Saturday, July 21, 2012

Yesterday was another day of "spine drilling" excitement at the gray whale bone mines. . .

Bobbie Copeland-McKinney had her chance behind the drill. Here she is drilling
into the head of one of the whale ribs, as William Foster assists.
William also got into the drilling act.

Here Bobbie and William are gluing a 6-inch length of 5/16-inch all-thread
rod into one of the holes they drilled into the head of one of the whale ribs.
This "pin" will hold the rib to its corresponding vertebra. 
Here, Bobbie is drilling a hole into the vertebra that will receive the pin of the rib.
As Lee troubleshoots rib spacing, William works on
one of the pieces that make up the rib template.
Bobbie and William attached the rib to its vertebra, then positioned the template
piece to hold the rib into place. Rubber bands secure the ribs to the template.
After a good deal of adjusting, the wooden strips of the rib template hold the ribs in the correct spacing between each other, as well as distance from its mate on the opposite side. 

The template holds the natural shape of the rib cage it had when the whale was alive.

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