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  1. Alright fossil preppers, show us what you're working on! I've been working on prepping this Priscacara for about 6 months on and off with a pin vice.
  2. Hi! I'm looking for advice. I found this fossil yesterday and like so many others I find it's on an unstable piece and has a major crack through it. I'd hate to coat it with anything as I prefer to keep things natural. Yet I'm also worried that it might just fall apart on its own or from handling. What's my best course of action? Any advice/help is appreciated.
  3. Hello, This might be a simple/straightforward question, but I'm still curious to know how you guys deal with all the rubble created from fossil preparation.
  4. 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 (
  5. ecclector

    oviraptor egg prep?

    Hello fossil friends I will be acquiring a clutch described as Elongatoolithidae that came from a collection out of China in the 80s. Short of sending the piece out or acquiring a $1000+ air scribe setup, what can be done as far as getting rid of some of the calcite on top of the eggshell, or better expose the underlying details? I possess a dremel with many different attachments and access to the hardware store for more supplies. I've read that the matrix these are found in can be very hydrophilic so want to avoid turning it to mush. Thanks for any comments
  6. Hi everyone, Im new to this forum but have stumbled across it while trying to find information about psittacosaurus, I have a quite large complete (I think) specimen, over 3.5 feet long. The bones are prepared but not mounted. Does anyone know of anyone in England that can prepare these to being mounted? Looking forward to speaking with fellow collectors out there kind regards
  7. Hello everyone, I am a new member and i do not understand much about fossil. Although i am very pationate about them. I found this fossil myself and i would like to remove the matrix attached to the fossil. I tried vinegar and a tooth brush. It kinda worked on the top of the fossil where you can see the tiniest spirals. That method cosumed about 2 days of work and only uncovered that tiny piece of the fossil. I am also concerned that the acid frrom the vinegarr will partially destrroy the fossil. What is the best way to do this? Best Regards, Bruno
  8. Hello, I have a question regarding best preparation techniques for Eocene concretions from Sheppey. They look like this: I'm not doing the preparation myself - I'm asking to help the guy who is supposed to prepare them, as it's a new material for him and he doesn't want to ruin the fossils. I will appreciate your expert advice Kasia
  9. I'm prepping fossils in Oolitic limestone, which is new for me. This fossil is small and delicate, and appears to be a tooth. Should I use hand tools, or what I was thinking was cotton bud, vinegar and a lot of patience? I'm concerned the vinegar would attack the tooth. The white patches are where I scraped the matrix with hand tools, but I wasn't confident this was the best method.
  10. MrBones

    UAE Crab

    Hello. Do you guys think I can prep this crab from Al Ain (part of the United Arab Emirates)? It looks pretty beaten up, but I am hoping the ventral side might still be there. I have tried preparing urchins in this matrix with a very diluted water-vinegar solution. Do you think this could work for the crab as well?
  11. Hello all, With the start of this month I have gotten back to doing some fossil prep. I am still very much learning but I am happy with how this one turned out. It's a Callianopsis clalamenis nodule from the Pysht formation of Washington State which I found this past January that preserves two sets of feeding and defensive claws as well as some disarticulated shell material. This prep was fun and I am excited to try another shrimp, they are a welcome break from working with very hard pyrite nodules from Yorkshire. Before prep: After about half an hour
  12. 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:
  13. Fossil Fen

    Trilobite Prep Question

    Hello Forum, I've been working on some beginner Trilobites I've been able to buy from a local Rock Store. Most are not in a good state of preservation but are fun to work on and learn. The bug below has a waxy coating on it and I'm wondering if someone can tell me what that is, and also the best way to clean it off. I scribed down to the shell with an air tool, and now I'm just using a pin vise to scrap away as much as I can. Is this the best approach?
  14. Hi all, I am finally getting ready to proceed with stabilizing the specimens I found in this trip: They are basically big sandstone steinkerns, now fully dry. They were found in ferrous sandstone concretions surrounded by sand. The matrix is soft , pieces can be broken off with fingers. I was advised to brush ammos with a PVA solution, but then I thought what if I use Paraloid instead? So the questions are as follows: 0. Is it worth it? 1. If so, what solution should I use? 2%? 5% or more? 2. How much will be required? (the biggest ammo is about 40
  15. DarkTr

    Small Ichthyosaurus

    Hi to everyone. I'm preparing a new fossil which comes from Germany in the Cretaceous, these are the information that i have. Now, I have seen that it's quite difficult both to recognize the bones and to eliminate the matrix but the work is going. Have you some advice for this type of fossil? And, i don't want to be wrong, but i see two different bones: a black one and a brown one. Are them two different animal or not? For the type of preparation I'm doing is a mechanic type.
  16. Bill Hoddson

    Carbide/carbon steel needles

    After reading a few articles on removing matrix from fossils, I see most tool lists state a pin vise with carbide/carbon steel needles are standard equipment. I already have pin vises acquired from building models, but I seem to come up short on finding appropriate sized needles. What do you all use?
  17. Hi all, first post and newbie collector so appologies if this is posted in the wrong place. On a Recent trip to Dorset these were found and I’d love some input on the best way to prepare these. One is large and I as tempting as it was to just have at it with the hammer and chisel, I suspect more interesting things may be lurking in there. The others are much smaller and may need something like an air scribe?? Recommendations on that line appreciated also. thank you in advance for any help/tips/recommendations.
  18. Hello! I'm considering coating some of my delicate fossils in Paraloid (mixed with Acetone), to seal them and protect them for the future. How long would a typical, let's say, Green River fish take to decompose without such or similar techniques applied? I am very wary of doing irreversible acts to the rocks, so, how would one de-Paraloid a fossil, and would there be any damage? Just, any tips whatsoever would help, I'm feeling pretty inadequate about all this
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. Psmith8547

    fossil or concretion

    I found this in eastern Montana in a wash bed. There were many concretion looks different, irregular surface on top and it is a continuous spiral from top to bottom. Almost looks like poop (coprolite) but it is heavy. How would you go about looking at its interior? Hammer? Scribe? I know people split some of them but I have neve done that.
  22. ParkerPaleo

    White River Prep - Rodent

    I've been in the lab this fall/winter but preparation has taken a back seat to the plastics/replicas operations. As things start to wind down with plastics around this time of year, I'm embarking on my next prep project. This specimen is from the same Wyoming locality as the Herpetotherium I posted about recently but was found many years ago(~15?). It appears to just be an upper skull of a small rodent but there is some hope for lowers. I pulled this piece out of its field packaging in April but just now starting preparation in earnest. So far, all I've done is rough prep around the bound
  23. Hello Forum! I've been doing some reading on the forum about microscopes and I'd like to say thanks for the information provided, I've learned a lot about stereo microscopes and some of the things to look for. There seems to be a lot of used labratory equipment on certain online auction sites but my question is this; has anyone purchased, sight unseen, a used microscope and how was the experience? Are there specific things I should be looking for to ensure it's in good working order, or are stereo microscopes the type of product that potentially has lots of issues and is not worth
  24. 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?
  25. 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
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