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Thread: Cleaning fresh moose head for european skull mount

  1. #21
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    I tried the trash can method. It worked pretty well but I was unable to get the top of the skull between the antlers. The whole skull is 27 inches long so I have had trouble finding a container big enough to soak it in. If anyone knows of a container that would work better please let me know! I used oxyclean in with the boil and it worked like a charm but I still need to degrease the area between the antlers and have some concerns with turning my antlers white if i dip them in too far. Might just go straight to the hydrogen peroxide paste and see if that takes car of it. A power washer would have saved me hours and a lot of frustration removing all of the cartilage around the base of the skull. The brains came out easy compared to the rest. Also, I pealed off some old velvet and washed away blood on the back of one antler. What kind of stain do people use to get color back on the antlers?

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    Theres a moose in the trash can
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    Quote Originally Posted by tanmanSD View Post
    IMG_1131 (2).jpgIMG_1118.jpg
    I tried the trash can method. It worked pretty well but I was unable to get the top of the skull between the antlers. The whole skull is 27 inches long so I have had trouble finding a container big enough to soak it in. If anyone knows of a container that would work better please let me know!
    not the cheapest container but... (that is not me, its just a stock google image that shows just how big it is)

    They do make different sizes.

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    Reviving an old thread here...

    Any issues using galvanized steel (tubs or trash cans) to simmer a moose skull in? Obviously I won't be standing near/around the skull while its simmering in the water/solution except when I'm putting the container on the burner and random checking to ensuring the horns aren't in the water.

    Thanks in advance!
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    Have never had an issue with galvanized containers. I've also used a 55 gallon drum cut just above half to 2/3 up.....the long way, then cut a couple notches to accommodate the antlers and you can nearly submerse it. I set this on top of my crab boiler dealio with cribbing on each end to keep it all stable. It also helps to get some metal roofing or sheet metal to cover as much of it as you can so that it keeps the heat in as you simmer.

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    why dont more people use beetles? They seem to be the easiest.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chez View Post
    why dont more people use beetles? They seem to be the easiest.
    Never tried it, but I understand it's really stinky and trying to keep them from escaping is difficult. Also, they're a specific type of beetle that one must order, and once the skull is done, most folks wouldn't have a use for them.

    Having done boiling, maceration, and pressure washing, I'm a big fan of pressure washing for a robust skull like a moose.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    I'm a big fan of pressure washing for a robust skull like a moose.
    If I never pressure wash a moose skull again in my life it will be too soon...rain gear and face shield highly recommended.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch It View Post
    Have never had an issue with galvanized containers. I've also used a 55 gallon drum cut just above half to 2/3 up.....the long way, then cut a couple notches to accommodate the antlers and you can nearly submerse it. I set this on top of my crab boiler dealio with cribbing on each end to keep it all stable. It also helps to get some metal roofing or sheet metal to cover as much of it as you can so that it keeps the heat in as you simmer.
    That works. Also, put an old towel over the little bit of skull that isn't submersed so the towel can wick the hot water up to that part of the skull.

  10. #30
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    Interesting that this thread resurfaced today. I spent yesterday helping a friend simmer a skull she found. Fortunately most had rotted off by time she found it, but what was still left is dried on. Will likely take a few interactions of simmering to get it all clean. Need to work on a better supposed system for the trash can.

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  11. #31

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    Boil in the trash can or large water trough for 2-3 hours. Pick off the meat and dig out the brains. Do it again. And maybe even a third time. Then soak in a large container full of a solution of water and biz detergent. The biz detergent has enzymes that remove the tough cartilage and connective tissues. Soak in the biz for about 3 days (minimum). Then scrape off all the tissue with a soft brush. Then soak the skull in hydrogen peroxide for another 3 days (minimum) to whiten the skull. The other option is to buy the good stuff. The highly concentrated hydrogen peroxide they sell at the beauty supply store. Wipe the paste on the skull but DO NOT GET THE PEROXIDE ON THE ANTLERS or else you will risk bleaching the antlers. When you are all done, glue in the teeth and paint the skull with modge podge. Last but not least, spray with lacquer.

  12. #32
    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Made a few of these for taxidermists which are used on moose and bou. The side shields deflect flame away from the antlers.
    A mesh basket set in the pot is great for bear and other smaller skulls.
    Bk

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  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian in AK View Post
    If I never pressure wash a moose skull again in my life it will be too soon...rain gear and face shield highly recommended.
    True, but if one simmers it first and gets the major mushy stuff off, it's more of a finish method than the bulk of material removal. It's key to remember that this takes a lot of patience. Get the boiler set up, get your borax and dish soap in the water get to a simmering near boil, then wait.....a few hours, pull it out, scramble the brains with a bent piece of wire clothes hanger in a cordless drill, trim what is loose, repeat, then potentially repeat again. Then powerwash, then cover in paper towel and pour peroxide on it ......wait a day or two and voila.

  14. #34
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    Thanks to everyone who chimed in.


    STEVEN_JR - what did you use to cut that trash can?

    BKMAIL - PM me a price on one of those - please!
    When all else fails...ask your old-man.


    AKArcher

  15. #35
    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Pm sent my friend!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Never tried it, but I understand it's really stinky and trying to keep them from escaping is difficult. Also, they're a specific type of beetle that one must order, and once the skull is done, most folks wouldn't have a use for them.

    Having done boiling, maceration, and pressure washing, I'm a big fan of pressure washing for a robust skull like a moose.
    From what I've heard the beetles will stick around as long as there is meat to eat, I dont know about the smell.

    Down south my brother buried a deer skull in the dirt over winter and in late spring the bugs ate everything and it was spotless

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKArcher View Post
    Thanks to everyone who chimed in.


    STEVEN_JR - what did you use to cut that trash can?

    BKMAIL - PM me a price on one of those - please!
    I used a jig saw with a blade for cutting metal. Cut it quick! Note, make sure you get a can that holds liquid. This one leaks slightly, so we lined it with a contractor garbage bag to keep the water in place.

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  18. #38
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    Default Cleaning fresh moose head for european skull mount

    I soaked my moose skull in cold water for 3 days and then today I simmered it for about an hour then pressure washed most of it and then let it simmer for another half hour and then washed again. It turned out pretty clean I think, but I was using a 3800 psi washer so there were pieces of flesh all over me and the driveway lol.
    Now I just need to soak it in peroxide..does it matter how long the skull lays around in the garage before I soak it, or do I need to do it asap?

  19. #39
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    The whitening process can wait a few days, no problem. I would not store it in a garbage bag though till you can whiten it.
    Nice moose, it will look great.
    Bk
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkmail View Post
    The whitening process can wait a few days, no problem. I would not store it in a garbage bag though till you can whiten it.
    Nice moose, it will look great.
    Bk
    Cool, thanks!

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