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

Doing my own European mount need pointers/

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by bowtech2, Dec 11, 2013.

  1. bowtech2

    bowtech2 New Member

    I know I need to boil it. What should I mix the water with, how long do I boil it for. When I'm done do I us bleach or something else? Thank you for the help.
  2. Mike Powell

    Mike Powell Well-Known Member

    Remove as much meat as you can then simmer (not boil) the skull in water with sodium carbonate (washing soda). I use arm & hammer washing detergent... It helps loosen the remaining flesh from the bone. I then use a power washer or you can go to a car wash and spray off the remaining material. Then coat the skull in a mixture of hydrogen peroxide #40 and basic white - both of which can be purchased from taxidermy suppliers or from a beauty salon products store (its used for bleaching hair). Once you coat the skull with the paste wrap it in aluminum foil and set in front of a heater of some sort - its the heat that makes the whitener kick in. Leave it for an hour or so, remove the foil, wash off the remaining powder and let dry. There's a good tutorial on the process in the tutorial section.

  3. Mike Powell

    Mike Powell Well-Known Member

    You also should let it soak in a degreaser solution, Dawn and water or some other degreasing agent before the whitening process. Some deer don't need it as bad, but most anything larger than a deer definitely need it.
  4. freeze_1

    freeze_1 Booboo, my business manager

    http://www.taxidermy.net/forum/index.php/topic,80988.0.html here ya go.
  5. bowtech2

    bowtech2 New Member

    I was told by taxidermist that if you do European mount that after a year or so they start to smell and the skull start to yellow is this true?
  6. lizardguts

    lizardguts skull collector

    He doesn't know how to clean skulls properly. When done right they'll look as good 10+ years from now as the day they were first done
  7. BWebbs31

    BWebbs31 Classic Skull Mounts, LLC

    Bowtech2, PLEASE DO NOT get aluminum foil anywhere near hydrogen peroxide! Metal & peroxide are not good combinations on any level!!

    I don't mean to step on your toe's MLP, but it's extremely clear that he doesn't know what he's doing and suggesting safer alternatives like plastic totes, rubber bins, or saran wrap may have been a safer approach, in my opinion.

    Degreasing the skull will get all grease and fats out that cause the skull to stink and change color. There's a ton of info in the archives on here. Do an advanced search, in the skulls and skeletons section. you should find plenty of help there.
  8. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    The vol 40 paste and wrap is only a topical whitener. A peroxide soak will degrease inside and out, and whiten all the way through eliminating future yellowing that a topical will only temporarily cover.
  9. Mike Powell

    Mike Powell Well-Known Member

    FYI - While contact with metal will act as a catalyst for the breakdown of Hydrogen Peroxide into water and oxygen, aluminum, hence aluminum foil does not react with Hydrogen Peroxide except that it keeps it from drying out too fast under the heat required that causes the paste to "kick" and penetrate effectively. Low T is correct in that the paste will do little if not heated, but it has been my experience that it is very effective IF heated. The aluminum foil also keeps the heat in to allow the paste to work. If there were a problem with Hydrogen Peroxide and aluminum foil then every beauty salon in the country, if not the world, would be in pretty big trouble in that these are the standard materials used to bleach hair and have been for years. Bowtech2, there are many methods that can work well, and lots of opinions that get circulated that may or may not be based in fact. I like the method I described to you - I got it from one of the most popular taxidermists on this site. Its quick, cheap, easy and doesn't risk bleaching the antler burrs.
  10. BWebbs31

    BWebbs31 Classic Skull Mounts, LLC

    MLP, I totally agree with you. I probably should have worded my prior post a little better because I didn't want you to get the wrong impression of what I was suggesting.

    Like Bowtech, when I was starting out doing research on here back in the day, All the info I had read always said to keep metals & peroxide away from each other. So I did. Every time I went up to a stronger peroxide, I was in the HABIT OF using plastics. If he were to do a peroxide soak or mix the paste with a stronger peroxide like BO or 35%, AND having the HABIT OF using metals, it could be horrible. I know you didn't suggest to use BO or 35% but it's only a matter of time before he discovers it.

    I understand that's not our problem if he's not responsible with these methods at hand but, the fact of the matter is that the hairstylists around the world and the most popular taxidermists on this site are typically trained by, or are a licensed professional. He is not. Neither am I, so I don't want you to think I was being rude or suggesting that you were handing out bad advice. I was thinking about his safety down the road, perhaps maybe a little too far! LOL!!

    But seriously, I enjoy reading your posts and honestly appreciate what you do on here, so I hope there's no hard feelings.
  11. Mike Powell

    Mike Powell Well-Known Member

    BWebbs. I do understand the need for a warning, but I was doing my best to answer the question posed - I didn't go into the science of how it works or what other materials should not be used. That being said you not only contradicted what I had said but clearly said I didn't know what I was doing for using aluminum foil with Hydrogen peroxide. The simple fact is that not all metals react with the same way and neither aluminum nor stainless steel react with hydrogen peroxide the way some other metals do and they are safe to use even as containers. The point is, it is safe, it does work, and IMO is the preferred material for the process I described. I am sure there are many who may have a different opinion of the method I prefer, or may disagree with points and I have no problem with someone expressing a different opinion. You may not agree with me and that is perfectly fine by me but to call my credibility in question based on erroneous information is, I think, a bit unfair. I'm not offended, however or upset and I really don't like to get into debates over issues on this forum as it is generally unprofitable for all concerned. I stand by the materials and the process I recommended whether anyone else agrees or not - as for the safety issue, its easy enough to google the information on the internet and anyone who cares to can see for themselves. I do appreciate your kind words in the second post and there are no hard feelings whatsoever. I look forward to reading more of your posts in the future.
  12. Mark in IL

    Mark in IL New Member

    MLP - I use the Arm and Hammer (Alpine Fresh) detergent as well. Great for deer skulls - gets them very clean and grease free. I just had a client tell me they have tried another person for their deer skulls (He must have been cheaper) but now they are back to me as the other guy's skulls turned very yellow in just a year. They have some I've done for years and they are still nice and white. As for whitening - I just put the Basic White and H202 paste on the deer skull and bag it for a couple of days so it doesn't dry out. Done this for years with great results on deer and others. Hogs I do degrease separately for quite a while.
  13. If you're not in a rush and want a super-clean skull inside and out...you should have a look into maceration. It takes a long time, it stinks to high heavens, but the skulls come out absolutely gorgeous. I wouldn't say this method is "preferred" over boiling, its more just another "option" at your disposal. The same methods as described above for whitening are the same...peroxide baths or paint-ons. Check out this tutorial:


    Also, you may have read above the dangers pertaining to use of peroxide (especially the stronger solution). There is a "sticky" in the Skulls and Skeletons section that you should check out prior to messing with peroxide:


    Most importantly, HAVE FUN! :)