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#177993 - 03/14/04 05:51 PM How to do a Skull.
crapshoot Offline
Retired PM Staff

Registered: 03/22/02
Posts: 23086
Loc: Henderson,Nevada,USA
I know this has been covered, But since I was in the middle of doing one anyway, Figured I would cover it again.
How to do a skull!
I have only done this on coyote and fox skulls, but it should work for anything. Skin out the skull and remove as much meat as possible. Also remove the eye's and toung. Place in a bucket and cover with a good amount of water. Now add some baking soda. I use about 2 LBS for a coyote or fox. Probably could use more for bigger skulls( maybe 3-4 lbs.). Let this sit for about 6 weeks. Make sure the skull never gets exposed to the air, keep it covered with water. After the six weeks , remove the water and hose down with a high pressure nozzle on your garden hose inside the bucket. Make sure to spray inside the brain cavity. Next put it in a big pot with just enough water to cover it and boil it for 30-45 minutes. Just a slow rolling boil. Make sure the pot is big enough so it wont boil over if it foams up. After boiling, drain the water and hit it again with a high pressure nozzle in the pot or bucket. BE CAREFULL NOT TO LOOSE ANY TEETH. All the teeth will fall out and the bottom jaw will split in 2. After cleaning the skull and teeth of any left over material, I place it in a zip lock bag with hydrogen peroxide bought from the grocery store. Completely cover it and let sit for atleast 30 minutes. Remove all the parts and let dry. Glue the jaw back together ( i use super glue or a hot glue gun) and then figure out the puzzle of where all the teeth go and glue them back in ( I use super glue). Now coat with several coats of gloss clear paint. I spray the top half and bottom half seperatly so they wont stick to each other when you set them together.

Here is what it looks like after boiling and letting soak in peroxide.


And here is what it looks like after reassembly and a couple coats of paint.

_________________________
I carry a gun because a cop is to heavy.

Average response time for a 911 call is 10 min.
Average response time for a .45acp is 900FPS.

Remember, if you're not pissing off a liberal......You are one!
Ted Nugent

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#177994 - 03/14/04 06:43 PM Re: How to do a Skull.
River Runner Offline
PM is my life

Registered: 04/21/01
Posts: 8930
Loc: Bloomington, WI
AAAaaaaand...(you just knew I couldn't leave it alone didn't ya CS?) if you add Sodium Carbonate to your water when your boiling it will turn 99% of any meat and tissue left to a gel, making it real simple to rinse away.
You think that's good!...it begins the bleaching process too!
1/4 cup to a gallon is a good mixture.

Now for the confusing part. Baking Soda is chemically known as Sodium Bicarbonate. Not to be confused.
Sodium Carbonate as mentioned above is totally different. It can be caustic if mixed to strongly.
Sodium Carbonate is also sometimes refered to as Sal Soda, or Washing Soda.
_________________________

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#177995 - 03/14/04 08:18 PM Re: How to do a Skull.
Weasel-UT Offline
Retired PM Staff

Registered: 02/04/04
Posts: 20007
Loc: S.W. Utah
Those are good ideas. That's a real nice white skull. I have a badger out back on the rock pile (road kill) that I should have done that with.

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#177996 - 03/14/04 08:49 PM Re: How to do a Skull.
Krustyklimber Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 09/30/02
Posts: 927
Loc: Seattle
It is a very nice skull...

Now it is one of my most prized possessions, Crapshoot did all that work and then sent it to me.
It is sitting on top of my monitor, right here on my desk.

Lance, thanks again for all the hard work, and the wonderful gift!

Krusty

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#177997 - 03/14/04 08:55 PM Re: How to do a Skull.
crapshoot Offline
Retired PM Staff

Registered: 03/22/02
Posts: 23086
Loc: Henderson,Nevada,USA
Your welcome Krusty. The pic of the one in pieces is another one i did today. 3-14-04
_________________________
I carry a gun because a cop is to heavy.

Average response time for a 911 call is 10 min.
Average response time for a .45acp is 900FPS.

Remember, if you're not pissing off a liberal......You are one!
Ted Nugent

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#177998 - 03/15/04 06:47 PM Re: How to do a Skull.
Yellowhammer Offline
Retired Moderator

Registered: 02/07/02
Posts: 16579
Loc: Huntington, Texas
Crapshoot- Try this. Instead of putting it in water for 6 weeks, just put it under a bucket with the skull on the ground in the yard or better yet a flower bed. Put a rock or something on top to keep any dogs or varmits from getting to it. After about 4 or 5 weeks it will be pretty clean from soil mircobes and other insects and such. Then boil with the soda and stuff that RR recommended. You won't have to worry with as much odor, flies and stuff that are attracted by the nasty water.

If you put it in pantyhose or some other type of mess bag and bury it in a compost pile you can have it cleaned in about 3 weeks and then boil as stated above.
_________________________
"The recreational value of a head of game is inverse to the artificiality of its origin"

"No prize is greater than the effort taken to acheive it"

- Aldo Leopold, The Father of Wildlife Management



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#177999 - 03/15/04 06:52 PM Re: How to do a Skull.
crapshoot Offline
Retired PM Staff

Registered: 03/22/02
Posts: 23086
Loc: Henderson,Nevada,USA
I've noticed that any time the skull is exposed to the air, It tends to discolor ? wouldn't the ground discolor the skull also, requiring more bleaching?
_________________________
I carry a gun because a cop is to heavy.

Average response time for a 911 call is 10 min.
Average response time for a .45acp is 900FPS.

Remember, if you're not pissing off a liberal......You are one!
Ted Nugent

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#178000 - 03/15/04 06:58 PM Re: How to do a Skull.
Yellowhammer Offline
Retired Moderator

Registered: 02/07/02
Posts: 16579
Loc: Huntington, Texas
It does discolor some, but a little peroxide will whiten it right up. Perioxide is not has hard on the bone as bleach is. Just setting it in the sun will bleach it out too.
_________________________
"The recreational value of a head of game is inverse to the artificiality of its origin"

"No prize is greater than the effort taken to acheive it"

- Aldo Leopold, The Father of Wildlife Management



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#178001 - 03/15/04 09:25 PM Re: How to do a Skull.
polecat Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 05/20/01
Posts: 61
Loc: Deaver, WY, USA
Haven't you guys heard of ant hills? Let the ants clean the skull and then you can boil, or treat it with whatever to make it white.

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#178002 - 03/15/04 09:49 PM Re: How to do a Skull.
Yellowhammer Offline
Retired Moderator

Registered: 02/07/02
Posts: 16579
Loc: Huntington, Texas
The ants have not worked that well for me.
_________________________
"The recreational value of a head of game is inverse to the artificiality of its origin"

"No prize is greater than the effort taken to acheive it"

- Aldo Leopold, The Father of Wildlife Management



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#178003 - 03/15/04 09:59 PM Re: How to do a Skull.
crapshoot Offline
Retired PM Staff

Registered: 03/22/02
Posts: 23086
Loc: Henderson,Nevada,USA
Also, how ould this work in places like LasVegas where there is little to no humidity? Wery little moisture in the air. Dry as a popcorn fart!
_________________________
I carry a gun because a cop is to heavy.

Average response time for a 911 call is 10 min.
Average response time for a .45acp is 900FPS.

