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SULLY

Full size specimen displays

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SULLY

I know it’s been talked about on here for making displays for smaller specimens. But what about larger specimens? What do you do when you have a full length tail section or when you have a full skeleton? I look at the displays in stores and museums and I cannot figure it out. I can weld and all that. But what I cannot figure out is how they get the metal bands wrapped so tight around the bone. The bone obviously has to sit into the main frame before the bands get wrapped around certain areas. How do they do that without damaging the specimen? The only thing I could think of was the material may be stainless steel or aluminum, so it’s an easy metal to bend. But then after that, how is the display stand painted? I don’t think you can paint it before and then bend it. The paint would chip and flake off as soon as you bend it. So If anyone has any information how this process works, I would love your help 

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Ptychodus04

If you use a light gauge of steel and anneal it, it will bend easily (the biggest mistake people make is overestimating the thickness of steel needed). Then, rough shape the pieces around the bones (When I build a custom mount, I place the piece, estimate the bend needed, remove the piece, bend the metal, and repeat the process). This will allow you to make fine adjustments without damaging the bones. At this point, you can paint the mount and make minor adjustments to the fit without damaging the paint job.

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Fitch1979

There are multiple kinds of steel too: there is steel that is especially made to bend, still strong enough to build custom fossil mounts. Personally, my experience with stainless steel is that it breaks too fast, same with aluminium. And that I prefer spraying the stands above painting. 

 

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SULLY

Thank you guys. So I understand the annealing process. But I am still not sure about the paint. Here is a photo of the bent areas I don't understand how the paint stays attached and does not flake off. The wraps at the top is what I'm concerned with. I understand the the fit will be close hopefully and there will minimum bending involved. But if you look at the wraps on the left and the right at the top of the specimen, you would still have a ways to go on the bending and I don't see how the paint will hold.

 

 

ALLO DISPLAY.jpg

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Ptychodus04

I use flat black spray paint. If you apply several very thin coats it will bend without cracking or chipping as long as the majority of bending is done before you paint.

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SULLY

Perfect. that's what I was looking for. Thank you. I know when I was younger, I worked at a shop doing auto body and paint. When we painted anything that was plastic or had the ability to possibly bend at some point, we always added an elastic additive to the paint so that when the bumper was pushed on or bent, the paint wouldn't come off. I just didn't want to have to go that route with this.

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caldigger
14 minutes ago, Ptychodus04 said:

I use flat black spray paint. If you apply several very thin coats it will bend without cracking or chipping as long as the majority of bending is done before you paint.

Yep.

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Ptychodus04
3 minutes ago, SULLY said:

Perfect. that's what I was looking for. Thank you. I know when I was younger, I worked at a shop doing auto body and paint. When we painted anything that was plastic or had the ability to possibly bend at some point, we always added an elastic additive to the paint so that when the bumper was pushed on or bent, the paint wouldn't come off. I just didn't want to have to go that route with this.

The amount of paint you use on a mount is going to be substantially less that what you would use in a car.

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SULLY

What I've been doing up to this point for some of my smaller to medium size displays for things like toe assembly's and verts and so on, is painting the whole display, and then I come back to the straps and rods that are going to be bent round the specimen and put heat shrink over the metal and shrink it down so the paint doesn't come off. It also acts as a nice little buffer between the specimen and the metal work.

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SULLY

Thank you again everyone for your help!

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steelhead9

In the photo of the legbone, there likely is a spot lower on the bone that fits into the bent metal. It is then manipulated to slip into the correct position, thus no bending is necessary after the bone is in place. This is even more likely on this particular piece because the bottom of the bone does not fit into another area of bent metal, but rather on a metal tab.

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