Tips for Making European Mounts (Cleaning, bleaching, engraving)

Want to make a cool trophy from your hunt? Here are some tips for how to clean a skull to make a European Mount:

Skull Prep:
The 3 best methods of preparing a skull for engraving are outlined below. In all cases as much flesh as possible should be removed from the skull before using the prep method. Eyes and brain matter should be removed as well:

1) Water Soaking – Submerge the skull in water and leave it in a place where it will get some sun. Bacteria will grow and gradually break down the tissue. Fat and grease will rise to the top of the water so these should be skimmed off periodically. This method can take over a month, but it leaves a skull that is extremely clean and not brittle as can happen with boiling.
2) Beetles – Flesh eating beetles do almost as good a job as the water soaking and they do it faster. However, they are not quite as detailed and will not eat dried out flesh.
3) Boiling – This can work, but it sometimes leaves the skulls too brittle to engrave especially if you are attempting to do detailed engraving or engraving near the edges of a section of bone.

Getting the Skull White

You’re trying to make an awesome trophy so you want a skull that is white, not gray. I’m talking whiter than the pants of Tony Montana trying to make the world his in 1980’s Miami. Whiter than uncut coke. Whiter than Wayne Brady (yes, THAT white). To achieve this level of whiteness use 3% hydrogen peroxide or if needed ramp up to 40% hydrogen peroxide. 40% hydrogen peroxide is very strong and comes as a gel from beauty supply stores. Paint the hydrogen peroxide onto the skull and put the skull out on sunny day with white paper under it to reflect the sun. Leave the skull out all day and wash it off with water to remove the peroxide.

Skull Engraving Tools
35000 rpm Dremel tool – Some newbies like using this, but experience revealed it didn’t work quite well enough especially for thick bone.
45000 rpm engraving tool – This is what the pros use and it gives better results than the dremel tool.


One thought on “Tips for Making European Mounts (Cleaning, bleaching, engraving)

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