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Bead Counter Inserts

Purpose

This support allows staff to view multiple small objects (e.g. beads) in an organized grid.  It can be used as a tray insert but would also be an appropriate liner for  permanent shelving and drawers.

Author(s)

National Museum of the American Indian 
Smithsonian Institution
Research Branch Move Project Team

Photo Credits: Angela Yvarra McGrew & T. Ashley McGrew

Publication: 2014

Description

During the course of the five-year Move Project, Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Inidan moved more than 800,000 Native American archaeological (607,089) and ethnographic (168,622) objects from the NMAI Research Branch, a crowded warehouse in the Bronx, New York, to the museum’s Cultural Resources Center, a purpose-built research and storage facility in Suitland, Maryland.  Every piece underwent a registration check, conservation cleaning/stabilization and pest management treatment, digital imaging before packing for transport by truck from New York to Maryland.  This support was developed for use on the move line specifically to help move small objects safely through the line and to easily count large numbers of beads. These supports can be used as tray inserts but they would also be great liners for  permanent shelving and drawers.

 

Materials, Tools & Supplies

  • Cardboard
  • ¼” Volara® foam
  • 1” diameter pipe sharpened at one end
  • Hot-melt glue and glue gun
  • Screws
  • Wood board

 

Construction

1. Cut a piece of cardboard for the base in the size you require.

2. Next, cut the ¼” Volara® the same size as your cardboard base and secure the edges down with hot melt glue.

3. Using a pattern, cut evenly spaced circles through the Volara® with a 1” diameter pipe sharpened at one end.

Components for constructing

Components for constructing “bead counter” inserts

4. Next, cut 1/8” Volara® slightly bigger than your board size.

5. Place a drop of hot melt glue onto the cardboard through each hole in the ¼” Volara®. Lay the 1/8” Volara® on top and press down. This works best with a tool such as the screw press (see image above) which is designed to make a depression in each pre-cut hole.

6. The tray can be finished by gluing a trim of ¼” backer rod around the edges to prevent any beads or other small objects from rolling off.

Finished counter tray insert.

Finished counter tray insert.

 

Adapted From

Arenstein, R. P., C. Brady, N. Carroll, J. French, E. Kaplan, A. Y. McGrew, A. McGrew, S. Merritt, L. Williamson. 2003. NMAI Living: Moving a la Martha. Tips from the National Museum of the American Indian collections move . Objects Specialty Group Postprints. 10. American Institute for Conservation 31st Annual Meeting. Arlington. Washington DC: AIC. 92–106.

Arenstein, R. P., N. Carroll, J. French, E. Kaplan, A. Y. McGrew, A. McGrew, L. Williamson. 2003. NMAI good tips: applications and bulking of cyclododecane, and mass production of supports . Objects Specialty Group Postprints. 10. American Institute for Conservation 31st Annual Meeting. Arlington. Washington DC: AIC. 176–187.

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