Tuesday, June 11, 2013

BONELUST Q&A: "How do I put mandibles back together & teeth in?"

BONELUST Q&A: "How do I put mandibles back together?" There are many ways to reattach two mandible halves that have come apart. Depends on the species. I prefer to use regular white school glue because you don't always get it right first time around. It i

There are many ways to reattach two mandible halves that have come apart. Depends on the species. I prefer to use regular white school glue because you don't always get it right first time around. I also use this same glue to put teeth back in. It is water soluble so you just soak it in water, wash off the glue, let it dry & re-glue. Also, not all mandibles can simply be put back together. Some are lacking muscle where they once connected and do not perfectly fit together anymore once the flesh is gone. That's why sometimes you see people using rubber bands to hold the two jawbone halves together on deer, goats and similar species. For a small mandible like this cat skull I just put a small dab of glue where they connect then rest the two halves balanced together with the skull flipped over. Always be sure the mandible fits the skull properly before it dries. This flip over and balance trick doesn't work for everything obviously. Sometimes you just have to carefully tape the end after applying the glue. And sometimes some mandible shapes let you clip them together while they dry with a clothespin. You just have to figure out what works best for you. It is also important that all incisors are already sealed into place before you attach the mandible halves. Otherwise glue may fill the holes where their roots go.

Here's a related blog post - BONELUST Q&A: "The teeth fell out of my skull! Did I do something wrong? How do I fix it?"


6 comments:

Brenda said...

Hello! I have recently acquired a raccoon skull that had the lower jaw held on by way of old rubber band wrapped around the skull...unfortunately this left a stain across the top of the skull. Is there any safe way to remove this discoloration? Thank you,

Jana Miller said...

Hi Brenda! I'm not sure what you mean by rubberband stain. I've never experience this before. I'd go ahead and just peroxide bathe it and maybe that will help. Here's my blog post about that - http://bone-lust.blogspot.com/2013/06/whitening-bone-teeth-hydrogen-peroxide.html

sciencedummy said...

Have you ever tried duco cement? It's one of my favorite adhesives for gluing fragmentary bones. It bonds incredibly well but it is soluble with hot water or rubbing alcohol, in case a mistake is made.

Jana Miller said...

Thanks for that info sciencedummy. I have Duco Cement for my art but have not used it on my skull collection. I'll have to try it out sometime. I won't however use it on my bone jewelry in that case, haha

New XC Ski'r! said...

Hi Jana,
I'm a newbie to this sort of stuff. I have a beautiful moose skull with rack that I'd like to whiten up for the wall. Do I soak the skull in a 50/50 solution? How long? Also, what if part of the antlers are soaked as well? Will that affect their appearance?

Jana Miller said...

Hi New XC Ski'r! , If there is no flesh then yes, soak in peroxide to whiten. If there is flesh then macerate. But be aware that if you submerge the moose antlers in peroxide it will remove the natural color!