Jump to content
cavemanfl

Mammoth tusk recovery in florida

Recommended Posts

cavemanfl

I will soon be attempting to recover a mammoth tusk in Florida. Is in a creek bank with an end exposed and appears to be like most Florida tusks... crumbly. I'm hoping maybe the buried portion will be sturdier than the exposed. I havent messed with it since finding it. Just wanting to pregame the recovery. It thoughts comments concerns and suggestions are welcome.20190414_101513.thumb.jpg.a5c8e3bb0871688ae2fb784ee26ecea5.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
goatinformationist

Do not allow this tusk to dry out.  Any large bone or tusk should be covered immediately with wet towels (easier to peel away than wet newsprint).  Keep it wet until you can clean and decant the items in a prepared solidifying solution.  Size matters but generally a gallon of wood glue to 15 gallons of water will handle anything.

It might be too much but my large items come from river bottoms and I need a large reservoir.  You probably won't need so much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
goatinformationist

Oh, and collect all of the pieces that I can see around the tusk.  Perhaps they can be used to build or rebuild what you pull out of the bank.

Best of luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
cavemanfl
9 minutes ago, goatinformationist said:

Do not allow this tusk to dry out.  Any large bone or tusk should be covered immediately with wet towels (easier to peel away than wet newsprint).  Keep it wet until you can clean and decant the items in a prepared solidifying solution.  Size matters but generally a gallon of wood glue to 15 gallons of water will handle anything.

It might be too much but my large items come from river bottoms and I need a large reservoir.  You probably won't need so much.

I typically use butvar 76 on everything I consolidate. Would there be any reason to use wood glue over it? 

 

My plan as of now dig it on to a pedestal. Cover it (maybe try some thing to consolidate it in place first). And hope there is enough of it there that I have figure out a plan to move it. It has to travel quite a distance to get to the truck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
goatinformationist

Butvar can get expensive for a job this size. When I lived in Tallahassee I was taught to use a wood glue solution by state museum staff/students.  Start with a thin solution and keep the tusk in the tank for six weeks or until the entire item has had sufficient time to uptake.  Let dry, then If you want more consolidator you can add more glue to the next batch. If you consolidate in place how will you clean it later?

I take it that this piece is going on your shelf at home and not a museum. 

There are other ways to do this of course and you should attend to other opinions before acting on the first recommendation.  Good advice for life. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
goatinformationist

I should have added that a good wood glue solution is mixed in warm water. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mark Kmiecik

I'm going to keep track of this topic. I've never had to consolidate anything more serious than plant material peeling off of shale, which is pretty straightforward and nowhere near the size of this undertaking. Keep us posted on what you do and the results. I don't envy the task ahead of you. Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
cavemanfl
9 hours ago, goatinformationist said:

Butvar can get expensive for a job this size. When I lived in Tallahassee I was taught to use a wood glue solution by state museum staff/students.  Start with a thin solution and keep the tusk in the tank for six weeks or until the entire item has had sufficient time to uptake.  Let dry, then If you want more consolidator you can add more glue to the next batch. If you consolidate in place how will you clean it later?

I take it that this piece is going on your shelf at home and not a museum. 

There are other ways to do this of course and you should attend to other opinions before acting on the first recommendation.  Good advice for life. 

With butvar if I can consolidate in place (I think it may be too moist) I can clean it up with acetone after it has been recovered

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mark Kmiecik

Would it be possible to build a wall around it where it lies, drain the water from the enclosure, and then consolidate it before removing it from the stream bed?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
steelhead9

I think, depending on how big it turns out to be, you must pedestal the whole tusk then make a sturdy plaster jacket before trying to move it at all. Consolidation of any type will not penetrate the whole mass of something this big. If this is a big tusk and you wish to get it out whole, any other method would be disastrous. As soon as it is safely in a work space, the jacket must be removed so proper drying can take place (this has been described in detail on the forum) before consolidation. I personally would not use wood glue on this. Good luck, you have a massive task to do this right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×