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Deer Skull Bone Separation

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by Sportsman13, Mar 2, 2020.

  1. Sportsman13

    Sportsman13 New Member

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    First time poster, long time lurker. This website is awesome and I look forward to contributing as I gain experience. I'm currently just finishing up the maceration process on a deer skull prior to degreasing. Everything is looking really good, but I'm starting to get some bone separation near the nose. I scoured the old posts, trying to see if this is normal. But was either not looking in the correct place or overlooked it altogether. I just want to get your thoughts if this is a normal occurrence or if I goofed up. I also have a couple Raccoon skulls in the works. Will post pics soon! Thanks a bunch!
     
  2. Tnrandy

    Tnrandy Active Member

    Pretty normal...we usually put a rubberband around the nose during the degreasing process and leave it on until after degreasing and let it dry completely...a lot of the time this works, if it doesn't we just use white elmers glue and glue it back together.
     

  3. Yourmom

    Yourmom New Member

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    I personally have used a very strong home-brew blend. I mix about half a tube of toothpaste, I know it sounds crazy. I melt it into a mixture with some high strength Elmer's glue. Then I grab a spatula from my kitchen and completely slather to make sure it's filled fully. Also, mix some food dye to where its the colour of the mount. Then once you've fully smoothed the mix over the crack, you freeze it and it'll stay there for a good while.
     
    Dale Loescher likes this.
  4. Chad Houston

    Chad Houston New Member

    Howdy friend! Woo wee, this has happened to me so many times. Usually what I like to do is boil some fresh water and then pour it on the area of separation to prepare the section for cuttin'. Then I like to go in with some warm jello, slightly above room temperature and let that sit overnight. Lastly just let your self go with a saw of your choice. This is a great way to release stress believe it or not. If you do happen to rupture any part of the specimen at this time go back with a bonding substance of your selection, I personally prefer elmers glue sticks.
     
  5. Sportsman13

    Sportsman13 New Member

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    Thanks guys! I'll keep you posted on the progress. I appreciate your assistance!
     
  6. Chad Houston

    Chad Houston New Member

    "Sportsman13" No problem partner!
     
  7. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    If you mean the very frontal bones of the nose, yes, it is very common for those to loosen and fall off. Keep them together with the skull while you finish cleaning it. Maceration also cleans out the tissue in the sutures so things can get a little loose. Degrease and whiten before you try to put them back. When the skull has been whitened and is still wet, fit the two bones back into place and clamp with uncolored rubber bands, zip ties or even clothes pins until the skull is dry. You might find that everything has tightened up and they are fine as is. If not, a small amount of Elmer's Glue into the joints and clamp.
     
    joeym likes this.
  8. Sportsman13

    Sportsman13 New Member

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    Yeah it was the very frontal nose bones. I guess that means it's working! I definitely appreciate the advice. On a side note, does anyone have pictures of the "caveman" bucket heater setup? I found the thread, but the pictures don't show up on my laptop. I'm going to start degreasing this weekend. I have an inkbird thermostat and kingwork heater on the way as I saw that was a good alternative degreasing setup. I'm looking forward to posting some pictures, this is fun!
     
  9. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Pictures on it are broken/missing. Bugs hasn't been on here since 2013 but I wonder if anyone emailed him at his site to see if he answered. To be honest, I think the Inkbird setup is a lot safer and more foolproof (literally). The Kingwork one looks identical to the Allied one. The last one of those I got I wiped it all down with acetone and then slathered it good and heavy with high temp silicone at all the welds and weak spots on it. Previous ones I had always seemed to fail at these points after a few years of heavy use. I think ammonia in a heated solution is unkind to these. But the silicone has worked to keep chemicals away from those areas. The other option now that I like is the wrap around barrel/bucket heater. Previously I had looked into these but they were horribly expensive. There are some cheaper ones now. Degreasing is also a lot cleaner than macerating. Many times I have had a bucket or two in the house tucked into a corner of the kitchen. Being in the warmer house also cuts down on electricity usage trying to keep something at temp in a cold outdoors. If you can construct a well insulated "hot box", it is even cheaper to heat an enclosed space with a small electric heater with a fan. Every bucket you put in there will be at the same temp.

    This is a little tough to see but this is a 8 foot square box made from 2 inch thick insulated foam panels. Everything was tight and a small heater kept it at 90 to 100 degrees constant inside. Small circulating pumps kept the water moving and from becoming stagnant.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Sportsman13

    Sportsman13 New Member

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    Thank you! I'll see how everything goes with the inkbird. Prior to next Winter, I'd like to build a hotbox. I definetely appreciate the insight.
     
  11. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    Sea Wolf...I get cold just looking at that picture!!! We haven't had but 1 day of winter here this winter...and that was in November, which was really fall!!!
     
  12. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    I built that hot box as an experiment a few years ago. Worked well too. We had snow that winter. This season, nada. Only snow we have had at all was Friday nigt and it was barely an inch or two. Was all melted by Sat afternoon for the most part. Been a weird winter here. Some really cold days but no snow at all.