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Outer horns removed on bull head!

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by mahatma, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. mahatma

    mahatma Vertex

    33
    0
    Texas
    I submitted a post on having trouble removing bull horns. They had some damage and I was afraid to soak them anymore. This is it.

    http://www.taxidermy.net/forum/index.php/topic,95658.0.html

    With a keyhole saw and a rubber hammer I now have two heads that are horn free. I was pretty proud of myself when they finally come off but that is not why I was posting again. I searched for polishing horns on here and only found one thread. It says to start with coarse sand paper and work your way finer until you can smooth them down with steel wool. Then to polyurethane them or to buff them on a buffer wheel to bring back the shine. Does anyone know if I could get the damage to those one horns I had pictured to smooth again? Would it just be a process of sand until you were afraid they were getting to thin?????


    Just a couple more things. The heads are pretty much clean. Some places skipped on skinning arounjd the base of the horns but other than that and maybe some hide around the eyes they are clean of hide, muscle etc. Can I soak them until I can remove that by hand then oxy clean them white without having to heat them. These are big heads and it would be a lot of work to get that much water hot for very long. Is sunshine and fresh ait the best way to rid them of smell before they are hung inside???
     
  2. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    For boiling big skulls like that, I used a turkey fryer burner and a galvanized trash can that the skull fit into. Yeah, it does take some energy to get them nice and clean. If you do this, be careful around the can full of boiling water and make sure the burner is on a solid surface so it doesn't tip over on you.
     

  3. I just did a long horn skull mount and the biggest pain in the butt is sanding and polishing the horns. That flaky stuff around the base of the horns can be scraped off or sanded off with course sand paper. My dad makes muzzle loader powder horns and uses glass to scrape the horns works kind of like a cabinet scraper fine finish very little sanding. The horns get thicker has they taper toward the tip. I just used my fingers to to reach in and gauge the thickness as I was sanding. I also cheated instead of hand sanding and used a sanding flap disc in my drill press to finish sanding the horns. i use a high quality sanding sealer to seal the horns with and it really brings out the colors. Hope this helps. Thanks Brad
     
  4. mahatma

    mahatma Vertex

    33
    0
    Texas
    High quality sanding sealer huh? I guess I will do like removing them. I was afraid I might break the whole horn off if I rubber hammered it to hard. But I got them clear. Just start sanding and see what comes through. The thought of doing something stupid and damaging one of those horns makes me leery. Thanks a million for the info. That is exactly what I was looking for.
     
  5. Taxidermy Nutt

    Taxidermy Nutt yup, i can b cray-Z!

    show pics of your progress sometime, id be interested.
     
  6. mahatma

    mahatma Vertex

    33
    0
    Texas
    Here is my current pot with 2 heads dunked. After I get the skin etc. off I will degrease them.

    [​IMG]

    Here are the horns I removed. Those longer ones were the toughies.

    [​IMG]

    This is where I wash stuff. At the moment the horns. I will bring the skulls over and give them a brush as stuff comes loose. Pigs having a woof!

    [​IMG]

    And this is Pigs Doodle. She is my tireless helper. Unlike other girls that know me she thinks skulls are interesting and smell neat. I had never had a small dog until I had this one forced upon me by a traveling nephew. Always big dogs that learned to work cattle. Didnt matter if they were pit or Shepard they worked cattle. Pig watches TV and help with the skulls. Totally different dog but I just LOVE her.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Taxidermy Nutt

    Taxidermy Nutt yup, i can b cray-Z!

    im gonna ask you or someone for help with my project! Ill start a new topic and post pics later today so i can get started! wait till you see my beauty! i got it from a friend
     
  8. mahatma

    mahatma Vertex

    33
    0
    Texas
    I was curious what some people might use here. Is it just a spray polyurethane or something else. What is the best way to apply it? Is once it is on is it on forever? Would you be better off with some sort of wax??
     
  9. I think it is a lacquer I will check the can when I go home. I get it in a spray can from the wood works store. You just spray it on like paint. I usually do several light coats. I took some pictures of that steer skull I will try to post some when I get a chance. good luck
     
  10. mahatma

    mahatma Vertex

    33
    0
    Texas
    Things are moving along fine. I started sanding the horns with a very course sanding pad. I spent a lot of time doing that before I figured out I was my age was progressing at a faster rate than the horns smoothness. So I got a sanding wheel for my drill. I have spent probably 45 minutes on each horn so far with the drill. It is simply amazing how dense they are. I started out with very little pressure afraid I would sand right through one of the thinner spots. I have gotten where I bear down now and can see the time coming when they will be ready to buff.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  11. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Nice to see that they won't be so scabby looking when you are finished. :) Keep at 'em.
     
  12. Taxidermy Nutt

    Taxidermy Nutt yup, i can b cray-Z!

    nicely done!