Remember, if you're not pissing off a liberal......You are one!
Ted Nugent

Top
#178004 - 03/16/04 12:34 AM Re: How to do a Skull.
River Runner Offline
PM is my life

Registered: 04/21/01
Posts: 8930
Loc: Bloomington, WI
It's not really the air that is doing the discoloring. The discoloring is already there and it's from the oils in the skin and fat of the animal.
When you soak the skull in water long enough, a certian amount of the oils are leached out of it making it appear as though it's not as discolored.
Boiling them with Sodium Carbonate pulls out even more of the oils, and what you don't get out basically stays and the peroxide discolors it even more by turning it white.

Kinda like when us guys think were cleaning the toilet. Pour some bleach in and in an hour or two flush it. It's nice and white and looks clean.
The crud is still there......you just bleached it white.
Peroxide and or bleach will kill a certian amount of germs which in turn eliminates any odor that might be left, but you should still seal them by painting or clear coating to preserve them the way they are and prevent any oil left from resurfacing and bringing any odors with it. Which will eventually draw insects.
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#178005 - 03/16/04 06:00 AM Re: How to do a Skull.
MA_bwhntr Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 05/10/01
Posts: 67
Loc: MA
RR,
Is there anything you can do with a deer scull to keep the horns from bleaching out? I found that the boiling the skull causes the horns to discolor. I am not so concerned about bleaching them with the peroxide. I can always wrap the horns and use some care when soaking the skull in the peroxide. Is there another way to effectively remove all the tissue without boiling? Thanks
Garrett

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#178006 - 03/16/04 07:00 AM Re: How to do a Skull.
River Runner Offline
PM is my life

Registered: 04/21/01
Posts: 8930
Loc: Bloomington, WI
Beatles or soaking in plain water will do the same, MA_bwhntr . Without turning the antlers white.

But to be honest with ya, a lot of taxidermists simply rub small amounts of stain back on the antlers when there done boiling them out to give them their color back. It works and looks real slick. Rub it on, and rub it off. It will stick in all the crevices just like the dried blood did while they were rubbing off their velvet giving them the color they have in the field.
_________________________

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#178007 - 03/16/04 07:39 AM Re: How to do a Skull.
MA_bwhntr Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 05/10/01
Posts: 67
Loc: MA
RR,
Thanks. I shot a big 9pt with my bow this year and was thinking about having a skull mount made. I dont have the artistic eye that it would take to match the natural horn color, so I guess I will leave it up to my taxidermist.
Garrett

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#178008 - 03/16/04 05:23 PM Re: How to do a Skull.
crapshoot Offline
Retired PM Staff

Registered: 03/22/02
Posts: 23086
Loc: Henderson,Nevada,USA
Another thing I see my Taxidermist do for his European mount is to use the real antlers , but use a fake plastic skull. No discoloration and no teeth to crack and fall apart. They really turn out nice. He also uses an air brush to do some fading on the antlers to give them a realistic look if needed.
_________________________
I carry a gun because a cop is to heavy.

Average response time for a 911 call is 10 min.
Average response time for a .45acp is 900FPS.

Remember, if you're not pissing off a liberal......You are one!
Ted Nugent

Top
#178009 - 03/17/04 02:02 AM Re: How to do a Skull.
Moose57 Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 06/24/02
Posts: 1104
Loc: Bountiful, Utah
Here's another way to do it. Skull preparation.
_________________________
Paul Merrill GOT MOOSE!? When you come to a fork in the road..............take it!

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#178010 - 03/17/04 05:41 AM Re: How to do a Skull.
RanUtah Offline
Retired PM Staff

Registered: 04/23/01
Posts: 5278
Loc: Taylorsville, Utah, and Manage...
I read that and it seems to be a real nasty slow way to get it done. I just soon boil them but when I do, Im constantly boiling, picking, boiling, picking until it's clean. Using Sal Soda when boiling decreases your time in half. Any meat just peals off. I can tell you one thing thought and thats if the lower jaw teeth are coming out then your boiling it too long. I use several different type of dental picks in the process. Generaly speaking the only teeth that mainly fall out are the canines. I also use a product called bone whitener. Currently it is suppose to be the cats meow. My experiance with it has been fantastic. It works fast and theres very little clean up. It just strips the yellow right out of a skull. It's almost like a paste consistency and you brush it on while the skull is still warm right after boiling, place it in a plastic bag and set in the sun. The warmer the better. In less than a day you will have a completed skull. They can have that messy, smelly, soak for a month garbage can crap, thats just nuts. But to each his own.
_________________________
"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I expect the same from them." John Wayne

Gun Control is hitting your target.

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#178011 - 03/17/04 09:06 AM Re: How to do a Skull.
Moose57 Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 06/24/02
Posts: 1104
Loc: Bountiful, Utah
Randy,
Where do you get the bone whitener at?
_________________________
Paul Merrill GOT MOOSE!? When you come to a fork in the road..............take it!

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#178012 - 03/17/04 09:50 AM Re: How to do a Skull.
Tim Neitzke Offline
Former Moderator

Registered: 02/04/04
Posts: 15981
Loc: Michigan
Looks like u guys got this one covered. One thing I might add; 1 or 2 lite coats of flat white spray paint will keep your stuff from yellowing over time! I work part time for a taxidermist this is what we do some bear skulls . That don't always clean up well....Tim
_________________________
WE THE PEOPLE

Let's go Brandon !!

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#178013 - 09/15/05 12:20 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: Tim Neitzke]
UgashikBob Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 11/30/02
Posts: 224
Loc: Outlet Lower Ugashik Lake Alas...
I have a set of moose horns with the upper skull attached that I would like to make an European mount. I can handle the cleaning part but any ideas on how to boil the skull when you have 5 1/2 feet of horns attached?

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#178014 - 09/25/05 02:28 AM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: UgashikBob]
Guido Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 03/23/05
Posts: 166
Loc: North Las Vegas, Nevada
Bob, you'd have to make some type of brace to hold the antlers out of the water. I've done about 50 Roe deer and 10 Hirsch (Red Stag) and countless foxes and badgers when I was hunting in Germany for the past 5 years or so. I made a little vise on a flexible piece of metal pipe from a desk lamp to keep the horns out of the water. Of course a set of roe deer antlers fit in the palm of your hand and don't weigh a thing, so its a lot different, but the principle is the same.

There was a commercial powder available at the hunting sops in Germany used to do this....we cut out all the other steps there and go straight to the boiling with this stuff in there and it strips the flesh right off the skull. They also say use a little dish detergent while boiling cause it cuts the oils from the skin and meat.

Anytime we hit the antlers with the whitener by accident we would touch them up with a mix of brown and black shoe polish and you can get the shade to match just right.


Another trick for "bleaching" the skull when it has antlers or horns, whatever chemical you use is this.....

Set the skull in a baking tray with inch or two high sides. Wrap the skull inside and out with those cotton sheets (like cotton balls but rectangular) and attatch them tightly with rubber bands. Now soak the cotton in whatever you were going to use and it holds it the skull without getting it on the antlers.

Once you do this a few times, you'll find a good way to do it. I go staright to the boiling to loosen up (shrink) all the meat and flesh away from the skull and then use a screwdriver and a needle nose pliers and a good sharp knife to cut everything away from the skull and get it out of all the cavities.

