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Found 284 results

  1. Nifty Abrasive 'Swabs'

    I just came across these nifty little things on the American Science & Surplus site, and thought they might come in handy sometimes for final touches on a display prep.
  2. Large Whale Bone to Stabilize

    I found this beautiful whale vertebra this weekend. It fell out of the cliff face just a few days ago and tumbled into the Potomac River (brackish?) just far enough for the waves at the tide line to gently lapped it clean. Gotta love it! It is currently soaking in clean water to get the salt and anything else out as much as I can, but I've never done anything this big before. I'm used to stabilizing little stuff and blocks of matrix that really just need a thick, hard outer shell. The little bones air dry quickly enough that I don't have to worry about moisture at the center, but this thing is 4 1/2 inches in diameter! I have both Paleobond and Paraloid on hand. Anyone have any practice at this?
  3. Hey everyone, I just started playing with this stuff called Q-O that I got from a friend on the forum. I don’t remember the exact specifics but it breaks down shale around fossils like brachs and corals really well. It doesn’t break down calcium carbonate so the fossils stay intact. I have a lot of Spinocyrtia granulosa specimens I’ve collected with some having amazing potential but still semi shale covered. The same went for my Pleurodictyums, Mediospirifers and many corals. All of these are from the Lake Erie shoreline. Patience seems to be my biggest issue cause it does take time to clean. So I took to the stove top to speed up the process. My gas bill will reflect my efforts This is one of my best..fully inflated, very 3D. I only have one other this 3D. These next 2 had a ton of extra fossils hidden!! I actually need too try and ID them. There is some type of branching bryozoan I think. I also see a more familiar encrusting bryozoan as well. I think the 2ns photo has aulopora all over the back of the brach. More to come!
  4. Yet Another Phytosaur Prep

    Here’s another phytosaur I’m starting work on. This one is missing some pieces and we are hopeful the collector can find more this spring. Until then, I have some work cut out for me. It may not look like much now but there appears to be a fully inflated skull under all that sandstone! I’ve already found where some of the random pieces in the trays did and have begun gluing and consolidating. I can see the occipital poking out of the back of the block as well! Finally, a phytosaur that is more prep than puzzle. There are fresh breaks on the maxillae where more should fit. for those bits showing up in a few months.
  5. Moroccan Verts

    @snolly50 was nice enough to send me a mess of a Moroccan concretion to play with recently. It started out as what appeared to be bits of vertebrae poking out of the block. After about 4 hours of scribing with my ME9100, I had uncovered a few scraps of bone but no centra were evident. The natural crack that you see opened up from the vibrations of the scribe and no robust bone was evident in the crack either. With John's permission, I began exploring the back of the block, hoping to find something worthy to prepare. Bingo, I found some bone. The crack happened to peel through a small section of the centra rather than through a full cross section giving the appearance of a lack of large bone in the concretion. 4 or 5 hours later and the verts were mostly exposed. Unfortunately, this concredtion had a thin layer of softer rock on the outside and a significantly harder inner core. The matrix is MUCH harder than the bone and I fought the bones trying to crumble the entire time. This has copious amounts of Vinac on the bones to stabilize them. At this point, the ME9100 is almost making no progress on matrix removal. Enter the Super Jack scribe. This beast will plow through the matrix. It ultimately saved me around 12 hours of scribe work on this project. The one thing you have to be careful of is the increased vibrations to the block with the more powerful scribe. I spent more time consolidating and aggressively applied Vinac to any bone as it was exposed. Prep progressed quickly with me alternating between the Super Jack for bulk matrix removal and the ME9100 for close to the bone work. Including the exploratory time, I have 16 hours into this prep at the finish. I left some of the tool marks on the matrix rather than completely smoothing it out because I think it highlights the rugged nature of the piece and most Moroccan stuff has tool marks. The ones I have seen that are totally clean look off to my eye. It would be like @RJB leaving tool marks on his crab concretions. None of them have it so if they were there, it would look wrong. Here's the final product.
  6. After a month of needle work, finally finished. This cluster is 65x30cm and I love it, lots of work but I just enjoyed it so much that I am sad it is finished Nothing to work on now This was my first work on a fossil and even though quite scary, very rewarding. I am definitely not stopping here. Besides 29pc of shark vertebrae I managed to expose many other fish vertebrae and bone fragments but the highlit must be an Enchodus tooth. Thank you all for your advise and helpful info on this project.
  7. Hi all, I have an ammonite specimen from Folkestone, UK that is locked in a phosphate nodule. Is there any way for it to be removed? Thanks, Jay
  8. Mixing Paraloid

