Degreasing Bear Skulls

Submitted by John on 10/02/2003. ( jmd4419@aol.com ) 205.188.209.46

What chemicals should i use to degrease a bear skull after boiling and cleaning all of the meat off?

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This response submitted by Raven on 10/02/2003. ( ) 24.150.163.240

Search the archives - this has been covered many times. As a bit to get you started tho - do NOT boil a skull EVER - this is an outdated technique that needs to go away forever - there are far better ways to do proper osteological preparation. Boiling skulls is great to make soup stock - thats IT. After that use one of many grease cutters from DAWN liquid dish detergent to acetone to some of the fine products available from Bruce Rittel.


Bear skulls

This response submitted by Jeanette Hall on 10/03/2003. ( eagle93245@yahoo.com ) 198.81.26.80

John,

I find boiling to be the single most effective way to release flesh and sinew from bone. I boil skulls on a weekly basis and I have NEVER had a problem. I use Tannery Degreaser. You can get it from McKenzie. It doesn't take much. I typically pour a little in the boil pot and then I fill a 5 gallon bucket and immerse the skull after it has been completely stripped. I pour in tannery degreaser (only a few ounces) into the bucket and let it sit for between 30 minutes to an hour. If you have a really greasy bear then I suggest soaking it in paint thinner for the same amount of time. That should remedy your problem.

-Jeanette


OLD SUBJECT BUT JUST AS

This response submitted by Robert on 10/03/2003. ( info@wildstreams.com ) 64.4.229.57

Annoying. I have patiently read, listened and laughed at the information presented here for more than 2 years. I finally gave in and posted yesterday. I can"t take it anymore. To qualify the following statements I should clarify that I do nothing but clean skulls with beetles. Raven, as usual is absolutely correct. Jeanette should never be allowed to work on anything that has value or meaning to any customer. Boiling cracks teeth, bone and is generally bad for bears. Quality skulls are macerated, or cleaned with bugs, never boiled. In addition bears are degreased using the methods Raven suggested, although I prefer lacquer thinner. Bears that are properly bleached after degreasing will NEVER yellow. Bears that are degreased in the manner that Jeanette recommends will eventually yellow in time, even if it takes months after the customer has it. Bears should be placed in lacquer thinner for a month. Forgotten÷..left alone÷..and then removed and allowed to dry for a couple of weeks. Inspected for yellowing of any kind and then bleached. Providing a quality skull is just like providing a quality mount. You have to take pride in it. It takes time÷it"s not a week long process. Often it is a 3 month process. The only thing I disagree with Raven about is the use of Rittel degreaser. While I have never tried it, as a person who has several hundred bears in house, I could never afford anything that costs over $20.00 a gallon to use.

Robert


over opinionated

This response submitted by Jeanette Hall on 10/04/2003. ( eagle93245@yahoo.com ) 198.81.26.80

It amazes me how over opionionated people are on here and how quickly they love to bash others methods concerning taxidermy. For the record, I don't care what or whos method you use, bear teeth are going to crack. Bugs will not prevent this process. I have had several skulls cleand by dermestids and the canines STILL CRACK. I guess your bugs do some special trick or something. I have been boiling for 15 years and in my OPINION it is the best way to go. I am glad that you have and OPINION as well, Robert, but the next time you attempt to bash someone for their ideas, you should think first.


If I were over opinionated

This response submitted by Robert on 10/04/2003. ( info@wildstreams.com ) 64.4.229.57

I would have answered 25 posts that had really bad advice attached to them regarding skulls. Teeth never, let me say that again slowly n e v e r, crack when skulls are cleaned with dermestids. If the teeth are cracked or any of the nasal cavity is missing they have been boiled. While I respect your opinion regarding boiling, It does not make it correct. If boiling were the proper way to preserve a skull, museums and universities would not bother raising dermestids or macerating specimens. Boiling may be ok for the customer or taxidermist that is not overly concerned with the quality of the product, however, the thought of someone boiling a 21" black bear or a 27" grizzly makes me cringe. It is a shame when a professional does not realize that they need to subcontract items in their shop, they are not able to provide to a customer in the best quality manner. Its about quality, and facts, its really about providing the best quality product to your customer, not just doing something one way because you"ve always done it that way, its easy, and makes a quick buck. Most really good small shops that are ethical know their weaknesses and limitations. If they aren"t able to provide the best quality fish, they subcontract it, same with birds, skulls, etc. I don"t practice what I consider to be taxidermy, I don"t think cleaning skulls and doing European mounts is really taxidermy. I clean skulls, 90% of which I clean for taxidermists who realize that the best way to give their customer a quality product would be to have someone who specializes in that product do it, and then charge there customer 25% more than I charge them, its good business. I am sorry you have been incorrectly processing skulls for 15 years, however that doesn"t make it right.


Skull Cleaning

This response submitted by Robert on 10/04/2003. ( info@wildstreams.com ) 64.4.229.57

Degreasing Bear Skulls
Submitted by John on 10/02/2003. ( jmd4419@aol.com ) 205.188.209.46
What chemicals should i use to degrease a bear skull after boiling and cleaning all of the meat off?

