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Subject: Tortoise shell

Tortoise shell

From: Tom James Braun <tom.braun>
Date: Monday, March 25, 2002
Mark Vine wrote

On behalf of a European furniture restorer, Mark Vine
<100436.3447 [at] compuserve__com> writes

>What might be used for infill repairs on a table originally layered
>with tortoise shell. ...

I am planning on presenting a tip regarding this during the
Furniture Tips session at the AIC meeting this summer.  I had heard
from a furniture restorer that he had used faux tortoise shell
plastic sheets from luthier supply companies.  Musical instrument
makers often need sheets of faux tortoise shell to apply to their
instruments as pick-guards.  Their suppliers often sell precut
shapes, but also whole sheets for custom-shaped guards.

You need to be careful what you choose, as some of these plastics
are made of cellulose nitrate, which has poor aging characteristics.
However, I found a manufacturer in the U.S. that had what appeared
to be a great solution.  There is a woman in Indiana who makes
custom sheets of faux tortoise shell using epoxy resins and brown
dyes.  I believe she will even try to imitate an extant sample, if
you send her a sample of what you are trying to repair.

It's definitely not cheap; 7.5 x 12 inch sheets can cost around
$30-50, but if you get a close match, it can be very cost effective,
I think.  The manufacturer's name is Colette Hanson, and she can be
reached at:

    Turtle Works
    2650 N. Brummetts Creek Road
    Bloomington, Indiana, 47408

I hope this is helpfulm

Thomas J. Braun
Daniels Object Conservation Laboratory
Minnesota Historical Society

                  Conservation DistList Instance 15:65
                  Distributed: Tuesday, March 26, 2002
                       Message Id: cdl-15-65-005
Received on Monday, 25 March, 2002

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