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sealing skulls show of hands

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by joelamping360, Apr 24, 2015.

  1. joelamping360

    joelamping360 Member

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    Just a show of hands who seals their skulls, and what's your process, if you feel like it's pros and cons, I myself don't but I've only been cleaning skulls a couple of years.
     
  2. I don't seal all my skulls, only those that I think might benefit from it (juveniles/aged/naturally cleaned skulls for example).

    What I seal with also depends on the skull. An aged or naturally clean skull thats showing some brittleness, I'll use woodglue, since the glue properties would help strengthen it, and woodglue dries transparent so there's no obvious discolouration. I've used Lacker on some skulls in the past but I've preferred woodglue.

    That said, I'm considering Modpodge matte for future skulls.

    I can't really find any of the stuff in the UK that US skull people can get, which they use to seal their skulls, since UK and US use different names for the same thing. You get a few odd looks here for using a ''US Term'' to try and find something in the UK. In the end I just went with what I felt would work best and so far it has for me. :p
     

  3. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Something like this was posted recently. I seal all my skulls with paraloid B-72 now. Not only does it do quite a bit to keep teeth from cracking it keeps them clean as a lot of my specimens do get handled and many are not in glass cases. A smudgy fingerprint wipes right off and dust doesn't stick to them either.
     
  4. joelamping360

    joelamping360 Member

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    For the average collector, do you sea wolf find a benefit to sealing if your skulls art being handled just displayed?
     
  5. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    You never know when it might be handled and unless it is under glass, dust will settle on it. I have some specimens in a glass cabinet and dust even gets into there. If you have a fireplace in your house .. or someone that smokes, the carbons from that burning can also settle onto the bone. Having it sealed protects it and makes it easy to clean. A well sealed skull will not look like it is covered in plastic and should look normal. Sealing, for me, takes very little time and I am set up to do it so I do all of them unless someone specifies that they do not. For those that are painting skulls or bone, the sealer helps paints to cover more evenly and not have some areas of bone just suck up the paint and then not dry well or dry with an uneven color. There is also the benefit of it helping to protect the teeth against splitting
     
  6. joelamping360

    joelamping360 Member

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    Parloid mixed in acetone, right? What's your mix ratio to not change the appearance of the bone, that matters right?
     
  7. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    I use acetone because it dries faster. If you use denatured alcohol the end result is the same though the alcohol has a longer dry time. I also dunk all my skulls into it completely so they are sealed inside and out. My mix at this point is a bit of guesswork as I am adding to a 2 gallon batch that is already mixed. I'll guess to take a gallon of either acetone or alcohol and dissolve in 2 cups of the crystals. Do a test skull and see what it looks like. The other test I do is to take a couple of drops of the mix and drip them on the plastic bucket lid and let dry. Peel up the film that is there and see how thick it is. If the end result is too thick you can add a bit more solvent to thin it out. Too thin, add some more crystals. If someone wants a glassy looking piece you can quickly double dip a dry piece with a coating already on it and give it a heavier coating.
     
    mike clark likes this.
  8. joelamping360

    joelamping360 Member

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    Great info seawolf, I have to say your one of the most helpful people on here, not to short other people, but you do give a lot of sound advice
     
  9. The only skulls I seal are those that are either porous or brittle, and then I seal them with Minwax acrylic water based urethane in a matte finish, and I coat the teeth (if necessary) with the same product in a satin finish (which is actually kind of a semi-gloss). I have skulls I sealed in that product years ago and no yellowing at all.
     
  10. greatbasin

    greatbasin Member

    I leave it upto the customer.
     
  11. QBD

    QBD Active Member

    Most get sealed with paraloid.
     
  12. ofearthandbone

    ofearthandbone New Member

    Someone literally recommended paraloid b-72 to me. I let a coyote skull sit for a week in its own bath of Sal soda and 1 turned to flakes. The other is usable for something unique but it is so fragile. I have to barely grip the skull to hold since it's about to crumble in my finger tips. Is this stuff a sure deal if I dip it? Will it harden and secure the fragility? Double dip? I don't care if it's too glossy, i am probably going to paint it. Turning it into an inspired exploded skull but no so exploded...just broken and held together with wire. Lol.
     
  13. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Let the skull sit submerged in the solution for a day and then let it drip and drain till dry. It will effectively stop the deterioration and stabilize the bone. I try to let skulls dry in such a position that there are no drips or runs coming off the teeth. Teeth look better that way
     
  14. ofearthandbone

    ofearthandbone New Member

    Damn...this stuff is so expensive.
     
  15. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Actually not. A bag of the crystals will cost around $20 or a little more. It's a fair amount of the stuff and more than I have used in two years. There is absolutely no waste with it, unlike a spray can where a lot of it goes out to the sides and lost. Dunk the skulls and let them hang over a plastic bucket lid to dry. When the stuff on the lid has completely dried, you peel it up and put it back into the bucket. The only bit of it that gets used is really what is on the skull and this stuff lasts a very long time. For bigger things like bear skulls, I submerge one end of the skull in a 5 gallon bucket of it and slosh it around, pull it out, put the other end in, slosh and then let it hang to dry. I have also sealed horse skulls doing the same thing. For whale bones and other huge things I have had to set them into a bottom tray for a dog crate and brush it on. Still, any drips are always put back into the bucket so make sure your dripping surface is clean and dust free.

    Do not look at the prices for the stuff already mixed. Not only is the price ridiculous, it is now considered a hazardous substance and shipping costs with permits is astronomical and not even remotely cost effective.
     
  16. ofearthandbone

    ofearthandbone New Member

    I'll check out the crystals...I'm going to do some euro mounts this year so I need to really master the process. I've been doing my own with trial and error. No big deal if they are not perfect but when someone wants to pay for a trophy mount I can't risk screwing up. Can I ask what you do sea wolf by profession? Do you have a business?
     
  17. ofearthandbone

    ofearthandbone New Member

    I'll check out the crystals...I'm going to do some euro mounts this year so I need to really master the process. I've been doing my own with trial and error. No big deal if they are not perfect but when someone wants to pay for a trophy mount I can't risk screwing up. Can I ask what you do sea wolf by profession? Do you have a business?
     
  18. peted

    peted Member

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    Where can you buy this paranoid 72
    Thanks pete
     
  19. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Paraloid B72. You can Google it and find several suppliers.
     
  20. rosscoak

    rosscoak Member

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    I really like the vara thane brand semi gloss polyurethane in a spray can.
    Its like 7 bucks a can, and does the job fine for me. I spray stained antler euro mounts and it is awesome.
    Usually 2 coats is needed.
    I don't like the shiny look of the paraloid, just me.
    I let the customer choose what they want.