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  1. kirkjeremiah23

    Hyracodon Skull

    Finally got around to prepping out and making a stand for the Hyracodon skull. It was in pretty rough shape and not complete, but I think it displays well. What are your guys thoughts?
  2. Hello TFF members - I'm in need so some advice on this one please. So this is my first post (happy to be corrected on any newbie errors) and although preparation is my favourite part of the fossil game, I am 'fairly' new to it - In other words, please go easy on me, I'm aware it's going to be all too tempting to say I've bitten off more than I can chew here... I recently purchased this Mosasaur skull from a well known European fossil auction site; you may have seen it yourself if you follow such things. It wasn't 'hugely' expensive, but that doesn't mean I'm not seri
  3. Hi Fossils Preparation Fans, Last week I received 1900kg of unprepared dinosaur bones in plaster jackets. Now my neigborhood thinks I lost my mind and I received a lot of eye-rolling from my wife. However, my two sons (7y and 2.5y old dino fans) and myself think it was an excellent idea to acquire the material. The fossils have been collected in the upper layers of the Morisson Formation. Location: Moffat County, Colorado As always when buying unprepared dinosaur bones you do not really know what you get. However, it seems that most material is Apatosaurus (
  4. NoahW24

    Ceraurus trilobite Prep

    Hi all! I’ve got this heavily weathered Ceraurus, and I’m trying to figure out if it’s best to leave the critter in the rugged natural state or if more of him might be buried: any pointers on determining this? Trying to think twice and dremel once to avoid mistakes… Thanks!
  5. Hi all! Thought I would start documenting my trilobite preps. Here is #1, a Calymene breviceps from the Waldron shale, Indiana, and my first real prep. This is about 15 hours using hand tools primarily and a dremel for clearing some of the original matrix. My fingertips are sore, but lots of fun was had! Very exciting to see this feller reemerge after 400,000,000 years! Now to track down some other unprepared trilobites…. Trickier part of the operation…
  6. I'm starting to get into mechanical prep seeing as with the quarantine I have extra time on my hand. My equipment arrived before my projects did so I've been practicing on this invert I had on hand. I believe this is a gastropod? Or is it a bivalve? I can never keep them straight in my head. Anyways, I forgot to take a before picture so I apologize for this awful photo as it was the only one I had: And this is it currently: Obviously not done yet, needs some more work and then some serious clean up to make it look nice but I'm thinking to put it aside for a
  7. Kane

    Kane's Bug Preps

    UPDATE: Consolidated all my loose preparation threads into one topic. Four hours so far into this big bug, and maybe another two to go. Found at Penn Dixie this past weekend, the visible area measures 6 cm. With the pygidium, it likely measured about 8+ cm. Judging by its size and pustular sculpture, this was likely a long-lived specimen prior to burial. This is how it looked fresh in the field:
  8. Welsh Wizard

    Prepping a Trilobite

    Hi I don’t normally collect trilobites but we spent a few days in mid wales drinking coffee and reading books. We also got a chance to look for trilobites. Here is a partial on a block and whilst having a dig around, I found another one which I’m prepping out.
  9. I work for the County of Orange in Southern California. Pretty soon, we'll be issuing a request for proposals to prepare fossils and process archaeological materials. I would like to know if it is appropriate to post the RFP here, and if so, which subforum it belongs in. I'm also open to other suggestions of where to post the RFP when it becomes available.
  10. Bill Hoddson

    First Serious Prep

    This is going to be my first serious attempt at removing a fossil from a rock, and cleaning it for display. It's a solitary horn coral found in a parking lot in Traverse City, Michigan. Base rock is a rather coarse grained limestone, so it should be easier that a finer, densely grained matrix. The only tools I have currently are a Dremel with a flex attachment, carbide cutting disks and diamond burrs, as well as various dental tools and muriatic acid. My plan is to try to safely cut the specimen out of the main body of the rock, and then proceed with th
  11. Kane

    A few crinoids

    I preface this by saying I'm not a crinoid collector, nor someone who has the foggiest idea of how to prep them effectively. If I encounter one that looks relatively complete, I'll bring it home. I focus prep on trilobites mostly, and there is a thread where I park those. It's been a busy week at the bench, and I thought I'd close it out with one finished piece, and one that is halfway done. First up is the finished piece. I didn't take a before photo for some reason, but these appear as faint traces in this material. This one is an Ectenocrinus. It already had some da
  12. I was recently out vacationing in Wyoming and spent Saturday morning (7/24/21) hunting in the badlands. As I sat down to rest for a moment, I looked down and saw what I thought were a radius/ulna pair from a small mammal. Upon closer inspection, it was a pair of lower jaws freshly exposed on the edge of a nodule and on the backside, a small skull. Needless to say, I was ecstatic. I spent a bit of time making sure the specimen was consolidated (Paleobond Penetrant, wish I had brought some 4417) and packed it up for the trip home. I was thinking it woul
  13. PetrosTrilobite

