Cast #102 - Aluminum Black Drum Fish Skull Casting

Aluminum Black Drum Fish Skull Cast #102 - Top Picture.
Fish Type: Black Drum (Pogonias cromis)

Cast Number: #102
Cast Weight: 19.4 oz

Cast Material: Aluminum
Cast Dimensions: 2.75"x4"x5.75" (HxWxL)

Description
This is an aluminum cast of the inside of a black drum fish skull. A black drum is a salt water fish and I caught this one in 2011 at Dauphin Island, Alabama in the Gulf of Mexico. It weighed 29 lb which still is a personal record for me and you can see that it's a really big fish. I did clean the fish with the intent of eating it but found that it was infested with parasitic worms, which is common in these types of fish, so I didn't end up eating it. I did keep and clean the skull and have had it around for a while.

Casting it was fairly tricky. There are many external openings so I can't just pour aluminum in. Also, I wasn't sure how well the bone would hold up to the heat. The solutions to these problems is to encase the skull in plaster to seal all of the openings except for the spinal cord opening on the back of the skull which is where the aluminum is poured in. I wasn't able to just pour plaster around the skull because it would leak in and close of the cavities. I had to use a more complicated method to get the skull encased in the plaster.

The full method for casting the skull is as follows:

1. Seal the openings with tape, except for the spinal cord opening which is where the aluminum is poured in
2. Fill the skull with wax. This will provide a barrier for the plaster, and can be removed with heat later.
3. Remove the tape
4. Encase the skull in plaster
5. Heat to remove the wax
6. Pour in the molten aluminum