remaining flesh turns a light yellow color. (Purchase a small plastic garbage can large enough to hold the skull and cut sides off approximately 8 inches up, 1 gallon of 50 volume peroxide will cost approximately 20 dollars from a hair salon supplier). Make sure not submerge antlers; you will not be able to cover the entire skull, let soak for 2-3 hours. Doing this breaks down the remaining tissue on the bone that you have not already cleaned. I then place the skull in water at a light boil and add Sal soda (hard boiling will cause bones to separate and grease to soak in bone). Now place the skull in the water and boil for 10-15 min. After 10-15 remove and most of the flesh should fall right off. Brush the remaining tissue and break it up and return to water for an additional 10-15 minutes. If you cleaned the skull sufficiently before placing in the peroxide and boiling, it seldom takes longer than a half hour to boil. Once you have done this place back into peroxide or use a peroxide/paste mixture. In almost all cases this will produce a uniform clean white look. If there is remain flesh in tight spots wait until it dries and pick it out, this takes little time and is about the only way to completely clean the skull without beetles. If you follow the above directions you can have a complete clean and white skull in 4-5 hours.


thanks alot

This response submitted by brad sams on 11/4/05 at 10:02 AM. ( ) 168.8.48.220

thanks for the instuctions you just saved me $135, if i went to the local taxidermist.
he don't even use the real head, he uses a replica


dawn dish soap

This response submitted by brad on 11/4/05 at 9:48 PM. ( ) 69.92.19.177

sounds crazy but dawn dish soap in your boiling water draws the oils out of the skull. it works great try it. P.s. NO stains


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