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Stubborn African Horns???

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by soazarcher, Aug 9, 2008.

  1. soazarcher

    soazarcher New Member

    Hello Everyone. I am a longtme lurker, first time poster. I clean skulls with dermistids and maceration in southern Arizona. I have learned alot from all of your posts and need a little help.

    I just took in large quantity of african skulls. These skulls were all boiled and salted (borax?) They are completley dry, some are two years old.
    I am going to degrease and whiten them.
    I have removed the horns from 2 kudu, a waterbuck, eland, bushbuck, duiker and a couple others.

    I CANNOT remove the horns from a Wildebeast, Imapala and a Hartebeast. :-[
    Does anyone have any experience with these species?

    A couple of the others took some doing to get off. I had some luck pouring hot water down the cores

    How long are the cores? ???

    Am i not trying hard enough?
    these thing will not budge!

    Any ideas would be much appreciated


    PS I will be getting a couple of cape buff skulls next week, that should be interesting :-\
  2. Hoopyfrood42

    Hoopyfrood42 New Member

    What I do is submerge the skulls in warm water for a couple days and beat the horn off with a rubber mallet. It has always worked for me.

  3. Hoopyfrood42

    Hoopyfrood42 New Member

    the hartebeest horns may not come off... Never dealt with anything like that.
    I would say the cores extend past the curve making it near impossible to remove without breakage.
  4. soazarcher

    soazarcher New Member

    I should have mentioned that i soaked them for 36 hours before trying. Still no luck.
    The hartebeest horns seem almost fragile, like they are too dry.

    I am worried about long cores

  5. mahatma

    mahatma Vertex

    I dont have experience with skulls like that either. I will get out and do some looking for you. I have had horns that I had *&%^$ getting off. I took a ton of advice of this board and finally got them done. The first thing is DO they come off then if they do like in my case get tough with them. If they horns have a thick connection to the head you need to sever that. Make sure there is a clean place for them to seperate. I did that with a coping saw. Since they are clean I would get a rubber hammer and see if I could get any wiggle at all. If you could get bacteria growing inside the horn again you might could cap them off next to the skull and see if that would not loosen them some.
  6. You will not get hartebeast, buffalo, or wildebeast horns off the cores without extreme measures!
    You can boil them until they are soft and then cut the horn casings, this will allow you remove the horns.
    Split them on the under side, it will be easier to hide the repair.
    The risk is that you may do damage to the horns boiling them long if they are not fresh.
    I usually drill 1/8" holes in the back sides and inject with insecticide on dried horns.
    Inject until it runs out the bottom, then plug the holes and turn upside down for a couple days.
    Drain, repair the holes, and seal the bottom edges with epoxy before mounting.
  7. soazarcher

    soazarcher New Member

    Great ideas Mike, Thanks

    I don't think i will try to remove them, I like the insecticide idea.
    These horns are not fresh, and i feel the repair would be difficult at best.

    I'm not sure i can get a full degrease and whitening with the horns on, Any ideas???
  8. With all the boiling they have already been through they probably don't need anything but peroxide/basic white.
    Wrap the horns with plastic wrap to keep the peroxide off of them, brush the skulls good with the mixture and bag.
    Set in the sun for few hours if you can; the heat really makes that stuff work.
    Rinse off with cold water the next day, set back in the sun to continue whitening if needed.