1. Welcome to Taxidermy.net, Guest!
    We have put together a brief tutorial to help you with the site, click here to access it.

DEGREASING TANK

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by RDMARTIN53, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. RDMARTIN53

    RDMARTIN53 New Member

    New Year...New Thread on degreasing Tanks.
    I think we are all looking for a better way to degrease and seeing others degreasing setups can be inspiration to try something different. Mine is constantly changing and growing. I have been degreasing all of my skulls together for a few years now and this works fine IMO. I admit that I probably degrease longer than most but have learned by trying just about every detergent and temperature that this produces the best skull I can live with. Everyone has their own method of what works for them and their own opinion of a finished skull. I hope others will post their degreasing setup(s) no matter how big or small in this thread.

    Tank 1 is where I start a batch out of the beetles. I drain it before it cools completely to rinse off the grease before it sets.

    [​IMG]

    Tank 2

    [​IMG]

    I will get pictures of my other tanks shortly.
     
  2. You must have read my mind. Just started doing euro mounts last year and had a handfull of deer. This year, I have 19 now and am waiting on a few more. I have been wondering how some of you bigger guys handle degreasing with large number of heads. Right now I can only degrease seven at one time. I am going to see if I can find something bigger, degrease tanks, for next year.
    Looks like you start out with the heads all together, for the first degrease or two, and I am thinking you do them seperately after that. I will see if I can photos of mine on here tomorrow. Have not done photos on here before.
    Everyone needs to check out your new photo on "facebook", it's really COOL!!
    Thanks RD
     

  3. RDMARTIN53

    RDMARTIN53 New Member

    Thanks Gramps. I keep them all together through the whole degreasing. I pull heads that degrease faster and move them to my "finish tanks" in the main shop. Tank #5 is the last tank that I pull from before whitening. It also holds the skulls that just have a spot or two that seems to take forever. Guess I could call #5 my "FOREVER TANK".
     
  4. Nice pics. I am just wondering what temperature water you use, and for roughly how long they have to stay in. (researching to build my own small heated setup.) Thanks!
     
  5. michael69

    michael69 New Member

    Is that an amish bath tub rd?
     
  6. CA Trapper

    CA Trapper New Member

    580
    0
    RD, what are the differences if any of your different tanks? Temp? Degreasing solution ratios?
     
  7. skinandbonesartistry

    skinandbonesartistry New Member

    34
    0
    Great Thread RD. I hope we can all learn from this! Here is my setup. I get 7 or 8 heads in each tank. The tanks are cheap laundry tubs from Lowes or Home Depot. I use PVC pipes to hang the antlers on. The tanks are plumbed into a septic tank so changing water is a breeze. I have a ball valve on the drain line that I open to drain them. I bought rubber "hair screens" from WalMart to cover the drain holes so no teeth or other parts go down the drain. The tanks are heated with a homemade heat exchange system. In the bottom of each tank I ran a loop of PEX pipe that has hot water circulating through it. USE ONLYPLASTIC FITTINGS IN THE TANK! Brass fittings may leach copper and turn things blue. I found out the hard way. The water is circulated with a circulator pump connected to a hot water heater from Home Depot. I regulate the temperature with the hot water heater controls. the water stays constant and there is no electric heaters exposed anywhere. the whole setup is a little pricey, but in the long run it is labor efficient because it is real easy to drain and re-fill.

    In one picture you can see how I do antlerless skulls. I put them in a nylon paint strainer bag and tie that to the PVC pipes. when the teeth fall out, they remain in the bag.

    The black tube across the back is a drip irrigation tube on a timer. I set it up to drip fill the tanks once every twelve hours. It drips in just enough water to keep the tanks full and I don't even have to be home. this is necessary due to evaporation and because the backs of the skulls are near the top of the tank.

    WARNING! if you use the water circulating system do not use the hot water from this water heater for filling your tanks, expecially if you have acidic water! there is copper in the pump and it WILL turn skulls blue.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. skullfreak

    skullfreak New Member

    123
    0
    wow awesome setup!
     
