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Mattalic

A Rookie's Attempt At A Consolidated Guide To Fossil Consolidation (Butvar-76)

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Auspex

Good job! This is exactly the kind of first-hand insight that gives folks the courage to go on and achieve great results.

Thank You!

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jpc

lot of info in there... I will have to read it later.

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Harry Pristis

That is an interesting experiment, Mattalic. I don't remember ever using an oven to drive off interstitial moisture from a bone. I imagine that strategy is better than using a microwave oven -- slower, but less chance of abruptly turning the moisture into steam. I think the infra-red lamp I've been using is effective for my purposes.

I can't help but think that the silica gel treatment is superfluous. That sort of drying does not affect the ambient humidity in the room. The oven drying (that is, consolidating while the bone is warm) does increase the dew-point at the bone surface as the acetone boils off. But, that's just my theory -- that the white film has two potential sources, interstitial moisture and ambient humidity condensing at the surface chilled by evaporation.

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Mattalic

I was hoping to get a closed enough system to make an impact using the desiccant chamber. I understand the micro-environment would be destroyed every time I open the container, but wanted to give it a go nonetheless as I could dry the pieces after impregnation in the same (or similar) closed system. In hindsight, I agree it was probably just extra steps on my part. Had an itch, needed to scratch it.

The tented environment at least does provide good results.

You can tell that there is an H2O reaction simply by placing a drop of roughly-same-temp water in a small container of solution. Butvar immediately condenses and precipitates out as familiar white plastic.

In regards to microwave - that just didn't sit right with me and made me giggle thinking about it. All I could picture was pore water flashing to steam and micro jokulhaups-like explosions coming out of my precious bone - or sub-glacial volcanic eruption. Whatever imagery works for you.

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dinogirl13

Thank you so much for posting this! As a total noob, this gives me a starting point for the fresh container of powder I am afraid to take out of the shipping box, and my fossils that desperately need attention!

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tmaier

When you mention "white glue", do you mean polyvinyl acetate? It comes in two flavors now, the old normal type and the "pH neutralized" type. The normal type has a pH of about 5.5 and the new type has a pH of about 8.2. If the material you are gluing would have a bad reaction to the low pH, then look for the neutralized type. If the bottle doesn't specifically state pH neutral, then it is acidic.

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Mattalic

Hope everyone has found this helpful. Good luck to all!

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