Return to Gamehead Taxidermy Category Menu


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Archives
This response submitted by Raven on 10/02/2003. ( ) 24.150.163.240
Search the archives - this has been covered many times. As a bit to get you started tho - do NOT boil a skull EVER - this is an outdated technique that needs to go away forever - there are far better ways to do proper osteological preparation. Boiling skulls is great to make soup stock - thats IT. After that use one of many grease cutters from DAWN liquid dish detergent to acetone to some of the fine products available from Bruce Rittel.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Bear skulls
This response submitted by Jeanette Hall on 10/03/2003. ( eagle93245@yahoo.com ) 198.81.26.80
John,

I find boiling to be the single most effective way to release flesh and sinew from bone. I boil skulls on a weekly basis and I have NEVER had a problem. I use Tannery Degreaser. You can get it from McKenzie. It doesn't take much. I typically pour a little in the boil pot and then I fill a 5 gallon bucket and immerse the skull after it has been completely stripped. I pour in tannery degreaser (only a few ounces) into the bucket and let it sit for between 30 minutes to an hour. If you have a really greasy bear then I suggest soaking it in paint thinner for the same amount of time. That should remedy your problem.

-Jeanette

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


OLD SUBJECT BUT JUST AS
This response submitted by Robert on 10/03/2003. ( info@wildstreams.com ) 64.4.229.57
Annoying. I have patiently read, listened and laughed at the information presented here for more than 2 years. I finally gave in and posted yesterday. I can"t take it anymore. To qualify the following statements I should clarify that I do nothing but clean skulls with beetles. Raven, as usual is absolutely correct. Jeanette should never be allowed to work on anything that has value or meaning to any customer. Boiling cracks teeth, bone and is generally bad for bears. Quality skulls are macerated, or cleaned with bugs, never boiled. In addition bears are degreased using the methods Raven suggested, although I prefer lacquer thinner. Bears that are properly bleached after degreasing will NEVER yellow. Bears that are degreased in the manner that Jeanette recommends will eventually yellow in time, even if it takes months after the customer has it. Bears should be placed in lacquer thinner for a month. ForgottenÖ..left aloneÖ..and then removed and allowed to dry for a couple of weeks. Inspected for yellowing of any kind and then bleached. Providing a quality skull is just like providing a quality mount. You have to take pride in it. It takes timeÖit"s not a week long process. Often it is a 3 month process. The only thing I disagree with Raven about is the use of Rittel degreaser. While I have never tried it, as a person who has several hundred bears in house, I could never afford anything that costs over $20.00 a gallon to use.

Robert

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


over opinionated
This response submitted by Jeanette Hall on 10/04/2003. ( eagle93245@yahoo.com ) 198.81.26.80
It amazes me how over opionionated people are on here and how quickly they love to bash others methods concerning taxidermy. For the record, I don't care what or whos method you use, bear teeth are going to crack. Bugs will not prevent this process. I have had several skulls cleand by dermestids and the canines STILL CRACK. I guess your bugs do some special trick or something. I have been boiling for 15 years and in my OPINION it is the best way to go. I am glad that you have and OPINION as well, Robert, but the next time you attempt to bash someone for their ideas, you should think first.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


If I were over opinionated
This response submitted by Robert on 10/04/2003. ( info@wildstreams.com ) 64.4.229.57
I would have answered 25 posts that had really bad advice attached to them regarding skulls. Teeth never, let me say that again slowly n e v e r, crack when skulls are cleaned with dermestids. If the teeth are cracked or any of the nasal cavity is missing they have been boiled. While I respect your opinion regarding boiling, It does not make it correct. If boiling were the proper way to preserve a skull, museums and universities would not bother raising dermestids or macerating specimens. Boiling may be ok for the customer or taxidermist that is not overly concerned with the quality of the product, however, the thought of someone boiling a 21" black bear or a 27" grizzly makes me cringe. It is a shame when a professional does not realize that they need to subcontract items in their shop, they are not able to provide to a customer in the best quality manner. Its about quality, and facts, its really about providing the best quality product to your customer, not just doing something one way because you"ve always done it that way, its easy, and makes a quick buck. Most really good small shops that are ethical know their weaknesses and limitations. If they aren"t able to provide the best quality fish, they subcontract it, same with birds, skulls, etc. I don"t practice what I consider to be taxidermy, I don"t think cleaning skulls and doing European mounts is really taxidermy. I clean skulls, 90% of which I clean for taxidermists who realize that the best way to give their customer a quality product would be to have someone who specializes in that product do it, and then charge there customer 25% more than I charge them, its good business. I am sorry you have been incorrectly processing skulls for 15 years, however that doesn"t make it right.


Robert talks in circles.

This response submitted by Bill Yox...another opinionated forum member on 10/06/2003. ( ) 152.163.252.135

Robert, first you, yes, YOU bash Jeanette for her opinion, then in your next post you turn around and claim to respect her opinion. So...which is it? While youre thinking about this, let me correct you. While I do agree with you and others who do not care for boiling, I too prefer maceration or dermestids. I use M.O.A. Steve in Cambridge Ohio. I disagree, with proof, on your statement that the teeth never crack using bugs. Teeth crack...period. Boiling often accelerates this possibility and I cringe when well-meaning taxidermists like Jeanette defend boiling, but I also admit that a bazillion skulls have been successfully boiled...just not by me. Im guessing theres a difference between putting a skull in boiling water to quickly steam off the meat and cartilage, and those who let skulls boil for hours until frontal bones disinegrate, etc. Nothing wrong with being opinionated, but why attack people personally? Im sure Ill be the newest target...


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