Staining bone brown
- Got a neat tip from a taxidermist friend for permanently staining bone a dark brown and since it uses a chemical reaction it won't "bleed" if it gets wet, and won't chip/wear off like some paints.
Potassium permanganate is an "oxidizer" used for things like treating fish ponds or filters to treat common fish pathogens such as gill parasites and external bacterial and fungal infections. http://www.acehardwareoutlet.com/ProductDetails.aspx?SKU=4021150
It will stain virtually any organic material such as skin, paper, and clothing so wear rubber gloves (and an apron if you're a klutz).
When mixed with pure glycerol or other simple alcohols it will result in a violent combustion reaction.
I dissolve it in water and soak the bones in the solution for a few hours and then thoroughly rinse them off and simply let them dry. I use a stainless steel bowl I found at a thrift store, and a slotted spoon comes in handy for fishing the bones out of the solution. I also do all the work in our laundry sink to minimize the chance of spills/splashes on the floor.
A set of bone Tafl game pieces I did http://historicgames.com/aspentafl1.JPG
I've been able to use the same batch several times by storing the solution in a glass bottle between uses and adding another tablespoon or so of the chemical once in a while if a batch of bones is taking longer to turn brown. Unfortunately I don't remember the original proportions I used the first time, but the bottle I bought is more than I'll use in several years of making game pieces.
MacGregor Historic Games
- On Apr 7, 2011, at 9:40 AM, groomporter wrote:
> When mixed with pure glycerol or other simple alcohols it willVery neat tip. Thanks! And I can personally attest to the above
> result in a violent combustion reaction.
warning about potassium permanganate. It's a really cool way to start
a fire without anyone near it. Old boy-scout trick, in fact. When
laying the fire, you put a small can (tuna/cat food, whatever) with
some house-hold glycerin in it in the base of the fire and make sure
the fire is well coated with lighter fluid. When ready, you solemnly
march to the fire, pray some gibberish over it while waving your hands
around and surreptitiously pour the potassium permanganate crystals
you had up your sleeve into the fire and walk away. After a little
while (oxygen is also needed in the reaction, so the depth of the can,
amount of stuff around the opening and amount of wind will affect
this), the fire will burst into flame seemingly entirely on it's own!
It definitely takes a bit of practice to do safely, but works a treat
when done properly. Scares the crap out of the little kids, too! :D
"..Um..Something strange happened to me this morning."
"Was it a dream where you see yourself standing in sort
of Sun God robes on a pyramid with a thousand naked
women screaming and throwing little pickles at you?"
"Why am I the only person that has that dream?"