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A general guide for using the Forum with some rules and tips
Mounting Sulfur Crystals
  
  Index -> Conserving, Preparing and Cleaning Minerals
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DanZellner




Joined: 25 Nov 2018
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PostPosted: Nov 14, 2019 21:23    Post subject: Mounting Sulfur Crystals  

As many experienced collectors might be able to attest to, I recently found out that it is a horrible idea to mount a sulfur crystal using hot glue. The thermal shock was instantaneous and I watched the bottom of the specimen craze. I could even hear it.

I would be interested to know how other collectors mount their sulfur? I was going to use putty but I was worried that the specimen might fall off and break. Good news is that the specimen already had some internal fractures so it is not noticeable, but I want my poor experience to serve as a warning to others.

Take care,

Dan
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alfredo
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PostPosted: Nov 14, 2019 22:13    Post subject: Re: Mounting Sulfur Crystals  

A good warning! Right, no hot glue.

I use liquid glue, like Elmers white glue, which school children use, at room temperature. Sulphur is the most sensitive mineral to temperature changes (wolframite might be second).

Putty is not a good idea, as it requires some pressure to make it stick well, and finger pressure can easily crack a sulphur crystal too.
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SteveB




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PostPosted: Nov 15, 2019 06:50    Post subject: Re: Mounting Sulfur Crystals  

yep, white glue is pretty safe. its very generic and easy to find. here in Australia we have Aquadhere glue which is the same stuff. A great feature of white glue is it often disolves.softens easily in hot water if you later want to unmount it. To avoid risk of adding damage I recommend using a stiff piece of plastic to glue the specimen to so you can move it etc without needing to remount if for example you want to move from cardbord boxes to display boxes or whatever. You could even pick up some small square mirror tiles to use as a base and it'll be easy to remove from the mirror if needed. Depending on the circumstances and the specimen, some of my fragile and crumbling specimens I have in small jars or resting on a cotton ball in a cardboard tray. Also depends if I want the item on display or stored away in my collection. I avoid using ziplock bags as I worry about trapping humid air inside where mould could form on the specimen and do more harm.

I wouldn't worry too much. Damage gets done in many ways during the life of a mineral specimen and something naturally crumbling I am not ashamed of displaying if I want as its a natural process in its life and while yours you did yourself but thermal cracking is not an impossible natural process sulphur can be subjected to. So you could keep it as is and document the known cause of the cracks and observe any changes over time. Plus its common enough to replace with another specimen if its ugly to you. But it will be a constant reminder to you in future to think a bit before attempting something different for the first time.

White glue has been pretty universal I've found where buying a specimen glued down. Do not use superglues or epoxies. Also if buying expensive specimens its best to examine closely in person with a small bright torch looking for signs of gaps/cracks and also with a UV torch for signs where glues have been used to repair a broken specimen thats being sold as having no repairs.
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James Catmur
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PostPosted: Nov 15, 2019 07:18    Post subject: Re: Mounting Sulfur Crystals  

You could try Sugru. It starts soft but sets hard. Not sure about removing it though

James
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rweaver




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PostPosted: Nov 15, 2019 10:52    Post subject: Re: Mounting Sulfur Crystals  

I use Clear GE 100% Silicone glue to attach my minerals to a Corian base. I have done this for years and find the minerals stay attached and when needed are easy to remove and clean away the glue from the bottom. This also gives the minerals a solid heavy base which probably save the collection after two back to back major earthquakes here in California.
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Michael Shaw
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PostPosted: Nov 15, 2019 16:10    Post subject: Re: Mounting Sulfur Crystals  

rweaver wrote:
I use Clear GE 100% Silicone glue to attach my minerals to a Corian base. I have done this for years and find the minerals stay attached and when needed are easy to remove and clean away the glue from the bottom. This also gives the minerals a solid heavy base which probably saved the collection after two back to back major earthquakes here in California.


I would be interested to know how you clean the silicone from the specimen. I have found it's very tough to get off, but maybe there is a solvent that I don't know about.
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lluis




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PostPosted: Nov 15, 2019 16:34    Post subject: Re: Mounting Sulfur Crystals  

It is pretty easy...
Simply drop some drops of alcohol in the join mineral/silicone. Wait a little and take out specimen....

With best wishes


Lluís

P.D.: alcohol is for ethanol pr isopropanol. Methanol works also, but is very toxic.
All are very easily flammable... So, well ventilated, no ignition points near, and be careful...
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rweaver




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PostPosted: Nov 15, 2019 17:05    Post subject: Re: Mounting Sulfur Crystals  

Michael Shaw wrote:
rweaver wrote:
I use Clear GE 100% Silicone glue to attach my minerals to a Corian base. I have done this for years and find the minerals stay attached and when needed are easy to remove and clean away the glue from the bottom. This also gives the minerals a solid heavy base which probably saved the collection after two back to back major earthquakes here in California.


I would be interested to know how you clean the silicone from the specimen. I have found it's very tough to get off, but maybe there is a solvent that I don't know about.


First i slide a blade of some type under the mineral to remove it from the base, and for most of my minerals I can just pull off what is left. I have been doing it this way since the early 80's and have had no issues and neither did the folks that got me started mounting minerals this way.

Was lot easier to deal with then the old Styrofoam mounts and white glue. Still to this day have foam on the bottom of some minerals that I cannot get off even after long soaks in water.
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