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Thread: Muntjac skull finishing

  1. #1

    Muntjac skull finishing

    I have boiled out and bleached a buck skull to send to an artist friend.
    It's a bit broken and dusty.
    Should I finish it with a wash of diluted PVA to stabilise the surface and give it a nice sheen?

  2. #2
    Just a couple of questions why is it broken and dusty? when did you boil and clean it? what did you use to bleach it?

    Don't know why the surface should. need stabalised,unless you used houshold bleach, never heard of PVA being used for that purpose though I suppose it will stabilise the bone if needed , just don't know why it would need to be.

    As for a sheen better left natural.

  3. #3
    I bleached it with 9% peroxide.

    I think the few months burial or the half hour in a pressure cooker were the main schoolboy errors.

  4. #4
    Is it actually broken, or have the skull plates just come apart due to over-boiling? I've pieced skulls together using epoxy in the past if this is the case. Give it a good but gentle clean in warm water and washing up liquid, then cover it in peroxide again (I use the activator from hair dye. . . . cover the skull with the paste, then place kitchen paper over the entire thing and let it soak for a while) I've had decent results that way
    A Man should be wise, but never too wise. He who does not know his fate in advance is free of care

  5. #5
    The skull itself is intact, but the lower mandible, incisors and nasal structure needed a fair bit of reassembly.
    It's the pedicles that I would describe as particularly dusty. I've since read that this could be due to protein loss during hard boiling.
    Or perhaps it relates to the buck being in velvet still?
    I think a dilute PVA wash is the way forward to rescue this one.
    I'll try a more gentle boil next time.
    Thanks for the tip to use hair dye fixer. The kitchen paper is a good tip too; I assume that gets the bleaching agent precisely where you want it, so less waste.

  6. #6
    Hope it turns out the way you want it!

    Any chance of some before-and-after photos? Be interesting to see the outcome
    A Man should be wise, but never too wise. He who does not know his fate in advance is free of care

  7. #7
    Of course.
    If I'd thought that pictures were going on here I'd have taken more care with my assembly job. My mate won't know any better, but some folks on here will be appalled at my disrespectful effort :-)
    But we will all learn something about the relative wisdom of treating a skull with Unibond. Fingers crossed.

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