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Support for Feathered Baskets and Caps

Purpose

This support system is designed for feathered baskets and caps, or similarly decorated objects that cannot be safely stored on their bases or rims. The support system can be constructed to fit cabinet trays or storage boxes with lids.

Author(s)

Virginia Greene
The University Museum of
Archaeology and Anthropology
University of Pennsylvania
33rd and Spruce Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19104 USA
Tel (215) 898-4000
Fax (215) 898-0657

Lucy Fowler-Williams
The University Museum of
Archaeology and Anthropology
University of Pennsylvania
33rd and Spruce Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19104 USA
Tel (215) 898-4000
Fax (215) 898-0657

Illustrations: Virginia Greene

Publication: 1992

Description

In this system the baskets are stored upside down on individual supports made of rolled polyethylene foam sheeting (Fig. 1). The rolled cylinders are inserted into and supported by a base of polyethylene foam plank. For larger objects, the foam should be 1in thick; for smaller objects it can be as thin as 1/2in. The base fits inside a tray or box and provides stability. Individual slots can be labeled with the accession number of the object.


Central supports also can be made from sections of pH neutral cardboard tube, or strips of pH neutral corrugated board folded into a square pillar. It is easier to cut square holes in the base sheet than round ones. Both of these alternatives require an additional top sheet of corrugated board plus a layer of polyethylene foam sheeting for padding. The square pillar also would require padding around the sides when used with deep objects.

 

Materials Tools Supplies

  • 100% cotton jersey, pre-washed
  • 100% cotton muslin, pre-washed
  • Glue gun and hot melt adhesive
  • Heat gun
  • Heavy-duty utility knife with snap-off blades
  • pH neutral cardboard tubes
  • pH neutral corrugated board
  • Polyester quilt batting
  • Polyethylene foam plank
  • Polyethylene foam sheeting
  • Spunbonded olefin tape with acrylic adhesive
  • Stainless steel pins


Construction

Deep Baskets

  1. Cut supports from strips of 1/8in polyethylene foam sheeting to the dimensions of the interior depth of the basket, plus 1/2in for clearance, plus an allowance for the depth of the base sheet. Strips should be cut slightly wider than the desired height, because trimming the end of the cylinder after it is rolled gives a more even surface. Polyethylene foam sheeting comes in rolls 56in wide. The sheet has a grain, which runs lengthwise on the roll. As the foam strips must be rolled against the grain, the maximum length of the strip is 56in. However, strips can be joined with spunbonded olefin tape with acrylic adhesive to increase the length of the strips and hence the circumference of the roll.
  2. Tightly roll the strips and secure the ends with spunbonded olefin tape with acrylic adhesive. A 40in strip will make a cylinder with a 21/2in diameter. For deep round baskets, the diameter of the roll should be slightly less than the rim opening (Fig. 1). Oval baskets may require two supports. The foam is soft enough so that additional padding is normally not necessary.
    Figure 1. Support for deep basket.
  3. Trim the roll with a serrated kitchen knife, or an heavy-duty knife with the blade fully extended.
  4. Arrange the objects in the tray or box and mark the location of the supports with a pencil on the polyethylene foam.
  5. Cut the holes in the base sheet to accommodate the support cylinders.

Shallow baskets

Objects with a wide flat base can be supported on a donut-shaped roll of polyethylene foam. The support does not have to be solid. Both ends of the roll should be fastened with spunbonded olefin tape with acrylic adhesive (Fig. 2).

Figure 2. Support for shallow basket.



Cap Support

Caps may require a full internal support of solid polyethylene foam covered with padding and fabric. This support can be placed on top of a square pillar or cylinder of pH neutral board. The internal support is made in two layers of foam to fit over the end of a tube, or inside of it (Fig. 3).

Figure 3. Support for cap.

 

  1. Cut the polyethylene foam plank to fit the inside of the cap.
  2. Join the layers with a heat gun, or a glue gun and hot-melt adhesive. Hot melt glue should be used sparingly, because such adhesives may not be of chemically stable.
  3. Cover the form with a layer of polyester quilt batting, and then a layer of cotton jersey.
  4. Secure the fabric to the polyethylene foam using stainless steel pins. The core can be permanently attached to the central pillar or made removable.
  5. Construct the central support from a section of pH neutral cardboard tubing, or strips of pH neutral corrugated board folded into a square pillar and fastened with spunbonded olefin tape with acrylic adhesive (Fig. 4).

    Figure 4. Square pillar.

  6. Insert the central pillar into a sheet of 2in polyethylene placed in the bottom of a storage box (Fig. 5).

Figure 5. Alternative supports.

 

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