We use an interesting array of tools in conservation, and today I thought I’d talk about micro-spatulas. Micro-spatulas aren’t as tiny as the name implies, but they are certainly smaller than the spatulas you use in your kitchen. A quick rummage through my tool drawer produced seven micro-spatulas. (And before you think I’m a complete tool hound, the lab gave me the center five as a gift. Thanks again guys!)
As you can see, spatulas come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They also have different thicknesses and flexibilities. We use them almost every day and find them to be some of the most versatile tools in our tool boxes.
Mindy Moe uses her spatula when she is re-backing books first to deftly push the book cloth into a small opening and then to add just a dab of glue.
One of my fancy new spatulas has a blade that is thin enough to work under tape and remove it. I have used it to take so much tape off blueprints that I’m not sure I could use a different spatula for the job.
Spatulas are great for separating pages that are stuck together. Here I’m using my largest spatula to separate two mat boards adhered together with double-stick tape.
When you want to turn over a fragile document or object, it is safest to lift the edge of the paper with a micro-spatula first.
I will admit to having used the micro-spatula from my home toolkit for a variety of household projects. Mindy McCoy thinks it is a great tool for cleaning her computer mouse.
Mindy also showed us that the micro-spatula can be used pretty effectively to cheer up your co-workers at the end of the day.
What do you use your micro-spatula for that I haven’t mentioned?