Good Luck!

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#178015 - 09/26/05 04:01 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: Guido]
UgashikBob Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 11/30/02
Posts: 224
Loc: Outlet Lower Ugashik Lake Alas...
Guido:
Pretty much following your advise. I modified my trap boiling barrel to soak most of the skull in the water and use an old towel to wick water to the top of the skull. Waiting for the chemical you described to arrive from VanDykes so I can boil it. Everything is similair to what you describe but 5 and a half feet of horns makes it a challange.
PS: I spent time in the sandbox in the early 60s and the best part of it I remember was leaving.

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#178016 - 09/26/05 09:41 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: UgashikBob]
grinr Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 12/21/02
Posts: 767
Loc: New Brunswick,Canada
HOLY-not a COW Bob,what a brute!!If I ever get a moose like that 'round these parts I would retire my rifle and call 'er quits!
BTW,speaking of having a place "wired",I've seen the view from your window.Awesome stuff!
_________________________
Ammo,camo,and things that go BLAMMO! These are a few of my fa-vor-ite things.

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#178017 - 09/27/05 11:29 AM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: grinr]
UgashikBob Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 11/30/02
Posts: 224
Loc: Outlet Lower Ugashik Lake Alas...
Grinr:
The rack in the barrel was actually a meat bull that turned out a little larger than I originally guessed. I estimated him in the upper 50's but he actually taped 66 7/16. There was a small paddle bull with him that I really wanted but this guy ran him off and I couldn't find him.
Now if you want to talk big bulls the photo below is the bull my wife and I chased for 3 years and cost me two transmissions in my Argo. I had an 200 yard walking away shot that I never took. He got big by staying in a area no one could get to. He made the mistake of wandering about 18 miles south of us during the late season rut and the pay for view crowd got him. That distinctive curl in his right horn made him very easy to identify.

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#178018 - 09/27/05 02:36 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: UgashikBob]
BigAl Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 04/05/05
Posts: 100
Loc: Gretna, NE
Us poor folks down here in the lower 48 are definitely humbled by that one! Great job on a fantastic bull! Think I'll put in my walking papers today and move to the promised land!!

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#178019 - 09/28/05 02:06 AM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: UgashikBob]
grinr Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 12/21/02
Posts: 767
Loc: New Brunswick,Canada
MY GAWD!!!!
_________________________
Ammo,camo,and things that go BLAMMO! These are a few of my fa-vor-ite things.

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#178020 - 10/02/05 02:09 AM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: grinr]
UgashikBob Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 11/30/02
Posts: 224
Loc: Outlet Lower Ugashik Lake Alas...
For anyone interested I thought I would update my skull cleaning thing. Received my Sal Soda (Sodium Carbonate) from Van Dykes and mixed it 1/4 cup to the gallon with water. Kept it at a rolling boil for a little over an hour. Everything below the water line was bare bone except for some residual nose cartlidge. I kept an old towel on the top of the skull in hopes of wicking some of the water/sal soda mix up there. Didn't work but most of the remainder of the skull was easily cleaned with a sharpened spoon. Everything that was boiled off turned into a gell that almost looked like candle wax only smelled worse. Waiting on a source for 3% hydrogen peroxide to mix with the Magnesium Carbonate to bleach the skull.

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#178021 - 10/18/05 10:16 AM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: crapshoot]
AR-MAN Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 314
Loc: Nebraska
Here is the easy way to do it. There are many different places to send to. Way less stinky and not too bad of a price to come up with a great product. I haven't sent one in yet but am going send to one of the places some time soon.
Mike web page
_________________________
Remember, Today is the first day of the rest of your life. It's never too late to start over. <><

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#178022 - 01/01/06 09:05 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: crapshoot]
EricMullen Offline
New Member

Registered: 09/25/04
Posts: 20
Loc: Kuna, Idaho
Just wanted to take a minute to thank crapshoot for posting these instructions for us. Thanks to you I have a coyote skull I'll be proud to display, even though it was a lot of work! Thanks again and I hope that you enjoy the pics.
Couldn't have done it without you.



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#178023 - 01/01/06 09:12 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: EricMullen]
crapshoot Offline
Retired PM Staff

Registered: 03/22/02
Posts: 23086
Loc: Henderson,Nevada,USA
Beautiful!
_________________________
I carry a gun because a cop is to heavy.

Average response time for a 911 call is 10 min.
Average response time for a .45acp is 900FPS.

Remember, if you're not pissing off a liberal......You are one!
Ted Nugent

Top
#178024 - 01/01/06 10:52 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: crapshoot]
Weasel-UT Offline
Retired PM Staff

Registered: 02/04/04
Posts: 20007
Loc: S.W. Utah
Great job, Eric. I really like the base.

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#178025 - 01/07/06 03:49 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: Tim Neitzke]
doghntr Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 452
Loc: illinois usa
I did 2 deer heads this year. I used a power washer [has to have a heater on it] to get all the meat ,eyes brain, and anthing else off that needs to be off. Then let it dry. Took hydrogen peroxide and brushed on all the skull. Kept adding peroxide untill it was white enough. One hour to wash and less than one hour to apply peroxide. Turned ou nice.

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#178026 - 01/19/06 09:33 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: crapshoot]
stoney15 Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 01/09/06
Posts: 972
Loc: SE MN
Here is a deer head that I did this year. I really like the base. You can switch the plate around and it will also hang on the wall.


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#178027 - 01/19/06 10:36 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: stoney15]
crapshoot Offline
Retired PM Staff

Registered: 03/22/02
Posts: 23086
Loc: Henderson,Nevada,USA
Nice Deer.
_________________________
I carry a gun because a cop is to heavy.

Average response time for a 911 call is 10 min.
Average response time for a .45acp is 900FPS.

Remember, if you're not pissing off a liberal......You are one!
Ted Nugent

Top
#178028 - 01/19/06 11:11 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: crapshoot]
Weasel-UT Offline
Retired PM Staff

Registered: 02/04/04
Posts: 20007
Loc: S.W. Utah
Great job Stoney! Fantastic, in fact.

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#178029 - 01/21/06 10:11 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: Weasel-UT]
stoney15 Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 01/09/06
Posts: 972
Loc: SE MN
Thanks guys.
_________________________
Hunt, fish, ride...what else is there

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#178030 - 02/15/06 11:37 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: stoney15]
Navy_Gunner Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 01/01/06
Posts: 454
Loc: La Grande, Oregon
Here is a european mount I did for my wifes big buck (first buck if you can beleive it). I too had a problem with whitening the skull while boiling and bleaching. The bases of these horns were bright white when done boiling. I used Minwax red oak stain, brushed on with an acid brush, let it sit for a few minutes and wiped off the excess. I think it turned out exceptionally well. This deer had a reddish hue to the horns naturally so it was almost a perfect match to the color. I didnt want to go for the "bleached white" fakish look, but a more natural look to it. It has a bit of blackish/blueish area's on it and I think adds character. What do you think?

_________________________
Where am I going, and what am I doing in this handbasket?

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#178031 - 02/25/06 11:58 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: Navy_Gunner]
Yellowhammer Offline
Retired Moderator

Registered: 02/07/02
Posts: 16579
Loc: Huntington, Texas
Here is a javalina skull I did last month. It had been in the freezer for a year or two, but I finally got it out and boiled it out and applied a little 40% peroxide.



