Help me with euro mount

Discussion in 'Taxidermy' started by IA Monsterbuck, Sep 17, 2018.

  1. IA Monsterbuck

    IA Monsterbuck AH Veteran

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    I have a couple of animals back that I just want to do skull mounts on. I assume they have been thoroughly boiled but the skulls are fairly yellow so I assume I need to whiten them and somehow degree them.

    Can someone give me tips on what to do and what order to do it in. Do you whiten then degrease or degrease then whiten?

    What is the best way to degrease? I bought some whitener at the beauty supply store. How long do you usually leave that on?

    Sorry for all the questions but want it to turn out right. Here's the impala skull I want to do first.

    uploadfromtaptalk1537238146731.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 18, 2018

  2. Bhfs300

    Bhfs300 AH Fanatic

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    To whiten the skulls I had I got a bottle of hydrogen peroxide used a cotton rag and put the rag on the skull and kept it wet with the HP for a couple days.

    That made it very white.

    Tom
     
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  3. slam8031

    slam8031 AH Enthusiast

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    Higher percentage peroxide works great. This product can be found in hair care stores in A gel form. Professionally you can get 60% hp which works fantastic. Degreasing can be accomplished with a soak in dish detergent solution. Look up dermestid beetles and there are some how to videos and info out there.
     

  4. mark-hunter

    mark-hunter AH Enthusiast

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    What I do is following:
    I boil the skulls in water with maybe two spoons of cloth washing detergent.
    The detergent does not whiten the scull, but it does soften any fat tisues. (detergents disolve the fat) In this way removal of fat is easier.

    Time of boilng depends of size of the animal, up to hour for roe deer, two hours maybe for fallow deer, etc
    Once the tissue is easy to remove by hand tools, boiling is finished.
    In first phase, most important is to take care not to overboil the head.

    After that, I use modern technology, to remove tissue I wash it off by using high pressure washing gun.
    In this phase most important is to take care not to brake soft and smaller bones in frontal nose area.

    Once all is clean, and still wet, I apply peroxide solution (30%), and leave it on the sun for day or two to dry. If the head is small I just sink it in perixude, if the head is big, I just apply peroxide with a brush.

    The last thing to do, once it is dry, is to mount it on the plaque.
     

  5. Adrian

    Adrian AH Fanatic

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    With the skull pictured you need to boil it to degrease it. There shouldn't be any tissue remaining.

    Find a pot big enough to accommodate it and get some water on the boil.
    Add some washing powder and some washing up liquid to degrease the bone.
    Don't go over the top with this. Too much will turn the bone chalky and the surface powdery.

    Make sure that you do NOT immerse the horns or base of the horns. You might need to rig a system to suspend the skull in the water and keep the horns free.
    Because you aren't removing tissue it may not take long on the boil so keep an eye on it.

    When the grease or as much grease as possible has been removed, you will be able to see this as the bone dries, you need to apply the peroxide.

    It's very important to do this when the skull is wet so put it in a bucket of cold water to cool off and keep wet.

    I use creme of peroxide that hairdressers use. I get it off ebay.
    Try and get the highest concentration you can find.

    Now, go somewhere where it won't matter if some splashes. Wear overalls or an apron or clothes you don't mind ruining.

    I have a flat, rectangular stainless steel tray and I pour the peroxide over the skull, into all the cavities and nasal channels.
    I then apply it liberally with a soft paint brush working into all the crevices and holes.

    Set it aside for twelve hours minimum but make sure you keep the brush handy to reapply the peroxide as it runs off, keep as much on the bone as you can.

    After your twelve hours, pick up the skull and tip the peroxide into your tray, scrape it off. I usually rebottle it for another time.

    When you have got rid of as much as you can rinse the skull under cold running water to remove all of the peroxide.

    Then hang or place your skull in a warm sunny place to dry.
    The sun really does help with the bleaching so do it when the weather is favorable.
     

  6. IA Monsterbuck

    IA Monsterbuck AH Veteran

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    Thanks!
     
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  7. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Were it mine, I definitely would not boil it again. I have done dozens of these over the years. Normal drugstore peroxide works perfectly. Pack cotton around and inside the skull - get it thoroughly moist with the peroxide and pack it closely. The cotton holds the peroxide against the bone. Let it sit there for 24 hours and it will be brilliant white.
     
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  8. Adrian

    Adrian AH Fanatic

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    Here's a useful video.

     

  9. cmc

    cmc AH Senior Member

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    Boiling is very hard on bone. A simple aquirum heater set in a bucket of water with dawn soap and ammonia will cut the grease. You will see it start to form on the top of the water. It may take a week or it may take a month depending on the critter. The hogs I do take 6 weeks sometimes but a whitetail will be done in days. Boiling will make bone brittle. This isn’t as noticeable on the heavy boned African game but I still avoid a “boil”, hot yes but not boil. After the grease stops coming to the top then 27% peroxide from any beauty supply will whiten it. Remember light breaks done peroxide and heat activates it, that’s why it comes in brown or solid white bottles so the light doesn’t get it. I use the paste and paint it all over then sit it in a dark warm place or even sit in front of a space heater. I’ve done 100s of skulls of all sizes and this works. That peroxide is no joke, do not get it on your skin, I lost all my fingerprints once.
     

