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Thread: How to get hair and flesh off a skull

  1. #1
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    How to get hair and flesh off a skull

    What is the easiest way to get hair and flesh off a skull? I read somewhere maybe acid or bleach.



    It is to hard to when it has dried up already.


  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by cbyzerman View Post
    What is the easiest way to get hair and flesh off a skull? I read somewhere maybe acid or bleach.

    It is to hard to when it has dried up already.
    If it is dried up, soak it in a bucket of water for a few days and then you can cut it off with a knife.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by OHIOBUCK View Post
    If it is dried up, soak it in a bucket of water for a few days and then you can cut it off with a knife.
    A few days? good luck... That is the best thing you can do though, just takes forever after the hide has dried up.

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    Be careful with that acid you use if you use that. My dad used some a few years ago and it started to get on his antlers and change them colors and started to eat at the skull plate. Had to use vinager to control it and take it out.

    I would suggest a good sharp knife and boil the shull. Get as much meat and hair off with the knife as you can then boil then scrape. Then repeat until clean. Sometimes boiling will weakend the skull though. Good luck.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OHIOBUCK View Post
    If it is dried up, soak it in a bucket of water for a few days and then you can cut it off with a knife.
    Yep!
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    I don't know where the acid idea came from, but that won't help in the least. In fact, it will make things worse. As already mentioned, let soak for a week or so. It won't smell pleasant, but it's the best way. I would really discourage anyone from boiling, but it can work. It can also destroy the skull plate.
    Last edited by M.Magis; November 24th, 2008 at 02:59 PM.

  7. #7
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    our Taxidermist here told me one time that you can take a pan of water...add ashes to it to form a pasty liquid and it will eat the flesh off...i havent ever tried it but he said they do it a lot
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbyzerman View Post
    What is the easiest way to get hair and flesh off a skull? I read somewhere maybe acid or bleach.

    It is to hard to when it has dried up already.
    Has anything been removed or is all the skin and fur still on it?

  9. #9
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    Sodium Carbonate

    The best way would be to procure some Sodium Carbonate from Van Dykes (I've also heard of people use Arm & Hammer laundry soup), and then boil the skull in it for a few hours. The meat practically falls off the skull, then you're left with a nice white Euro Mount.


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    Taxdermist use these beateles from africa.
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    Vastly simpler and more effective is to put it in a fireant bed, wait a day or two, then pull it out by the antler. The ants do all the work and pick it completely clean.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yellowfin View Post
    Vastly simpler and more effective is to put it in a fireant bed, wait a day or two, then pull it out by the antler. The ants do all the work and pick it completely clean.

    Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner. Natural taxidermy.

    Just remember to plant it in the bed quickly as those mean little bastages swarm quickly. If you forget to be quick on your first attempt at this technique, trust me, you'll move faster on subsequent attempts.

  13. #13
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    More help

    I do these for a local taxidermist... With greatg success and bleach white results.


    I use a pressure washer that I own but you can take it to a do ot yourself car wash. High pressure it off after all the hair is gone. You can actually blow the brains right out the nasal cavity this way and not have to mess with them. Then when its all clean it will have a yellowish look (the bone) Soak it in laquer thinner for 24 hours wich will break down the grease from the bone. Rinse off with water let dry and your done. Bleach will soften the bone even though it will work . This method is the easiest Ive found with less time and best overall results. This leaves a chaulk white final project that is strong. Any other ????? just PM me
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  14. #14

    re

    I wouldnt use acid.

    I used a knife/ scalpel to clean skin/ meat from the face, then I boiled it in Arm & Hammer powder Laundry detergent.

    This worked well, then I cleaned the remaining hanging meat off with a scalpel.

    I then used #40 Peroxide Cream, which bleached it beautifully. The cream stays on and kinda sticks to the face, as compared to the liquid which you would need to use a lot of it.

    Ya can get the cream Peroxide at Beauty solons(usualy used for bleaching hair) I got mine at Sally's.

    This is what I did for my Euro Mount, and it worked great. Good Luck
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  15. #15
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    Maceration

    Look up maceration at taxidermy.net, there's a lot of info on it there.

    It is basically rotting the flesh off the bone underwater.Bacteria form, and that is what does the work. The results will be far superior to anything you can do at this point. Boiling is tough on the bones.

    This technique is not for everyone.
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  16. #16
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    We have a local guy around here that you just bring the head to and he does all the work. He skins it out and cleans it up a little. Then he puts it in a tank with flesh eating beatles and in 3 days its picked completely clean right into the pores of the bone. Then he uses an agent(I think its peroxide or something like it) that get gets swabbed on and overnight the bone turns snow white. He does all this for 90 bucks. Then for another 25 he mounts it to a decerative wood wall plaque. Seems like a good deal not to mess with it. Our local toxi even takes his there now cuz he says you can't beat the beatles. Maybe you can find someone with beatles and see what they charge just to throw your skull in the tank for a few days.

  17. #17
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    my skull is being ate by the beetles right now...i guess its only like a 4 week or so turn around...getting the meat off yourself is a pain in the @$$ imo...i just let the taxidermy do it...they let the beetles eat on it for about 2 weeks...boil it real quick to make the leftover in the cracks and any other spot come out and they stick it back in with beetles and they finish it off...
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  18. #18
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    I bury mine in the yard for a couple months. Then dig it up and rinse it off. Works like a charm. just don't forget where you buried it
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    .......

    They are called "Dermestid" beetles...go to the link below and it has info on how this guy uses the beetles. From what I have heard it's not practical to use these beetles unless you are in the business because they aren't effective until they are mature and you have to buy them young and raise them and they require a stable temp so guess where you prob need to keep them? In your house! Anyway...if you have fire ants I would try them!

    www.troyskulltaxidermy.com
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  20. #20
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    ........

    Ok...so I just read more on the beetles...it's the larvae that feed the most on flesh so you buy the adults and have to wait on the young. I was backwards. It's like that in Arkansas ya know.
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  21. #21
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    Once a skull dries out with the hide and hair on it, the beetles will have a hard time cleaning it. I have the dermestid beetles, I know.

    If your going to do a european, don't let the skull get petrified, or rotten!
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottparker View Post
    I bury mine in the yard for a couple months. Then dig it up and rinse it off. Works like a charm. just don't forget where you buried it

    This is what I do too, works good
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  23. #23
    I have a buddy who has taken the skull and buried it over the winter. The organisms in the soil will eat away anything undesirable, and in the spring, spray off the dirt and you have a good skull.

  24. #24
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    i use Dermestid Beetles and they are awesome.

  25. #25
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    Flesh and hair? Knife and pull. after that you can use the beetles or what ever method you choose.

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