This is a continuation of my blog on “Julia” a great white shark jaw restoration.
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The right side of Julia’s (the great white shark jaw restoration) jaw has extensive damage. To just repair the shark jaw would mean having a huge gap. Therefore the area has to be re-built using a combination of resins and putty to achieve the desired effect.
This process takes a while to do, as the putties usually take about 24 hrs to cure completely, before they can be sanded and shaped.
The next photo shows the underside of the jaw which is what I have tackled next. As you can see, there is extensive damage.
The cartilage was broken and split, however the underneath layer was somewhat intact, giving me a good basis upon which to start building layers.
I reinforced the area with fiberglass matting, then used a special 2 part epoxy putty.
The clamp placed in that position as it it flexing the lower left side of the inner part of the jaw, by pushing against the stick which in turn is pushing out the cartilage, so the front of the jaw will look somewhat smooth. if not, the cartilage will have cracks and will be uneven when finished.
The cartilage on this jaw is extremely brittle, and crumbles quite easily. The first thing I have to do is to plug all the cavities on the jaw and give the jaw some structural bracing, so it cannot flex and crack the repairs already done on it. Some areas, because of the damage, will need to be re-built. First I put a base layer of 2 part clay-like putty, then I place over it a layer of 2 part epoxy putty which will be coloured like the jaw. This photo only shows the base layer. This will strengthen the area.
Julia’s (great white shark jaw restoration) will continue soon.
Today Julia received her first session of “microdermabrasion”! Due to the irregular cartilage caused by cracking and holes, the area which is filled with putty needs to be smoothed out so the correct height can be checked and the final layer of putty, which is coloured to match the rest of the cartilage, is applied.
The area on the upper jaw is also particularly damaged, and requires extensive repairing. This needs to be done with a combination of matting and glass fibers to reinforce the area.
Today I tackled the lower jaw and top jaw. There is a lot of discolouration, particularly near the joint area. There are fibres which run from the joint to approximately a 1/3 into the jaw. When the jaw is old or has not been cleaned properly, these fibers tend to yellow, and the staining is deep.
If I had to sand them, it would go too deep, and because the top layer above the cartilage is missing, the sanding would eventually wear away the cartilage. Therefore, after sanding them lightly, I used very fine fibers of glass matting and fiberglass to simulate the actual strands of fibers on the jaw. Because the fiberglass matting has strands which go in every direction, I had to carefully unpick them, and bundle them together. I then glued them down, using a 2 part epoxy which I coloured white. Although he colour is quite bright, once dried, it will dull down. I then placed a thin layer of another 2 part glue which simulates the colour of the fibers.