Storage jacket, and anniversary

We’ve finally begun making the storage jacket for our Diplodocus scapulocoracoid. Because this specimen is still in a half field jacket, and not in the sandbox, we have to modify our technique a bit. The permanent storage jacket needs a flange around the edge to give room for bolting the two halves of the jacket together. We usually make that flange by extending the plaster out over leveled sand in the sandbox. In this case, without sand, we made a flange out of cardboard (above), and will extend the plaster over that.

From that point forward, the process is pretty much the same as with any storage jacket. We cover the specimen with plastic wrap to keep the plaster off the bone, then cover that with sheets of foam that serve as padding:

Finally, we add fiberglass strips that have been soaked in plaster, and aluminum reinforcing rods:

This jacket will need at least one more coat of plaster. Then it can be flipped, and we can begin preparing the other side.

This entry was posted in Paleontological techniques, Wyoming Excavations and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Storage jacket, and anniversary

  1. Brian Beatty says:

    Congratulations on the Anniversary! Your blog has really, really been an inspiration and I wish more people would be putting a public face to their daily research work. You are making this science as a whole much more accessible to the public than anyone else I have seen, particularly the real day-to-day life of the job. Instead of reporting news of other people’s work, you’re really demonstrating what the work is to the next generation, and I hope they’re paying attention. If I had this as a kid, I would have had a much better idea of what I needed to do, and how to go about making it a career.

  2. Alton Dooley says:

    Thanks, Brian. When I started writing the blog, I wasn’t sure what direction it would take. To paraphrase Danny DeVito in the movie “Junior”, “You think you’re the first person to wake up in the morning and say ‘Hey, I’m bored, I think I’ll write a blog’?”

    I have to say it’s turned out to be a lot of fun, perhaps because I mostly write about whatever I feel like. There was eventually a conscious effort to describe day-to-day activities. VMNH is located in a region where there is little understanding of what scientists actually do, so I wanted to make paleontology a bit less mysterious and more accessible. The installation of the kiosk made the blog a good vehicle for that. (For those that haven’t been to VMNH, there is a kiosk outside my exhibit lab where visitors can access the blog.)

    Still, it’s nice to know that it’s being read and appreciated. Thanks!

  3. Doug says:

    Yeah, congrats on the blog’s anniversary! So far you still hold the title of Best Museum blog i read. All the others just seem to fall short.

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