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skull smell and flaking ?

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by Chappy, Aug 25, 2011.

  1. First off, I've done a lot of reading in the archives and having a tuff time findig the right answers. I've macerated a mule deer skull and been in a dawn/amonia/water degreasing soak for a month and a half now. I've soaked in 3% peroxide with water and dawn 4 or 5 times as well. Anyways my questions are: A) There is still a little bit of a smell in the skull and I'm guessing thats from grease but can't really see any on the surface. Is it caused from grease? B) The skull has not been simmered or boiled but my heating element in my bucket heater heated the skull at about 150 to 160 for 24hrs until I found out that it wasn't working right and I shut it down until i could get it fixed. The skull seems to be a little brittle mainly around the eyes and in the nasal cavity. Not neccessarily flaking but more of a powder that I can scratch off. Is this caused from that one night at such a high temp or is this normal to have a little bit of this? Thanks
  2. Since you macerated the skull I'm assuming the teeth fell out. If not, there could still be some gunk at the base of each tooth that's causing the smell. Or it might need even more degreasing. In any case, I would let the skull dry thoroughly. The smell might go away and you might also be able to tell whether it needs more degreasing.

    The 24 hours at 150+ degrees is most likely the cause of the brittleness and powder. After the skull is dry and you satisfied that it no longer smells or needs further degreasing, seal it with paraloid and it should be fine.

  3. X2
  4. What is Paraloid and where do I get it? I read in the archives about people using elmers glue and modge podge or how ever its spelled. What would you guys recommend for this to prevend anymore flaking elmers or the other or paraloid?
  5. Here is Sea Wolf's original post about paraloid. Lots of good info.

    You can buy paraloid from Museum Services Corp.
    Info: http://www.museumservicescorporation.com/scat/co.html
    Orders: http://stores.homestead.com/conservemp/Categories.bok?category=Coating+Products
  6. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Boiling is 200 and the bucket heater without a regulator can get to 180. That is the cause of your damage. I would recommend the paraloid as you can allow it to soak into the bone to stabilize it. The other stuff you mentioned just sits on the top of the bone surface.
  7. So using any type of laquer if thats how you spell it, or that puzzle glue won't hold it together well enough? I'll have to check into that paraloid. Thanks for the help, I appreciate it.
  8. Acrylic lacquer or Elmer's glue diluted with water will fix the powdery surface problem, but neither one will penetrate and strengthen the skull like paraloid.
  9. justinj

    justinj Member

    i just looked at the paraloid website. 1 kilogram for about $26. How many skulls will that do?
  10. 1 kg of paraloid will do hundreds of skulls. You dissolve it in acetone or isopropyl alcohol and then dip the skulls in it. The extra drips off back into the solution so there is very little waste.
  11. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    That $26 lasted me more than two years. :)
  12. justinj

    justinj Member

    oh I see I assumed it came in a liquid form
  13. Xiahou

    Xiahou Rocky 6/1/05 - 6/5/08

    BIG THANK YOU for this. Been needing something like this big time. Thanks.