I'm not sure what those javalinas had been eating, but it almost looked like silvery gold plating on their teeth.
_________________________
"The recreational value of a head of game is inverse to the artificiality of its origin"

"No prize is greater than the effort taken to acheive it"

- Aldo Leopold, The Father of Wildlife Management



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#178032 - 02/26/06 12:52 AM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: Yellowhammer]
Moe Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 07/20/03
Posts: 1622
Loc: Essex County, Ontario
Cool pics everyone...Fox skull I did a year or two back. Let the bugs do most of the work then finally a 50%-50% water-bleach mixture do the rest.

_________________________
-Moe-

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#178033 - 02/26/06 06:23 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: Tim Neitzke]
whtelk Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/29/06
Posts: 27
My wife use to work for a place called research mannikins in Lebanon Oregon. They sell skull bleach and degreasers. I think you can order a far more powerful hydrogen peroxide.

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#178034 - 03/01/06 02:47 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: Moe]
broknaero Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 02/18/06
Posts: 1405
Loc: Pennsylvania
i love european mounts, and skulls. but after boiling dozens i send everything to the beatles! a little extra money and time is worth alot. the teath will never fall out. and you have the finished product without the mess.
_________________________
-SEMPER FI-

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#178035 - 03/01/06 02:47 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: broknaero]
broknaero Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 02/18/06
Posts: 1405
Loc: Pennsylvania
and beautiful pics guys!
_________________________
-SEMPER FI-

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#178036 - 03/08/06 08:59 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: broknaero]
elkhuntr Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 02/10/06
Posts: 90

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#178037 - 04/08/06 05:09 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: elkhuntr]
UgashikBob Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 11/30/02
Posts: 224
Loc: Outlet Lower Ugashik Lake Alas...
Any suggestions on how to mount the moose skull/horns on a exterior wall? They will be mounted above my garage door facing into prevailing winds and need to know how to mechanically attach the back of the skull to the exterior wall. Curious how a large skull and rack is attached to a plaque for a interior mount.

Done deal:


Edited by UgashikBob (06/10/06 02:28 PM)

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#178038 - 12/27/06 09:26 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: UgashikBob]
bluetick523 Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 12/27/06
Posts: 121
Loc: WV
I did my first deer Euro mount a few weeks ago. I ordered a kit with all the ingredients and a wall plaque. I started with a freshly skinned skull and boiled it for about 30 min with 1/4 cup sodium carbonate:1 gal water. When I started, I got the water level just over the bases. After the initial boiling, I pulled it out and scraped some more.....boiled again for 20 min. Pulled the skull out and did the final scraping. I then mixed a strong peroxide with a powdered "bleaching agent" until it had the consistency of mayonnaise. I "painted" the mayo solution on the skull and let it set for 24 hrs. It turns to a light, crusty powder. I then removed the bulk of the residue with a clean paint brush...and rinsed off the rest. I was worried the two boiling cycles may have caused two problems: It foamed over really bad even on a gentle, rolling boil (thank God I did this in the driveway), and I was afraid it would bleach the bottom of the antlers....but it didn't. Second, I was afraid some of the teeth would fall out....but thankfully they didn't.

What I learned:

I wanted to buy this kit to figure out what ingredients were used, so in the future I can just buy them and not fork over $60 for a kit. From what I found on the net, 100% sodium carbonate = Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda....not Baking Soda (maybe this is why my antlers didn't fade??). For the bleaching agent....I am not sure on this one....maybe either costic soda or Borax?? Also, I need to look at the peroxide bottle that came with the kit to see what is says....as far as strength. I haven't really looked around for "Super Washing Soda" yet, but it can't be too hard to find.

I could not be more pleased with how it turned out. All I need to do now is "seal" it with some clear lacquer.

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#178039 - 01/02/07 09:18 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: bluetick523]
bighornboy Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 01/02/07
Posts: 391
Loc: Fort Stockton, TX
My preferred method of doing a skull is very similar to the original instructions, just backwards. I boil the skull first not being to particular with the the tiny bits of meat. I then soak them in water for a week or too until all the meat is gone, washing the skull in degreaser, then peroxide them. I have tried the original described method and it works great. However I had the problem of the skull smelling like the nasty water for a long period of time. In fact they still smell terrible even after several months of airing out. When you boil first, then soak, the stink stays down plus it takes half the soaking time. I then like to spray the skull with a few coats of clear coat. This helps control the problem of dust building up in the areas where the oils and grease seep out.
_________________________
I've let the air out of many of 'em

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#178040 - 03/10/07 01:53 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: bighornboy]
peterjc Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 04/04/01
Posts: 1657
Loc: Harrisburg, Pa. USA
Here is a Red fox and coyote skull I had done couple years ago with Dermisted beetles. The fox was a 14 lb. male and the coyote was 41.7 lb. male. No wonder coyotes kill foxes look at the size difference. Beetles are the way to go. Cost a few bucks but no mess or smell.

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30 Years Pa. State Trooper
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#178041 - 03/22/07 05:10 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: peterjc]
wileywacker Offline
New Member

Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 23
Loc: Bountiful, Utah
[image][/image]

Pete, see you are digging up old bones. Here is one I did
sometime back. Your skull turned out real nice. Great post.



wileywacker In Utah SAM


http://samnesi.googlepages.com

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#178042 - 10/08/07 10:18 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: Tim Neitzke]
Hyperwrx Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 2381
Loc: Arizona
I left a coyote, bobcat and fox skull directly on a big red ant pile for 6 weeks. They didnt do much
_________________________
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GameTraks
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--------------------------
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#178043 - 12/09/07 07:34 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: Hyperwrx]
KansasHunter Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 12/24/05
Posts: 188
Loc: KC area, Ks
Here is a business that cleans skulls using the beatles. Good pricing too.

www.Skullsunlimited.com
_________________________
KShunter

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#178044 - 01/07/08 10:51 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: Tim Neitzke]
NorthernWY Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 01/01/08
Posts: 87
Loc: Northern WY
The only thing I would add on this is that if you mix in some climbing chalk or gym chalk with your hydrogen peroxide you can make a paste that is easy to spread on and won't get on the anlers. I pack it into the brain and nasal cavities as well. I leave it on for a couple of days and then just rinse it off. With coyotes its easier to just use a gallon size ziplock bag filled with hyd. peroxide.

Heres a question for anyone that has some older skulls. (7-10 years old) Have you noticed that the skulls you sprayed with enamel are turning yellow with time. Here is a picture of a fox skull that I boiled out 10 years ago, a coyote skull that is 7 years old and some deer heads that are this year, 3 years old and 6 years old. I had another deer head that had enamel on it that was 11 years old that had turned yellow as well. I cut the horns off the skull and threw the skull out already. I don't ever spray enamel on my skulls anymore. Any suggestions would be appreciated as I like the way they look with the enamel right up until they turn yellow.
-Jason

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#178045 - 01/07/08 11:06 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: peterjc]
NorthernWY Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 01/01/08
Posts: 87
Loc: Northern WY
Quote:

No wonder coyotes kill foxes look at the size difference.




And sometimes they just bite them on the head.






