Good morning from Utah! I posted this news on the GoFundMe page this morning, but want to share it here, as well.
I have some good news about the project. We’ve acquired our first critical piece of equipment and I’m very excited about it. Your contributions are paying off already! To the uninformed eye it might not look like much, but to anyone who has ever tried to lean out over a large fossil to prepare it, this is a dream come true. We’re talking about a mobile floorstand for a microscope, pictured here.
This object is several hundred pounds of used but very functional medical equipment that probably would have cost tens of thousands of dollars new, but we’ve got for much, much less. It’s got some wear and bruises on it, but I think it just adds character.
The perspective of the picture is a bit deceptive as it looks like the arm at the top with the “knuckle” to the left is much shorter than it is. That arm actually extends out 60+ inches over the block. Why is this so important? It will open up a lot of real estate towards the interior of the block we could not reach before.
This floorstand will also give us a stout and stable moveable platform to attach fiber optic lighting, air tools and other hardware to so we can stay organized and keep the block free of tools that might snag a bone.
You might note there is another microscope floorstand in the right background. This is our old cheap floorstand and scope which served its purpose, but just barely. It had poor optics and only allowed us to reach a foot or so into the block- that gray patch of rock where the white jacket was removed at left is about as far in as it could reach. So this new (to us) stand will be worth its weight in gold for helping us prepare the block.
Now all we need are the optics to place on this floorstand to make it workable. Each day we’re getting closer to that goal, thanks to your contributions. We are so grateful to the folks who have brought us this far!