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Time To Whiten?

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by Sportsman13, Mar 14, 2020.

  1. Sportsman13

    Sportsman13 New Member

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    Hey guys and gals! I've been working on my first whitetail using maceration the past month. You guys have been awesome with my questions up to this point. But I have one more! Im not a very good photographer and the lighting is less than adequate, but does this look ready to whiten? It's been drying with a fan for about a day. I plan to let it dry another full day. To me (newbie) I don't see any obvious grease. But by the sounds of it, it can creep to the surface later. I decreased about two weeks, and grease really never "poured" out. I think I left it macerating longer than I needed to. I appreciate your time, have a great weekend!
     

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  2. 13 point

    13 point Well-Known Member

    Looks pretty good to me , anytime you have a chance to let the sun help dry it do so , but cover the rack . I take a big black or dark trash bag and cut it in 2inch strips and wrap it around the antlers. The sun will , in only a few hours bleach the color out , if it can do that image how it will help in whitening the skull . So put it in your whitener and when ready take it out give a quick rinse and let the sun dry it out . You will be happy with the results.
     

  3. Sportsman13

    Sportsman13 New Member

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    Thanks! I will try that for sure, I appreciate it.
     
  4. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    It looks good. Maceration does a lot to eat the grease out of it before you even use the detergents. I would whiten it and let it dry. You can submerge it in the peroxide or use a paste of it. If you paste it, wrap it in saran wrap and get it into a really warm area if you can (but not necessary). Heat will really kick off peroxide and make it work harder. If you see oils start to creep to the surface you can always degrease again. As you macerated it .. and it looks good now, I'd almost bet you won't have to.
     
  5. Sportsman13

    Sportsman13 New Member

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    I'll start whiten tomorrow and keep you posted. I appreciate, such an awesome resource! Thank you.
     
  6. Sportsman13

    Sportsman13 New Member

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    Alright, I've been working for home a lot on other project. I seem to have a roadblock. Are these spots examples of grease or is the one blood? I've only been decreasing using dawn and water at 120 degrees. I'm going to the hardware store for some ammonia tomorrow to see if that does the trick.
     

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  7. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    It shows better in the second picture. Have you tried whitening that yet. If not, it really looks good the way it is. Is that yellow a stain on the bone or is it possibly membrane that is stuck to the bones surface? Keep the temp at 120 and try some ammonia. Blood would be a darker brown or orange stain.
     
  8. Sportsman13

    Sportsman13 New Member

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    I haven't tried to whiten yet. I was on the fence on how to proceed. I figured either add some ammonia or try to whiten and if not Im not thrilled by the results, Id toss it back in the degreaser. yellow is on the bone. I figured I'd defer to the experts! As always, thank you for the insight.
     
  9. Sportsman13

    Sportsman13 New Member

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    So I whitened using only 3 percent. I do have basic white and 40 vol coming this week. The skull has been drying for almost a week. Overall it's looking pretty good. Are those yellow spots grease? I did dawn and heated at 120 for just over 2 weeks and the water was clear. Maybe I should try adding some ammonia? Or perhaps the 40 vol and basic white will do the trick...what do you guys think?
     
  10. Sportsman13

    Sportsman13 New Member

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    It doesn't look like my second photo loaded.
     

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  11. 13 point

    13 point Well-Known Member

    Yes the yellow is grease and you need to get that out , try soaking it in acetone for a few days , then go back to whitening it , don’t try to do both at the same time. If you don’t get it completely out it will just get worse over time.
     
    Sportsman13 likes this.
  12. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    A little grease. Not bad though. You can try acetone but it's a pain to use with antlers because it is so volatile. You can also try a soak in either ammonia or add a healthy shot of ammonia to your Dawn and let it sit another week. 120 is a perfect temp. Sometimes there will be areas like this that are a bit of a pain. Hold off on the peroxide until you are happy with the grease being gone.
     
    Sportsman13 likes this.
  13. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

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    I often times dry skulls out soak em peroxide and the let em dry again, if I see anything like that back into degreasing they go. I'll repeat that until I don't see it any more. Folks piss and moan a bit about the time frame but I after I explain to them the process and results they are fine. I don't fit into that fast and cheap crowd.
     
    Sportsman13 likes this.
  14. Sportsman13

    Sportsman13 New Member

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    Scored some ammonia today! I'm going to dilute and soak for a week. What're the pros/cons using a room temp soak vs heating it. I'm guessing the length of time is shorter by adding heat. By the fumes will be more tolerable keeping at room temp. Trying to to gas myself in the process.
     
  15. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Heating it will make fumes strong enough to melt your eyeballs. Wear goggles when you open the container.
     
  16. Lorn

    Lorn Member

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    What are you guys putting in water to get flesh off of the skull??
     
  17. Sportsman13

    Sportsman13 New Member

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    Nothing but water and heat. Get an aquarium heater that goes to 85 or 90 degrees. Fill up a 5 gallon bucket and change the water every 4 days. Should be cleaned after 14 days or so. It really helps with the decreasing process. Although, I'm having a little trouble in spots with my current skull. I'm going to put it in a 50/50 ammonia water without heat for a week. There's lot of knowledge on this site. I'm still learning
     
  18. I do not agree with the statement in bold above. Changing the water will only slow down the process. The reaction of the flesh with the warm water causes bacteria to grow and that bacteria is what dissolves the soft tissue. If you change the water, you pour out the bacteria and now it has to grow again. I personally do not change the water at all while macerating. Just add similar temperature water as needed. Similar temperature to keep from shocking the bacteria. If you think you must change the water only change about 1/2 of it so you do not pour out all of the bacteria. Again, replace with similar temperature water.

    In warm weather where heat loss is minimized, I have had well trimmed deer skulls soft tissue free in 7 days without changing any water or needing to add any either. Yes, it looks and smells really nasty around day 4 with a lot of floating tissue but the bacteria continues to break that down. Typically, by day 10 the soft tissue is gone.
     
  19. Sportsman13

    Sportsman13 New Member

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    I guess I see this differently. There's aerobic and anaerobic bacteria. Adding new water provides oxygen for the aerobic bacteria(which is faster growing). The anerobic will continuing to grow in areas with less oxygen but much slower. My maceration timeline has been similar. Anyways lots of info, experience and opinions. My way may not be THE way, but its a way nonetheless. Find what works for you and just soak it all in! I know I have! I'm going to try adding instead water instead of dumping. I'd prefer that!
     
  20. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Use the Search function on here and read about the process called Maceration. Use good search terms like maceration cleaning, maceration skull, etc. There are also some maceration tutorial posts.