    Mazon Creek Preparation

    I have some questions about Mazon Creek fossils preparation. 1. How we can know that the "egg" contain a fossil? 2. How we can cut the "egg" in the correct point, without to damage the fossil? 3. When we see pos/neg specimes, how the "egg" has been cuted so accurate?
  14. Daniel Fischer

    My first fossil preparation

    Hello, two days ago I made my first fossil preparation and I figured I should share it here. I know I probably made a ton of mistakes but I am happy with the result. It took me around about 2 hours and I would love to hear from you everything I have done wrong. here are before and after pictures, I did not write on the pictures what is before and what is after but I think you can figure it out, I know it's my first try but how bad can it be.
  15. I recently completed my first fossil prep. Woohoo! As a novice, I did a lot of reading and research; trying to piece together exactly what I was supposed to do. How exactly I was supposed to "prep" the fossil and what that process entailed. While I found a wealth of information here on TFF, and other avenues, that information took a while for me to uncover and assemble into something useful. Not that the information itself wasn't useful, but uncovering a bit of info would often cause even more questions to arise. Consequently, it sometimes felt like taking 1 step forward but 3 steps back at th
  16. I have a few really nice fossils from the White River Formation of northeastern Colorado that I need to prep, and given I am a beginner at fossil prep I would really like to gain some advice and guidance from people with experience do I don’t accidentally damage the fossils. The first fossil is an Oreodont skull. The skull is mostly intact, and I was able to extract it from the field without using any glue or stabilizer or consolidant or anything like that, so this fossil is in its “natural state.” The zygomatic arch and upper tooth row are crumbling, but
  17. Hello everyone! I am interested in purchasing a microscope to try out fossil prep under one as well as just observing smaller fossils under it. I have begun doing some research and have come up with some good options but I wanted to ask here as well in case anyone had any suggestions. I am looking for a stereo microscope that would be pretty simple and fairly inexpensive, if anyone has suggestions for one like this I would love to hear them, Thank you, Misha
  18. Thomas.Dodson

    DIY Dust Collection System

    I've received a couple requests for more information/instructions on how my DIY dust collection system works so I decided to write this guide. First, a crude diagram to help understand how it works. The idea is for water to act as a filter before dust even gets to the shop vac filter. It keeps the filter almost entirely clean and prevents dust from prematurely killing the motor. It's also a lot easier to clean up as you just dump the dirty water. The setup is simple and as long as the general process goes like this it is fine but I'll walk through how I built my current system. I u
  19. Crusty_Crab

    Chemical Preparation

    I am writing a short manual on preparation methods for our club and I am including a short section on chemical preparation. This is most commonly done with acids on carbonate rocks. For many newbies, chemical preparation is attractive since all you need is a weak acid that everyone has in their kitchen (vinegar or lemon juice) and don't have to buy expensive equipment. I try to avoid it if at all possible since it works on a very narrow class of matrices, you have relatively little control over it, you may dissolve the fossil itself if it hasn't been silicified and its irreversible. Consequent
  20. Hi, I am looking to buy a good MicroBlasting unit and need some expert advises. I know the prices of a good unit can go way over 5000$ and want some advises before spending that much. The main fossils I am working on are Trilobites and Echinoderms. Here is the 3 best units I have looked at so far: Crystal Mark: Swamblaster MV-2 Comco: Microblaster Comco: Accuflo Any Other Quality Micro Blasting Unit suggestion? Anyone out there using one of those unit and who can tell me how it goes? Thank you to all p
  21. Back during an April trip to the Widder Formation (Mid-Devonian), I came upon a rather sizeable placoderm. It is very likely the arthrodire, Protitanichthys sp., although it is a bit of wastebasket taxon, but new research is underway. It was pretty much stuck in this rock, and it was only going to come out the hard way. I collected every little bit I could find from that dirty, messy bench, including the impression. Here is the in situ photo:
  22. Hello everyone, first of all I want to say how I love this forum and how many great people are here, I couldn't find a better community. Back on topic I'm pretty much a novice when it comes to fossil preparation, I only prepped some echinoderms, bivalve and some isolated Ictitherium teeth. But after reading and reading topic on this forum I decided to begin a bigger project. I bought an oreodont skull, as you can see from the photos it seems in really good conditions and the matrix seems really soft to work on. At the same time I see that there are many fracture on the
  23. I have several fossils that have crystallized shells. I would like any advice on preparing the fossil without having the crystallized structure disintegrated. See example photo and the crystals structures around the edges of the spiral. Thanks. .
  24. Hello, I have a bit of an odd piece, it's not a fossil, it's a scorpion! The scorpion was in its burrow in a dune when the dune collapsed, I would like to stabalize the sand, so that I can display it. This isn't a particularly important find, so I wouldn't mind if it broke in the process. Keep in mind, I have very limited materials.
  25. Hello all. Does anybody know the best way to preserve a 'Tully monster' specimen. I recall once reading that the surface often needs to be coated with a preservative against oxidizing, etc. One of my specimens has a tiny bit of red on the one eye, which I don't recall being there last year. Please see photos; advice deeply appreciated.
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