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I Forge Iron

Samson's Bones

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A couple of friends and my wife and I went to OMSI today. (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry) There we saw "Samson," one of the largest and most complete T.Rex skeletons ever found. The monster was truly awe-inspiring - much more impressive in person than in any of the depictions.

But as captivating as the beast was, I found myself equally impressed by the support structure holding up the fossilized bones. It was subtle, fuctional, but still artistic. When we got home I had to find out who had made this structure. I learned it was fabricated by "Phil Fraley Productions" - a team of six experts who have been doing this kind of thing for a while now.

Have a peek: http://www.philfraleyproductions.com/PDFs/Science-Ill.pdf

Sadly, the photos don't do either the iron or the bones any real justice.

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A few years ago OABA got a tour of Research castings http://www.rescast.com/ where they mount dinosaur and other skeletons as well as casting fossil replicas. They had 3 full time blacksmiths and several others with forging experience that could work at their forge. The armatures for genuine dinosaur fosils are very particular as they have to hold the fossil without damaging it including screws, and the fossil has to be removable for scientists to be able to study the fossil. We learned that most of the dinosaurs in most museums are not all one skeleton they are usually a mix of fossil and replica parts taken from other skeletal discoveries.
While we were there they were building two full sized bronze t-rexes as well as mounting some fossils and preparing some whale bones for mounting (smelliest swimming pool I ever want to see).

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