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Boiled Skulls, Can't Get Them White

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by Elkarcher, Oct 18, 2021.

  1. Elkarcher

    Elkarcher Member

    Ok I have done my research on whitening skulls with iron out. I didn't boil these but had to contract them out to another taxidermist and he boiled them not simmered and it was way to long I could not beetle them due to them being 2-5 yrs old. So my question is how then heck do I get them at least some what white? I have used the BW2 powder twice and this is what I have. I don't think trying to degrease now will work at all. I hate paint but I can't sent these out looking like this. Any ideas would be great. Thanks

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  2. sorry for your problem here . You're first mistake was giving them to someone and not checking on his quality. Too late now so you have to face that fact. Iron out will not help these. Your problem is grease and yes if you want to clean them up you don't have much choice, degreasing is the only way to get by this mess, and it will not by an easy job by any means the way the grease is boiled and set in the skull. tough lesson.

  3. paint will not stay stuck on a greasy skull
  4. Elkarcher

    Elkarcher Member

    Skullery, thanks for the input. I didn't have a choice, he was the only one that could do it. And yes I know he did a really crazy job and that will never happen again. It's pretty hard to degrease a 50 + inch moose. Now to find a pot big enough to degrease in. Yes very tough lesson indeed
  5. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    Desperate times call for desperate measures. Unless you have months to degrease them, do the following: Soak in supersaturated Dawn and warm water for a few days. Rinse and allow to dry. Rinse with lacquer thinner and allow to dry Seal Mod Podge. Mist with Polytranspar Superhide White. Seal with Krylon matte. Been there, done that.
    msestak likes this.
  6. Tnrandy

    Tnrandy Active Member

    These are greasy, you need to get that out if you don't want to paint...not sure if paint will stick as greasy as they look.
  7. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    You can get them mostly degreased it will just take time and patience. Moose do make it a challenge but it is doable. I just did one last year and have another to do. I used a big tote and cut grooves for the anlters to sit down into and siliconed around them. You can also use a kiddy pool that it will fit into.
  8. 13 point

    13 point Well-Known Member

    Simmer in ammonia out side , then soak completely submerged in Colman fuel for a week making sure there are no air pockets in skull . You can drill that hole on top of skull out just a tad to help release that air , but go small enough not to be noticeable. Then put in peroxide completely submerged for a week . That should do it .
    Vulpes Vulpes likes this.
  9. msestak

    msestak Well-Known Member

    kilz oil base primer should help seal them if you cant get the grease out.
  10. Elkarcher

    Elkarcher Member

    I'm gonna try the what 3 bears said. I don't have time but I also won't send out a crappy product. What makes it harder is I live in north pole AK and it's getting pretty cold up here so doing anything outside is almost out of the question. I will just have to let the customer know what hapoened and that I'm working on fixing them.

    Thanks everyone who dropped their 2 cents. I will let you know how it turned out.
    msestak, 3bears and Tnrandy like this.
  11. Elkarcher

    Elkarcher Member

    Well stuff changes real quick. Talked to the customer and she is happy with how they are. I am not a big fan of sending work out looking like these but she does not want to wait any longer. Only been 3 months. Now I have to get them prepped and shipped to MT from AK. thanks again for all the tips and tricks.

    msestak likes this.
  12. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    How do you manage to ship those intact? Or do you have to cut the antlers off and make them so they can be re attached? .. Hopefully, your client understands that what she is getting isn't actually your work. I always dread sending out something of lesser quality that is going to have my name attached to it. You didn't have much choice though.
  13. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    Yep, I wouldn't send them out looking like crapola. I stopped using any wholesaler for my skulls. It was always a crap shoot that I almost always lost. I'd spend more time fixing their crap than if I'd done it myself from start to finish, boiled, painted, mummified flesh still attached, you name it. I now tell customers euros will be done when they are and not a moment sooner, some are Ok others not, oh well, I can't do em all.
    ARUsher likes this.
  14. Elkarcher

    Elkarcher Member

    The antlers don't get cut, the tips get covered and then the whole skull gets wrapped with plastic so it's completely covered, then put on the plane and shipped out. I made sure she knows this is not how I want to send them out and I am not satisfied with them, but it's her money.
  15. Elkarcher

    Elkarcher Member

    So I was cleaning up these 4 skulls that I'm shipping and use a little bit of sand paper on the back side and the yellow staining came off and the skull was white underneath. So my question is has anyone ever lightly sanded a skull? Was honestly thinking of doing this so the skulls leave here whiter than they are and look a hell of a lot better. Just the time I would have to put into it would be quite a few hours.. Thanks
  16. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Never tried sanding .. but would be curious what the colored surface stains were and if it reacted to anything. Still would be a lot easier to remove it or change it by soaking it in something. Curious if you tried Iron Out.
  17. Elkarcher

    Elkarcher Member

    I haven't tried iron out due to the customer wanting their skulls back asap. It's a thin layer of yellow, pretty sure it's surface grease. I'm still having a hard time shipping these back this way.
  18. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    To eliminate the "I want it now" customers, I have them sign an agreement that I have written. Part of it states that it will take up to three to four months for them to get their skull back. That part is underlined. As well as the part where I state I will call them when it is done. When they call a week after dropping it off, I remind them to read the agreement. When they call again, I tell them that the more time I spend on the phone with them, the less time I am working on their trophies and it is going to make it take even longer. I don't ever rush, I make them wait and they don't get it until it is done. There is no rushing which also puts a prior clients trophy behind theirs. After a new customer has gotten their piece back they are thrilled and happy for the wait. Repeat customers no longer hassle me as they know what the rules are and that I stick to them. It is only the first timers that try to get pushy. I also have two skulls to be examined. One is a skull I cleaned my way. The other is a skull that was quick boiled and whitened and out the door in a few days. Both skulls are now several years old. I let the client examine both skulls and then ask them which quality they would like to bring home. When they point to the clean one, I tell them that it takes a few months to make one like that. The nasty greasy one they can have back in a week or less. That usually eliminates most of the pushy ones.
  19. Elkarcher

    Elkarcher Member

    I'm gonna have to add a time frame to my invoices. Didn't think about that at all. I also might have to have 2 skulls like you said and give them the option. I don't have that issue with return customers either, they know what their getting.

    Thanks for advice and info sea wolf.


  20. Fallenscale

    Fallenscale Well-Known Member

    I'm not surprised the customer like them the way they are I have one customer that I clean skulls each year a d he insists not to soak in peroxide he like what he calls the natural look