Writen by: Hunter Richardson (Warrenton, VA, USA)

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Last fall my uncle came across this spike deer skull in the woods and handed it off to me to carve. By the looks of it some foxes or coyotes chewed on the snout and broke out a few teeth. The best option then was to cut off the skull cap and make a European mount with a bit of cut through carving.

Deer skull


I am sure a band saw would have worked better to cut the skull but all I had was a skill saw which worked just as good. You can watch the video at the top of the page to see how I did it.

deer skull carving

When you are carving a design that cuts through the skull like the one here it is best to save your time and drill out any areas that will be cut through to save time cutting with your Dremel carving burrs. The top of the skull is actually fairly thick up to ΒΌ inch. I thinned out some areas from the bottom in order to better cut the design. Thinning out the bone makes the final finishing easier just because its a lot harder to file down bone as thick as your pinky than to file and carve material a forth that thickness.

deer skull carving

After you have carved out as much of the design as you can with your carving burrs use micro files and rasps to do the final finishes . Rasps are a secret of many professional carvers to get really smooth, strait, and curved lines when carving through bone. The photo on the left is as far as I got using my Dremel and the photo on the right is after I used files to smooth out the edges.

The following are the burrs I used. I use a Dremel 4000 which has the torque to cut through thick bone like this carving. The #115 I used to thin out the skull plates from underneath and the #111 and diamond coated burr was used to cut out the design after I had used the drill.

The result was a nice capped European mount!

Deer skull carving