Notice the 4 holes in the skull.



The coyote teeth line up perfectly. Somehow he lived to come into my call.

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#178046 - 01/07/08 11:16 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: NorthernWY]
NorthernWY Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 01/01/08
Posts: 87
Loc: Northern WY
Quote:

1 or 2 lite coats of flat white spray paint will keep your stuff from yellowing over time!



I should have read all the posts first. Someone covered the Magnesium Carbonate (climbing chalk) as well.

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#178047 - 03/20/08 06:00 AM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: RanUtah]
bigdog1 Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 2439
Loc: Mesa, Az
I boiled one about a week ago, and had the most alwful smell in the back yard. I thought for sure the cops would be at my door wondering who I had killed, and start digging up my yard looking for a body. I used 2 gallons water and 6 to 8 oz of borax and boiled for an hour to hour and a half. meat fell off the bone
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#178048 - 04/13/08 10:10 AM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: bigdog1]
Mrgunslinger Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 05/10/01
Posts: 837
Loc: Indiana
Here is a company located in Indiana that does a very good
job on skulls.
I have had several done and all turned out alot better then expected.
www.EuropeanSkulls.com


Edited by Mrgunslinger (04/13/08 10:11 AM)

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#178049 - 06/06/08 07:32 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: Tim Neitzke]
Brian_Pollock Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 05/24/08
Posts: 117
Loc: Wisconsin
For anyone that boils their deer skulls - if you end up submerging the antler bases a little and they turn white, Minwax makes wood finish stain markers (hardware store) in six different colors you can use to touch up antlers. Or, at the hobby store, I picked up and have been using Sharpie furniture touch-up markers. It came in a three pack (dark, medium, and light wood)..I've been using the two lighter colors with multiple coats until it matches...Let it dry after each coat because when its wet it looks darker than when its dry.....

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#178050 - 10/02/08 11:12 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: NorthernWY]
archer1953 Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 11/25/05
Posts: 131
Loc: Extreme NW Montana


Jason, For skulls that turn yellow over time sometimes only a year or two use Acetone in a 5 gallon bucket with a lid. Put your yellow skulls in and it will remove the sealer and any deep grease left in the bone. Leave it a week or two. Use all precautions with Acetone, IT IS EXTREMELY FLAMABLE! Krylon Matte at wally world works fairly well for sealing. I use a resin that I buy from a Musuem Supply that I dilute in acetone and dip or paint on. Acetone evaporates and leaves the CLEAR plastic resin on the bone. It DOES NOT YELLOW and works wells on flaky/chalky bone too. Deep yellow can be an indication of deep grease in the bone.


Edited by archer1953 (10/02/08 11:16 PM)
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#178051 - 10/16/08 01:28 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: archer1953]
HardcoreSlot Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 09/07/08
Posts: 964
Loc: Spring Creek, Nevada
is there anyway of doing this in the winter with out the water freezing?

im impatient as all [beeep] and i wanna get it done. besides don't think the "boss" will let me put one in the freezer, she would die if she found it in there....
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#178052 - 10/17/08 04:09 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: HardcoreSlot]
archer1953 Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 11/25/05
Posts: 131
Loc: Extreme NW Montana
For masceration or degreasing use an old igloo ice chest and an aquarium heater. The titanium ones are less sensitive and do not break like the glass ones. Ebay has them.
_________________________
I brake for Moose and Skunks!

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#178053 - 11/08/08 11:43 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: archer1953]
Michelle_Nelson Offline
New Member

Registered: 09/30/07
Posts: 3
Loc: Olympia, Wa
The way I clean all my skulls and customer skulls is by Maceration. Plain water with a fish tank heater and the meat basiclly just melts right off the bone. The nose cartlige will slide right out. Don't force it or it will break off and you have to get it out the hard way.

I degreese with either Dawn Dish soap or Acetone.

I whiten with 27% peroxide that I get from a Pool Supply Store. Don't let this stuff get on your skin it will burn you.

I seal all my skulls with Krylon Matte finnish. I will have to check the number but I think it is 1311. Don't quote me on the # though. I have not had a skull turn yellow on me yet using it.

Normally when I skull turns yellow it is due to the clear coat or grease left in the skull.

To me boiling and simmering is an absolute NO NO. It breaks down the delicate bone structures in the skull and can set grease into the bone. Making it harder and take longer to degrease.

Using Bleach to whiten a skull can be devistating. It will cause bone to break down over time.

I saw a few on here refer to 40% peroxide. I believe you are refering to the 40 Volume Hair Developer sold at beauty supply places. The 40 does not mean it is 40% peroxide. I believe it is actually only 12% - 12.5% peroxide.




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#178054 - 11/19/08 06:47 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: archer1953]
Weatherby243 Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 01/11/08
Posts: 272
Loc: western pa
Here is the buck I shot this year. I shot it on the 23 of october. It was an 8-point with a 11.5" inside spread. I shot it with my new hoyt trykon, and its the nicest buck Ive shot to date. At school, we have buckpool between my friends and I won with it.

I wanted to do a european mount since last year, but I never got a buck, so I was eager to mount this one. Im thrilled with the way it turned out. I still need to clear-coat the skull, but other then that its pretty much done, I may use a woodburner and write 2008 along the bottom of the base board. I made it in woodshop out of a neat piece of walnut. It'll be a great way to remmeber my senior year.

tell me what you think!
Carl

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#178055 - 11/27/08 07:10 AM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: Weatherby243]
bgtme Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 08/01/06
Posts: 269
Weatherby,thats a fine mount.I haven't ever seen a european mount placed on an angled board like that.Very nice.I'll be keepin my eyes open for a nice piece of walnut or old barn board.
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#178056 - 11/27/08 08:31 AM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: Michelle_Nelson]
archer1953 Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 11/25/05
Posts: 131
Loc: Extreme NW Montana
Welcome Michele to Predator Masters. Have not seen you much on Taxi.net lately.
Hope all is well!

RD Martin
_________________________
I brake for Moose and Skunks!

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#178057 - 12/07/08 10:59 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: NorthernWY]
coyoteodie Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/06/08
Posts: 29
Loc: southern idaho
And he lived retarded ever after! Bet that hurt,pretty neat find though!
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Otis

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#178058 - 02/16/09 08:24 AM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: Tim Neitzke]
prescott Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 02/04/09
Posts: 92
Loc: Michigan
I am a taxidermist as well, I use the whitening products from Mckenzie taxidermy, for thirty bucks you get enough to do a dozen skulls. The Brightner and 40% peroxide is mixed into a paste, and paint it on to the skull, let dry for a day or so and brush off with a tooth brush. Works great and sunlight is not needed but if you want. It worked over night!

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#178059 - 04/02/09 10:57 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: prescott]
Brendan43 Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 12/10/07
Posts: 1307
Loc: Meridian,Idaho
I've done many skulls but I never can get them as creamy white as you guys do. What do you paint them with?
_________________________
Brendan

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#178060 - 05/28/09 05:02 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: Brendan43]
rizzo Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 293
Loc: Arizona's High Desert
I agree with Michelle that boiling and bleaching is a great way to destroy a skull. I've been using dermestid beetles for a couple of years now and in my opinion it is the only way to ensure a totally clean and undamaged skull. If my beetles are hungry enough, I don't even have to skin the head!