  10. TXhunter65

    TXhunter65 AH Senior Member

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    40 volume creme.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2018

  11. cmc

    cmc AH Senior Member

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    Oh and I might add that the peroxide does NOT degrease, it only “bleaches” the grease. It will show itself again in time if its not out of the bone. It can be very difficult to get out in bone that has been boiled. Boiling will often times set it deeper into the bone.
     

  12. Sand Rat

    Sand Rat AH Fanatic

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    The Impala skulls are usually pretty fragile around the nose/ sinus area so be careful if you try to boil. I've had good luck with Dawn dishwashing soap and a scoop of Oxyclean to remove the yellowing at a warm simmer. Then start the peroxide treatment of choice, I've used the stuff from the beauty supply house and the drugstore with about the same results, the lower concentration stuff just takes a little longer. Here's pics of the last two I did. Both were done from scratch and were simmered and pressure washed first.

    image.jpg image-2.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 20, 2018
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  13. JimP

    JimP AH Elite

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    Boiling is just a term people use to get the tissue off of the skull. The correct term should be simmer, you should never let the water/detergent mixture get to a boil. Once the tissue is off of the skull I'll put about a 1/4 cup of Dawn dish washing detergent into the pot with enough water to cover the skull and simmer for a while longer and then rinse. Sometimes with very greasy skulls I'll do this twice or even three times.

    The for the final prep I'll use some Basic White and the 40 volume crème developer and make a paste that I can brush on with a small 1" paint brush. Then place it in a plastic bag and let it sit for a few days. The final rinse is just plain old water.

    Here is the whole process that I do with fresh skulls but the last part will work for one that is close to being ready to hang:


    1. Don't fret about taking all the meat, brains, etc. out before hand. Get what you can.

    2. If you don't mind some smell, it doesn't hurt to let the skull "ripen" a bit. I usually wrap in plastic bags and let them sit for a few days. Not necessary, but speeds up the process a bit.

    3. NEVER BOIL, as in don't ever BOIL a skull.

    4. Get some sal soda (washing soda). I usually put 1-2 cups in my (large) "boiling" (again don't boil a skull, EVER) pot. Simmer for a couple hours. The key here is the washing soda, the cartilage, meat, etc. will literally start falling off and you don't need to scrape, power wash, use brushes, none of that B.S.

    5. Replace water, this time I usually put just a bit more sal soda (not much) and about a half bottle of dawn, and dawn dish soap only. Simmer, did I mention to NEVER BOIL???, for a few hours. For greasy skulls like bears, I usually repeat this step to make sure the grease is all pulled from the skull.

    6. Go to a Sally's or some other beauty supply store that has hair salon stuff...pick up a gallon container of 40 volume crème developer, while you're there, get a container of basic white (powdered stuff). Trust me on the gallon size, you'll be doing this every time you do a skull from here on out.

    7. Fill a plastic bowl with basic white and mix in the crème developer...it should be smooth, thickish paste. Be careful to NOT get any of this on antlers, unless you like white antlers. I use a paint brush and paint the mixture all over the skull, don't get cheap, apply it pretty heavy. Wrap the skull in plastic bags (I usually use plastic grocery store bags for deer and pronghorn, use tall white kitchen bags for elk). Walk away for 3-5 days.

    8. Open bag, rinse the skull in water and let dry.
     

  14. geoff rath

    geoff rath AH Enthusiast

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    This whole thread is VERY informative, lots of knowledge out there, and folk are happy to share ...... Just great.
     

  15. wesheltonj

    wesheltonj AH Elite

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    You could just place the skull near some fire ants, they will take care of anything left on the skull.:whistle:
     

  16. JimP

    JimP AH Elite

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    That would be the only reason to want some fire ants in your area.

    Back when I was a kid and lived in Texas we used to come up with some neat mounts by placing dead lizards on the ant pile and as long as the birds left the lizard alone we would pick it up in just a couple of days and the skeleton would be perfectly clean.
     

  17. scott fairchild

    scott fairchild New Member

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    Another tip to help keep the skull white for years is to apply a couple coats of WHITE Elmer's glue, this will also help hold some of the small and more delicate bones in place. Once dry apply 1-2 light coats of flat or satin clear finish. The finish makes it a little easier to wipe the dust off.
     

  18. Denvir Tire

    Denvir Tire AH Member

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    I think that Hydrogen Peroxide at 30% or 60% concentration can be rather hazardous, please be careful...
     

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