Viegas & Benton, 2014: A CONSERVATION AND PREPARATION OVERVIEW
Heller Trijet SDS Plus Hammer or Bosch SDS®
was not serious, but showed how important it
Max SpeedXTM and different-sized sledge
is to use the right equipment and not to
hammers and chisels to break the cut lines ­
underestimate even the smallest, less powerful
when operating abrasive wheel machinery it
tools. Glasses are now not allowed and full
was imperative that the proper PPE equipment
goggles are mandatory for all laboratory users
was used, and, depending on the situation, the
while doing any mechanical preparation work.
minimum
safety
equipment
required
for
When work was carried out with heavier
abrasive wheel handling were goggles and level
percussion tools that transmit large amounts of
P3 dust masks.
vibrations to the user, a sponge was wrapped
Size reduction of the bone-bearing boulders
around the tool and gel-padded bicycle gloves
required the use of specialized tools. Several
were worn in order to reduce vibration-related
air scribes were used, equipped with different
injuries. Vibration injuries are a controversial
makes and styluses of the Aro model, different-
matter in fossil preparation. During the project,
sized Paleo Tools® Micro-Jack (Micro-Jack), Ken
a wide, ongoing, study on this type of injury,
Mannion“s Model TT, also with different
and the vibrating tools and equipment to
styluses, plus refurbished, custom-modified PV
dampen them was started. Numerous gels,
pens and Dessouters. All these tools served two
gloves and different padding systems are being
main
purposes,
first
to
give
students
tested against different tools, used with
experience with a wide range of air scribes with
different matrixes and users in order to
different
power,
precision,
vibration
and
understand
this
poorly
studied
and
handling styles in order for them to learn that
incapacitating
problem.
Vibration-related
each tool has its own place when preparing,
injuries are a "silent killer" and all care must be
and secondly to break away from the "one tool
taken when handling such equipment. Students
for all jobs" attitude, which can lead to
and volunteers at the BDP were allowed only
irreparable
mistakes.
Other
mechanical
half days of air scribing, with pauses during
preparation equipment such as different-sized
work encouraged, thus minimizing the risk of
grinders, rotary "Dremmel®" type multi-tools,
prolonged injuries. During the entire project
different pin vices, and hammers and chisels
only one student showed signs of possible
were all used during preparation work, which
complications with vibration-induced injuries,
allowed students to understand which tools
during his initial induction and training with air
would work best on each occasion, from heavy,
scribes, which demonstrates the importance of
bulk matrix removal to fine stereo-microscope
constant guidance and surveillance with new
aided, pin-vice preparation (Figure 12).
volunteers, after this he was allocated different
Mechanical preparation work using percussion
tasks for the duration of his volunteering.
or rotary tools was predominantly carried out
For micro-preparation using smaller air scribes
inside custom-made preparation cabinets with
and pin vices, different stereo microscopes
attached dust extraction systems. When it was
were used. Wild Heerbrugg M5“s with boom
not possible to work inside closed cabinets,
stands were used for cleaner, low dust
because specimens were too large or too small,
emission, localized, Micro-Jack or pin-vice
fragile or intricate, work was done in some
preparation, while older Carl Zeiss and a "bullet
cases with one or more dust extraction arms,
proof" non-identified "Z.L.U.B. 571" microscope
used as close as possible to the dust source in
were used inside the preparation cabinets for
order to prevent dust and chips from
heavy dust and debris emission jobs. Both
surrounding the preparator. If working with
microscope types worked very well for teaching
open cabinets, all students and volunteers had
labs, but in general the older microscopes
to wear safety goggles, ear muffs and level-P3
proved to be preparation and student proof,
dust masks (Figure 13) ­ even though the
which is a dream to know when setting up
authors
have
extensive
experience
of
preparation teaching facilities that will house
mechanical
preparation
work,
one
event
numerous students and external volunteers
changed the PPE standards. Safety glasses are
such as this one.
often used in laboratory spaces, especially
when handling smaller micro air scribes and
other low-impact tools, due to their lightness
CURATION
and comfortable wear during prolonged working
hours. Yet, during the project, a student
While macro preparation took place, numerous
managed to get a small rock fragment
dinosaur bones were extracted from the rock
projected at her face, which ricocheted off her
daily. These had to be curated into the new
glasses and hit her eye. Luckily the situation
macrofossil research collection.
61 Journal of Paleontological Techniques