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  1. Hello, I haven't been here for a long time so first of all, I want to say that it feels good to be back! I am a student in 11th grade and the pressures of school got my mind off of paleontology lately. But now came the opportunity I have been waiting for, I am learning in a class where we learn electricity, programming and biology. As part of our studying, we need to design and create a machine that solves a problem in the world. I would really like to make something in the filed of paleontology. But the first step is finding a suitable problem and research. So I am here to ask you what p
  2. DarasFossils

    Miocene Pea Crab Preparation

    Hello, I am new to fossil preparation but I bought one of those Miocene Crab concretions, but I am not sure how to separate the rock without damaging the crab inside. I only have dental tools and chisels, but they are not enough to separate the two sides for a pos/neg display that I could like. What sorts of tools could I use for the job? It is something similar to the picture below.
  3. I have my own little fossil prep lab in my home (hubby let me convert one of our spare rooms into my own prep lab find someone who loves you as much as you love fossils and dirt!) with the compressor out in the garage. It's a 50L tank (approx. 13.2 gallons) and is a belt drive, which is slightly quieter than direct drive and cycles every 5-10min. I'm wanting to upgrade to possibly a 100L tank so there are less cycles, but also looking at the compressors that come with a "silent" motor. One of our dogs has weirdly become afraid of the compressor when it turns on (but to be fair, she's also afr
  4. Tales From the Shale

    Crassatella Consolidation

    I'm about to stabilize some invertebrate shells from Tennesse. I decided on using paraloid B-72. What ratio can I used to hold the fragile shells together, without causing any major visual alterations?
  5. fossilhunter21

    Nice way to hang up air scribes

    Hey everyone! Just thought I would share this thing I made to organize my air scribes and parts, but also to have a way to keep them off the dirty bench when not using them. I have been working at the Village Barn (a small company that repairs and sells, boots, saddles, shaps, bridles, ropes, whips, knives, etc.) as an apprentice for about a month or two, and finally decided to try to make something to store my scribes. I think it turned out pretty good, but if I were to make it for someone else I would have made it nicer. Thanks for lo
  6. Tales From the Shale

    Preserving Invertebrate Fossils

    Hey guys I have some fossils I collected from the Coon Creek of Tennessee. The resident paleontologist, and other trip goers told me to use floor wax to seal these delicate fossils. They aren't permineralized and therefore crumble and crack very easily. Is there a better alternative to floorwax? I read both yes and nos on its usage. I don't like modifying fossils if I don't have to, but I've had multiple fall apart already.
  7. I was wondering if anyone knows whether the KN-95 mask is sufficient enough for air scribing outdoors? And if it isn’t could someone recommend something that would work? I’m mostly asking this because there’s a wider variety of face mask types post-COVID compared to pre-COVID. I’d also prefer the mask to be reasonably priced and easily available.
  8. I was wondering if a blast cabinet is required to air scribe fossils outdoors? (As long as one wears the proper PPE and safety equipment of course.) I’m trying to save some on my setup until I gather the rest of the cash needed to buy the blast cabinet and move my prepping indoors. And besides, the cold has never really bothered me anyways.
  9. I was wondering if there's anyone (preferably in Colorado) who can prepare fossils with an air scribe if sent to them and if so what there prices would be for a project. I have a plethora of fossils from the Pierre Shale still encased in matrix and a hammer and chisel is just not detailed enough and it requires breaking and glueing specimens. Hopefully one day I can get my own air compressor and scribe setup but for now I'm in a apartment and that's just not possible. Any feedback is appreciated.
  10. KompsFossilsNMinerals

    Komp’s Fossil Preps

    Hi all, my good friend @Nautiloidand I have been doing some collecting at a site in the Trenton Group recently and we have been finding what we believe to be Gravicalymene magnotuberculata. The matrix is soft and quite easy to prep, which was a nice surprise. This one was found by my father @Penguin Fiasco Here it was before preparation Bonus headless Triarthrus Beckie appears! All done, now time to clean off the abrasive powder! Here it is after preparation, I am pretty happy with the result. Please excuse the
  11. Tales From the Shale

    Graptolite Preservation

    These are graptolites I dug out of an Athens Shale outcrop. They're fragile, so I am questioning whether it is better to leave them be, or seal them somehow? And if so, the best substance to get the job done. Thanks in advance. I have trilobites in shale too, so im hoping I can extrapolate from the answer here.
  12. CrazyRockLady

    Byne's "Disease"

    I just learned recently about Byne's "Disease" from cases I saw a collection. I was sent an article by a fossil curator I've been working during my internship at Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology that I'll link in this post. Why have I never heard of this before?! It's a white powder that looks like mold on a fossil but its not. It occurs in specimens that are made of calcium carbonate and is caused by an acidic environment. it's not very common but when it does occur it can destroy a specimen if left untreated. Byne's Disease.pdf
  13. Megalodoodle

    Fossil Preparation Services?

