Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Bone Boxes

 One of my summer projects has been helping my sister Ruthie in the A&P (Anatomy & Physiology) lab at the local university.  Here are a few shots of the lab:


This was her project last summer; getting organized!  Mission accomplished.


Key tenants of getting organized: Sorting like items with like items. Also, everything is labeled for easy access and communication amongst professors as well as students.



We have been getting bone boxes together for student lab practicals. The bone boxes are decades old and were in desperate need of repair, not to mention basic cleaning. Ruth scrubbed the boxes, vacuumed out bone dust, and repaired them with wood putty, glue, and those teeny-tiny nails from the hardware store.    

Cleaned, repaired, and ready for Part 2.

On to the bones!  There were 2 kinds: plastic and real. The plastic ones were grimy and looked like they'd never been cleaned. Ruthie soaked them in the sink and then scrubbed each one. Here's a batch drying on the rack: 

The "drying rack" is actually a shelf unit she McGyvered in The Great A&P Lab Organization of 2019.
Lookit how CLEAN and new the bones look!


The real bones were a bit more problematic with chipping & missing pieces, like this femur:



Ruth repaired with a kind of modeling clay that she molded and let harden:




Then she had to sand and smooth where she repaired:


Meanwhile, I worked on the boxes: 

I created a template and cut out different coloured felt for each box, so that we could keep the bones organized and put in their right boxes: 
I call this colour Nuclear Yellow.

Lemme just say that the felt was difficult to work with in all its 100% polyester gloriousness; very fiddley and difficult to cut. Also, it was ordered for us by some non-creative dude, whose Kindergarten colour choices included the aforementioned nuclear yellow, as well as nuclear orange.  He also thought white would be a suitable colour.  WHITE.  (OK, artsy-snobbery rant over). 

This was the first box before I changed the templates to cover over the divider bits:
Foam cushions on bottom. The royal blue felt is really beautiful and adds a pop of colour!

Bottom of box covered with a cushion; felt glued to all sides, as well as over divider parts.

A later box:

Same felt, horrible, fluorescent lighting.

After using up 3 whole bottles of Fabri-Tac, I found this at the hardware store:

I don't know how acid-free or "archival" Titebond is, but does polyester require that level of detail?  I think not.  It worked GREAT!

Ta-da!
I don't know if you can tell, but I switched to batting for the bottom cushions, which was a bit more cushiony.

"Hullo!  I'm ORANGE!"

Candid shot in the middle of it all:

After I finished the boxes, and Ruthie had repaired all the real bones, I painted them with 3 coats of paint.And here we are, boxes all together with bones, ready to put back in the cabinet:

In the middle of the project, former boss and friend, John Morgan, sent me a proper lab coat for my work in the Bone Lab. You'll note the embroidery of Temperance on there, because of the show Bones that Mum and I used to watch.  :-)

You'll also note I'm doing "hover hands" over the should of the (plastic) skeleton. Also, those are Theraspec migraine glasses I'm wearing; protection against fluorescent lighting, which is like kryptonite to my brain.  

The only thing we didn't get done was to put colour-coordinated paint on each bone, so that a blue-dotted bone doesn't end up in the nuclear yellow box, etc. We're also going to add bony landmarks, insertions and origins, etc. But that can be done in Part 86 of this process. For now, we are done and done!

Video walk-through: