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Hinged Jaws on Skulls

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by rm76, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. rm76

    rm76 New Member

    Are there devices or mechanisms that can be purchased (or easily made) to attach lower jaws to cleaned skulls that will allow the jaw to hinge? This would be simply for display of skulls, not lifelike mounts.
  2. I have never done one but when I do I plan on popping into an art store, studying the skull replica models there who have hinged and spring jaws and then go to a hardware store and buy that type of supply. ;)

  3. cattledog

    cattledog Member

    Wonder if you could use a Dremel tool with a small drill bit.Drill a small hole where each jaw hinge would sit and then use some fine wire to attach them together.Not sure how this would work,but is what i would personally try if i was attempting it.
  4. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    I've never seen any. The lower jaw fits into a groove that is specific to that skull. The ridge of the jaw moves within that groove. Other than attaching a set of springs, much like your articulated human skulls, I don't know of anything that would allow the hinge to work properly and allow you to move the jaw as in life. I have seen some skulls that were drilled and wired to allow movement but bone damage also resulted and it really just looked very crude.
  5. I'm not sure if this is 'exactly' what your wanting, but,

    I once cut some long football shaped pieces of velcro (white), the self-adheisive type, & attached them to the mandible swivel points.

    This doesn't give you an actual full hinge action, however, it helps if you want to display with an open jaw.

    In fact I have some small skulls which are held open by this method, still today.

    I don't think it would work on a gator, but small birds, mammals and such,....it's simple, without damaging the bone.

    ...just a thought.
  6. JRose

    JRose Member

    You'd have a visible rod, but if you drilled a shallow hole on the inside of the jaw, and a corresponding hole in the skull while the jaws are separated, you can sort of fix them on the ends of the rod, which will pivot freely in the grooves you drilled. Then glue the mandibles together once they've been set on the rods, so the rods are trapped between the jaws and the skull... This is 100% in my head, but that's how I would try it. Some animals might not do too well... weasels and cats are gonna be the best candidates, I'd think. Canines have very loose jaws... they might wiggle off the rods...

    Hope that sparks some ideas...
  7. Wrap a bungee cord around the skull. Boom. Done.
  8. lamina1982

    lamina1982 New Member

    Ive done some painted deer skulls and I just drill some holes in main skull part where jaw pivots and use some copper wire and wrap around lower jaw and u can open/close moth fine..ill see if can find a pic
  9. Get an otter skull and you won't need to make any type of hinge.
  10. Was just checking the difference in some skulls to see why the otter jaws will stay, but the fox and yote skulls will not. The answer is in that area where the jaws attach. The otter skull more fully holds it. Maybe take some clay and model it...or build this area up. Let it dry, insert each side of the jaw into what you just built, then glue each side of the jaws together in the center.
  11. Check out the hinges. the otter is on top. It has a working hinge and jaws stay with the skull. The coyote below it doesn't have enough socket to hold the jaw there. This is the area I was speaking of possibly modeling up with clay.

  12. i notice my wolverine skull has that otter thing too, it's nearly impossible to separate the jaws from the skull. all you would need to do to replicate that is to get some two-part modeling clay (no baking required) and put a piece of baking paper or wax paper or even foil inbetween the jaw and the skull as you build the jaw up, that way the clay doesn't stick to the skull as well. when dried, pry the paper/wax/whatever out from between the two, then there you go- a hinged jaw that is now easily propped open.
  13. rm76

    rm76 New Member

    Thanks for the comments and suggestions guys. This gives me something to think about. Actually, the velcro concept might be acceptable -- I might give that a try first. If there are any other ideas, I'm all ears. Keep them comming.