how would you go about european mounting a alligator head. what i am looking for is how to clean this up. tried skinning but did not have to much success. do you boil like a deer, or just put in water and let deteriate any info on this subject would help. thank you for your time
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Boil them, you will end up with more pieces than you think. There is no easy way around it. If you are not using dermestids, then you will have the tedious task of removing as much meat as possible. There are thick layers, almost 4" thick in the hinge points of the jaws that will take forever to get out naturally unless you remove it by hand. then the upper pallett has to be removed and all tissue, nerve endings, bloodvesseld, ect ect and sinus material must be removed. When all meat is removed, soak in a solution of 50% chlorine bleach, and 50% water. Leave them set for a few days, then hose off and do again, and again, till they are clean and white. For all the trouble they are worth to do by hand, sendsing them out to Skulls Unlimited is worth its time in gold. They are very reasonable, and the job is superb!
We do several Gator skulls a year. If you want to do it your self put the skull in a barrel of water and leave it there for several days. It may take a couple of weeks. You will wind up with a pile of peices so it is best not to disturb it until you are ready to bleach it. All of the teeth will also fall out as well. Due to the pourous nature of gator bone peroxide takes to long. Good old Clorox mixed with water is the way to go. After the bleaching is done let it sit in the sun for 2 or 3 days to dry out then the fun part begins. Reassembly of the skull is a time consuming project. The seams of the bone fit together pretty tight and must be put together with care so they fit right. Don't be suprised if you get several peices put together and have to take them back apart to put in a peice you overlooked. I glue them together with Elmers glue. The teeth are another story. Put the teeth in the sockets where they go. when you have them all in place I take a small peice of clay and put in the sockets then insert the tooth. I also like to put a little apoxie glue in there after to make sure they stay.
You will find that this process takes a while and is hardly worth what you would charge for it. Sending them out is a much easier way to go as Mr. Voyer said and after your first one you will agree.
I would also advise you to put the skull in a glass case. Gator bone is pourous and does not dust off very well when you clean house.
This method came from an alligator trapper....enclose the entire intact head in a cloth bag with a few small slits in the cloth. Bury the bag in a large ant bed, leave for 2 weeks. (At this point, not wanting to get bitten by the ants I disturbed the ant bed with a stick, generously spread dry intant grits over it to kill the ants and left it for another week). Soak the bag, with it's contents, in 50/50 bleach water for 24 hours. Open the bag and spread out the thousand pieces to dry in the sun. Beautifully white and extremely clean. Now I'm trying to piece them together with Elmer's but I can't quite figure where all of them go.