European Mounting Procedure

Submitted by Ken on 4/18/01. ( )

I have boiled my deer skulls in sal soda and removed as much of the meat as possible. Although there is still some flesh remaining. What is the easiest way to get the remaining flesh off - bury them in the ground or let the maggots eat it off, or put it on a ant hill? Also, what is the procedure for using Basic White and 40 Volume Hydrogen Peroxide?

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I put a cow skull in an ant hill, and...

This response submitted by Brandon on 4/18/01. ( )

I got a 2 for 1 job. The ants and maggots are working together.


This response submitted by Rob on 4/18/01. ( )

go to search and search for european mounts

Boiling in sal soda

This response submitted by Chuck on 4/18/01. ( )

Using sal soda is like using bleach to whiten a skull. Over boiling can lead to the skull being chalky, and brittle. The best way to clean the remaining meat from the skull would be to sit down and pull it off. How long do you boil your skulls for. In most cases meat on a skull can easily be removed after an hour or two in the boil. About the 40% hydorgen preoxide. Using this high volume of preoxide can cause the skull to become yellowed and stained looking if its not deluted. If you use straight 40% preoxide, I would think it would dissolve the remaining little bits of meat. I am a professional skull cleaner. If you need anymore help e-mail me. Chuck

I agree with Chuck - don't use Sal Soda.

This response submitted by The Taxidermist on 4/19/01. ( )

Though it is very often used and recommended as the best technique, boiling with Sal Soda risks damage to the Skull. Utilization of Sodium Carbonate Na2CO3 (the main component in Sal Soda), or Bleach, aka Sodium Hypochlorite NaHCO3, both have Sodium as the common metal. What essentially happens is that as the base portion acts upon the meat, it frees up Sodium ions in the solution. Because of the Reactivity chart of metals which I learned far too long ago to remember the details, Sodium actually replaces the Calcium in some of the bone material, breaking down the bone structure and turning the bone chalky. The base portion does not damage the bone per se. Some scientific papers actually recommend Sodium Hydroxide NaOH, or Potassium Hydroxide KOH, to clean bone material and both are far more damaging than Sal Soda or Bleach. BUT Ammonia, NH3OH, does not damage the bone at all, and they share the OH ion. In fact, you can soak bone material in Ammonia for extensive periods of time in degreasing, with no adverse bone damage. Should you wish to still use Sal Soda, use at low concentrations for short periods of time.
An Experienced Osteologist, one of the parts of a Complete Taxidermologist

Wrap it first

This response submitted by Cur on 4/19/01. ( )

Wrap the skull with medicinal or other sheet cotton prior to setting into two or three inches of the peroxide solution. The cotton will wick the solution over the entire skull without having to completely immerse it. I am not sure of the chemical chains here, but it is an old and good technique that works for me. After bleaching in the peroxide bath, time in the sun will finish the job. I have tried hundreds of ways to simplify tissue removal. While various chemicals, acids and siccatives do ease the pain, the old labor of love seems to work best in the long run. Try steaming, if you have a large enough container, rather than boiling skulls. Steam is hotter than boiling water and will speed up the process.

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