So you bought a megalodon shark tooth, now how do you display it?
Megalodon shark teeth can be tricky to display nicely. They are very large compared to other species of fossilized shark teeth and they are also very heavy for their size. Megalodon teeth like the ones sold at www.DarkWaterMegs.com are a fascinating window into the past, but sometimes need a little help to be displayed nicely. Generally megalodon teeth are mostly flat and when set on a shelf, put on a desk, or displayed on a bookcase they can be difficult to see as they lay pretty flat.
In order to display these megalodon shark teeth they often need some kind of stand in order to display them vertically. There are a few stands on the market but they typically fall into two categories.
First there is the inexpensive clear acrylic stand, these stands are not expensive and allow you to display the tooth upright, but are often not large enough to make sufficient contact with the megalodon tooth. These acrylic stands will work for some sizes of megalodon teeth and do a good job at not distracting from the fossil, but as they are made of inexpensive acrylic can somewhat detract from the tooth they are displaying.
These acrylic stands have shortcomings because they were not designed for megalodon teeth, but simply used as a tooth stand because no other good options were available.
Next there are Chinese mass produced stands specifically for megalodon teeth. While these stands are built to accommodate large megalodon teeth they have several downsides. These stands are often produced with price being the primary metric, resulting in a cardboard or chipboard base covered in cheap plastic. Embellishments are made to try to make up for the low quality construction materials but this often results in a gaudy looking stand that distracts and detracts from the megalodon display. Recently some of these mass produced stands have also been failing as humidity changes causes some of the inexpensive materials to separate from the glue used to put these stands together. The result of this glue failure ranges from the stands themselves simply looking bad from a cosmetic standpoint to other more dramatic failures which have caused teeth to fall off the stand.
The solution to the problem lead me down a long road but I eventually found two stand options for megalodon shark teeth and other shark tooth fossils that are made in such a way that they will not deteriorate over time, and also do not distract from the primary focus…….the megalodon tooth.
The first solution was to purchase high quality acrylic stands, made of thicker acrylic that can support the weight of the fossils displayed on them, not yellow over time, and be small enough not to be distracting.
The second solution was to work with several other small businesses including a wood supplier, a welder, a woodworker, and a powder coating facility. The end result are the beautiful stands you see below and on the www.darkwatermegs.com > Store > Misc category page.
The current stands are the latest of many versions of these stands. From working with different wood types, different thicknesses of metal for the stand uprights, to finding out that no paint is durable enough to endure removing and replacing a tooth from the metal upright many times and needing to have it powder coated. The end result is a megalodon tooth stand that is simple and elegant. These stands are attractive by themselves but are built in such a way to keep the focus on the real attraction, the fossilized megalodon tooth.
The final product after using inferior wood types, metal uprights that did not fully support or could damage the tooth due to sharp edges, and many other products is this:
The finished stand is comprised of a high quality wood (including red cedar, black walnut, cherry, hickory, mahogany, pine, read oak, pecan, and several others) that have been sourced responsibly. The wood from these stands was purchased from local woodworkers and other craftsman as scrap, cutoff pieces, or reclaimed wood. This allows for a wide variety of wood types while minimizing the environmental impact. The wood is cut, planed, routed, and sanded in order to ensure the correct size and finish quality. Later some of the wood bases have the word “Megalodon” or other shark species burned into them, this wood burning process takes time but allows for an elegant way to have the tooth “labeled” and gives the collector the option to rotate the stand to have the burned letters visible or not. Some of the wood bases there then have a natural finish to help preserve the wood (not stain) so the wood bases last for decades to come in order to properly display the fossil tooth which will last for centuries.
The finished stand upright is made of cold rolled steel that is cut into specific lengths, bent individually, then welded into the “T” shaped upright. The edges that will come in contact with the tooth then need to be rounded in order to ensure they do not scratch or damage the tooth. This step is often left out by other stand makers and it can result in a damaged megalodon tooth, which is a real shame. The upright is then sent to a local powder coating shop which proceeds to bead blast the metal upright in order to remove any oils or corrosion picked up during the welding process and is then powder coated to leave an attractive finish, along with protecting the upright and the tooth to be displayed on it.
The end result is a beautiful display stand that is attractive but does not detract from the fossil it is displaying. The stand can also be customized by the person who purchases it as they can decide the orientation of the tooth on the stand by adjusting how the upright fits in the base, along with how the tooth fits in the upright by adjusting the metal upright horizontally and vertically as shown below.
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I started this process because I could not find stands to properly display megalodon teeth being sold, after a long road and help from some very talented craftsman I am happy to offer these stands for sale with megalodon teeth purchased form www.darkwatermegs.com