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Yesterday I picked up several shells from the Red Crag formation at Walton on the Naze that are incredibly fragile. What is the best way to preserve them to keep them from falling apart? I already crumbled a few while rinsing them in water, I am hoping to keep the rest intact lol.
@StevenJDennis brought me quite the project. It's a central Texas mammoth tusk that is in terrible shape! Texas tusks are as close to the complete opposite in preservation as compared to Siberian or Alaskan tusks. They are always brittle, broken, and just looking for an excuse to fall apart. Props to Steven for rescuing this monster from a terrible fate in the back of an old man's shed! The pics below show the tusk in the sate of preservation as they arrived to me. I have spent the last week with the fragments on end literally pouring medium viscosity PVA solution (about as thick as 20w 20 motor oil) into the cracks in an effort to stabilize them. 1 gallon later and they are beginning to toughen up a bit. PVA application will continue until the fragments will no longer absorb the solution. Then, I will attempt reassembly of the fragments. Unfortunately, there has been serious degradation of the fragments in many places. More to come!