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The Pinning Block
proper pin height

Figure 16

mounting insects

Figure 17

insect mount

Figure 18

The appearance of a collection is improved vastly if all the specimens are mounted properly and at a uniform height on the pins (Figure 16). This is easily done by using a “pinning block.” Such a block is made of wood, plastic, or metal. Metal blocks must be purchased, but the others can be made at home. The wooden block is cut from a soft piece of wood 1 inch square and 4 inches long, or it is built by gluing together four pieces of ¼-inch finishing lath creating steps of ¼, ½ and ¾ inches (Figure 17). Small holes, slightly larger than the insect pins, are drilled through each of the four steps. After an insect is placed on a pin, either the head or the point of the pin is inserted in the desired hole and the specimen adjusted to the proper height (Figure 18). The block also is useful in adjusting labels to a uniform height upon the pins, thus improving the overall appearance of the collection.