Swampbuck wrote: Jeff G wrote:
SamPotter wrote:Jeffg- what has your experience been with degreasing? My skulls come out looking great at first, but give them 3-4 months and the grease starts to seep through on the forehead, even if I use soda ash or dish detergent in the original boil. I've been soaking them in Zep Citrus Degreaser afterwards for several weeks with success, but that stuff seems to leave a slightly yellow overall tint. I've also learned this year that if I flip the skull over I can open up the sinus cavities that are more or less between the eyes with a knife and pull out a lot of nasty stuff, which I think helps.
I use soda ash and dawn dish soap. Key is remove as much meat as possible. That's where a ton of the grease sits. I boil till pretty clean, then change the water and add new soda ash. I think tht is a key step. I use a small dental pick and move it around in the brain cavity. Then when I take it out of te water I shake it pretty vigorously. Brain and sinus clear pretty fast. Mine haven't yellowed. I whiten them for 3 days with low heat. Then clear coat with a matte finish. That might help keep it from yellowing?
In my opinion, there is no need to cut the skull to remove sinuses or brains. It comes out pretty easy.[ Post made via iPhone ]
Its not that it's hard to get out, the brain is what adds most of the grease to your water. So you have to whiten it longer. This cuts down a ton on the whitening time and the chance of staining if u don't whiten long enough. But you are right if it's whitened properly u don't have to[ Post made via Android ]
I've had pretty much the same results whether I remove the brain or not. I was reading a taxidermy forum and everyone swears by Rittel's Super Solvent, which I obviously haven't tried. On one hand I think the boiling makes the grease more of an issue because rotted dead heads rarely have grease spots, but in the taxi thread one person had composted a whale carcass and still had to degrease the bones for a museum. I guess bears are notoriously bad as well.
For removing the brain from dead cows for necropsy, our vet cuts a hole and sticks a garden hose in- the brain apparently pops out the other end. I've never tried nor seen this done. I've always used a bent piece of wire. Pressure washers and air compressors are great- except for the potential for mess. That's why I do mine at the farm!