Scott-great video! I do have one question though. At about 2 mins and 33 sec into the video there is a shot of the head in the pot boiling and the rim of the pot is lined with aluminum foil but I don't see it in any other segments.
Is this to protect the horns from the direct heat or protect your pot from the nastiness? At what point do you add the foil or is it even that important?
I do few of these every year for family and friends, If you don't mind annoying your wife, The easy was is to get a dermestid beetle colonie and let them do the work. They do smell and you have to feed them year round but much easier than boiling. Before I put them in with the beetles a coat hanger with a couple of bends in it and chucked into a drill will "mix" the brains enough to shake most of it out.
The last couple heads I have cleaned with "low temperature maceration". Basically a 5 gallon plastic pail (get from a hardware store) and a fish tank heater (warms water to about 90░). Put the fish tank heater in and put head in. Fill until the part you want cleaned is covered with water. Let sit for a few weeks, checking water levels occasionally. Bacteria develops in the water that eats away the flesh. This is SUPER stinky, but it does not deteriorate the bone/skull. The teeth normally fall out and need epoxied back in. Sometimes some of the nose bones need epoxied back in place too. Final result is a perfect skull though without bone deterioration.
thanks for the replies on the brain, I have used a piece of wire and a drill, the video just made it sound way easier to remove brains than I have came across.
I like the oxiclean tip.
I've removed the brain with a garden hose and nozzle. Just spray the water into the hole in the back and the brain comes shooting out.
Can't spell scum without U&M... Go 'Cats!
Sweet video and thanks for not recommending bleach as a whitening agent!
For the brain, after the low temp boil take a screw driver or coat hanger to pull as much as you can out (mash the crap out of it if you have too). It will take a few heads to figure out how long to macerate before the brain tissue releases from the skull. Borax helps absorb the leftover tissue, plus it acts as a preservative as well.
Kemsal 4 will help with degreasing and also help with the antelope skull odor, its almost impossible to rid the goat smell though.
Only thing I would add to the already sweet video is to spray a clear coat matte finish on the skull, this will aid a bit in keeping the white color longer not to mention a few other minor things like odor and grease spotting.
So after spending to much money every year on mounts I decided to tackle my own European mounts this year, thanks a lot to this post. So I have done an initial boil, power washed most of it off, and am back doing a second boil to finish off the job. One question I have for all you seasoned DIY taxidermists, is how do you get the brain lining out? The pressure washer blasted all the brain material out like a champ, but now I see there is still the brain lining in there. Will this stink over time? Also, do I need to let the bone dry out before I apply the 40% peroxide paste? Thanks guys. Happy hunting, and boiling!!