Darren Tanke’s Gorgosaurus preparation 31: Pulling off the jacket 1.

Dave writes: I’m nearly over my jetlag and am now settling down to the business of working at the IVPP. Sadly there’s nothing on display I haven’t shown off before and I’m still behind on writing some posts of m y own. So for now you’ll have to settle for yet more Gorgosaurus prep.

Now comes the “fun” part, taking the original field jacket off. Often we use power tools such a reciprocating saws and remove large pieces of the jacket, but the specimen is too fragile and nice to risk it as these tools cause vibrations. First the bolts were removed. Usually with a field jacket, the first few layers (there are about 6-7 on this in total) come off easily by hand, so the edge of the burlap is found and simply pulled away one piece at a time. Because the pieces overlap and are covered in plaster it is hard to see where one piece starts and end and sometimes you end up pulling on a lower piece and it tears into smaller bits. On average, the pieces here came of in hand-sized bits. A couple large flat-headed screwdrivers were good to get under the burlap and lift it up and separate the layers.

All the supporting 2 X 4 timbers used as splints in the field jacket were removed and saved- they can be used in another jacket someday. Once I got down to the harder plaster I used a water spray gun to soak the plaster/burlap. This softens the plaster and makes removal easier. Many people uses water-soaked rags for this step, but the water hose was close by so I just sprayed it lightly. After soaking in for 10-15 minutes the pieces came off more easily. Removal of a plaster jacket piece by piece by hand is tough on ones fingers and hands and time consuming- the better part of one day (7.5 hours work) was needed to get this far.

3 Responses to “Darren Tanke’s Gorgosaurus preparation 31: Pulling off the jacket 1.”

  1. 1 YourName's notBruce? 21/06/2011 at 4:25 pm

    Hi Darren;

    Your soaking of the field jacket got me thinking. If anyone were ever to find the Mount Temple, and assuming the fossils survived the sinking of the ship, would they also have survived the effects of saltwater immersion over this length of time?

    • 2 Darren Tanke 22/06/2011 at 3:29 am

      I tend to think the plaster jackets have turned to sludge. They are in saltwater yes, but the common denominator is water and rainwater turns the badlands where the dinosaurs came from into a slipperry gooey mess and washes the sediments away. I think the jackets on Mount Temple are probably gone, but there could be the surface-collected fossils. These alone are probably of little scientific value but the unique history attached to them makes them very unique. Think how much a 1910 fountain pen is worth today- now the same pen raised from the Titanic- there is more to that pen than just its age.
      Surface collected dinosaur fossils in Alberta have been there a very long time too and many still stay together well. Those I think are still there.

  1. 1 Darren Tanke’s Gorgosaurus preparation: final roundup « Dave Hone's Archosaur Musings Trackback on 02/09/2012 at 8:46 pm
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