I use 40 Volume Peroxide for whitening, and it's always worked well, but based on a friend's recommendation I think I'm gonna try some Baquicil Oxidizer on my next skull.

Here's a few of mine:





_________________________
I AM A SURVIVOR of a Coyote in my lap

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#178061 - 06/02/09 08:07 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: crapshoot]
Tyler15 Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 507
Loc: Southern Vermont
I've never done a skull before so is there a bad smell when boiling the skull???

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#178062 - 07/13/09 08:15 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: Tyler15]
NdIndy Offline
PM senior

Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 5405
Loc: Viera FL
IME there is a bad smell whenever you _______ a skull (fill in the method of choice)

Out of all the methods I've tried, I appreciate my bugs the most. Well really, finding a massive rack already clean and sun bleached would be my #1 choice, but as far as being able to have what I want when I want, it's the beetles.
_________________________
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#1363149 - 09/01/09 05:53 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: Moe]
Wolfwoman Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 08/19/09
Posts: 255
Loc: Chickaloon, Alaska
So many skulls so little time...

If you want to know the lazy way to clean skulls, I can say I've done one or 5 hundred!!

Click for a slideshow...


Edited by Wolfwoman (09/01/09 05:57 PM)

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#1363385 - 09/01/09 10:03 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: Wolfwoman]
Tka250 Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 719
Loc: MN
I have a fox and coyote skull that I have just hung up out in the woods in the spring and got them when they were cleaned up. I still have to clean them up a little, but for the most part they are clean inside and out. The fox was better than the coyote. I'll have to get some peroxide to finish them up.
_________________________
Coyote Tribe 2018

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#1363395 - 09/01/09 10:08 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: Tka250]
Wolfwoman Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 08/19/09
Posts: 255
Loc: Chickaloon, Alaska
The only problem with doing them that way is the critters can get to them, and the birds. With small skulls holes can be poked in them and you risk losing the nasal bones.

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#1435565 - 12/07/09 12:05 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: Wolfwoman]
338jdj Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/23/09
Posts: 36
Loc: TN
Thought I saw someone on here that used beetles. I was looking to buy some and try that...anyone know who sell them..thanks

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#1435664 - 12/07/09 02:10 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: 338jdj]
Wolfwoman Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 08/19/09
Posts: 255
Loc: Chickaloon, Alaska
http://www.taxidermy.net/forum

Try there to buy some.

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#1465384 - 12/31/09 10:45 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: Wolfwoman]
nboost Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 12/20/05
Posts: 263
Loc: Here
I see you guys are using dawn, ammonia, and warm water to degrease the skulls, but how much are you using. What is the mixture ratio? Thanks

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#1465405 - 12/31/09 11:03 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: nboost]
WildEd Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 12/02/07
Posts: 477
Loc: Texas
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Make time for the important things in life.
http://wildedtx.blogspot.com/

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#1514616 - 02/06/10 12:59 AM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: WildEd]
Wolf Medicine Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 02/05/10
Posts: 66
Loc: Alberta's Wolf country.
For speed. And ease.. Boiling works just fine. Although you do have to be very careful of how you do it. I will cut as much meat as possible off before I start. Put A squeeze of dish soap in the water place skull in water and heat till boiling. Only let it boil for about ten minutes. Then go to your pressure washer, Or local car wash. And blast away. Be careful of the nasal cavity if you want to retain the honey comb. Blast from the back of the skull and in the brain cavity and the cartilage will mostly remove without loss. If it does not clean up with little picking after the first round you can do it again but boil for no more then five minutes heat the water with the skull in it!!! Once you have it cleaned up then peroxide it up the 40 volume hair stuff is 40% but you can find the 10-12% stuff alot easier it just takes considerably longer to whiten the skull to the desired effect. The dish soap and boiling breaks the grease out quick. Have done quite A few this way and have rarely had A tooth come loose. But I will admit it is fast but has to be done right. Cleaned and whitened in less then twenty four hours. End with A more natural white as I don't believe painting them looks good. A clear coat to seal them is A good idea but I have not had to do this. Have A lion skull from 2003 sitting on my desk that looks just the same as the day I put it up there. Am not exactly sure how to do pics on these forums but if I knew how I would put some up to show the results. Only thing I am great at with computers is making them freeze up...lol.... Good luck with any way you try it. But find something you don't really care about to practice on if you are not confident in your method. Any more involved questions I would be glad to answer.

Rhino.
_________________________
Test Pilot... If you don't understand.. Step back N watch.. You soon will....

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#1517978 - 02/08/10 02:01 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: Wolf Medicine]
archer1953 Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 11/25/05
Posts: 131
Loc: Extreme NW Montana
Rhino, You are off just a little. 40 volume is not 40%. Not even close. Another suggestion...never boil, simmer. ONE of the biggest problems with simmering or especially boilng is cooking the grease into the bone. It will NEVER whiten at this point unless you use paint. On small skulls ie., coyote, bobcat, fox, etc.....who is going to hold them while you blast away at the car wash? A few cookers do this with deer size and up with sucess. Still, while simmering never expect the same results as a beetle cleaned or macerated skull as wolfwoman suggested above.

10 vol = 3% H2O2
20 vol = 6% H2O2
30 vol = 9% H2O2
40 vol = 12% H2O2

_________________________
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#1535718 - 02/21/10 07:50 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: archer1953]
Wolf Medicine Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 02/05/10
Posts: 66
Loc: Alberta's Wolf country.
Archer, Your right on the 40 volume my bad. Simmering is A no go as it takes to long and breaks down the cartilage holding the teeth. Fast hot boil is preferable to me. Least amount of time for the desired effect. N you are wrong about the results of boiling. But as I said it has to be done right and do not recommend it for everyone. I have done many skulls and have no problems. Who holds them... I do.... And often just take out your rubber car mat, Lay it on the floor and put your boot on top of the skull. I never said you would come out of it in pristine condition. lol. I do take some to the beetles to avoid the car wash incidents. But still boil them after. The only ones I do anymore are ones that are going into the record books so retention of the teeth is paramount. N avoidance of shrinking of the skull. As in all things many ways of getting the job done. Also A good source for 10% H2O2 is A farm store often they have gallon jugs of the stuff. But it is liquid like water not the cream like the hair stuff.

Rhino.
_________________________
Test Pilot... If you don't understand.. Step back N watch.. You soon will....

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#1535769 - 02/21/10 08:18 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: Wolf Medicine]
Wolfwoman Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 08/19/09
Posts: 255
Loc: Chickaloon, Alaska
Boiling IS bad, you've been lucky.

Simmering isn't great, but it's ok.

And you WANT to get the cartilage out and clean in below the teeth or over time it's gonna stink. The more teeth you can remove, the better.

If you don't want the skull to shrink you don't simmer or boil as that ALWAYS shrinks it. Beetler are best for record skulls. Even maceration is better than boiling or simmering.

As I said, I've done a few hundred in various ways over the past 10 years.

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#1535822 - 02/21/10 08:52 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: Wolfwoman]
archer1953 Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 11/25/05
Posts: 131
Loc: Extreme NW Montana
C'mon Wolfie...I know you done more than that! I've done a couple of hundred this year. tt2 w00t smile
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#1535845 - 02/21/10 09:04 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: archer1953]
Wolfwoman Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 08/19/09
Posts: 255
Loc: Chickaloon, Alaska
LOL I haven't done any volume in skulls in about 2 years, just for friends and my stuff lately. I just haven't had the time to mess with them... I think last year I only did about 60.

