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Found 109 results

  1. Hello! I have been working on putting together a dedicated area to prep and store my fossils and fossil related supplies along with displaying at least some of them, and I wanted to share what I have done so far. I have around 500 individual specimens and while I feel like I have my prep area pretty well laid out, I have always struggled with the best way to display and store items. Currently, on a budget (both financial and spousal irritation with fossils taking over the house), I have settled on two basic, cheap ways to store and display fossils. I built a simple shelving unit with some built in lighting to hold 3 parts organizers (like you can get at Menards are Walmart for $10), each with 35 small drawers, 2 medium and 1 big, that can be subdivided. I have most of my smaller fossils, inverts and some fish, in these. I displayed some items on top of these and on the top most shelf have some fossil books and a few other display items. As I started getting into larger fossils (hash plates, vertebrae fossils etc) I needed a cheap way to store and access these, so I bought a simple crafting/scrapbooking rolling cart system with drawers. You can get these under various store brands for between $40 and $80 dollars. They arent the best, the drawers are crappy, but they do the job as long as your careful opening and closing them and don't overload it. In the drawers, for smaller to mid sized items, I used cardboard specimen trays or plastic display boxes to hold and organize individual specimens. For larger items, I laid down quilt stuffing and set the items on top of them. As for the rest of the area, I have an adjoining work bench with a couple three drawer storage units underneath to hold other supplies, camera equipment and bagged specimens. The bench has a variety of lighting (since the rooms lighting is pretty terrible) including a magnifying lens lamp. I have my microscopes for specimen cleaning and micro fossil work along with most tools organized along the back and plenty of work space. On the right I have some of my larger books, and a storage unit for microscope supplies, tools and other materials used in prep work. I found a dental tool organizer tray online that works great for holding and organizing my prep tools when in use and I recently picked up some microtubes and a storage rack for them for microfossils and matrix samples. Otherwise the rest of the space holds more tool racks, beakers, stir rods, tattoo wash bottles which I use for cleaning specimens and other general material. I have to be aware of how close things are to the edge, or my daughter will steal specimens for her own rock collection, or otherwise attempt to clean the fossils herself, which doesn't end well! Anyways, just wanted to share my setup, I will add more specific photos of my collection itself if people are interested. Thanks!
  2. As the years go by, I find that my passion for collecting fossils never wanes. With that in mind, the joy of getting out in nature and hunting for the beautiful treasues of bygone eras also means that anyone's collection is always in a state of flux. It seemed like I blinked and it's been years since I had last taken photos of my own collection, although I had found quite a few things and acquired several since. As before, about 95% of my collection was found by me personally with LOTS of humble gratitude to God for giving me the health and time to do so. I'm not a very good photographer, however this is the latest version of how most of my finds are currently displayed. I always enjoy seeing others' collections, hence I share my own here. Best wishes to everyone for a healthy and propserous year of fossil collecting and study! http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/gallery/album/1641-most-of-my-fossil-collection-as-of-april-2013/
  3. Carboniferous Ferns of Pennsylvania Nancy and I displayed some of our fern fossils from St. Clair at the Delaware Valley Paleontological Society Fossil Fair this weekend (Apr 6-7/2013) in Plymouth Meeting, PA. For the backgrounds, we used illustrations of Carboniferous swamps we bought online - there are several artists who illustrate paleozoic scenes. Our most impressive fossil was a large piece covered with bright orange fern leaves. We also included Calamites bark and Annularia leaves, sphenophyllum (which are "non-fern shaped" leaves), and pieces that had multiple species (alethopteris, neuropteris, pecopteris, cyclopteris, etc.) and a distinctive fern seed. Some of our finds have as many as half a dozen species on one specimen. We greatly enjoy attending the DVPS meetings each month in Philadelphia, their field trips, and events. Here are some photos of our Fossil Fair display:
  4. Devonian Fossils Can Be Drilled and Displayed on a Rod Like a Sculpture I've been experimenting with some creative ways to display fossils. A major challenge was how to display several small rocks covered with Devonian death assemblages so that they can be swiveled to view the fossils on all sides. What I decided to do - which I discussed elsewhere on this forum - was to drill each rock using an extra long masonry drill bit (3/16) - then thread the pieces on a long steel rod, which was bent to hold each rock in place. My wife recommended placing one or two decorative beads under each rock to allow it to rotate. The following images show the finished sculpture and closeups of the individual pieces. The most impressive piece, which is also the smallest piece, was placed at the top - in addition to shell fossils, the top piece shows a segment of a very large trilobite, probably Dipleura. You can also see the beads under each rock, and at the very top is an ornamental wooden bead that was drilled and glued. The sculpture is anchored in a block of wood that was drilled to hold the base of the rod, and stained. At first I thought the piece would be off balance and easily tip over, however the combination of the weight of the rocks and the wood are solid and heavy enough and keep the piece surprisingly stable. I intend to add a brass plate identifying the location and other details. This is our first attempt to find an artistic solution that allows us to both preserve and display fossil finds. As most of our fossil friends know, we believe that collecting swarms of fossils and tucking them away in boxes is not a great solution - finding a creative way to display fossils keeps them visible, whether they are displayed in our homes, offices, or museums. I'm currently planning to collect more Devonian pieces to create a few more of these sculptures. Another possibility I'm thinking about is how to do something similar with fern fossils - fern fossils are larger in size, but much thinner, which poses different challenges.
