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I couldn't agree with the below more. I just have a few additions:

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

IMHO, the biggest drawback is that cyanoacrylate is very hard to reverse.
Even using some of the "release" products sold for products like paleobond
are ineffective. You'd better really want things where you glue them,
especially if you use an activator. I have never had any problems with
activator shattering a fossil. There are drawbacks to every glue, and every
fossil's conditions are different.  

>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 manyyears ago.

I like VINAC as a consolidant and when training new preparators. It's
soluble in acetone, so mistakes can be fixed (take care not to breathe in
acetone fumes). I've heard reports that PVA's can become brittle and yellow
over time, however.

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

If it's stable leave it ALONE! I've seen some very good preparators who are
glue crazed! They'll soak every stinkin' bone in VINAC, Paleobond, etc.
'just in case'. I learned my lesson when I first started prep when I was
assigned to restore a piece- I had to dissolve and scrape off excess
consolidant. Weee. Sometimes I think I should make all our newbies do this,
too, before they are ever given a glue bottle. Until they make something
that doesn't add surface shine, change the fossil color or yellow over time,
consolidate with care! 

As far as the best invention for prep work, the airscribe has to be #1.

-Sherry Michael
ANSP Prep lab

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