Tuesday, June 11, 2013
BONELUST Q&A: "How do I put mandibles back together & teeth in?"
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?"