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Hot Topic (More than 30 Replies) First Mount (Read 8779 times)
dtchch
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First Mount
Apr 8th, 2013 at 10:15pm
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My mate and I have begun cleaning up our skulls to mount. I thought I'd document the process here so I can ask questions and so its here for others to read after we are done.

First step, we got some stags




Today we removed all the skin, eyes, bottom jaw, brain & a bit of nasal cartilage.
We hacked and scraped off all the flesh we could until we were thoroughly sick of it.

I went to Bunnings and bought a metal drink cooler bucket for $20 - perfect size for a head and light metal so heats up quick.
Heated up enough water to cover the head up to the antlers, and put in some dish washing liquid.
Got the water to a temperature where it wasn't boiling but simmering down the bottom slightly.

Chucked my head in for 30-40 minutes. The gristle and sinew on the skull bone cooked and was much easier to peel off, so I got into that for a while.
As the skull cools it becomes harder to remove again, so chuck it in the hot water for 5-10 minutes to soften it all up again.

By the end of the night we were at this stage -



Mine is coming along well, though I'm having trouble removing meat around the back of the skull - just a matter of keeping it warm and getting on with it.
Gareths needs more time simmering, you can see the difference before and after removing the bone sinew.

So we'll chip away at these, I'm keeping my head in salt water when I'm not working on it.
After that it will be left to degrease in thinners for several days.
Then we will get peroxide and bleach the skulls.

I plan to get some thin round slices of Rimu trunk which I will dry and oil to mount the skulls on.
  

Whatungarongaro te tangata toitū te whenua
Man shall disappear, but the land always remains
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Bow Stalker
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Re: First Mount
Reply #1 - Apr 9th, 2013 at 6:56am
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I have been boiling skulls with a bit of baking soda thrown in. Meat turns all mushy and then comes off easily with a water blaster.
  
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dtchch
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Re: First Mount
Reply #2 - Apr 9th, 2013 at 12:35pm
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Nice I'll give that a go thanks mate. I have a friend with a pressure washer, not real high power but should flick a bit of the crap off.
  

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JoshC
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Re: First Mount
Reply #3 - Apr 9th, 2013 at 12:54pm
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Throw it in with the water with a bit of washing powder or dish washing liquid, boil it up for 20-30 minutes. This will break down the fat and gristle.

Get a water blaster and gnetly use that to work away at the remaining meat etc.

Peroxide you can get off trademe for pretty cheap. Dilute it with water.

Soak strips of old towel (preferably white) and cotton wool ot tissues in the mixture, then packs all crevases and the eye sockets etc with the cotton and wrap the skull thoroughly with the strips.

Leave for 24 hours or so and unwrap then rinse and leave in the sun to dry. You may have to repat this again if its not as white as you'd like.

I find it is better to start with your peroxide mix more diluted and repeat the process a couple of times than try a strong mix, as the bone will become quite brittle and chalky.

http://www.fishnhunt.co.nz/forum/YaBB.cgi?num=1339977169

  
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dtchch
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Re: First Mount
Reply #4 - Apr 10th, 2013 at 3:50pm
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Cheers Josh, forgot about that thread of yours that head came up mint.

Just spending an hour or so a day slowly attacking the crap left on and inside the skull - leaving it in water when I'm not working on it and its coming along nicely.
I'll get a pressure washer onto it this weekend and it should be ready to degrease next week.

I'll have a look for the peroxide on Trademe

  

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Re: First Mount
Reply #5 - Apr 10th, 2013 at 7:08pm
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You can also get peroxide from the chemist for a few dollars if you are in town.
  
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dtchch
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Re: First Mount
Reply #6 - Apr 10th, 2013 at 10:59pm
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I found 9% peroxide 1l for about $17, should easily be enough for these two heads if I'm just soaking rags
  

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Re: First Mount
Reply #7 - Apr 11th, 2013 at 8:50pm
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Have you thought about not mounting on a timber shield? Sometimes a shied can make the mount look a bit lumpy. I prefer not to use shields as they clash with the lockwood. Each to there own tho. Good luck with it.



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dtchch
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Re: First Mount
Reply #8 - Apr 12th, 2013 at 6:24am
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Wow thats a ripper head mate.

If I had a nice wooden wall like yours I'd consider it  Grin

I want to try something different hence a ring of Rimu, I'll see how it looks I'm not sure whether or not a round piece of wood will be as effective
  

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Re: First Mount
Reply #9 - Apr 14th, 2013 at 2:56pm
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Yesterday we got stuck in for a few hours. I borrowed a mates pressure washer to give Gareths head a blast, I'm sold on that way of cleaning of the bulk it was so fast. I think with a higher power pressure washer you'd get all the meat off pretty easily, but it saved a couple of hours for Gareth anyway.

I finished cleaning mine out and have it sitting wrapped in mutton cloth soaked in thinners, I'll check it every couple of days but will probably let it sit until next weekend.
I think I'll give it a rinse with boiling water once or twice during the week to remove any thinned grease, then in the weekend I'll let it dry off and use cotton balls and cloth to peroxide it for 24 hours or so.

I'm looking forward to seeing how it comes up, it should be pretty tidy I reckon!
  

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Re: First Mount
Reply #10 - Apr 14th, 2013 at 4:19pm
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Good stuff bro, one thing if you dont want the cape ditch the skin, jaw, eyes etc on the hill. Saves time when you get home, you dont have to disspose of the rubbish and best of all your pack will be lighter on the walk out.

Again well done, look forward to seeing the finished product.
  
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Re: First Mount
Reply #11 - Apr 16th, 2013 at 3:43pm
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Here's the skull currently (cell photo not best quality)



My Peroxide arrived today, its 9% and its a cream which turned out quite good because I could brush it on. It is currently burning my arm a bit so must do the job  Grin

I mixed some with water and soaked rags to shove in the holes.





I coated the whole skull then lightly wrapped in mutton cloth to keep a bit of pressure on.

I'll leave this for about 24 hours and see how it looks, being a cream I can easily brush on thick areas if required.
  

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Re: First Mount
Reply #12 - Apr 17th, 2013 at 7:31am
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Looking good man!

Good looking head too Smiley
  

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Re: First Mount
Reply #13 - Apr 17th, 2013 at 1:42pm
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I unwrapped the skull today for a look, its been a bit less than 24 hours.

The peroxide is doing its job well, its bleached all the gristle in the bone joins and has removed the majority of the yellowness - no damage to the bone surface either.







I've painted on more peroxide nice and thick in a few places which need it and wrapped it lightly, I'll give it a few more hours and see how it looks or I'll leave it until I get home from work tonight and wash it off if it needs.

I reckon its going to look pretty tidy  Smiley

I think after this is done I'll cover the antlers in a rubbish bag and leave it in the sun (hopefully that returns one day soon) for a week or so, the flies can take care of the nasty bits I missed up the nasal passage.
  

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Re: First Mount
Reply #14 - Apr 17th, 2013 at 1:50pm
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hes coming up great mate! Cool
consider a coat of "danish oil" on the antlers once you have finished the skull work. it will preserve his natural coloring.
  
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