Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Yesterday at the bone mines, folks stopped by throughout the day, hoping to see the whale skeleton sporting all its ribs - only to find a few vertebrae on the backbone support like this. . .

The vertebrae and ribs were put on the backbone support (as photos on the blog have shown), but only for temporary purposes - to calculate bone placement and hardware creation and placement. Then, all the vertebrae and ribs that were in place have now been removed in order to attach the hardware, that will fit in between the vertebrae, onto the backbone support. The ribs will go on and off several more times before the whole skeleton is finished. 

Here is one example of the hardware, this one created by Art Koeninger. The semi-circular part fits over the top of the backbone support and connects with its other half, to hold the metal that the volunteers have been bending (that is welded onto the semi-circle) into place. The bent pieces of metal will be part of the structure that will hold the ribs onto the skeleton.
In this photo, of our newest member of the volunteer team, Kylie McShane,
you can see the rib support that extends from the backbone support.

Here is another example of the hardware - this one created by Glenn of Glenn's Welding - that Bobbie attached to the backbone support. This piece is part of the system that will suspend the whale skeleton from the ceiling when it is displayed inside the museum.
Pratt Museum Director, Diane Converse, stopped in to see the progress of the whale skeleton project, when Heather Beggs was applying some of the silicone cartilage replacement between the vertebrae.

Pieces of wood support the vertebrae to keep them aligned.
Vertebral tunnel. Peek-a-boo I see you!

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