Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The labs at Bristol

Remmert Schouten said he wanted to see a new blog post, so here you go dude. In addition to doing a great job putting together the adhesives and consolidants workshop, Remmert was kind enough to give us a tour of his lab at the University of Bristol. Here Remmert is giving a tour to the SVP preparators.

That's actually not true. However, he wasn't kidding when he showed us his lab shoes, actual wooden clogs. This might come as a surprise to us North American fossil people, but clogs are actually rated by the EU and UK as acceptable safety footwear, being resistant to acid and puncture.

If you don't believe me, check out Wikipedia.

During the tour, we passed around another item worth discussing, a stone masons hammer. I've seen these called dummy hammers or round hand hammers, and are available from a few sources on the internet, usually for about 25 or 30 US dollars. These hammers are used with typical chisels, a method that I like quite a bit in harder matrices for removing large quantities of matrix. Having a range of hammer and chisel sizes allows a great degree of accuracy in removing matrix, I've even prepped right up to the bone surface this way.
Remmert described the ability to finesse a wide range of strike force out of the mallet by adjusting how much you choke up on the handle, and by what part of the head with which you hit the chisel. A blow from the broad end of the tool will direct more force at your chisel and block for coarse work, and gentler taps towards the base of the head where the steel meets the wood will allow for gentler and more precise work.

Thanks very much to Remmert for the opportunity to see his lab, and for the work he contributed as part of the Host Committee for SVP Bristol.

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