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Subject: Stability of waterlogged wood treated with PEG

Stability of waterlogged wood treated with PEG

From: Donny L. Hamilton <dlhamilton>
Date: Friday, August 25, 2000
I am sorry that some have taken my questions concerning PEG to be
confrontational for anyone who knows me knows that I never waste my
time getting into petty squabble over what one should do or not do
in conservation.  I do what I think is best for the artifacts I have
before me and that is that.  By in large, I have always done my
thing and I will continue doing it.  However, since I am now
responsible for conserving the hull of the Belle, the ship lost by
La Salle in Texas in 1686 and I have just constructed the largest
wood conservation vat in North America,  I wanted to get input from
any and everyone who has had direct experience working with PEG.
Yes, I do have concerns over the long-term stability of
PEG--especially for artifacts that have been treated for 20 or more
years.  Still, I am planning to use PEG in the treatment of the
hull--although it may be somewhat modified from present treatments
being widely used today.  I and my colleagues at TAMU are continuing
with our research to answer various questions.

I thought that each of my questions concerning PEG were logical and
I had no preconceived notions about how anyone might respond to
them.  I admit, I thought I knew how many would respond and I also
knew that some of these questions had been considered in a number of
publications.  *But*, I was interested to see what inside details
and other pertinent information I might get if these particular
questions were thrown out to the conservation community.  Several
interesting comments have been sent to me, some privately.  However,
I have absolutely no intention in getting into a exchange over
vested conservation interests.  My one and only intent was to get
some first hand accounts, and if conservators find this to be
confrontational or challenging, then I can only conclude that they
have some other agenda.  My only agenda is conserve the hull of the
Belle as best as it can be within the time and funding constraints
we have and, if possible, to to advance conservation science. Like I
say, I have much too much to do to get into any heated exchange.  I
had absolutely no intention of being challenging, I was only looking
for insights, if not answers.

So, everyone just chill out, I wasn't attacking anyone, I was not
condemning PEG, I was merely interested in other opinions.  If PEG
questions are confrontational, then by all means withdraw the
questions and let the DistList get back to its regular agenda.

Donny Hamilton
Head, Nautical Archaeology Program
Texas A&M University

                  Conservation DistList Instance 14:16
                 Distributed: Sunday, September 3, 2000
                       Message Id: cdl-14-16-008
Received on Friday, 25 August, 2000

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