A Deep Sigh of Relief (re: Contaminated Tortoiseshell)


Just to remind you, my previous treatment for the structural repair of the domed totoiseshell lid left the surface deeply blanched.


I was much relieved when the strategy for decontaminating the tortoiseshell lid was successful.  I used an acetone poultice for two weeks, changing it out daily.


The acetone, being so volatile, needed to be contained, so I applied it on to blue shop paper towels, then wrapped it in aluminum foil.  By swapping out the poultice every day I succeeded in drawing out the offending oil polish — or at least enough —  to allow me to proceed and finish.


The result was a nicely polished aged surface.  The presentation is much more like it should be, with the depth and visual texture being appropriate, rather than the muddy surface that existed before.  In fact the surface is so brilliant it is very difficult to photograph.  As always I polished out the tortoiseshell with a slurry of solvent (ethanol in this case) and 1 micron alumina abrasive.  Once the slurry residue is cleaned from the depth of the fractures it will be beautiful.