  9. RDMARTIN53

    RDMARTIN53 New Member

    skinandbonesartistry, That is what I had hoped for in this thread! Great setup!! Thanks!!
    A few years back another member here posted a laundry tub with a "hot water heater" element installed. This was before the "even a caveman can do it thread". I stayed away from the sinks as I do too many big heads like elk, bison and moose. Too much plumbing. Nice plumbing on yours by the way. I was in another shop a few weeks ago and they had about a dozen laundry sinks for degreasing. It looks very nice and neat. I like it a lot. Thanks again!

    ginevive, I keep my thermostats hovering around 125 but after a few months use on these with detergent I don't think they are completely accurate. PM me and I'll be happy to discuss anything with you.

    michael69, you have been reading the archives. lol
    good man!

    CA Trapper, You can't use too much or too little as long as it stays fresh and HOT. I change daily to remove the greasy solution. I believe that is more important than "how much". Temps......I check like a Chef cooking.......If I can't keep my finger in it more than 5-6 seconds then its perfect temperature.

    C'mon guys & gals...MORE PICTURES!
     
  10. skullfreak

    skullfreak New Member

    123
    0
    you guys are awesome!once i get my shop all cleaned up and everything up in running will be posting some pics!hopefully the first of next week!think i am going to still the sink idea for 1 or 2 of my tanks!have a rubbermaid cow truff right now that i am using and might just keep that for my larger skulls
     
  11. michael69

    michael69 New Member

    Rd where can i get an amish bath tub like that????
     
  12. RDMARTIN53

    RDMARTIN53 New Member

    I wish I knew where I can find more.

    The Amish lady still wants hers back.


    50 gallon rubbermaid tank is a little wider and better for moose. I just set one up a few months ago and am liking it. I have a picture on my camera....just need time to download/upload/post.
     
  13. SkinandBones, what temp you running in the sinks, if its below 110 deg. F i would go with a larger coil, possible CPVC grid lining the sink.
     
  14. RDMARTIN53

    RDMARTIN53 New Member

    skinandbonesartistry, I really like working with the PEX. It is "State of the Art" supply line. I had a few boxes of PVC and CPVC to use up. I need a PEX tool. Had to borrow one from a neighbor.
     
  15. skinandbonesartistry

    skinandbonesartistry New Member

    34
    0
    PEX is Great! Easy to use and fast. I can add a new sink in about an hour as I need them.

    Toxic, My temp never varies from 120 -121 F. I put equal lengths of coil in each sink. 24 hour circulation maintains constant temperature. I currently can keep about 300 gallons of water at constant 120F 24 hours a day with one 40 gallon dual element water heater. if I remember correctly the elements are 1450 W each.

    RD, Elk? Moose? Bison? are these some new SUBSPECIES of a Whitetail or Bear?

    Seriously, I get a few bison and an occasional elk or moose, but they are pretty rare for me. Bison fit one at a time if you cut the tips of the horn bones. Moose don't fit. I use a mason's tub and disconnectable heat loop for them.
     
  16. OK, here are my tanks. The square one is from an old upright freezer. The other one is a rubbermaid type watering tub.
    Looking forward to seeing other set ups. I have been thinking about making one out of plywood and line it with rubber roofing material. Has anyone tried this material? I was considering coating with fiberglass but found out it wont stand the heat. Turns some what soft.
    RD- sounds like sometime finding the correct teeth could be a little fun at times. What about the nasal bone? My luck would be to have ALL the teeth come out and boy what a puzzle that could be!
    Keep the photos coming.
    Thanks everyone.
     

    Attached Files:

  17. RDMARTIN53

    RDMARTIN53 New Member

    Hey Gramps, Thanks for the photos! I became a pro at teeth a long time ago. I rarely lose one but it does happen. Usually small bobcats. No problems with the nasals at all. Nice setup!
     
  18. RDMARTIN53

    RDMARTIN53 New Member

    Michael, after talking with you today I did a head count. I may have been a little off. I currently have 72 heads degreasing with a moose, antelope, wolf, bear and 6 deer just pulled and either drying or whitening. Hard to keep up with just how many I do until about June/July and just count the sheets of the Log Book.
     
  19. RDMARTIN53

    RDMARTIN53 New Member

    Tank #5, my finish tank. I pulled several skulls out of here in the past 2 days to dry and whiten.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. RDMARTIN53

    RDMARTIN53 New Member

    Tank #1 drained to show how much room a 2 1/2 year old bull bison takes up.

    [​IMG]