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Whitening Deer

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by Kurt27, Feb 1, 2016.

  1. Ok so for a long time I used seal n peal and just submersed the entire skull in my whitener, got tired of the BS that goes with it. Couple years ago someone told me to put a paper towel over the skull and partially submerge it. Unfortunately I continually get a spot on the crown that's not as white. How do the rest of you do it??? Certain paper towel I should try???
     
  2. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    I've done the wicking bit and used paper towels, white cotton cloth, white gauze, cotton balls ... etc. I frequently wet down the top with peroxide though as wicking alone didn't seem to keep much of it up there. Easier for me to protect the antlers and just let it soak but I don't do a huge number of antlered heads.
     

  3. That's the problem, I took 215 whitetails alone this year. I can't sit down and put silicone on all of them. I've never tried cloth, did it work any better? I need to try and expensive paper towel I think, one that wicks better.
     
  4. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    I used the Bounty ones but that was what I had on hand. I think the trick is to keep that top layer wet with peroxide. Wetter than it just sitting there. Worked ok with me pouring peroxide on the top occasionally to keep it soaked down but I'm lazy and don't even want to spend the time doing that. With that many skulls to do, have you considered pasting them?
     
  5. Pasting them???
     
  6. Yea, with antlers I don't even consider submersion. Either you'd have to coat the antlers to protect them from the peroxide, fill the container with peroxide to the correct level for each differing size skull, or just submerge part of the antler and stain them all.

    The better option with bulk in my opinion is to paste them. Grab some basic white, mix with peroxide vol 30 or vol 40 to a consistency that can be painted, then just smear it all over. The plus to pasting is that it's fairly quick, works REALLY well with the added whitener, and you can easily avoid issues with antlers. The negative is that you wouldn't be getting inside all the cracks like with submersion.

    I paste, it's just seemingly the easiest for antlers. If I didn't hate staining antlers so much, I'd probably submerge them all and stain the bases.
     
  7. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    After you cover them with the paste, if you wrap them with plastic wrap and get them near a heat source, they get even whiter. The Basic White you can get at a hair salon supply place. I have also been told you can use talc but I have not tried it myself. You mix the Basic White with the peroxide until you can smear it on and it stays in place. The powder holds the peroxide in place on the bone and allows it to work. Keep it from drying out as long as possible (reason for the plastic wrap) and they should whiten just as well though just on the outside.
     
  8. I'm gonna say this and it is not my intention to offend anyone.... The difference between me and the armature guy that does 1 or 2 Euro's a year is paisting and real 27% peroxide. When I started this I use to go to Sally's and buy volume 40 and basic white then wrap it by a heater, my skulls looked ok. Now my skulls are PAPER white and I feel the BO helps to get that last touch of grease out of certain area's. I feel for what I charge, I owe it to my customers to make my skulls look 10 times better than the average. JMO on doing skulls like that. Anyhow I've decided to do my own trial and error, I'm gonna get several different types brands of paper towels. Mainly the more expensive brands that wick better.... I will try and post results.
     
  9. I don't take offense to anything anyone says on the internet lol. But for you to say that the difference between yourself and an amateur is paste vs BO is fairly naive.

    In the past year I've been exposed to an enormous amount of varying talent. Two absolute high class full time taxidermists have started outsourcing their euro work to me. For each i asked what methods they want used, each indicated the specific products to include volume 40 and basic white to make paste for whitening.

    My gaining their business obviously required a trial run in which they evaluated the product i turned out. To ensure i secured their business so i wouldn't have to search for customers, i built, bought, and tried EVERY method of cleaning, degreasing, and whitening i could find on this site. My best results were not dependent on the product used for whitening but the persistence with degreasing. With the exception of heads given to me in poor condition, any head FULLY degreased will turn the same shade of white whether i use 3% peroxide, Vol 40 and basic white, or BO.

    I can also say that the more expensive of the two taxidermists I'm doing work for is charging $175/head without a plaque and they get more work than i think any one man operation could handle. If the pasting method were sub par in comparison to using BO, I think it would either be recommended i use that or they'd ask for better results.
     
  10. PA

    PA Well-Known Member

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    Figure I would enter this discussion, since I have met both Kurt and Headshed at the museum here. Personally I prefer soaking the entire skull in peroxide as the inside is perfectly sterilized and uniformly white. I don't do much volume in antlered game as my colony prepares protected species for the collection and I don't use peroxide on any of these. However for the few I do, I soak fully and re-stain the antlers.

    The obvious compromise is to soak the skull up to the edge of the antlers, then afterwards, use the paste to get the top of the skull with a locked in mix topped with saran wrap.

    I am very impressed that that you got 215 whitetails this year Kurt. There must be very few people up there paying out for taxidermy mounts vs. years ago when most quality deer were mounted.
     
  11. PA it's very good to hear from you, yes I'm gaining popularity fast! The business has been good to me and I stopped using a heated bug box and just use the heat off my degreasing tanks to heat the bug room. Haven't lost a colony since you replaced mine several years ago, still much appreciated! Head Shed, I just went through this with and elk skull. I broke out the Volume 40 and BW, painted it on good and thick, place it beside the heater. I was super unhappy with the results, I borrowed and 8 gallon bucket from a neighbor and used my BO to submerge the head. Turned out 10 fold better. To each their own I guess, but for now.... I'm going to be critiquing my submersion and the Oxidizer.
     
  12. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Hi PA. :) .. I prefer to submerge skulls for the same reason. In addition to the fact that I mostly macerate and I want every germ and bit of bacteria dead. The only skulls I have pasted were whales as they were too damn big to get into anything short of a bathtub. My last pilot whale skull that I have re cleaned for the hundredth time finally got soaked in peroxide for the first time in 40 years. Bought a storage box at Walmart that it fit into and 7 gallons of BO. Had to do sections at a time but it looks 100% better than it ever has before.
     
  13. EricG

    EricG New Member

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    Kurt,
    Although I don't have the experience of doing as many skulls as most on the forum, all skulls I have cleaned so far have been antlered Whitetails. I have found that after maceration and proper degreasing, that soaking in BO has given me the best results. What I do is fill the container the skull is in to just below the antler burrs and use a white wash cloth rather than paper towels. I dip the wash cloth in the BO prior to draping it over the top of the skull so it is fully saturated and push it up and under the burrs. I soak the skull for no more than 24 hours prior to removing it. I have used paper towels and I experienced alot of foaming because of it and the foam was a few inches tall which came in contact with the lower parts of the antlers causing them to whiten. I then had to touch up the bases with a stain. I also use painters tape around the bottom few inches of antler as insurance (in case a little BO comes in contact with them) mainly because I don't want to have to touch them up with stain. I hope this helps.
     
  14. BrianWorley

    BrianWorley New Member

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    What does BO stand for?
     
  15. 1stturkey

    1stturkey Member

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    Same question here. Is it benzoyl peroxide (BPO3) ?
     
  16. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Baquacil Oxidizer. A brand of 27% peroxide for pools. Use the Search function on here. There are many posts about it.
     
  17. 1stturkey

    1stturkey Member

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    Thanks, Sea Wolf. I've whitened quite a few skulls but had never heard of BO - always used some form of peroxide. I will try to find some locally and give it a try.