    Has anyone on here had a good experience with fossil preparation services? I’m not asking for specific companies (as I know this might be a breach of TFF community rules), just wanting to know if anyone has had good results with fossil prep companies in general. I’ve got a couple of nice-ish Devonian trilobite partials in need of prep and am too impatient to prep them myself. Also full air scribe setups are extremely expensive, this isn’t even taking into account that there are no spare rooms in my house for a fossil prep workshop. Meaning, I would either have to build onto the house or build
  14. The first (and only- for now) Oreodont skull I prepped was in remarkably good condition and required virtually no reconstruction, just a thorough and careful cleaning + a little stabilizing. Afterwards I was looking for a good way to display this little skull in a manner where it wouldn't just be sitting on a flat surface. I'm not great at bending metal to create an elevated cradle so I came up with this: I laid a sheet of plastic wrap on the underside of the skull and gently pressed Apoxie sculpt on top of the plastic so it molded to the contours of the skull. I then pressed a met
  15. Hi folks. I dont prep as much as I used to, working on 3 Tumido's at the same time at the moment though, but here is a short video of what my prep bench looks like. https://youtu.be/AeWvY2H74Vw
  16. Hey everyone! So I have heard from many people that it is good to have something to support your arm and something to support your fossils. And I just thought I would ask everyone how they made theirs, what they used, and maybe what they look like? Thank you in advance! -Micah
  17. Hello FF! I’ve recently taken home some neat fossils from the Waldron Shale in southern Indiana. I’m new to taking fossil collecting seriously, and thus have little experience in trying to properly prep them. For some, the surrounding matrix often crumbles when I take so much as a dental pick to them, though a toothbrush and soapy water hardly yield results after scrubbing for a while. For others, I can hardly get anything to work (such as the large trilobite mold below). The tools I have present are a dental pick, a toothbrush, water (and dish detergent), a small chisel, a hammer, and a jug o
  18. Neanderthal Shaman

    Is Elmer's Glue as Bad as They Say?

    About 5 years ago I took a trip out to the Green River Formation, found some nice Knightia and Diplomystus. This was long before I was on the forum, otherwise I would have made a post about it! Since then, I have found a number of shell fossils in Washington State where I live. Anyways, the commonality between them is that I coated them all in an Elmer's glue mix. This was before I knew about Butvar-76 and the like, which I still haven't bothered to try yet. The Green River Fossils consolidated well, but the shell fossils from the Lincoln Creek Formation slurped it up and didn't s
  19. fossilhunter21

    Oreodont prep!

    So I know in another post I said that I was not going to prep mammal fossils for a while... Well apparently I lied. It was not very expensive (I am sure you can see why) so I decided to purchase it. Here it is after a few hours of work. Ps. Sorry about the quality of the photos. My camera takes batteries and is not rechargeable and I have no batteries left. Also I am tired and it's late and I don't feel like spending lots of time on photos right now. Hopefully tomorrow I can get better pictures. -Micah
  20. Hey everyone! So I keep buying fossils that are not good for someone who does not have a lot of experience with prep. And I was just wondering what are some good fossils (and locations) for someone who does not have much experience? I am thinking that I should have asked a while ago, but I did not think about it until now. Thanks in advance! -Micah
  21. Hey everyone! So I recently purchased The Zoic Chicago, it is a very nice tool but I would like to get something for details. I would love to hear your recommendations!
  22. Keichhorn

    Help! Fossil prep!

    So I have this crinoid I wanted to prep with my new vaniman, but I am not skilled enough for this prep. I've done a couple crinoid calyx's and some with the arms, but this one has some fine detail showing through and I am worried I will destroy it. If there is anyone on here that I could turn to for help on this or any suggestions as to who to take it to would be phenomenal. The whole column wraps around the matrix. There are a few spots where the pinnules are showing. I have a terrible camera so I can only show a photo of the largest section showing. I'm not sure what s
  23. It's about 80-90% complete. I've never tried to preserve a fossil shell before. I'll of course follow the sticky threads, but I don't even know if it's safe to run it under tap water to rinse off the dirt. Thanks!
  24. Hi everyone These two pieces were collected by my boyfriends father and his family about 60 years ago on the Jurassic coast of Charmouth/Lyme Regis. A little while ago he brought them out to show me and said I could keep the ones I liked. I chose these two, but not to keep. My idea was to prep them, reveal the fossils inside and give them to him at Christmas. I used a Dremel with specialised tips and a sewing needle in a pin vice under a microscope. Overall I'm quite happy with how they turned out, not perfect, but I can see my own improvement. The larger s
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