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Super glues



Fossil preparator/achivist/conserator Sally Shelton probably
has the most clout in this subject.  I have been saving her
posts over the last 6 years regarding the subject of what glues/
hardeners/consolidants are "okay" to use on fossils.  Sally will
probably speak on this point, but my impression is that just
anything commonly available in a hardware store has *some*
major drawbacks. 

Superglues are convienient, but the long term stability of the
cyanoacrylate is presently poorly known ("long-term" means over
a couple human lifetimes).

Colloidal glues ("white glues", Elmers Glue, etc.) start out
highly water soluable, but become less soluable over time,
making it difficult to restore fossils that were hardened many
years ago.

Lacquers tend to "cross-link" over time, and this cross-linkage
shrinks, which causes the glued joints to separate.  Lacquers
and their kin also become very difficult to remove with solvents
if the hardening job is many years old.

Glyptol, a resin used in the electronics industry, has been
used in the past on fossils, but Sally Shelton says that there
are major stability problems with this compound.  It's about
as bad as lacquer hardeners.

Duco Cement, (a favorite of mine) has been around for at least
60 years, and can be purchased at any hardware store.
Unfortunately, Sally says "nichts" to this glue too.  I forget
why.

The only nice things I have heard Sally Shelton say about glues/
hardeners were about Butvar (plastic beads that are mixed with
acetone, alcohol, and a dab of water). Butvar is manufactured
by Monsanto Corporation, and is sold in bulk.  Many paleo-related
companies sell butvar in smaller quantities.

The best consolidant, says Sally, is none at all.

Maybe she will post on this topic and correct all of my mistakes.

                   <pb>