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#1536223 - 02/22/10 08:32 AM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: Wolfwoman]
Wolf Medicine Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 02/05/10
Posts: 66
Loc: Alberta's Wolf country.
Odd. Have seen more shrinkage in skulls taking them to supposed professionals with beetles. And for official scoring if it comes off the skull then it doesn't count anymore. I must have A horse shoe permanently stuck LMAO. And I suppose my uncle that taught me must be just as blessed.. Wolfwoman your way is A good way. But it is not the only path one can walk.

Rhino.
_________________________
Test Pilot... If you don't understand.. Step back N watch.. You soon will....

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#1536289 - 02/22/10 09:56 AM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: Wolf Medicine]
archer1953 Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 11/25/05
Posts: 131
Loc: Extreme NW Montana
Wolf Medicine....your advice on many paths is one that goes without saying but when it comes to skulls ASK any OFFICIAL Scorer the preferred method for cleaning your trophy. Call ANY Musuem or ask any Osteologist the preferred methods of cleaning bones with minimal damage. Yes, there are many methods...maggots, ants, bury carcasses, use various forms of chemical maceration, use crustacea, bury in marine tidal zone, place in screen enclosures and drop off a pier, enzymatic methods, bury in sand boxes, use large quantities of manure, use alternative dermestid species, use sow bugs, use meal worms,etc,etc..

Boiling is probably the most common but definately the most damaging....especially by the novice.
_________________________
I brake for Moose and Skunks!

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#1536382 - 02/22/10 11:20 AM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: archer1953]
Wolf Medicine Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 02/05/10
Posts: 66
Loc: Alberta's Wolf country.
Archer. You are right. And my father is A OFFICIAL scorer. And anything done without care and skill ends poorly. As I said in my original post boiling is doable. But is something to be done carefully. Have A local outfit with beetles, I send many of my clients to them. $150 bucks and four months later they have A museum quality skull sitting on their trophy shelf. Not sure I would spend that money on A yote though...lol.. My non-resident clients that have skulls that are heading for the record books I handle myself. Not hunting A argument, Just stating facts. Have handled skulls personally for twelve years. And lord knows how many my father and uncle have done in their 60 years or so. So no I am not just lucky at it. And yes it has the potential to go wrong quickly. As all things do. Good informative thread for those looking at their options.

Rhino.
_________________________
Test Pilot... If you don't understand.. Step back N watch.. You soon will....

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#1603037 - 05/19/10 12:04 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: Tim Neitzke]
lon0121 Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 05/10/10
Posts: 2718
Loc: southern kentucky
i leave my skulls in a small chicken coop caged in outside from critters, them beatles clean the skull within 4 weeks and then i boil the skull and lightly spray white paint on it, then all i have to do is glue the teeth back in. i did this with a coon and possum from last year, my gray fox i kinda forgot about and left for about 4 months but it was bone clean..
i have a turkey skull still drying form this year as well!!
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#1603163 - 05/19/10 04:49 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: lon0121]
john007 Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 03/13/10
Posts: 2130
Loc: WV
Them turkey teeth is going to be a beast to put back in. lol
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#1603478 - 05/19/10 11:38 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: john007]
lon0121 Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 05/10/10
Posts: 2718
Loc: southern kentucky
haha yea its gonna be he11!!

lol


lonnie
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#1603567 - 05/20/10 02:51 AM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: Wolf Medicine]
Wolfwoman Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 08/19/09
Posts: 255
Loc: Chickaloon, Alaska
Originally Posted By: Wolf Medicine
Odd. Have seen more shrinkage in skulls taking them to supposed professionals with beetles. And for official scoring if it comes off the skull then it doesn't count anymore. I must have A horse shoe permanently stuck LMAO. And I suppose my uncle that taught me must be just as blessed.. Wolfwoman your way is A good way. But it is not the only path one can walk.

Rhino.


Very true, but it's the only one I use wink

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#1720678 - 11/17/10 07:14 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: Wolfwoman]
uttrapper Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 12/04/09
Posts: 98
Loc: s.w. utah
What type of stain or mixture do you use on the horns if they are bleached white from time?


Edited by uttrapper (11/17/10 07:15 PM)

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#1738807 - 12/04/10 07:51 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: uttrapper]
cjg Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 93
Loc: North Waterboro Maine
Get yourself some beetles, you can buy them on ebay, they clean them up nice and white and no lost teeth.

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#1739168 - 12/05/10 01:14 AM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: cjg]
VarmintOr Offline
New Member

Registered: 11/28/10
Posts: 8
Loc: Sothern Oregon
i have to say beetles it the simplest way to go, fast easy and very efficent. no shull shrinking and no cracked teeth,
i have done over 300 skulls and complete sketelons this year alone, and have done almost every triditional way to clean bone and beetles work the best for ME, this is all IMO but it works great for me!

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#2226641 - 05/31/12 09:14 AM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: crapshoot]
sittinpretty Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 05/18/12
Posts: 132
Loc: mid-ohio
Easiest way I found. Tried it out on a buck last year and was amazed. Cut it off at the kneck. Wrapped a metal chain with rubber coating (dogleash) around the antlers and threw it in the pond. Not actually threw, but tied it to the dock to keep it off the bottom. Didn't skin it nothing, no mess, no stink, hardley anytime, nor money. Came back a month later and checked on it and it was clean as a bone. Did have alittle discoloration to it but ur going to paint it anyways or brush a little peroxide/bleach combo. If I was to do it again I would try to keep the antlers out of the water. I wish I had pics but I ended up doing a shoulder mount on it. Just thought I would share, I know not everyone has a pond

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#2373649 - 12/27/12 09:53 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: sittinpretty]
erict Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 02/23/06
Posts: 420
Loc: near Albany, NY
Here's my first skull project using alot of the information from this thread (thanks to all!). I put this together as a Christmas present for my nephew and part of the gift was that he had to figure out where the teeth went and then Elmer's Glue the teeth in. I didn't get a chance to take a pic since.

Short story - shot red fox, cleaned skull, 3 day soak in water, simmered for about 1.5 hours in Dawn and Sal Soda solution to degrease. DO NOT boil, as this degrades the bone and will result in cracked teeth and also most or all of the teeth, like the tiny ones, will fall out and you will have to pick them out of the crud. Sal Soda causes many of the connective tissue bits to "gel" up and they are easier to remove. If you like to see the nasal cavity bones, such as on deer, you may need to simmer again or use beetles/maceration method. Pick off all of the bits and pieces of meat, etc using dental picks. Rinse, dry, about 24 hour soak in Baquacil Oxydizer (27% hydrogen peroxide pool chemical), rinse, dry, two coats of Krylon Matte Clear, glue in smaller teeth. Sand plaque, 3 coats polyurethane top, 2 coats poly back, made stencil for back, spray painted black, removed stencil, another coat of poly, apply three silicone feet on back, drilled hole and installed wooden dowel on front (skull brain stem hole slides down dowel perfectly). Nephew glued in remaining teeth.

