Thursday, July 5, 2012

Days 2 and 3 were just as exciting as day 1! By the end of day 1 there were only a few vertebrae left that were needing to be cleaned and repaired. So on day 2 while those vertebrae were being worked on, other volunteers brought out the flipper bones! Work on the flippers was slated to begin sometime during the second week of July, that is how far ahead this project has gotten in just three days! WOO HOO!!! We anticipate there may be a slow-down somewhere, but forward progress will continue--thanks to all our dedicated volunteers. On day 3 work on the flippers continued. Today, July 4th, we are all taking a break but will be back to work tomorrow morning, starting at 10:00 a.m. HAPPY 4TH OF JULY TO YOU ALL!

Day 2 was spent finishing the repair work on the last few remaining vertebrae.

Look at all those beautiful vertebrae! All cleaned, repaired and ready to go.

Because of all the hard work by the many volunteers who had responded to our request, this project is now way ahead of schedule. With the repair of the the vertebrae finished, it was time to bring out the bones of the flippers, which had been originally scheduled to begin NEXT week! Woo Hoo! Great job!

Using photos of the flipper bones when they had been unearthed and grafted, the bones were laid out on a table in their appropriate positions.

A template was needed to figure out exactly where each bone of the flipper should be placed and where the connecting rods would go to hold the bones together. Life-sized graph paper was created by drawing the grid by hand.

The bones were placed on the paper according to their position on the grid.

Each bone was carefully traced.

On day 3, once the template was completed, it was flipped over and traced to create a template for the other flipper.

After the bones were traced onto the paper, they were removed for careful plotting of where metal rods would go, and where they needed to be bent to hold the bones of the flipper together. An outline of each rod was placed onto the template as well.

Once the careful plotting of where metal rods would need to be placed in each bone, their positions were marked on the bone. The bones were then removed so holes could be drilled into the bone to receive those rods.

Each finger bone had to be drilled.

Working on the phalanges (fingers), drilling holes, inserting metal rods.

The larger bones of the flipper were being a bit difficult, causing the workers to really give it hard thought and muscle.

But in the end they were successful.

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