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skull collecting


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#16 daytime dave OFFLINE  

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Posted February 20, 2012 - 03:32 PM

The snake vertebrae necklace is interesting, never heard of one until 2 minutes ago haha.


Me too.

Nice job on the squirrels Ryan.

How to you clean them? I ask because my step son has made a couple of these deer skulls with the Bucks he has gotten. He boils them for hours and then cleans the little bits that are left. Just wondering how you do it?

#17 chris m ONLINE  

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Posted February 20, 2012 - 03:44 PM

Great collection you have there Ryan! :thumbs:

#18 Ryan313 OFFLINE  

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Posted February 20, 2012 - 04:15 PM

Thanks guys!

Dave, tell your son to stop boiling his skulls! Boiling sets blood and grease into the bone and it will never ever never be all pretty and white unless you paint it. I macerate mine, maceration is a prosses were you put the head into water and heat it to 80-90 dergrees. I use an aquarium heater set at 89 degrees. My deer skulls take about 2-3 weeks depending on size and how much meat is on them. No matter what prosses you use to get the flesh off bones need to be degreased. White tails take about 4-8 weeks to degrease. To degrease you put the head into water and dawn soap then heat it to 110-130 degrees. I have mine at 120 with a heating element and thermistate. After decreasing fully you can whiten it by putting it into peroxide, time in peroxide depends on strength of the peroxide and how white you want it. Then glue the death back in and any bones that fell off or came loose and your done! The squirrels took me just over a month if he wants to boil them, at least tell him to simmer them not boil and they will look better and the bones wont deteriorate as much.
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#19 mjodrey OFFLINE  

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Posted February 20, 2012 - 04:20 PM

Nice skulls ,Ryan.

#20 daytime dave OFFLINE  

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Posted February 20, 2012 - 05:42 PM

Thanks Ryan, I'll do that.

#21 Ryan313 OFFLINE  

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Posted February 20, 2012 - 05:43 PM

Thanks Ryan, I'll do that.


Depending on the weather you can just leave the buckets with water in the sun. I will take some pics of my tanks for everybody.

#22 chris m ONLINE  

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Posted February 20, 2012 - 06:57 PM

That was great Ryan! It's nice that you explained the whole process. Great job! :thumbs:

#23 tractorman604 OFFLINE  

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Posted February 20, 2012 - 07:01 PM

Only thing missing,a mother in law skull.LOL HAHAHA



#24 Ryan313 OFFLINE  

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Posted February 22, 2012 - 07:37 PM

This is my maceration tank. Its just one of those steel side boxes with silicone over the holes. Put some water and a heater in it, and it works great! I don't have anythingin it right now.
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Here is my degreasing tank, this one is a little more complicated. It is a Rubbermaid container with a heating element from a water heater with a thermostat. The big buckets each have a White tail in them, the blue lid container has a raccoon and the jars each have a muskrat.
Posted Image

This is how my degreasing tank is wired.
Posted Image
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#25 daytime dave OFFLINE  

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Posted February 23, 2012 - 12:09 PM

Very nice. Thanks for those photos.
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#26 Ryan313 OFFLINE  

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Posted February 26, 2012 - 10:12 AM

I just finished some more yesterday. They are all muskrats.
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#27 RHT OFFLINE  

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Posted June 21, 2012 - 11:37 AM

I happen to do this for a living,Taxidermy. Here's one from a 13 foot gator from South Carolina I done for a customer..
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#28 RHT OFFLINE  

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Posted June 21, 2012 - 11:44 AM

I also use dermestid beetles. Once the skull is clean, I soak the skull in heated water(not boiling! It drives the oils futher into the skull) and dawn dishwashing liquid to degrease them. This process takes some time. After that, I use Peroxide from Sally's Beauty supply with the activator. Once I get this on and wrap it in plastic, I put it under a hair drier for about 20 minutes. Being very careful not to get any on antlers or horns. Unless you want to repaint / stain them.
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#29 Ryan313 OFFLINE  

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Posted June 21, 2012 - 01:18 PM

That came out great! I wish I had more exotic animals around that I could get my hands on! I have finished a few since I posted last. I will have to take pics of them.

#30 CRFarnsworth ONLINE  

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Posted June 21, 2012 - 05:55 PM

You guys are doing some quality work!! Thanks for the pictures. I have some sheds in the house, but the skulls stay outside where they keep an eye on the laundry. Some of the grandkids like them some don't. I don't go looking for skulls but I don't usually pass them up. Not much of a hobby , more like an annoyance to the wife. .Rick

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