    JohnBrewer kindly sent me some paraloid, i've gone out and bought some 98% acetone and a glass jar. How much Paraloid should i put into a small coffee jar? Thanks
  9. My adventures in bison prep

    I was thinking I could keep a running update on my bison prep, discoveries in learning, general happenings. . . Maybe a bit like Ralph’s aka Nimravis’ “Sometimes You Have to Whack It”, only my bison prep style if it isn’t too dull and boring. A recap. I found an almost complete, articulated bison with the skull in January 2019. I have collected the majority of it. I’m working on processing stuff still and prepping it. I’m totally new to vertebrate paleontology type stuff. So there is a big learning curve. I still have bits sitting in bags or small plastic boxes that I haven’t processed and removed the dirt from. That stuff is still moist for the most part. This post will be embarrassingly honest at times about how I messed up something out of sheer ignorance or how something didn’t work as planned. I’m not beating myself up over anything. Lesson learned and I move on all the wiser. I’ll be sharing my trials and errors for 2 or 3 reasons. 1. So someone else will know what worked or didn’t. 2. Hopefully give others the courage or motivation to just try and not be afraid to make mistakes. 3. Show how blond I really am. Noooo! Not really. 4. So others with more experience can chip in and give me guidance and insight. One thing I found out the wrong way is when you rinse the bones off with water and then let them dry, you’re not supposed to get them wet with water again. Never ever. I had no clue, but it makes sense. These specific type of bones are still like very old bone with little to no mineralization. So they’re fragile. When I rinsed the dirt and mud off I did a general, not a thorough cleaning where I got all the dirt out of the nooks and crannies. So I took one of the femurs that had thoroughly dried and went to rinse it again and clean the nitty gritty parts. After I was done I had it sitting next to me on the couch when I heard a very loud crack noise come from the bone! That was not good! I couldn’t find a crack, but clearly somewhere inside a crack had occurred. It was because the bone was dry. When wet it adsorbed the water, swelled and cracked. So no water. If I had known that I would have been more thorough on the initial cleaning.
  10. I'm looking for an unprepped oreodont skull (or skull and partial body) that somebody wants to part with. What do I have to trade? Something more valuable to some collectors than mere fossils, I am willing to trade prep time. No prep too big or too small. Anyone interested?
  11. Final clean up

    I decided to expose some of the bone fragments on my otodus vertebrae cluster and now I will like to finish it. Is there any way I can clean the exposed bones? Some solution? I have been working with a needle mostly but can't clean the bones this way without damaging them. I will like to make them pop out after I preserve the whole thing. Any ideas?
  12. This was a prep I've last year, but for some reason I've never posted it on the forum. So I thought I might change that. Last year I was fortunate enough to take a visit to the Ernst Quarries and dig for some shark teeth. Although most of the fossil I've taken home are either bones, four partial regular-sized teeth, and mostly tiny partials (some of which I accidentally damaged while digging ), the biggest find of the day was this large Cosmopolitodus hastalis tooth with its crown partially sticking out of the matrix. When Rob noticed the tooth, he initially estimated it to be ~2 inches long and insisted that I keep the tooth in the matrix, saying something like "The tooth itself is worth about $15. If you keep the tooth in the matrix, it'll be worth $60". Although my reason for visiting the Ernst Quarries was to find shark teeth to keep rather than to sell, I for some reason decided to keep the tooth in the matrix. However, I still had to prep this baby when I got home! Below is the tooth how I found it. This was going to be my first (and so far only considerate) prep I've ever done. Rob told me that the matrix can easily be scratched away using a fingernail and so taking his words and some advice I've gotten from the forum regarding something else, I grabbed one of my mom's needles and started quite literally digging off the siltstone. After around 10 minutes, a perfect root base showed up. This tooth is obviously going to be a perfect whole, so you just gotta keep scraping off the matrix. One really helpful thing I've realized at this point is that the needle I was using was perfect for such beginner's prep- it was strong enough to remove matrix effectively but not enough to do any damage to the tooth itself.
  13. The Agonizing Wait

