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Pig skulls

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by Andrew L., Feb 10, 2014.

  1. Andrew L.

    Andrew L. Member

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    I don't do a whole lot of skulls, but did around 7 deer skulls the last couple months. I simmer and then power wash the skulls, and then soak them in dawn a few days, then I whiten with 40vol and basic white. The deer have all turned out pretty good, but I just did a couple pig skulls the same way and both at the same time. One of them looks literally terrible! It has a bunch of spots on the lower jaw and upper jaw line. Those spot I'm assuming are grease. The other skull has "maybe" a spot here and there. I'm guessing pigs are a lot greaser than deer?...cause all my deer did not have these spots. Should I be soaking them in peroxide instead of the brushing on peroxide paste mixture?

    First skull
    [​IMG]

    Second skull
    [​IMG]
     
  2. bpskulls

    bpskulls Member

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    Pigs take months to degrease. A couple days is not gonna get it done. Also the simmering could have cooked the grease deeper in the bone so it could take even longer.
     

  3. Yep what he said ^^^^.
    Pigs are terrible.
     
  4. JRose

    JRose New Member

    A couple days of degreasing won't do most skulls, period!
     
  5. wctaxidermy1

    wctaxidermy1 Member

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    If your not heating your dawn your wasting your time. If your going to cold degrease use ammonia.
     
  6. Bones N Beasts

    Bones N Beasts New Member

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    I would think the deer skulls you did have grease coming out in them by now it takes months not days to degrease properly
     
  7. I have pig skulls that have taken over six months to get degreased. it can take longer when you get one that somebody boiled before they brought it to you. Pigs are the mark that tells you if you have patience. They are also the hallmark of achievement if you endure and do they correctly.
     
  8. bitbit

    bitbit New Member

    I know javelinas are not pigs but do they take about the same amount of time to degrease?
     
  9. JRose

    JRose New Member

    I don't know, Scarab. I've had cats that took longer than 6 months to degrease! They're pretty bad too!
     
  10. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Javies will take some time too. Use bent wire and fish out the crap inside the lower jaw. Pigs are greasy and as what was said above, simmering them drove the grease into the bone. Try soaking in ammonia for at least several months. Should soak your deer for at least a month too. What you are doing turns out something that looks ok on the surface but it won't stay that way. Have you gone and checked out one that you did a few years ago? What you are seeing is grease and a lot of it. The insides of the lower jaws will be full of it. You need to dig out a lot of it with bent wires and any sort of small bottle or tube brush that you can get into there.
     
  11. Andrew L.

    Andrew L. Member

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    Thanks everyone! I figured that's probable what had to be done after reading on here some more, but that's why I asked you guys just to be sure. I actually just use M.P's 5 hour european technique except I modified it a little. I don't use an air hose like he does in his tutorial. My deer skulls have turned out good except for maybe a dark spot from junk under the bone that I wasn't able to get out. Little paint fixes that, but think I'll be degreasing a "lot" longer from now on. Might give the ammonia a try. Should I use it strait or dilute in water? How many skulls can y'all usually do before dumping it? Thanks again!
     
  12. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    I think, if you ask Mike, that technique is for deer. I think the air hose is a critical part of it.

    I use the ammonia straight and it will last through quite a lot of skulls. When it is really cruddy looking, doesn't foam up when agitated or has a foul smell (that you can sniff over the ammonia smell) I dump it in the garden and go and buy more. I get mine at the hardware store which is stronger. Clear only, not scented. You can dilute it some to stretch it out but I'd stick with full strength for pigs .. and horses.
     
  13. Andrew L.

    Andrew L. Member

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    Thanks Sea Wolf! Yeah I'm sure that's what his method is for. I just didn't know pigs where so greasing. I do know. Lol!
    I'm going to find some ammonia this week. Do you usually let the skulls dry out all the way to see if there's any grease left? How often do you check them through the month/months? Also, what do you prefer as far as whitening? Paste or soaking? Sorry for all the questions, just wanting to learn as much as I can about skulls to improve my technique.
     
  14. Bones N Beasts

    Bones N Beasts New Member

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    sometimes you can see the grease while its still wet but its a lot easier once whitened and dry, with heated dawn I change water weekly and check every few weeks, for whitening it depends on the animal smaller stuff gets soaked and large antlered animals get a paste
     
  15. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    As the bone dries, you will see where those translucent areas are. Sometimes I have had to resort to switching between acetone and Dawn soaks. I prefer soaking in peroxide the whiten. Whitens all the bone inside and out. Not just the surface. I macerate and a soak also pretty much sterilizes the bone as well.
     
  16. Andrew L.

    Andrew L. Member

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    Thanks so much Bones N Beasts and Sea Wolf! Just two more questions...I have some 40 vol peroxide that's kind of thick(sorta gel like), can that be diluted in water for soaking? Reason I ask is I thought I'd just use it instead of buying more peroxide for soaking. And the other questions is...I was just thinking about how a relative of mine uses brake cleaner as a degreaser for gun barrels before painting them. Just wandering if that could be used as a degreaser for skulls too? Sorry if that's stupid, just a thought I had.
     
  17. Bones N Beasts

    Bones N Beasts New Member

    551
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    I'm sure you can on both but I wouldn't on either the peroxide would be weak and the brake cleaner I think you be to strong and could damage the bone if you want to use a chemical go with the actone or ammonia
     
  18. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    40 VOL that is thick sounds like 40 VOL creme. I would not use it because it has oil in it. Great for hair, bad for bone you are trying to get grease out of.
     
  19. Andrew L.

    Andrew L. Member

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    Okay, well guess I'll be making a trip to the store, and beauty salon. When I got the peroxide, I didn't realize they had two different kinds. Lol! Thanks again for y'all's help! Really appreciate it!