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Preserving Old Bull Skull

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by Erin Walker, May 17, 2019 at 2:33 PM.

  1. Erin Walker

    Erin Walker New Member

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    I just purchased an old skull in a re-sale shop. It's history is a mystery to me, and its horns are crumbly (break to the touch). Also, this topic is new to me. Since I don't know if it was ever properly preserved, is there anything you could recommend I put on it that would help it from being so delicate?
     
  2. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Use the Advanced Search on here and search for paraloid in the skulls and skeletons section. There are a lot of posts on it. Paraloid B72 is a clear resin that you dissolve in a solvent. In your case I would use denatured alcohol. Soak the skull in it for a day or two and then let it dry. It soaks into the damaged bone and will stabilize it. Though, as bull skulls are cheap, you might want to get a good specimen and clean it yourself and have something really nice and solid for the cost. I use this to seal all of the skulls I do. It's washable and does not yellow and it is what museums use for this and other situations.
     

  3. Erin Walker

    Erin Walker New Member

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    Hey, thanks, Sea Wolf. I had noticed that Paraloid in other threads, but wasn't sure it applied, and couldn't get a sense on whether it was easy to find or not. Also, is it chemically too strong to use a plastic tub to let it sit - should it be metal instead? I also so an uncertainty about how long to let the resin dissolve before submerging the skull. I just came upon this skull and thought I'd try it out. I'm not in it enough to want to start from scratch, unfortunately. Don't think I have the stomach. Thanks for your direction.
     
  4. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Any container that holds denatured alcohol will be fine. Will it fit into a 5 gallon bucket? The paraloid itself is non reactive and comes in clear crystals. You have to order it online. Your other option would be to make up a gallon of it or so and use a brush to keep continually soaking all sides of the bone for a while so it takes up as much of the solution as possible. A plastic tub would be fine. You could also keep scooping up the solution and pouring it over the surfaces. You have to allow the resin to dissolve fully and that can take a couple of days with you stirring it around to keep the crystals loose.