Cleaning elk antlers after European mounted

Submitted by GG on 11/2/04 at 1:33 AM. ( )

I had a friend do an European mount on my 6x6 elk. He did a fantastic job, but it appears that the lower portion of the antlers were in the boil. It left the lower portion of the antlers somewhat dark and "flat" looking as opposed to the rest of the antlers which shine. Any suggestions on cleaning this stuff off? I tried a little powder bleach type sink cleaner with not much luck.

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They don't NEED cleaning

This response submitted by George on 11/2/04 at 9:52 AM. ( )

They need OILING as you've probably boiled the residual natural oils out of the antlers. It's in the archives,but once more - a 50/50 solution of linseed oil/turpentine will do wonders in restoring the natural tone and timbre of old, aged, or boiled antlers. Paint it on and let it soak in for an hour or two. Wipe off any excess.

Are you SURE?

This response submitted by GG on 11/3/04 at 6:31 AM. ( )

The antlers are really quite darkened where they appeared to have been in the boil. To me it looks more like residue rather than a lack of oil. If the linseed oil does to antlers what it does to my gunstocks (I refinish with a 3/1 linseed/turpentine mix), then they're going to get even darker. Not to question your knowledge, George, I just don't want to mes up a nice rack.
Thanks! -Greg

Clean them first

This response submitted by Jim on 11/3/04 at 12:20 PM. ( )

It is very common,when boiling,especially elk,for oil from the skull to rise to the top of the water and deposit itself on the bases of the antlers.It sounds like what you are looking at.In other words you have greasy scum on the lower part of the rack.Use dish washing liquid,water and a scrub brush to wash this off,then rinse with warm water.It is very important to clean this stuff off antlers-even more so on mounts.This stuff is bug bait.After cleaning, you can do your oil treatment as George suggests.Another way is to use Scotts Liquid Gold furniture oil(spray or wipe on).If you don't want to oil,you can use a half and half mixture of Future acrylic floor finish and water and wipe that on.You may decide after cleaning,that they don't need anything.Good luck.

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