Tuesday, August 14, 2012
by Lee Post
As we begin the sixth week of the project, I find myself already looking back at how far we have come with a sense of nostalgia and amazement. Just five weeks ago we were passing out bones to anyone who came in to do repair work. Now I look around the whale building room at all the finished projects and think about all the people that came and dedicated great amounts of time on various aspects of a very involved articulation project. The work is first rate—all the way.
This last week saw the ribs come and go. The metal work holding the ribs was finished—the welds ground down. Aluminum spacers made for the ribs and scapulae. The scapulae were attached—then reattached when I decided the placement was too low. The top of the skull was consolidated and cleaned and finished. The chevron bones were attached. The silicone for most of the whale was given a final coat. Touch-up and finishing work was done all through the skeleton. But that doesn't mean it is finished. Just when I think I can't imagine what else there is to do or people, along comes a new wave of enthusiasm.
A new list of what is left to do: At this point the rib cage will go back together. The scapulae will be reattached. The flippers need to be attached, the hyoid bone assembly built and attached, the chevron bones finished, the skull cradle designed and fabricated, the missing pelvic bones fabricated, the underside of the skull finished and consolidated, the mandibles brought out and attachment figured out. And Sam is determined to give this whale a full-sized external tail. It could all happen this week or not depending mostly on the progress of the skull cradle.