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Repairing Mammoth Tooth Broken Scale


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I have a very large Mammoth tooth that came with a large lot of fossils I purchased. It's not in the best shape but definately recognizable. Unfortunately one of the scales has separated from the rest of the tooth and it has also broken in two pieces. It may have previously been broken and fixed (may also be fixed along other scales, too, I can't be sure).

What is the best way to:

(1) repair the scale to make it whole

(2) reattach the scale to the tooth

(3) any other sealing, cleaning, or work that can be done to stabilize the tooth

Please see the pictures (grid is 1" spacing), and ask me any questions- I appreciate any response or advice!!

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post-15511-0-87400000-1403225992_thumb.jpg

post-15511-0-81459000-1403226015_thumb.jpg

post-15511-0-05949000-1403226040_thumb.jpg

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I would use gel cyanoacrylate ("Krazy Glue"), with rubber bands to hold it 'til set.

Note that, if this is a North Sea fossil, it may be an on-going struggle.

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Harry Pristis

They are typically called enamel 'plates.' Any sort of glue will work . . . I might use carpenter's glue.

Here's the thing: Mammoth teeth must be consolidated with plastic, or you'll have more of these separations between plates. Consolidate these pieces of tooth separately . . . before you glue them back together, because the consolidant will weaken glue joins.

If you wish to learn more about consolidating fossils, simply go to my profile on this forum.

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Years ago I heard about taking elmers and using that to glue back those plates from those North Sea mammoth teeth. Ive never had to do it so I really don't know how well it works? I wish you luck in whatever you choose.

RB

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I would suggest coating the entire tooth with vinac or a similar Polyvinyl Acetate substance and then gluing back the broken pieces. This should keep the tooth from flaking in the future.

Seth

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Harry Pristis

sseth Posted Today, 09:50 AM

I would suggest coating the entire tooth with vinac or a similar Polyvinyl Acetate substance and then gluing back the broken pieces. This should keep the tooth from flaking in the future. Seth

You don't 'coat' with consolidant; you soak, saturate, impregnate, drench a fossil with consolidant.

A 'coat' is a surface treatment, while a consolidant is used for penetration of the fossil material.

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If you wish to learn more about consolidating fossils, simply go to my profile on this forum.

Harry, thanks for your feedback & information. Perhaps this is a dumb question, but as I've never done anything like this before, and this piece is so large (more than a foot square and about 5-6" thick), not mention my only mammoth tooth. I'm thinking that I should try something smaller first, or engage a professional- how would I go about that?

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Harry Pristis

Arch2000 said:

Harry, thanks for your feedback & information. Perhaps this is a dumb question, but as I've never done anything like this before, and this piece is so large (more than a foot square and about 5-6" thick), not mention my only mammoth tooth. I'm thinking that I should try something smaller first, or engage a professional- how would I go about that?

I do understand some trepidation in undertaking this project . . . that is the reason I provided so much detail in my forum profile in describing the process. Do I know any preparators in the Los Angeles area? . . . no. Maybe one of the California collectors here - like Siteseer - can help you. Or, contact the County Museum - the prep lab - for a lead.

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