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#636186 - 02/14/07 01:40 PM Help - How do I remove the shell from a cow horn
Rocksteady Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 01/12/07
Posts: 97
Loc: Cranbrook, British Columbia, C...
Never done this before so please bear with me..

Have a dead cow, want to remove the horns, so that someone can make a howler (not me...). So if I take a saw and cut them off the head, will the outer shell just slip off??

I am sure it depends on the curve of the horn etc, but how do you get them off???

Want to make sure I do it right, rather than ruining them...HOw do you clean them ??? I want to ship them in good condition, not smelling...

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#636187 - 02/14/07 01:44 PM Re: Help - How do I remove the shell from a cow horn [Re: Rocksteady]
TonyTebbe Offline
Retired PM Staff.

Registered: 10/31/03
Posts: 18681
Loc: Lovington, NM
After you cut them off, you'll need to remove the core. If it's a fresh kill, then it'll be a bloody/grisly core. The best way is to boil them till you cook the core. Then pull them out of the water and pull the core out. If it is still stuck in there, boil more.

If it's an older kill, sometimes you can just tap the horn a few times and the core will come out.

Tony
_________________________
Loving my Kids, Loving my Woman, Loving my Dogs, Loving my Job..........Loving my Life!

Tony Tebbe

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#636188 - 02/14/07 02:38 PM Re: Help - How do I remove the shell from a cow horn [Re: TonyTebbe]
Mason_Jarr Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 02/03/03
Posts: 1140
Loc: Southern Idaho
If they'll fit in a microwave oven you can loosen them up enough to pop it out. It kind of stinks up the house though.
_________________________
"Never pay someone to do something you're capable of doing yourself."
"Boy, if it causes ya more grief than pleasure, turn loose of it!" - My Dad, redneck philosopher


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#636189 - 02/14/07 02:53 PM Re: Help - How do I remove the shell from a cow horn [Re: Mason_Jarr]
Hawks Feather Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 1046
Loc: Northwest Ohio
I think that the comment "kind of stinks up the house" might be an understatement. That is unless you have an industrial fan located in your kitchen. But it is the best way to get the core out.

Jerry

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#636190 - 02/14/07 03:00 PM Re: Help - How do I remove the shell from a cow horn [Re: Hawks Feather]
RezDoggin Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 12/29/05
Posts: 616
Loc: Northern New Mex
Best way to get the core out and everyone else out.....of your house that is
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I'll call you shoot, You miss, he's mine!

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#636191 - 02/14/07 08:47 PM Re: Help - How do I remove the shell from a cow horn [Re: RezDoggin]
Savage270NM Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 12/03/06
Posts: 258
Loc: Deming, NM
A little off topic but... How long do the horns remain 'workable'? Meaning if I found a set that is several years old and looks it, can they be polished out?
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"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" George Santayana (1863–1952) And yes, this applies to past presidents as well...

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#636192 - 02/15/07 01:06 AM Re: Help - How do I remove the shell from a cow horn [Re: Savage270NM]
TonyTebbe Offline
Retired PM Staff.

Registered: 10/31/03
Posts: 18681
Loc: Lovington, NM
I have built howlers from horns that have been in a barn over 80 years. As long as the termites stay out of them, it's amazing how long a horn will last.
_________________________
Loving my Kids, Loving my Woman, Loving my Dogs, Loving my Job..........Loving my Life!

Tony Tebbe

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#636193 - 02/15/07 01:57 AM Re: Help - How do I remove the shell from a cow horn [Re: TonyTebbe]
Savage270NM Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 12/03/06
Posts: 258
Loc: Deming, NM
Thanks Tony...

I'm assuming you guys start off with varying grits of sand paper, working up to a superfine grit. Then a polishing wheel???
_________________________
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" George Santayana (1863–1952) And yes, this applies to past presidents as well...

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#636194 - 02/15/07 10:21 AM Re: Help - How do I remove the shell from a cow horn [Re: Savage270NM]
Rocksteady Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 01/12/07
Posts: 97
Loc: Cranbrook, British Columbia, C...
Thanks for the info, I will give it a try this weekend and get back to you with how it worked....

Do you add anything (baking soda?) etc to help with the smell???

