Dotty about Dots: How to Make Lascaux 303 HV Dots for Secure Mounting

Tuesday 12 January 2021

by Emily Fryer and Neeha Velagapudi

Many of the items on display in the Museum's Mountfort Gallery are made of glass or porcelain. To prevent these objects from being damaged in an earthquake or similar event, we stick them to the surface they sit on.

However, the adhesive museums usually use for sticking down objects, Rhoplex, was recently discontinued. We have been testing a new adhesive called Lascaux 303 HV to see if it will be a suitable replacement.

Porcelain objects on display in the Mountfort Gallery

Porcelain objects on display in the Mountfort Gallery

Museum objects are stuck down using adhesive dots, but these dots have to be replaced regularly. Each time we clean the Mountfort Gallery, we make up new sheets of dots to replace the old ones.

To make new dots, we tape down a template sheet and then tape a layer of baking paper over the top. We syringe the Lascaux 303 HV or use a bamboo stick to place dots on the baking paper.

Applying adhesive dots to template sheet

We then lay another sheet of baking paper over the dots very lightly to make them nice and flat on the surface.

Laying baking paper over dots

These are left to dry overnight. The dots appear yellowish on the baking paper but are almost white on the object. The smaller the dot, the more white the colour and the less obvious the dot is. With the different sizes on the template we can choose the size we want for each object.

We apply the dot from the baking paper direct to the object wearing gloves, peeling back the baking paper to leave the dot on the object.

Applying dot from baking paper to object

We place the object firmly down on the display surface and, if possible, apply a tiny bit of pressure on the base to hold it down.

Placing object on display surface

As you can see below, the hold is very good (the items shown are not collection items!) and the adhesive is removable. Don't try this at home!

Holding display surface upside down to demonstrate strength of adhesive

This article does not recommend that you use Lascaux 303 HV to adhere down all objects. For advice on a specific object, please consult a conservator. Weight, fragility, aspect ratio and height all affect what will be suitable and must be assessed on a case by case basis.

Supplies needed:

  • Syringes (curved and straight tip)
  • Needle (black size: 0.70 x 38 mm)
  • Bamboo stick
  • Baking paper/greaseproof paper
  • Masking tape
  • Scissors
  • Lascaux 303 HV (Conservation Supplies)
  • Dot template sheet (click here to download). For dots ours is A5 in size to make it easy to handle.

 

EmilyEmily Fryer is Conservator at Canterbury Museum

 

 

 

 

 

NeehaNeeha Velagapudi is Collections Technician Human History at Canterbury Museum


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