  5. My wife and I are spending our "cabin fever" off-season cleaning some of our summer finds and also expermenting with ways to display them - as sculptures, on stands, in Riker mounts, or on the wall. I'm re-posting this topic here in the General Discussion - the "display thread" with some photos - the original discussion thread is located HERE (click here). Here are some photos of display ideas we've been developing: There are some great ideas from other Fossil Forum enthusiasts, on the original thread.
  6. Our Winter Fossil Prep/Display Project My wife and I are spending the "off season" collecting site ideas for spring/summer, getting ideas and tips from friends on the Fossil Forum (thanks to all!). We are also teaching ourselves how to prep some of our 2012 finds and developing ways to display our fossils. One concept is to drill holes through fossil assemblages and display them on a steel rod mounted on a wooden platform. I'm currently experimenting with this and will post if successful. We have about a dozen pieces from one of our favorite Devonian sites - nice death assemblages, mostly brachiopods, a few pieces of trilobites, etc. Each piece is about 5 to 7 inches wide and a few inches thick. The pieces were covered with caked on beige colored clay because there is a lot of rain/water that filters through this fossil formation. I recently got a "steel toothbrush" from Lowe's and used it to scrub away the beige clay sediment, which worked great. I thought that it would be cool to mount several similar of these pieces on a 3 foot steel rod - bending the rod to hold the fossils as shown in the photo. This is not the finished piece, just a layout to show you the general idea. I plan to mount the rod on a stained wooden base. I have an extra long drill bit but still not sure if drilling with fragment the pieces or not. The pictures look grey but actually the pieces are olive green and bluish in color which makes for an impressive display. This method allows us to display several medium sized pieces, and each one can be rotated to look at all sides. Here is the concept I'm working toward: The final "sculpture" will include 3 or 4 pieces. Here are some closeups of this fossil showing some of the unique features: We're also experimenting with ways to display fossil ferns (from St. Clair). Currently we use small plastic coated wire stands from Michael's crafts, and we're looking for something that allows us to display several small flat pieces on one 3 dimensional display. Sorry I had the camera on "monochrome" - the following image shows the rich colors of these fossil pieces after cleanup - the olive and blue tones of the shale are impressive. UPDATE - Drilling the Fossil I am currently creating a fossil sculpture that will eventually show three 6 to 7 inch wide shell assemblages from Deer Lake (Devonian). I bought some 3/16 diameter steel rods at Lowe's - about 3 feet long. Next, I selected some very solid specimens that look like they will not fracture if I drill them. Next, I drilled a 1/16 pilot hole a few inches into the rock. Then I used a standard sized 3/16 drill bit to widen and deepen the hole as far as I could drill. Finally, I took a "super long" 3/16 drill bit I bought at Lowe's and drilled the rest of the specimen - the key is to go progressively larger and deeper using smaller and shorter drills before finishing with the extra-long drill. After this I used a heavy metal vice ($20 at Lowe's) to bend the rod at a 90 degree angle. Because I want the fossil to be able to rotate, it can't rest on the rod, so I'm using beads to raise the rock off the bent rod - have not bought the beads yet. (the beads were my wife's idea). Some of the fossils are cracked or look like they will crack so I'm only using the really solid pieces for this. The trickiest part will be bending the rod AFTER each fossil piece is placed on the rod because the bead and fossil needs to be threaded on the rod, then the rod is bent twice and the second piece will be added...I'll show you the rest of the process and the completed piece as soon as it's ready.
  7. I had a fossil display at the Rochester Gem & Mineral Show this past weekend and I was asked "Where do you get all your display stands from?". When I worked for World of Science Inc. and Natural Wonders, I bought ALL my stands and bases from Jule-Art inc.. I spent $25,000-$30,000 a year on acrylic displays and any specimen I sold in our stores over $50 came with a free base or stand. They have a ton to choose from and they pack them extremely well and ship quickly. On some of the beveled bases I applied black or burgundy felt so the specimens wouldnt scratch the acrylic and it looked good. Go through your collection, use your imagination, and have fun displaying. Heres a tip - 3 prong stands, easels, and bases with rubber feet work the best for most fossils. mikey http://www.jule-art.com/
  8. Small Magnifier Boxes

    I'm looking to restock myself with small magnifier boxes. You know the little 1"x1"x1" ones with a 3 or 4 power lens molded in. So far Fire Mountain Gems & Beads appears to have the best price at $6.77/dozen (=$0.56/ea). Do any of you have suggestions for other sources? Normally I stock up when we(Paleo. Soc. of Austin) have Fossil Fest in December. I buy from one of the dealers and his price is also right around 50 cents a piece. But I have a backlog of tiny specimens in need of proper storage.
  9. Hello fellow Forumians: A few days ago I spouted wise to a colleague (the topic being the building of a fossil display case) that I was sure the use of oak wood was discouraged because it caused some unspecified damage to fossils. Quite justifiably, he responded, "What damage?" So I went on a searching rampage, convinced I had read this on the FF more than once. Only trouble is: now I can't find any trace of such a warning and am starting to think I made it all up in my head. Has anyone heard this before? That oak wood is contraindicated as a material for display/storage cases for invert fossils (specifically excluding bone, in case that makes any difference)? Is there any actual reason to avoid oak? Thanks for your help! Wendell
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