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In April Forum member @Sagebrush Steve posted an account in the "Fossil Prep" section detailing construction of display stands for some of his collection. He employed a slightly different approach and interested readers would be well served to view that post as well as this one. I do believe that the use of attractive display techniques can enhance the "decorator" value of fossils as well as allowing them to be viewed in a manner far better than resting on a shelf.
 

 

A short while ago I posted a prep series on a pair of Halisaurus jaw sections. That post concluded with discussion of the display stands employed. Rustic bases made from salvaged wild cherry wood were the support for brass rods bent to hold the pieces. Here is one of those pieces.

 

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That project led to the idea mounting other fossils in a similar style. To this end I acquired a box of assorted blanks from an exotic woods dealer. I believe those slabs were intended for turning on a lathe to produce small bowls. I chose them for use as stable, heavy bases. The natural beauty of the various wood was also a factor. Here are some of the blanks. the are partially dipped on wax to seal them for storage. They are: Bubinga, Purpleheart and Yellowheart.

 

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Here is an assortment of wood that has been subjected to an orbital sander in preparation for finishing. They are: Ambrosia Maple, Canarywood, Bocote and Jatoba

 

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Here is a block of African Mahogany, that will serve as a base for the first stand. Shellac, mixed from flakes and denatured alcohol is applied to the unstained wood. A cloth dauber is utilized for application. Holes for mounting the brass rods have been pre-drilled in designated spots.

 

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Here is the project prior to assembly. The blue strand of flexible, electrical wire was used to form the approximate desired shape needed for the brass rod configurations. In that manner a measure could be established for the placement of bends. A simple jig was used to make the bends. It is, however, more difficult than one would imagine. Well, at least is was for snolly. Visible are the fossil specimens to be mounted.

 

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Here are a couple views of the finished project. This was a fun experience and the other blanks will be utilized to mount other medium sized specimens.

 

Triceratops  sp 

partial chevrons

Hell Creek Formation

Powder River Co, Montana

 

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Nicely done.

Tell the truth here, it was really the snolly wife that did this - wasn't it?

I know snolly could never accomplish an artwork of this magnitude.

 

Ynot

 

PS :thumbsu:

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Sagebrush Steve

Very nice, @snolly50!  You’ve taken it a step further with your bends than I did (I just used round nose pliers to make my bends), and I like your choice of exotic woods.  Those will make great additions to your display. 

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Wonderful work, Sir Snolly.  :) 

Well done!

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Interesting idea, snolly... I don't know if I have any fossils that would withstand this kind of display but I could imagine going on a spree with ideas along these lines.

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That looks great. 

And not too overly complicated for someone of my DIY abilities (practically zero). 

I might give that a go.

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Very nice display stands and you are correct sir when you say it's a better display than flat on a shelf.

I have been brain storming ideas for easy to make stands and you have given me ideas,

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Splendid work, Snolly!

 

As a reformed woodturner (haven't had the time lately) I instantly recognized those bases as exotic hardwood bowl blanks. I only bought one once at a Woodcraft store while buying some supplies. It was an interestingly patterned piece (possibly Zebrawood) but I have long since given that piece away.

 

I need to spend some time and make some nice display stands for a few of my pieces that would benefit from being raised from "resting on a shelf". I like that you've used artisanal shellac made from flakes. Shellac is an interesting natural "plastic" that has an interesting source and history: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shellac

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

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Some really neat work there snolly.  

 

RB

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Very nice work! :wub:

 

On another note, you live beside a lake?  Nice!  Bet you get to see herons all the time.

 

Don

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Between you and Steve need to brush up on my woodworking skills.  Nice displays

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There's always something special about nicely made unique objects like these, custom made to fit the occasion.

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Thanks to all for the kind assessment of this effort.  

 

Thanks to @Troodon for expert assistance in ID of the fossil chevrons.

 

23 hours ago, ynot said:

Tell the truth here, it was really the snolly wife that did this - wasn't it?

I know snolly could never accomplish an artwork of this magnitude.

 

Indeed the snollywife is chiefly responsible for any progress snolly has ever made.

 

9 hours ago, digit said:

I like that you've used artisanal shellac made from flakes. Shellac is an interesting natural "plastic" that has an interesting source and history:

Part of the fun of this project was learning a little about shellac. Mixin' up my own made me feel like I was doing something time-honored.

 

6 hours ago, FossilDAWG said:

On another note, you live beside a lake?  Nice!  Bet you get to see herons all the time.

 

Yes, we find ourselves very fortunate to be on this small lake. The narrow bit of land close in the photo is a 100 yard long island. We see Herons in the Summer. Right now it is flocks of Canada Geese passing through and little diving Grebes, making a living on the lake.

 

6 hours ago, aplomado said:

How did you make a jig for bending the wire?

The jig was an inexpensive purchase. It's a small aluminum rectangle that is screwed down to a rail in my garage. It has a variety of slots and movable pins to facilitate bending. I imagine a 2X4 section and some well placed nails could accomplish the same results.

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Nice displays, Sir Snolly. 

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Lovely display.

 

 

 

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Stretching for the sun
Bending with the wind, perhaps
Yearning for the past

 

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, Pagurus said:

Stretching for the sun
Bending with the wind, perhaps
Yearning for the past

 

Mike, thanks for the free verse addition. It certainly reinforces my thesis; fossils can strongly contribute aesthetic value. I certainly agree with collectors exercising a strong scientific bent to their efforts. However, I see little impediment to having the best of orientations; viewing the fossils for what they teach; and admiring their incredible Nature-wrought form. Both approaches engender wonder and enjoyment.

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It's a left-brain/right-brain hybrid containing scientific specimens artfully posed and now labeled with appropriate Haiku.

 

Seems like some of us are primed and ready for another poetry contest sometime in the new year.

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

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Great job J, certainly shows of your chevrons well and I like the wooden base, nice and organic. 

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