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Frustrating Skull Is Frustrating

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by WolfGirl, Oct 13, 2013.

  1. Been having issues with this bobcat skull. It previously had blood straining, after soaks in acetone and degreasing with dawn, it seemed the staining was finally gone. Recently I took it out of degreasing and noticed a slight darkening color around the bullet hole (yes it was shot, but with very little damage to the skull). I didn't think to much of it and thought maybe it would just go away. After whitening everything with peroxide to better see any remaining grease, the darkness got darker. Much much darker. What I previously thought was blood staining may actually be fragments of the bullet inside the skull and it's strained it badly. I tried a soak overnight in iron out but it helped in no way.
    Any ideas on how I could save this skull? :/ I'd usually have given up by now but this is one for a skeleton I'm doing and currently have no cleaned skull to replace it with. Should I just call it quits and buy a already cleaned one? I have plenty of raw frozen ones but I really don't want to clean up another one when the skeleton is so close to being done.
    Here's some pictures, it's still slightly wet, just took it out of the iron out a few hours ago.
  2. DomM

    DomM New Member

    I have had this hapen to me with a cow skull. I dont think it is too big of a deal. I managed to clean it up with a bit of bleach. I know bleach is bad for bones so i dont think you should go that way. If i were you i would patch it with a small peice of paper soaked in glue, (only once you get rid of the black coloring) Anyway, sory if this is no help to you, dont give up on the skeleton, i bet it will look great!

  3. Michelle_Nelson

    Michelle_Nelson Bring on the Bears!

    Is the bullet still in the skull?
  4. Not giving up on the skeleton for sure, will probably just get a replacement. The hole isn't the problem, was going to use a bit of epoxy to fix that, but the black coloring is what is bothering me. Gonna wait for a bit more replies before maybe attempting the bleach, I know peroxide might cause the problem to get worse so I'm worried on trying another peroxide soak.
  5. Ruttin Bull

    Ruttin Bull New Member

    I have had this happen before and looks like from the photos you need to put the skull in some simple green and dawn dishsoap and heat it back up and see if it will fix your issue. I would mix it up pretty strong.
  6. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    It does look like a lead fragment in there. Have you taken something thin, like the end of a pin to see if you can lever it out?. After the iron Out, soak it real well in several changes of water to make sure it is all out of the bone. I have found that peroxide after Iron out makes things look worse sometimes. After you do the Iron Out treatment, let it dry and leave it be. If you fill in the hole with putty it will hide most of the black but I have yet to see any putty that matches the bone color exactly and it will always be visible. More so later on if the bone patinas at all and the putty does not. I would leave it as it and just let it be part of the story of the specimen.
  7. It does look like the bullet is still there but I can't see anyway to get to it. Not sure if I want to try drilling into the side or just leaving it. I'll let it dry over night and see how noticeable it is.
  8. Michelle_Nelson

    Michelle_Nelson Bring on the Bears!

    If the bullet is still in the skull that is probably where your discoloration is coming from.
  9. lizardguts

    lizardguts skull collector

    Does it matter if the skeleton is white? If not, you could dye the skull and the rest of the bones with coffee/tea and it'd help hide the discoloration. That's what I'm planning on doing with some skulls that have stubborn stains in them, plus I really dig the look
  10. I removed a bullet from a skull once by going in from the bottom. Used a dremel and cut out large piece from the roof of the mouth. Once cleaned, degreased n whitened I put back together w epoxy. Did not show at all unless you removed from bottom jaw n flipped it over
  11. Michelle_Nelson

    Michelle_Nelson Bring on the Bears!

    If I need to cover something on a skull I seal it and paint it. Not a heavy paint just a light blending mist.
  12. Discoloring was still fairly visible so I soaked it in warm water then removed the nasal bones. This one has clear discoloring at the end, could it be the bone is burned from the bullet?
    You can see clear black stuff all over the thin bones behind the nose
    I would stain it but, this will be a two bobcat mount, going to be putting them fighting. Similar to this picture, best I could find of what I'm wanting, haven't done any sketches yet.
  13. Re: Frustrating Skull Is Frustrating (FIXED!)

    The stain is gone! Took it out of degreasing today and noticed that all traces of the weird stain is gone, like it was never there. The only different thing I've been using is a cup of ammonia to my degreasing water and I now use clear dawn.
  14. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Cleaned up very nicely.
  15. Nice save!