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Degreasing questions

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by ElkGuy, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. ElkGuy

    ElkGuy New Member

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    Hey guys,

    I have a weekend warrior type project I thought some folks might be able OT help me out with specifically on degreasing. Now before I get yelled at, I know degreasing has been beat to death on hear but I have not found a thread yet that addresses my exact scenario. Background: I found a deer skull while out for a hike one day. Nice little six point; critters had nibbled a bit on his tines but overall he doesn't look to bad. Flesh has been completely stripped off and I bet he had been there for probably 1.5 years or so. Just want to finish the job which I think would make a good addition as outdoor decoration (i.e. over a barn door, etc).

    First issue....I have tried everything to degrease this guy out. He has sat in soapy water for ~4-5 weeks. I have tried degreasing chemicals from Lowes, Dawn, and Arm & Hammer laundry detergent but nothing seems to pull a couple of really dark and large spots out of the back of the skull. Did this in heated water as well. I have been trying to avoid acetone type stuff but I think I am at that point now. Any other suggestions?

    Second.....I have really enjoyed reading and trying different things while doing this and going forward, I think I will start doing my own euros on deer I actually take. How do you guys keep your degreasing water heated (90-120 degrees) for sustained periods of time....like for weeks? I bought an aquarium and an outdoor koi pond heater, both claiming to get and maintain water to 90 degrees but I don't think it ever did and sure as heck did not keep it there. What do you guys use to do this? I assume you guys are not keeping it on a propane heated surface for that long right?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. your temps are to low, you need 110 to 115 deg to get it done faster. search bucket heater or degreaser to get some ideas on how we do it
     

  3. Without pics, it is hard to know what you are dealing with but it could be tannin stains from leaves or mineral stains from the ground that you are dealing with rather than grease. And if you are going to display it outside, I would not be that worried about degreasing it.
     
  4. ElkGuy

    ElkGuy New Member

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    QBD - Thanks and that makes sense that it may just be stained. I will post some pics here later to give a better idea. I am not all that worried about it either since it is going to go outside but I just want to go through the steps for the practice since I have not done this before and plan on doing it in the future. Plus, now it has become a challenge to get it out! Thanks!
     
  5. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Just hang the critter on a nail outside. :) You might also be seeing mineral stains and a product called Iron Out will get rid of those. Ditto on the bucket heaters. There is a great thread on here for hooking one up to a thermostat so it isn't running 24/7 all the time. For proper degreasing you need to get the solutions at least to 115 degrees. Around 90 will be just dandy for maceration though.
     
  6. ElkGuy

    ElkGuy New Member

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    Thanks for the info on the bucket heaters. That is a great setup, I may have to make trip to Lowes this afternoon and put that sucker together. I will pick up some of that Iron Out as well. Would you soak it in the Iron Out or just apply directly on the spot? If you soak, do you dilute it at all?
     
  7. ElkGuy

    ElkGuy New Member

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    Not that building this bucket heater is all that challenging but I am amazed that you cant find these things with thermostats on them from the manufacturer.
     
  8. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Watch the Iron Out. It's strong stuff. Dilute it, soak for maybe an hour and rinse it off good. Don't leave it in there too long.
     
  9. ElkGuy

    ElkGuy New Member

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    Thanks Sea Wolf! Just picked some up, glad I decided to check this out one more time before I gave it a shot. I am sure I would have used way to much for too long.
     
  10. RWOOD

    RWOOD New Member

    If you are just going to hang it up outside I would hit it with white spray paint and call it good.
     
  11. Thats what Native does with all his skulls LOL