Continuing on where we left off last time, this post will attempt to cover how we make a protective support jacket for very large or heavy specimens.
For really weighty specimens, like our dinosaur’s limb bones, we create a sort of supportive shell for the bone from a substance called Epopast, an epoxy resin/glass fibre paste. Epopast is pretty nasty stuff so to mix up a batch we need to get kitted out in full PPE (personal protective equipment)- goggles, mask, lab coat, apron, gloves and gauntlets (arm guards).
First things first, though- the bone must be protected before we go covering it with chemical goo. We cover the whole top surface with Clingfilm. The next step is important- any uneven areas where the Epopast might creep under must be filled out with plasticine, or the hardened jacket might be impossible to remove!