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#636195 - 02/15/07 10:45 AM Re: Help - How do I remove the shell from a cow horn [Re: Savage270NM]
TonyTebbe Offline
Retired PM Staff.

Registered: 10/31/03
Posts: 18681
Loc: Lovington, NM
Quote:

Thanks Tony...

I'm assuming you guys start off with varying grits of sand paper, working up to a superfine grit. Then a polishing wheel???




Yes. I have instructions documented in my "build a howler" thread pinned to the top of the forum.

In a nutshell, I use 100 grit on a belt sander first, then 100, 150, 220, 400, and 600 grit on an orbital sander. After that, Tripoli Rouge on a cotton wheel on the bench grinder.

Rocksteady, Good luck on the horns and keep us posted.

Tony
_________________________
Loving my Kids, Loving my Woman, Loving my Dogs, Loving my Job..........Loving my Life!

Tony Tebbe

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#636196 - 02/17/07 12:02 PM Re: Help - How do I remove the shell from a cow horn [Re: TonyTebbe]
Joe Bradshaw Offline
Die Hard Member with a vengeance

Registered: 10/08/04
Posts: 4837
Loc: Ozark, Arkansas
Guys....get a cheapie microwave at WallyWorld, and an extension cord....take it outside......no smell.

Joe
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If I build them...they will come.


FOXPRO Field Staff - Mossy Oak Field Staff

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#636197 - 02/18/07 09:41 PM Re: Help - How do I remove the shell from a cow horn [Re: Joe Bradshaw]
Rocksteady Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 01/12/07
Posts: 97
Loc: Cranbrook, British Columbia, C...
How many hours of boiling does it usually take.

I boiled mine for about 3 hours today and the still won't come out......Not as s melly as I was expecting though....

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#636198 - 02/19/07 02:38 PM Re: Help - How do I remove the shell from a cow horn [Re: Rocksteady]
Hawks Feather Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 1046
Loc: Northwest Ohio
I really have not boiled any out for quite a few years, but it might depend on the thickness of the horn and how fresh it was. I did them outside on a campfire and didn't check them four to five hours. I just kept them boiling by adding water and wood when needed. They might have been "done" prior to that, I just didn't bother to check them sooner. I did have to use a pair of channel lock pliers to get ahold of the core to pull the core out. I was never able to have them just fall out. I am not sure if you can over-boil the horn, but it never seemed to affect the ones that I did.

Jerry

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#636199 - 02/20/07 01:52 AM Re: Help - How do I remove the shell from a cow horn [Re: Hawks Feather]
KeeKee Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 01/10/03
Posts: 3020
Loc: law co Ohio
I boil my horns till they get soft. I do 10 or so at a time. After they get soft, take them out of the water and let them air cool untill the dont flex on the walls. Then give them a few taps on the side against someting hard and pull out the core.

Even after the core is out you will need to sand the inside of the horn. (takes the smell out) I use 80 grit bear tex. Then work up in grits till they have the fininish look I want, and seal them with sealer, then clear coat and buff. ( No smell at all after this is complete).

On the out side I start with 80 Grit and go all the way to a 12,000 micro wet sand. And then go to a wet sand vibrate sander to finish,then clear coat three times and buff threw 3 compounds.

Brent

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#636200 - 02/20/07 09:33 AM Re: Help - How do I remove the shell from a cow horn [Re: KeeKee]
Buckrun Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 04/23/01
Posts: 299
Loc: Lima, OH. USA
I use to pick up cow horns from a local butcher shop each week. I built a fire near a wood fence post. I put a hook on the post. Then get a pot of water on the fire.

Before I boiled the horns I would drill a hold and screw an eye bolt in the bone of the horn. After I got the horns to boiling I would take one out hook it to the fence post and yank the horn off.

After I had all the horns done I would unscrew all the eye bolts for the next weeks horns.

I haven't done this for over 20 years. But as I remember it only took 20 minutes or so of boiling. It's been a while since I did it though.

Another thing to think about. After you pull the core out. While the horne is still hot and soft you can shape it some. Put it in a vice and flaten the sides. Or push something round that is the size of the large end of the horn in to make it more round if the horn looks a little out of shape. Let it dry and it will take the shape you want it. More or less.

Steve


Edited by Buckrun (02/20/07 09:40 AM)

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