    Why does time grind to a halt the moment you place an order for a new prep tool? In a moment of weakness, my wife agreed to me ordering a new Vaniman abrasive blaster and a Paleo Tools Super Jack scribe. Of course, I'm not waiting around for minds to change.
  14. After so many people showing an Interest in the Golden Cannonball Nodule, I though I’d start a thread to document my Yorkshire finds and prep, be they ammonites, bone, or what ever else. Hope you all enjoy
  15. Thought this would be an interesting one for anybody overseas, who has never heard of Yorkshire’s Golden Cannonballs. Theyre only found in the UK along the Yorkshire coastline. With a 1/15 chance of having something inside, it’s safe to say they can be quite rare, and are always sought after. More often than not, they either contain one, or multiples of Eleganticeras ammonites inside. I’ll never tire of finding them. Theyre found in the shake jet rocks, and take hours to polish up the iron pyrite to give them their golden glow of you like. Here’s one I recently prepared.
  16. Colorful Damesella Paronai

    Just finished prepping a damesella paronai from Shandong, China. The colors are so amazing I thought it worthy of a post. Photos are before and after prep.
  17. Otodus vertebrae

    This week I willl be collecting these Otodus Obliquus vertebrae cluster. It's from Morocco and the size is about 65x30cm, there is 24 vertebrae and the biggest one is around 7cm diameter. There is still lots of matrix on the vertebrae so I was planning to finish cleaning it all. I will like your opinion on this. Should I do it, how difficult is it going to be? I like it the way it is already but I am sure it can be finished better. Is it worth trying?
  18. Hi All, I was wondering if anyone had any tips on prepping this partial Triceratops horn, and if I should us glue or not. I also believe there's a tiny section of skin impression (Which I've gone and highlighted in red) but I could be wrong? any help would be much appreciated... Thanks! Ryan. here are some pictures
  19. Current Prep Thread

    So, what do we all havecurrently on the prep table? Be interesting to see what challenges await everybody. My current piece is this bone block, most likely ichthyosaur rib. A few scattered ammonites from the genus Dactylioceras sp. if expecting to probably found more bone further in all being well, probably a vert or two and some more ribs.
  20. I was wondering if you guys think there is anything left to be exposed in this carpoid? Thanks, Tyler
  21. Nautilus Polishing Advice

    I bagged a couple of Nautilus while down at Lyme Regis recently. The one on the left will be a reverse prepper and still has its shell on which is a joy to see. The other is a polish job, I have a vague idea at how to do it, although I’d appreciate if anybody could give me a rundown or step by step guide on how to get it gleeming, as it’s not something I want to go in blind like I usually do. I’d appreciate any advice. Thanks.
  22. Phytosaur Prep II

    I took delivery of my next major prep job today from @StevenJD. Man, he can sniff out some cool stuff. It is quite a beast! A nice phytosaur from New Mexico. This appears to have most of the skull and a fair bit of postcranial material. This is only what fit on on the table in my shop. There are 3 more boxes of puzzlesaurus as well! I think I’m in for the long haul on this. If the skull comes together well, I will ultimately be mounting this guy.
  23. First Green River fish prep

    I bought this 18 inch layer in March of 2016 from Blake. @FossilDudeCO Finally felt comfortable enough with the air scribe and micro air abrader to tackle it. looks like I might have found a bit of coprolite in there too. Needs a little bit more final clean up work but I am pretty happy with the way it turned out for my first one.
  24. I haven't bought this yet. I wanted to see if anyone thought it was a lost cause or has potential. All I know is that it is from China. If appears that it may be able to be cleaned up a bit, kind of like the green river fish...not that I have prepped any of those either.
  25. Old Ammonite Prep

    Here’s another old prep that I finished up today. This is another from the old collection with no information. So, if anyone knows what these are (besides ammonites ) or where they are from I’d be grateful for the help. This is how it came out from the pile on the back of the shelf. I had done a small amount of prospective scribing but not much.
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