Casting the Earlham Castoroides, Part 5

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We’ve finished our fifth straight 10-hour day working on Earlham’s giant beaver, and we’ve got a good workflow going. For the most part Ray is doing the initial clay work on each bone, and pouring the silicone to make the molds. I flip the specimens and get them ready for the second pour, demold the originals when the mold is finished, and pour and remove flash from the casts. When students come by to help we work them into the flow at various points.

We’re doing a lot more casting now as is clear in the image at the top. As with yesterday, the white bones are new casts, dark bones are awaiting molding, and missing bones are already in the molding process but have not yet produced new casts. On our initial copy, which will be staying at Earlham, we’ve completed the ribcage, most of the tail vertebrae, and most of the limbs on the right side.

Ray put the final silicone plugs on the cranium and lower jaw today (below). In the morning we’ll make plaster mother molds over these, then flip them and start on the ventral sides.

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I forgot to include pictures, but yesterday we started pouring the left clavicle and caudal vertebrae 9-11. Today we flipped them and poured the other sides:

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We also flipped the left hand and the right foot:

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We did the first pour on the left foot:

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We also did the first pours on lumbar vertebrae 3-7. Below is lumbar 5, and there are four more molds that look very similar:

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More to come tomorrow.

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