sampotter

DIY Skull Boiler

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I put them in looking like this:

 

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(This was in the original buck boiler before it burned out)

 

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After 3-4 hours the head will look like this...  Note the skin has split across the bridge of the nose. At this point I walk over to the dumpster and give it a good shake. The bottom jaw and everything from the split forward usually falls off. I then whip out my trusty leatherman and pop the flesh and skin off the forehead. It usually takes less than 5 minutes to get 95% of the soft material off. I also do a water change at this point.

 

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After another 2 hours or so (time can be different depending on all the variables I listed in a previous post) the head will come out looking like this. I use a pressure washer to get any last little bits off. If the deer is 3 years old or younger you will probably need to glue the nose bones (upper mandible) back in. The last step is degreasing, which I think I've finally figured out...

 

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Edited by sampotter
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So the pressure washer is the way to go then? I built one using the hot water heater element this year. Very simple, inexpensive build. I skinned mine and the lower jaw came off after the first boil. The hard part for me is all the little nooks on the back of the skull and some nasties hangin on in the brain cavity. I tried scraping, picking, wire brushing by hand and using a drill and they stuff doesn't want to come off.

Please share your degreasing method if you don't mind. I'm using Mean Green heavy duty cleaner and degreaser. I also put dish soap in the water while heating.

Thanks for sharing the rest of your process.

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What do you think would happen if you put the Dawn in the water when you're boiling it? I also heard someone say they have boiled it in water and dishwasher liquid... any experience with that kind of thing?

 


Joe Servello
New York Antler Outdoors
http://www.nyantler-outdoors.com

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What do you think would happen if you put the Dawn in the water when you're boiling it? I also heard someone say they have boiled it in water and dishwasher liquid... any experience with that kind of thing?

 

I did that this round.  I can't comment as to any difference in the end result since this was my first one, but I can say the fragrant mixture of boiling deer brain and citrus palmolive in the garage for two days earned me quite a tongue-lashing form the Mrs.  

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What do you think would happen if you put the Dawn in the water when you're boiling it? I also heard someone say they have boiled it in water and dishwasher liquid... any experience with that kind of thing?

 

 

Pretty much nothing. I've put heavy duty degreaser in when I've boiled them and it doesn't make a difference. The only thing I found was the grease migrated from the forehead to most of the rest of the skull. The only thing I've found that works so far is Zep citrus degreaser (Home Depot) at a 1:3 ratio (or stronger) with water in a bucket and let it soak for a few weeks. Supposedly, dawn will work the same way, but again- it needs to soak for weeks.

 

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You may think you don't need to because initially the skull will look nice, but give it a few months and you'll have grease start coming through on the forehead like this (wet looking areas between the eyes):

 

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The problem is the skull isn't solid bone, it has a somewhat hollow core in a lot of areas, and fat will be in the bone marrow in those places. Even when beetles are used the skulls have to be degreased.

Edited by sampotter

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I've got a few I need to degrease better...they've turned almost yellow over time.

 

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"I'm not from New York. I'm a REDNECK from Western New York!!!"

"It's not a passion. It's an obsession!!!" - Mossy Oak

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I have 3 skulls boiling.

 

I boiled the hide off and some of the inners out and turned off the flame and they are soaking tonight.

 

I will boil them again tomorrow and pick some of the inners out and make sure the membrane is off the skull and then I will apply Matrix Solite Cream 40V brush it on with an old toothbrush sit for 3-5 minutes and rinse off with clean hot water. 

 

Presto Bright White Skull

 

I use a galvanized steel tub with my propane open flame Turkey fryer cooker under neither a steel wheel off a tractor trailer sitting on 2 cap blocks to capture all the heat under the tub.

 

Has worked great for many years.

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I did a lot of research and supposedly the best way to completely degrease a skull is to let it soak in soapy water for months. Taxidermist seem to prefer clear Dawn dish soap.

Edited by Terry

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I did a lot of research and supposedly the best way to completely degrease a skull is to let it soak in soapy water for months. Taxidermist seem to prefer clear Dawn dish soap.

 

I forgot to mention that I do a final boil with fresh clean water and a cup of Borax ( remember mule team tough) for about an hour then I do the Matrix thing.

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The bucket I use is a 5 gallon feed bucket I bought at TSC. Any bucket will probably work, but this one is a little shorter and squattier than a standard 5, which probably helps maintain temps.

 

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Got myself a heater... Now time to do my buck from this year!

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Sent from my Galaxy S4 using Tapatalk 2


 NYS Trooper Joel R. Davis

EOW: 7/9/2017 

 

 

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