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Thread: Bear Skull, done, but the Sloooowwww way

  1. #1
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Default Bear Skull, done, but the Sloooowwww way

    Finally got my Black Bear skull finished,.....and I did it the homespun, as in "slow" way



    Was pretty busy this summer, couldn't find my aquarium heater I had from former Maceration jobs,
    we gave our Beetles away a while back,...So,....

    I just left it in a Covered Deck Bucket full of water,....for Months,...shot on 5/17
    just put the final coat of epoxy on it about two weeks ago

    I did use a Black Deck Bucket (that's your standard 5gal motor oil bucket) for heat retention
    and set it out of the way on the bow of the boat,

    changed the water a few times throughout the summer, and toward the end I started pouring heated water in there,
    it wasn't rotting away very quickly, so I just warmed it a little

    then finally started using soap,....I tried the stuff in the purple jug,...is it Super Clean(?) boat guys will know
    it's just a strong Degreaser
    (not sure I got the grease out as well as I should have tho,
    you can see on lower jaw and in back a bit of color there)



    and shortly afterward, I was hosing the gunk out of the brain cavity

    Unfortunately, working it on the dock, on one of the water changes,
    I was surprised how loose the teeth were,....yep,
    I watched one tiny front one slowly sinking to the bottom of the harbor

    For Scale, that is a .243 cartridge, 95 gr Partition,...."What it took," to take him down with only one,...
    and it measured 11 8/16 long, 7 1/16 wide,...for 18 9/16 total

    don't have the age yet, but he needed a dentist pretty bad


    Overall tho, I'm pretty happy, expecially with the delicate nose structure, preserved by liberal use of Epoxy
    that's just fiberglassing 2 part Epoxy by MAS
    but it seals it up pretty well, puts a little gloss to it, which some might prefer,
    but I like it to be durable, when the little boys get a hold of it,....

    and they sure do, first thing they want to do is stick their fiinger in the nose cavity,....Fun to watch tho

    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    I'm doing mine the same way. I started the degreasing phase last week. I can't think of a smellier process than maceration...whew!!!!!!

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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    I found adding a beer to the bucket helped speed the maceration process along. Adding borax slowed it way down!

    For the degreasing I would let them soak for a month in coleman fuel then in hot water with dawn dish washing soap. I tried setting them in the sun but that didn't seem to be warm enough in Anchorage last summer so I ended up putting them on top of the baseboard heater in my basement which worked great.

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    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by broncoformudv View Post
    I found adding a beer to the bucket helped speed the maceration process along. Adding borax slowed it way down!

    For the degreasing I would let them soak for a month in coleman fuel then in hot water with dawn dish washing soap. I tried setting them in the sun but that didn't seem to be warm enough in Anchorage last summer so I ended up putting them on top of the baseboard heater in my basement which worked great.
    I started degreasing with dawn and water with an aquarium heater. Should I start over with coleman fuel for a while?

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Looks nice,, reminds me that I have a few to get done.

    Congrats!!!

    Steve
    "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"
    Founding Member
    http://www.residenthuntersofalaska.org/

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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by broncoformudv View Post
    I found adding a beer to the bucket helped speed the maceration process along. Adding borax slowed it way down!

    For the degreasing I would let them soak for a month in coleman fuel then in hot water with dawn dish washing soap. I tried setting them in the sun but that didn't seem to be warm enough in Anchorage last summer so I ended up putting them on top of the baseboard heater in my basement which worked great.
    Hey, Adding a beer sounds like a great idea, thanks for that

    Now on the Coleman fuel,...gotta ask, can you totally get that smell out later with the soapy water ??
    I'm a little, "Fuel Smell Paranoid" heh heh
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    The fuel smell goes away when you use the dawn and hot water. I tried the aquarium heater but it did not get hot enough so I used it as well as my baseboard heater and that really seemed to do the trick! Make sure you let the teeth air dry and cool down before running them under water to wash off the soap! If you don't they stand a good chance of cracking.

    I had good luck going back and forth between the fuel and water soap mixture. I tried to let them sit in each solution for 3-4 weeks then rinse and switch. Amazing seeing how much fat and oil leached out of the skulls in the fuel.

  8. #8
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    glad to see you didn't rake all the nice little bones outa the nose, it looks sharp nice job!
    Www.blackriverhunting.com
    Master guide 212

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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    yeah, I was fairly amazed how well the inner structure was preserved,...by just gentle soaking and draining

    last time I worked one, I somehow messed that all up by pressure spraying water in there, to "Flush it"
    or it may have been that I used compressed air,...
    but this time it all just drained out nicely, tho I was more than a little Careful with that part,....No Pressure washing at all

    one of the coolest parts of the Bear Skull idea, seeing how sharp their Olfactory Awareness must be,...good to show kids too
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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