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need to know rite way to do a skull ?

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by Leroy22, Dec 27, 2013.

  1. Leroy22

    Leroy22 Member

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    im doing my first skull for the learnning aspect, a follow doe. bought her at a farm for the meat,if youve never ate a farm raised deer your missing something for sure. Its hard to go back to a wild deer but i believe if you shoot it you should eat it.

    anyway my question is how to make it really white? i boiled it and cleanned it good and soaked it in bleach over nite. rite now it is still drying and seems to be trying to whitten some but the way it looks its not going to come out well. i have the jaws seperated and off the skull.

    thanks:Leroy
     
  2. Boiling and bleach are a huge no no. I don't think there's much you can do to save this at this point. The boiling weakens the skull and makes it flake. Bleach just plain eats the bone away. Don't feel bad though, I made this same mistake with my first skull too. You use peroxide to whiten the skull. Try degreasing it in dawn, but you may be better off leaving it as is. Depending on how damaged it is at this point it may just fall apart. Post a picture of the damage if you can.
     

  3. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Yeah, if you used chlorine bleach, the skull will pretty much be toast. Let it sit and enjoy it for what it is. When you do better, you can look back on this one and compare. Use the advanced Search on here and search for "Maceration" and "Beetles" or "Dermestids" and start reading. Maceration is simple though stinky and will turn out a superior specimen. Also search for Degreasing and Whitening. You can't do these fast. A deer skull will take a month at least to do right.
     
  4. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    There is no sin in cooking a skull.
     
  5. Leroy22

    Leroy22 Member

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    Thanks for the info, i had kinda thought i'd screwed up when i saw it after bleaching it. I did find a blog called Bonelust and the lady did explain the process pretty good. atleast it sounds like a cheap process.

    can i actually buy the flesh eatting beatles?
     
  6. There are some people on here that sell them, they aren't to bad. I prefer maceration as I don't clean skulls to often enough to keep beetles. There are guides as well on keeping them.
     
  7. lizardguts

    lizardguts skull collector

    Here's a FAQ on keeping beetles, you can buy them from this site too: http://www.bonesandbugs.com/dermestid-beetles-faqs.html
     
  8. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    You can produce flesh eating bacteria by macerating it.
     
  9. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    If this will be something that you will do just a few times, I would not go into beetles. They have to be set up and cared for and it will be a pain if you are not using them. Look into maceration and try that. It is not labor intensive and will not damage the bone. It also gives you a huge head start with degreasing. For small projects, what you need to do it properly is readily available for free or very little money.

    Yes T, you can "simmer". But for a beginner, it really is just too touchy a process and ruining a skull is almost a 100% guarantee as the guy above found out.
     
  10. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Touchy? Oh good grief, it takes zero skill to clean a skull. Anyone can clean a skull. It amazes me that there is a sect of skull cleaners that act as their process is almost a religious experience and their way must be followed to get perfect results. How come there is no skull cleaning competitions at the taxidermy shows?
     
  11. BWebbs31

    BWebbs31 Classic Skull Mounts, LLC

    Now now LowT. Seawolf never said to do it "this way" because nothing else works. In fact Seawolf listed several ways to do it. Beetles, maceration, AND simmering. It appears, by your last response, that YOU think your way is the "religious way" and you're trying to turn this into a pissing contest by bringing competitions into this. If you re-read what was posted, you'll see that nobody was trying to be master of the universe, so can we please play nice?!?
     
  12. T2LTaxidermy

    T2LTaxidermy Member

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    Man I agree with T. It's not rocket science to clean a skull. I think sometimes its made to sound harder than it really is.
     
  13. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    You seem to be seeing my post from your perspective, that isn't even close.
     
  14. Cook the skull, power wash the remaining meat off, then degrease and whiten no big or bug deal. Did 33 this way already turned the cash and move on.
     
  15. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    It is not rocket science. But you can clean a skull or you can turn out something that qualifies as a specimen. I prefer not to have something I have done come up with seeping grease stains after 5 or 6 years on someones wall. I have simmered skulls. I have also damaged skulls by doing this. Too high a temp, you damage it. To much soda and you do the same. If the bone is chalky or flaking, you have damaged it and if it is a customers trophy then it's too bad for you. Beginners that are cleaning need to practice a lot with simmering before you get the proper feel for it and some never do. Maceration is the simplest and least labor using of any method. It takes time, which some don't have, but little else and it will never damage bone. It is not a religious experience nor have I ever explained it that way. But if I can look at something that I have done 10 years from now and it looks no different than when I gave it to the customer I am more than happy.
     
  16. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    I know of a taxidermist that over boils the h#ll out of his skulls, they are discolored, but never chalky or flaky. I can attest to this, that over cooking will not cause a skull to go flaky or chalky. I have seen over macerated skulls that have fallen totally apart and needed super glued back together. It can go both ways.
     
  17. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    This is true and will pretty much happen 100% with young animals until the sutures have solidified as well as reptiles.

    Worst case scenario for a boiled skull gone bad. It's extreme, but this guy thinks it looks presentable.
    http://www.taxidermy.net/forum/index.php/topic,339432.0.html
     
  18. Leroy22

    Leroy22 Member

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    i wasn't wanting to start a war just needed to know something. I just may start a colony of beatles if nothing else just because ive never done it, looks like 50 bucks for 300 to start not bad but the macreation way sounds like the easiest/cheapest way.

    Thanks for all the input yall: Leroy
     
  19. windingwinds

    windingwinds New Member

    I like the way skulls turn out macerated. Having seen some questionable skulls at the Trail of Tears in Indiana, I would never pay someone to clean my skulls unless they did not boil. Nope does not take incredible amount of brains, but doing it slowly gives some very nice long term results. I love lurking here on the skull forum, have learned alot.
     
  20. T2LTaxidermy

    T2LTaxidermy Member

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    You didn't start an argument buddy. Go look at all the threads. They all end up like this and mostly by the same people day in and day out. Everyone has their own opinion and ways of doing things that WORKS for them. But if you don't do it their way then your not a real taxidermist. Lol. Hey all you can do is practice and find which way works for you. Your going to get 100 different ways told how to do something on here. That's a good thing. Gives you many options to try and see what works for you and your schedule.

    I have a skull mount in the shop I did 18 years ago and looks the same as the day I finished it back then. And it only took me a few hours to do. Again not rocket science.