Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tips and Techniques Thursday: Support for Objects with Round Bottoms

So much for succinct blog post titles, eh? In the spirit of weekly features which may or may not be posted every week, I present to you Tips and Techniques Thursday. As museum activity accelerates (we move at the end of March), we're working to stabilize objects prior to packing.

Bucket support project

This week I worked on housing two buckets with rounded bottoms. The rounded bottoms mean that they can wobble as they sit on the shelf, potentially impacting other objects, but also putting pressure on a limited number of areas on the bottom. Meaning that some parts of the bottom could become more worn than others. So what to do about it?

You will need:
-A foam knife
-A safe cutting surface
-A hot glue gun and glue sticks
-Foam tri rod

Step one: Using an appropriate length of tri-rod foam, cut several triangle insets a couple of inches apart. Form into a ring to see if more cut insets are necessary.
Bucket support project

Step two: Using the hot glue gun, form the rod into a ring and glue the ends together. Hold the ends together for half a minute or so; the rod wants to return to a straight form, so holding it is important.
Bucket support project

Step three: If there is glue extruding at the join, trim it off or cover it with a piece of tyvek. Set object on ring.
Bucket support project

Now the pressure is evenly distributed along the bottom edge of the bucket, and it is less likely to wobble and impact other objects. I borrowed this method from the National Museum of the American Indian.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Answer: November 8, 2008 Whatzit

So I asked you all on Friday what this thing was:
Whatzit 11.7.2008

Four of you responded and all were close, or right! It is, indeed, 3.5" diskette holder. Remember them?

Don't see them as often these days, and most new computers don't even come with a drive for them. But the museum has some.

We're preparing for the first wave of moving, which involves the removal of all filing cabinets to be repainted. When I started here, I went through the office and filled the bottom drawer of the filing cabinet with what I called "Obsolete Technology." This included a bunch of 3.5" floppies, a Jaz drive, and several Jaz disks. As I cleaned out my filing cabinet last week, I decided it was time to see if I could recover any information from those disks (none labeled later than 2002, which in tech years is an eternity).

First I had to hunt for a 3.5" disk drive. Once found, I discovered that half of the disks had been corrupted. Then I hooked up the Jaz drive to a desktop computer and was completely unable to get Windows XP to recognize the Jaz drive. Suggestions regarding how I could get the computer to recognize a Jaz drive are welcome.

So, at the end of several hours, I had about 20 photos of students working in 2001 that I had not had before. I also had a valuable lesson in information management. So much of what we do these days is done electronically, but digital recording mediums can become incompatible or obsolete in a relatively short span of time. Today, I am not burning information to cds, which are fragile and scratchable; instead, our data gets backed up to the server and we use an external drive which is stored off campus as a secondary back up. Is it infallible? No. But it does the job for today. Still, I trust our paper records to last longer than our electronic ones.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Whatzit: November 7, 2008

It's Friday! Whatzit time! You know the drill: I show you a picture, you guess what the object is/is for. This time, I confess, I am cheating a little. This is not an object from our permanent collection; this is an object I came across while cleaning my office. I'll post about something related next week.

On to the photos!
Whatzit 11.7.2008

It's made of teak. The top rolls back. And there are little pads on the bottom.
Whatzit 11.7.2008

So.... What is it?