The bad weather across the southeast has thrown schedules into turmoil, but even with the museum closed to the public Ray and I have been coming in to work on several projects, including our Castoroides mount.
Yesterday we had to return to Koger Air for an additional weld to correct an error we had in the armature. As Ray began attaching various bones, he discovered the we had positioned one of the front legs too far posteriorly. Because of the armature design, at first we thought we were going to have to completely rebuild the front half of the skeleton. Fortunately Ray found a simple work-around that took less than a hour, plus the extra trip to Koger Air.
After returning to the museum we attached wires to support the costal cartilage. These cartilage strips connect the ribs to the sternum, and don’t typically fossilize. However, including them improves the appearance of the mount and makes the rib cage much stronger, so Ray is molding each one in putty; these are the gray strips across the skeleton’s chest in the image above.
This photo was taken this morning. Since then Ray has pretty much finished the costal cartilage, and polished and painted the metal base. In the next day or two we hope to start painting the skeleton itself.