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Degreasing Methods

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by susanl, Oct 1, 2009.

  1. susanl

    susanl New Member

    So, the preferred method of degreasing for the majority on here is the dawn/hot water bath, sometimes with ammonia and throwing them in acetone periodically. My question is for those who are doing 200+ skulls a year. Is this how you guys are degreasing? If not, what is the next best method (that is faster, and doesn't damage the skulls). We are set up right now where we can degrease up to 30 skulls at a time using the dawn/ hot water method and can bump that up to 60 if need be. I ask because I know others in the area who have been cleaning skulls for a long time, and they are doing over 200/ year, and they are not using this method. (Cleaning is done with beetles).

  2. It all comes down to quality of work. You have to get the grease out to have a white bone. It is abvious that many ways have been tried, but the ones that work are the ones spoke of here. The best way to get the grease out of the bone without damaging it, my opinion is dawn and 120 deg. water.

  3. Colonel

    Colonel Missouri River Rat

    X2 Quality over Quantity
  4. So, what method are they using?
  5. justinj

    justinj Member

    yeah the more I do the more i wonder how they can keep up, I suppose its just a matter of having a setup to do enough
  6. Regardless of how the flesh is removed (beetles or maceration) the bones will need to be degreased-- those doing 200+ skull/yr
    probably have large livestock tanks to degrease in-- skulls can be placed in bags that will let the degreasing liquid in-- but will contain
    the small teeth that are sure to fall out---

    If they ARE NOT degreaseing properly-- grey/yelllow spots will begin to appear over time-- producing shoddy work will catch up with you quickly--

    Degreasing takes time---- especially w/ bear skulls-- and Dawn in warm water is the BEST--

    Hope this helps to clear up your question
  7. ndindy

    ndindy New Member

    Not too long ago I was told, by someone who i won't mention , that herbivores didn't need ANY degreasing. Just whitened. I'm guessing he turns a faster product, and that his deer are vastly different than those I come across in WY. I'm also guessing that his skulls are only white until they are put next to something white.
  8. justinj

    justinj Member

    deer look terrible if you don't get the grease out
  9. ndindy

    ndindy New Member

    Preaching to the choir on that one, but he's the "expert".
  10. Re: De greasing Methods

    dirty jobs...skull cleaner..big cooker vats
  11. Hazard

    Hazard New Member

    I watched the video can't believe I missed that episode, but it didn't show how they degreased, just how they get the meat off the bone.
    I often thought about the same thing I believe people on this site that say they do say 400 skulls a year. If it took an average of 2 weeks to do a skull you would need to be doing 16 skulls at a time. This gives you 2 weeks a year off. I thought that guys would need big tanks with lots of water and plenty of heating elements.
  12. susanl

    susanl New Member

    Well right now we have 12 deer, 3 moose, 3 elk, 3 cougars, 2 boars, 2 wolves, 1 antelope, 1 sheep, and 4 coyotes degreasing. And we just pulled some more out of the bugs and thawing some out to put into the bugs. They take up a lot of space. It's not bad when the skulls fit nicely into 5 gallon buckets. It's the antlers that can be a b***h to deal with.
  13. RDMARTIN53

    RDMARTIN53 Active Member

    Susan, Thats pretty close to my line-up right now. I have 1 less moose and a few more elk working and don't even count the small stuff. Deer are finishing up even though the season ended 2 months ago and a few still trickling in via FedEx. Curious as to what you use to put your moose in and maintain a decent temperature?
  14. susanl

    susanl New Member

    RD, we built an aluminum tank like the one sherpa-Al posted pics of in the "Heating Elements???" thread. But we have one moose that is just too small to fit in any bin and have the antlers outside, so it is in one of our buffalo degreasing bins. After we built the aluminum tank, Wal-Mart brought in some plastic bins with the same dimensions, so we are trying the same sort of set up with it. We just started that one, and not sure how it will work out being plastic. Might have to try to reinforce the sides.

    We still have another 20 heads to process (3 just showed up today). Hopefully we get a bunch of these heads moved out next month :).

    We have a bunch of coyote skulls we are using to try different degreasing methods. I'l post pics and info when they are done.
  15. RDMARTIN53

    RDMARTIN53 Active Member

    I do remember Al's tank and always curious how others do moose. I use a long shallow fiberglass Amish bathtub with an element installed. I can do 2 at a time but submerse the burrs. I have not had any fading....that is not a quick fix.