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Episode 3: The Golden Trilobite!



Hello everyone! Sorry that it has been a while since I posted.  I have been so busy with school.  Physics keeps me pretty busy lol! 

So I have been working on my trilobites.  This time I found out that working with the air abrasive it can be good to point the air parallel with the grooves of the trilobite.  This way I can maximize the removal of the matrix and minimize the removal of the actual fossil. Because the angle of the air abrasive is parallel the force vector has a minimal contact with the fossil and maximum effect.  Check out my video and see what I was able to do!  And a big thanks to the University of Utah for letting me work in their lab, and a big thanks to the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program for sponsoring me to work on this project!



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Nice videos, Zach. 

I would think that even at low pressures, the aluminum oxide would be a bit harsh. 

I have some trilos from U-dig that I plan to try calcium carbonate, and baking soda on. 

Thanks for posting. 


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Okay I can see if we have any.  So far the aluminum oxide works well for what I am doing so long as I keep the pressure right.  I am interested in learning more about the calcium carbonate.  Is there a good website or video that you would recommend looking at to learn more about it?

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Sorry, I don't have any links, really. 

I have used dolomite as well, and get my raw materials from Axner Pottery Supply

If you look at Goldbugs trilobite prep video on Youtube, you will see they use dolomite for air abrasion.

Others claim that Alumina Hydrate works well, too.

The issue with the aluminum oxide is that it is so much harder than the matrix and the fossil, that the fossils end up looking softened, where details can be lost from the AO wearing the fossil down.  Baking soda is much softer, and therefore takes longer to remove the matrix, but does less harm to the fossil. 

Hope that helps.  

Good luck. :)

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Cool thanks man! I will look at the videos.  I am practicing for working on research specimens later.  If these other things are better for the fossils I don't think that there will be any reason to not get the other abrasives!  Thanks!

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