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A general guide for using the Forum with some rules and tips
Making acrylic or Polycarbonate stands for mineral specimens
  
  Index -> Conserving, Preparing and Cleaning Minerals
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Pierre Joubert




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PostPosted: Jun 05, 2018 15:23    Post subject: Making acrylic or Polycarbonate stands for mineral specimens  

I have to take pictures of mineral specimens without hands in the picture. I looked at the prices of acrylic stands and would prefer to try make my own or use existing materials. At this stage, I am eyeing bird spikes to use as material. I will welcome any thoughts.
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Bob Harman




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PostPosted: Jun 05, 2018 16:43    Post subject: Re: Making acrylic or Polycarbonate stands for mineral specimens  

HI PIERRE,

You can see from my specimen pictures that I have a lot of full cabinet size examples. Many don't support themselves at a desired viewing angle when on their display shelves so I have taken to recycling clear juice containers, milk containers, or other food containers. You can cut them with a shears or heavy duty scissors to make "custom" mounts with a low cut front for viewing and a higher back for support. All angles are possible so most look quite good for costing next to nothing. Here is an example, viewed both from the front and side, with a ruler for scale. Originally, the mount was a clear plastic juice container.
This method probably would work just as well for taking pictures of larger specimens without much intrusion into the photos. Hope this is of some help. BOB



fullsizeoutput_29af.jpeg
 Mineral: Dolomite on quartz
 Locality:
Indiana, USA
 Dimensions: see ruler for scale
 Description:
Front display view
 Viewed:  4380 Time(s)

fullsizeoutput_29af.jpeg



fullsizeoutput_29b1.jpeg
 Mineral: As above
 Description:
Side view showing the specimen support
 Viewed:  4375 Time(s)

fullsizeoutput_29b1.jpeg


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Michael Shaw
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PostPosted: Jun 05, 2018 17:25    Post subject: Re: Making acrylic or Polycarbonate stands for mineral specimens  

Hi Pierre,

Ideally, you should not see any kind of support holding the specimen at the proper viewing angle while photographing it. Bird spikes would probably work, but they would have to be anchored in some sort of base (wood?). As long as the base and the spikes weren't visible they would be alright I suppose.

I use a variety of high density styrofoam wedges to support the mineral during photo sessions. Unless your specimens are very large and heavy, these work fine and can be easily cut to proper angle and size with a utility knife. Occasionally a couple of wedges are needed to support the piece.

It is important to note that the foam is not the same material that is used for food containers and drinking cups. That material is too thin and soft and would degrade too quickly although it would probably work okay in a pinch. The stuff I use is a 1" thick extruded foam board that is used in the construction industry. A small sheet is inexpensive and will make enough supports to last a lifetime.

Good luck,
Michael
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Pierre Joubert




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PostPosted: Jun 06, 2018 03:45    Post subject: Re: Making acrylic or Polycarbonate stands for mineral specimens  

Hi Bob, Thank you very much for the photos and ideas. I was thinking about cutting strips from some plastic containers. Your's is a great idea and I will look to see what I can use.

Hi Michael, using the dense white foam, is a great idea. White will work well with a white background, but I suppose you will have to paint the foam black for black background and use the base, on which the specimen sits, also from the same material. Using bird spikes: I plan to drill holes in a thicker piece of clear plastic and gluing, or plastic welding, them in these holes.

Of course I am a great fan of using hands for most photography of specimens, with the exception of small and large specimens. I have damaged a number of specimens, attempting other methods. Hands are safe and quick and people get an idea of the actual size of the specimen. Nevertheless, when in Rome, do as Rome does:-)



P1400760.JPG
 Description:
Plastic from a pizza box.
 Viewed:  4252 Time(s)

P1400760.JPG



P1400762.JPG
 Mineral: Quartz
 Locality:
Ceres, Warmbokkeveld Valley, Ceres, Valle Warmbokkeveld, Witzenberg, Cape Winelands, Western Cape Province, South Africa
 Dimensions: Hand for size
 Description:
A typical 'problem' specimen for me to photograph not using hands.
 Viewed:  4253 Time(s)

P1400762.JPG



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Pierre Joubert




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PostPosted: Jun 06, 2018 12:41    Post subject: Re: Making acrylic or Polycarbonate stands for mineral specimens  

I was looking at different solutions to my photography problem, even praying for a solution, when i remembered an article by Paul S 'a DIY Ball Table'
https://www.mineral-forum.com/message-board/viewtopic.php?t=1150

I have some thick ceiling foam and will experiment with simple squares with different sized holes in them. That should help. I will paint the foam black that I intend to use with black backgrounds. Hopefully that will help solving my problem.
Any further ideas are welcome.

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Bob Morgan




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PostPosted: Jun 06, 2018 18:42    Post subject: Re: Making acrylic or Polycarbonate stands for mineral specimens  

Most of my pictures are made with the specimen on the back of my black bible. I move it and myself around and take lots of pictures and find what works best. Then do another round until I get the shot I want. Sometimes I hold the crystal on a cloth in my hand with the same procedure. This doesn't meet the highest standards of aesthetics, but it demonstrates the features I hope to highlight.
My problem comes when making a display. Then stands are necessary to hold the specimen in the right orientation. I've used pieces of clear acrylic rods held on with hot glue, strategic uses of putty with harder pebbles, clear mineral boxes ground into the right shape like the bottles in the previous post, and finally painted wood blocks with the right shaped holes carved out with a dremmel tool.
Since my specimens aren't so aesthetic and expensive, I've been satisfied with these.
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Pierre Joubert




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PostPosted: Jun 27, 2018 06:02    Post subject: Re: Making acrylic or Polycarbonate stands for mineral specimens  

I have an idea that these clear acrylic rings will do the trick just fine.
https(:)//www(.)aliexpress(.)com/item/Clear-Acrylic-Round-Ball-Egg-Sphere-Stand-Mineral-Disply-Holder-Three-Sizes-For-Selection/32468235506.html

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