1. Welcome to Taxidermy.net, Guest!
    We have put together a brief tutorial to help you with the site, click here to access it.

Hog And Gator Skull Help

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by Dan Vredenburgh, Jan 22, 2021.

  1. I am in the process of mounting my 2 hog skulls and gator skull. Running into a few issues: 1) is there a trick to getting the long tusks back into the lower jaw? Everything else went back in pretty easily, but the 2 long tusks just aren't going in. 2) I am mounting the skulls 2 different ways (both will be hung on the wall) - one is on a "skull hanger" mounted on a plaque - how do I attach the lower jaw (most things I have seen glue/epoxy the upper/lower teeth and hinge joint - any other suggestions??); the other skull is on a plaque I saw on the net with a "shelf" - I saw someone attach wires inside the upper jaw and run the wire thru the "shelf" and simple twist tighten and hold the lower jaw with pressure. This sound like best option? With both I am worried about a failure over time and a broken skull on the floor.

    The gator skull will be on a pedestal plaque. Same issue as first pig skull - how to attach?? Not sure I can use the wire/tension option as there isn't much room to work in the upper jaw and it seems so delicate.

    Any/all help would be greatly appreciated. (I can try to post some pics if that helps)
     
  2. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Pictures always help. How big are the skulls? You might find that if you soak the skull in water for a day or so, you can get the tusks back in the sockets while wet. Then just let the bone dry again.

    Most hog skulls weight a lot, especially with the lower jaw. I would not rely on glue. Stuff like that comes crashing down at 2 am. Wire is the way to go and make sure it is sturdy enough to take the weight. Braided picture hanger wire might be an idea if you can secure the ends properly. I have never wired a skull but hopefully someone else here has. I do have a couple of skulls, not prepped by me, that are wired through the jaw hinge but a hole was drilled through the bone to do that.

    How long is your gator and how stable is the bone? If it was boiled clean with soda, the bone might be compromised.
     
    msestak likes this.

  3. Yeah, I will get some pics posted. Too late for any additional soaking (I think) - all skulls have been hydrodipped. The one pig skull (will be the white one when I post pics) will sit on a "shelf" so wiring should be "easier". The other (Kryptek) will be "free floating" so the wiring will be more difficult - maybe I can drill holes in the inside of the lower jaw, where it cannot be seen and wire it to upper that way??

    Gator was not huge (7.25'). It was boiled - no soda (I don't think anyway). I think I might try to wire to the plaque like the one hog. It is certainly way more delicate than the hogs. Maybe glue and "light" tension wire job??

    Thanks for the help.
     
  4. hog skull & plaque 1. The plaque I copied had the support block on top. I was thinking of putting it under the shelf (that is why there is a block top and bottom).
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 23, 2021
  5. Hog/plaque 2 (having trouble with these lower tusks.
    20210121_141558_Film3[1].jpg 20210121_141854_Film3[1].jpg
     
  6. gator 20210121_142020_Film3[1].jpg 20210121_142035_Film3[2].jpg 20210121_142210_Film3[1].jpg
     
  7. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Ok .. guess the coating hides any flaws or issues pretty well. Not sure of anything further you could do with the tusk issue. Maybe ask whoever did the job if it is ok for the coating and bone underneath to get wet? Not sure if the coating is sprayed with a solvent first to soften it before the dipping. If so, then only water would be fine. Are you also sure the cutters/tusks are in the right sockets?

    I'm assuming you want to hang the gator vertically? It should be possible to drill two small holes through the plaque right underneath the center part of the skull and again down near the end of the nose. Use clear silicone to glue the jaws at the hinge and in underneath on each side where the teeth meet so that it doesn't show. You don't have to use huge gobs of the stuff. There should be an area on each end where you can loop wire up through the bone and back out so the loose wire ends are sticking out through underneath again. Run the wire ends through the holes in the wood and out the back where you can secure it by twisting or wrapping around a screw and tightening that down into the wood to hold it. I don't have a gator skull handy to take a look at. I don't have a big hog to look at to see if the same thing can be done. That is going to have a lot more weight behind it to secure. Biggest issue will be to secure the lower jaw to the top so that it does not come free.
     
  8. Gator is actually going to be on a pedestal (that plaque tilted on angle to a base) to sit on a shelf. I think I can try to make the wire tension thing work but will likey do some glue/epoxy too - what would you recommend for the glue/epoxy (I just used some Gorilla glue 2 part epoxy to fill the tusks and have some left; also have hot glue but not super confidenet on how that will hold over time , and various superglues.

    Here is the idea I was goingto use to wire the white hog skull (and what I think you were getting at with the gator (just a little different). On the "free floating" green hog I was thinking of something similar but without a plaque to go to, I would just have try to make a connection to the lower jaw.

    idea.jpg
     
  9. joeym

    joeym Jeannette & Joey @ Dunn's Falls

    Alligator Skull-Open Mouth.jpg I use a dowel rod or a ceramic rod to hold gator mouths open. There is a screw through the hinge to hold the upper and lower jaw together.
     
  10. joeym

    joeym Jeannette & Joey @ Dunn's Falls

    On the hog, I fill the brain cavity with bondo, the insert a #6 wire with a hook on one end into the bondo. Let harden, then drill a 1/4 inch hole into the panel or driftwood, bend over on the backside, and secure with screws.
     
  11. Nick.Niles

    Nick.Niles New Member

    could you use a dremel to grind the tusks a little so they will slide in and then glue them in?
     
  12. Frustration now setting in. The damn lower tusks will not go in. Just did some dremelling of the cavity and no (not much anyway) better. There isn't many ways they can go. Here is a pic if someone can see if I am doing anything wrong - that is as far as they will go. The uppers are loose as can be. I planned on having them out farther than rel life, but not quite like this (and the jaw won't shut right).
     

    Attached Files:

  13. FINALLY got the GD things in!! Had to cut 1/2"-1" off and they still went in hard. Something odd happened to make them that hard to get back in???? Hope to finish everything up tomorrow (assuming the gator cooperates).
     
  14. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    It might be possible that, during the dipping process, that something filled in the sockets enough to prevent the tusks from seating properly? As for pulling out the tusks longer than what they were normally, I've seen that done and it always looks goofy like something isn't right.
     
  15. Yeah. But the dremelling didn't really help either?? Almost like those pockets "swelled" or something???? Who knows. I don't even think I could extend the lowers if I wanted to....things don't align properly. Thanks for the advice. Hope to post some finished pics today.
     
  16. DONE!!! All in all, I think they came out pretty good.
     

    Attached Files:

  17. 20210131_164301_Film3.jpg
     
  18. 20210131_144014_Film3.jpg