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Drenthe

I am hoping to use a solution to consolidate wet bone specimens that I find immersed in mud, water or on sand bars. Speaking of mega fauna bones in general most of them will fall apart in a few days when drying. Wondering if the acetone based Paraloid could be applied to displace moisture and to consolidate the bone or tusks. The tusks are a real problem. Most are lost after being in the environment for a few days. Ideally I would like to apply something to them as I am removing them from the mud.

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TqB

Paraloid needs to be applied to dry specimens. I think the only accessible strengthener for wet ones is diluted PVA or similar.

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Ptychodus04

Amy Davidson (Senior Preparator - AMNH) recommends Primal (Rhoplex) WS-24 for use with damp specimens.

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jpc

tusks will continually be difficult to stabilize.  They are basically a pain in the patootie.  I would try the rhoplex.  Not sure where to find it, but there is always the google-machine. 

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paulgdls

I agree with Tarquin. I've been using PVA on mammoth tusks and teeth for 25 years with very good results.

 

Paul

 

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Ptychodus04

By diluted PVA, I’m assuming you are talking about “white glue” aka “Elmer’s glue”. While this has been a popular method for decades, it has shown to have some serious side effects. 

 

It is a PVA emulsion not a solution so no matter how much you water it down, the PVA will never fully penetrate the specimen to fully consolidate it. Also, emulsions have been shown to be extremely difficult to remove.

 

In the right conditions, PVA emulsion will turn yellow and crack. I have dealt with this on old fossils and it was a nightmare to remove. It required soaking in acetone (which caused the specimen to fall apart) and scraping the sticky, yellow, boogers of PVA off the surface. I then had to properly consolidate and reassemble the specimen.

 

I hope to never have that joy again. If you can control the drying so the specimens don’t fall apart, you’re much better off using a Paraloid, PVA, or Butvar solution. This is my preferred method of dealing with wet specimens. Wrap them in wet towels and put them in a closed box for a month. This usually slows the drying to the point you don’t have the cracking issues. For tusks, I’ve seen people use hose clamps to hold them tight while drying with good effects.

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