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Caribou Degreasing

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by Elkarcher, Apr 3, 2022.

  1. Elkarcher

    Elkarcher Member

    51
    13
    Alaska
    I have roughly 15 bou to degrease, all hard Antler but porous. Has anyone found a decent degreasing tank or had one built that works and not have to soak a portion of the antlers while degreasing? Right now i have them in a decent size tub and the antlers are soaking up water and the color is coming out of them. I can always stain them again but... Any help or ideas would be great.

    Thanks Tim
     
  2. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    I wonder if a solution would be to heavy coat the lower part of the antlers with Seal n Peel silicone. But that is a lot of antler and the stuff isn't cheap. One idea I toyed with was taking sturdy plastic bags, like those heavy duty contractor ones, putting one over each antler and wrapping around the base of the bur with something like twisted wire. Something that could be made tight enough so water would not leak up from underneath. The bag could be opened at the top to let air out if the water level rose above the burrs. There still might be water that would come in through the bone itself but maybe not very much.
     

  3. Elkarcher

    Elkarcher Member

    51
    13
    Alaska
    thanks for the ideas Sea Wolf. I changed by tactics on the bou. I now use a 8" deep stainless container and use a fish tank heater. wish they would get hotter than 88 degrees but it works. Takes longer but its not pulling the color out of the antlers. Moose on the other hand is still a PIA. Had an aluminum tank built but now i am trying to figure out how to get the antlers sealed off so it dont leak.
     
    Graybeard's Beetles likes this.
  4. Kevin Webb

    Kevin Webb New Member

    1
    0
    Oregon

    I ended up buying a sous vide machine (used for cooking). I clamp it to the side of my container. It has a 99 hour timer with a 70 to 200 plus degree temp control. I bought an Ink Bird off amazon for like 90 bucks and it works great. It also circulates the water and is easy to clean.

    For bear and deer I keep it at about 120.
     
  5. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    As for your moose tank ... Try this. Set the skull in the tank with the antlers in the slots. If the antlers are contacting the metal, prop up the skull from underneath to tilt it enough that the antlers are lifted a little to be clear of the metal and not touching it. Make sure that what you use is secure so the skull does not shift later. Get a couple of tubes of a product called Seal n Peel. It is a silicone that peels off things easily. Wipe down the antler where it goes through the slot with acetone to remove any surface oils. Fill the whole gap around the antler with the silicone. Make sure it has good contact with the antler. You can wet your finger and push it against the antler. You may want to try this in a couple of applications, letting each layer dry and cure before adding more so what you are trying to cure isn't too thick. Build up around the antler and make sure a layer of it also goes over the surface of the metal on both sides. Wipe down the metal surface with acetone as well before getting the silicone on it. Effectively, what you will end up with, is a silicone gasket all around the antler that should hold back any leaks. Any oils on the surface of the metal or the antler will be what causes the silicone to loosen up and fail. If there isn't a lot of water pressure behind it and the antlers aren't wiggling around it should hold. Regular silicone will probably be stronger but it might not come off the antler surface easily or get stuck in surface contours. As a thought, if you had a good grade of 2 part rubber casting compound, you might also be able to get a band of that tight down around the antler, let that set up and then build up the silicone around that layer.
     
    Elkarcher likes this.