The latest report on the squid work has come through from Hutch Wilco, one of our exhibition team. Hutch has been working on the squid project since May last year and has become “intimately” acquainted with the squid and its tank.
He tells me that alterations to the tank have gone very smoothly. All the new attachments are well sealed, so hopefully no leaks will appear.
As often happens, when you take something apart, new, unexpected issues are discovered that you then have to deal with. When the team took the lid off the squid tank they found that the acrylic had expanded ever so slightly, as is usual in a warm environment. However the bolt holes in the lid were drilled in the cool environment of a factory – ie into unexpanded acrylic. So it took the team several hours to remove the lid surround by force – not a good thing when you’re dealing with a material that tends to crack when force is applied.
What does this mean? Hutch and the team have talked to a couple of acrylic experts and have decided to sand out each bolt hole by hand to create a bit more tolerance.
Unfortunately this means we won’t be able to put the lid back on the squid tank until Wednesday afternoon. This in turn means we won’t be able to put in the last of the liquid, test the seals, put all the tank panels back on, install the new wheelchair ramp, and finish off all the other little jobs and clean ups required in time to reopen on Thursday as planned.
The extra time is good as it will allow the team to address a couple of other issues. There is still some gas trapped inside the the squid and Hutch tells me this is going to be carefully massaged out…. (he gets all the best jobs). They are also going to do a few tweaks to the mounts. It also gives the glycol and water solution longer to settle down so that any gas bubbles produced by the mixing process have time to rise to the surface and escape.
At this stage, barring the discovery of any other issues or springing a leak, we expect to reopen the squid exhibition on either Friday 20 March or Saturday 21 March.