I was pretty happy with the way it came out despite making a few mistakes here and there. Couldn't have done it without a friend who let's me hunt his properties AND gave me a few of these plaques from wood cut off those lands. Can't wait to try it again.

(pics updated Dec 2020)

Skull and teeth after whitening (it was missing the #3 incisor and molars did not come out during simmer)



Skull overturned and teeth (it is completely white, shadows caused color inside skull.)
*Note far right where dowel easily slides into brain cavity hole.




Jawbone and teeth




Curly Maple Plaque



Plaque and skull (minus major teeth)





Plaque reverse, skull and major teeth ready to be glued in






Edited by erict (12/05/20 05:51 PM)

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#2451494 - 03/02/13 01:41 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: crapshoot]
Yote Whacker Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 01/29/13
Posts: 78
Loc: USA
Very good info and very well done overall.Thank you for sharing such good and very cool stuff!

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#2497735 - 05/16/13 11:01 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: Yote Whacker]
J.Mark Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 02/09/13
Posts: 445
Loc: N.W.Wis.
I will add one other degreasing method I got from a skull guy at a taxidermy compitition.He said use Oxiclean,2 scoops per gallon.He said it works just as good as acitone.I quit doing skulls for my customers years ago.I just don't have time for it.My goal is to get out hunting more like I use to before I became a taxidermist.Mike Boyce of Animal Artistry in Reno Nevada ( They did all the Cabellas mountians )wrote years ago that "every taxidemist he had ever known,either Quit the buisness or grew mad at the world while he balded under florecent lights."I know what he meant.I have won a state best all around taxidermist award and several best of show and first place masters .Im the highest priced Taxidermist in the area and if my wife didnt have a good job I coulndt make it.I hardly get out anymore.Thats changing.Im scaling down,I hope.The thing that bothers me the most is that people think Taxidermists are loaded.Nothing could be further from the truth.Sorry for the rant it just slips out now and then

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#2612741 - 01/13/14 06:47 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: crapshoot]
coyotewhisperer Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 01/13/14
Posts: 56
Loc: Heart of Indiana
I've been killing a lot of coyotes and my buddy and i have been skinning them and freezing the pelts till we get stretchers to do the fleshing and drying,now that we have stretchers we heard that when you put them on the stretcher you're suppose to put the hide on inside out first then switch it after a little bit. I was wondering if this is true and if so how long should we leave it inside out before turning it fur side out and why you're suppose to do it anyways. thanks
_________________________
Good things come to those who shoot straight

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#2690099 - 06/08/14 07:42 AM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: crapshoot]
anthonyinva Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 09/07/08
Posts: 176
Loc: virginia
wow, lots of good info here I will be trying this fall

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#2795345 - 02/10/15 05:34 AM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: crapshoot]
COYOTEKILLERMILLER Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 11/16/02
Posts: 233
Loc: FLINT HILLS OF KANSAS
Here is the step by step process I have used for many years . When finished , My skulls end up looking like a plastic model

1. Place skull in crock pot until meat falls off bone.
2. Using a garden hose, Spray meat off and inside cranium with garden hose , teeth should come out at this point.
3. Fresh water in crock pot along with good amount of liquid dish soap to degrease bone. Let cook in hot soapy water for about the same amount of time or less than step one.
4. Spray off fine pieces
5. Place skull in Hydrogen peroxide and soak till white.

Tips: Do Not Bleach as bleach will make bone Chalky
Animals such as Bobcats and raccoon are more delicate and require less cook time than a heavier boned animals such as beaver and coyote.

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#2796849 - 02/12/15 07:48 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: crapshoot]
leebrown Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 01/13/08
Posts: 62
Loc: Virginia
What % hydrogen peroxide do you use? You never have to degrease either?

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#2796864 - 02/12/15 08:02 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: crapshoot]
Tbone-AZ Offline
PM senior

Registered: 10/04/12
Posts: 6884
Loc: AZ, Phoenix
turned out very nice.. Great job. looks amazing.
_________________________
Have fun being an [beeep].. I hope it's all you hoped for.

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#2796869 - 02/12/15 08:09 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: COYOTEKILLERMILLER]
leebrown Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 01/13/08
Posts: 62
Loc: Virginia
Originally Posted By: COYOTEKILLERMILLER
Here is the step by step process I have used for many years . When finished , My skulls end up looking like a plastic model

1. Place skull in crock pot until meat falls off bone.
2. Using a garden hose, Spray meat off and inside cranium with garden hose , teeth should come out at this point.
3. Fresh water in crock pot along with good amount of liquid dish soap to degrease bone. Let cook in hot soapy water for about the same amount of time or less than step one.
4. Spray off fine pieces
5. Place skull in Hydrogen peroxide and soak till white.

Tips: Do Not Bleach as bleach will make bone Chalky
Animals such as Bobcats and raccoon are more delicate and require less cook time than a heavier boned animals such as beaver and coyote.


What % peroxide do you use and do you ever have to degrease them?

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#2898257 - 12/18/15 01:39 AM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: crapshoot]
Jared Malbeck Offline
New Member

Registered: 11/14/15
Posts: 9
Loc: Connell Washington
This helps ALOT! ive been working on 2 different skulls for about 4 weeks now. there doing alright, but they could be doing better. ive just been boiling, then pulling off meat. i didnt get much meat off the secound one, but the first one was done pretty good. i kinda gave up in them and just let them sit in water for a while. its doing the job, but could be done better. thank you tons!

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#2898258 - 12/18/15 01:39 AM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: crapshoot]
Jared Malbeck Offline
New Member

Registered: 11/14/15
Posts: 9
Loc: Connell Washington
This helps ALOT! ive been working on 2 different skulls for about 4 weeks now. there doing alright, but they could be doing better. ive just been boiling, then pulling off meat. i didnt get much meat off the secound one, but the first one was done pretty good. i kinda gave up in them and just let them sit in water for a while. its doing the job, but could be done better. thank you tons!

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#2996497 - 09/29/16 08:41 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: crapshoot]
idahorob Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 04/25/16
Posts: 74
Loc: idaho
Well it's better to be safe than sorry

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#3260396 - 12/09/20 11:01 AM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: crapshoot]
erict Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 02/23/06
Posts: 420
Loc: near Albany, NY
My pics got deleted during the great online photo hosting reset, so they are now reloaded on my page 5 post: How to do a skull w/pics

I used a temp of 180 on my homemade "buck boiler" for several hours with a badger and fox skull. The bits and pieces are a little harder to get off vs. boiling but the teeth do not fall out nor did they crack - both issues if you boil. They came out nice.

Just purchased 1 gallon Baquacil oxidizer at local pool supply for $16.99, so the price is still reasonable. It can be reused and will keep for a while if stored properly. I think one could do a deer skull using only 1 gallon but it would require several steps unless you can figure out how to design a container that would submerge the entire thing using only 1 gallon.


Edited by erict (12/09/20 11:02 AM)

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#3263388 - 12/28/20 05:36 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: erict]
ssgtbatch Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/03/11
Posts: 31
Loc: NE Oregon
I use a small steralite plastic container. I only fill it up to below the antler bases and then lay paper towel over the parts of the skull thats not submerged. Wet the paper towels down with a big syringe. Keeps from whitening the antler bases. I seldom use baqaucil at full strength. 50/50 does a good job for me.

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