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Found 11 results

  1. Edestus Prep

    @DSMJake sent me this beautiful Edestus jaw to prep and I got the chance to work on it today. After a week of relaxing in the prep lab, chilling with the phytosaur, it came out of the box looking like this: To all appearances, it is simply covered in shale and the prep would require some simple abrasion. But as we all know, appearances aren’t everything! Under a good portion of the shale was a pile of pyritized shells! So, I abraided what I could and set to work with the Micro Jack. After the shells were gone, it went back into the cabinet for some more abrasive. After the abrasive, I blew the whole thing off and scrubbed the leftover soda off with acetone. The broken end of the bone had some cracking to deal with so they got a bit of super glue and the whole thing received a good consolidation. Why the whole thing you ask? Under the shale, the bone is also pyritized and the teeth are cracked with some enamel on the serrations missing. In order to lock all that down and reduce the risk of eventual pyrite decay, the whole piece got 2 good coats of thin Vinac. All this took a grand total of 3 hours of work.
  2. Air Abrasive Tool Help?

    Hi, I'm looking to purchase an Air Abrasive Tool, preferable online (or in a store that would sell them) I have been looking online but seem to get offers for tire maintenance and electronic cigarettes with dinosaurs on them when I look for "Air Abrasive Tool" on amazon / online So I have a few question for those who are experts to help out someone who has no idea about the tool at all. Any info would be helpful 1. Where can I get my hands on one? Can I go to a hardware store? Or can I buy one online? 2. If I buy one, I will want to use different PSI levels (if I even know what I'm talking about) so I don't damage the fossil when doing minor touch ups. How is the psi level adjusted? 3. Are there any rocks that it will not work on? Particularly the fossils I find are on mud stone and shale. 4. Can I use other abrasive powders such as baking soda which is less dangerous to breathe than aluminum oxide? (of course this would be outside with a mask on anyways) 5. What is the general price range for one that simply gets the job done (not looking for professional work, just trying to lightly expose my fossils from the matrix better)? 6. My girlfriend thinks fossils are utterly boring but would be very interested in using the air pen to touch them up (not sure why) is it possible you could hurt yourself if you accidently slipped and the tool touched you while on? 7. Will I need to buy compressed air cartridges, If so where should I buy them and what brand will fit? if not, how does it become pressurized? 8. Are there any things aside from the air tool that I will need to buy that is not included (other than a mask or fume hood) Anyone who can help point me in the right direction would be very appreciated. Thanks - John
  3. Vaniman Abrasive Blaster Review

    Today I received my @Vaniman Mobile Problast. I ordered it Monday and it shipped the same day. I had a few questions and Nathan was prompt and answered all my questions. It arrived on my doorstep double boxed and well packed. Upon unpacking, the unit was inspected and found to be in order. The unit came with supplied with a 1/4” barbed hose fitting. For the air inlet. In the package also came a 1/4” quick connector. Which was easily changed out. I connected it to the 1/4” tubing I picked up at the hardware store and connected that to my compressed air line downstream from my filtration and desiccant system, filled the hopper with baking soda, and fed the nozzle into the blast cabinet.
  4. 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.
  5. This is a pic of my middle son Casey's very first attempt at air abrasive work. Its a Phareodus that he found (in pieces) and is now cleaning it with 50% bicarb and 50% dolomite mix. Being a bit scared and nervouse I could see that he was being too cautious. I wasnt worried, I had the media flow turned down a little and the pressure was at about 40 psi. I had him start on the head bones so he could get a feel for it and not ruin anything. I think he's just getting a handle on it. RB
  6. Not the best greenops ever

    About a month ago I went to Penn with two fossil buddies and they both found prone greenops. Sadly I did not find one. However both of these greenops were split between the positive and negative and probably were missing some skin as the material was quite flaky. For one of my friends this was his first ever find of a prone greenops. Prone greenops that are nicely laid out are a very rare find in the Windom shale. Most of the ones I have found from there or others that I have prepped for people are fully, partially enrolled or distorted. So to my fossil buddy this was a bit of a special find. We wrapped up the two pieces in tin foil in the field and I agreed to take it with me and prep it for him. Well zoom ahead a month in time and I am going out with him last week to collect and he asks how is his greenops coming, whereby I realize that I have not only not started it ,but in my senility had forgotten I had it and had no clue where it was. Well when I got home it turns out that I had never unpacked the bucket of fossils from that trip and low and behold his fossil was packed just as we had left it. A careful look at both parts under the scope confirmed my opinion that the bug was in pretty rough shape , but a prone greenops, not to mention perhaps his first ever prone warranted we attempt to bring it back to life. Unfortunately I did not take any pics until a ways into the prep but here is what I did to start. 1. Washed the mud off both plates scrubbing with a tooth brush 2. Squared up what would become the fossil plate with the diamond gas saw 3. Cut out as small as possible a square from the top piece of the matrix that contained the top part of the greenops using my 7 inch tile saw with diamond blade 4. On a belt sander using aluminum oxide 120 grit thinned the top piece as much as safely possible to help minimize my prep time later. 5. Using super thin cyanoacrylate glue reattached the top portion to the main slab clamping tightly with a c-clamp. Asusual all prep was done under a zoom scope at 10x to 20x magnification using a Comco abrasion unit and in this case a German Pferd MST 31 scribe exclusively.. Not a lot of scribing was done other than to outline the bug as the skin was not in great shape. Abrasion was pretty much done with a .18 and .10 nozzle using 40 micron previously used dolomite at 30 PSI. Here is the bug after about an our of prepping . I have outlined in red where you can still see the outline of the section that was glued down. A lot of people do not realize that many of the fantastic trilobites you see on the market have actually been glued back together because the splits are often through the bug. I once did a Moroccan trilobite that was in 7 pieces when I received it Here is the bug after another 40 minutes Took some pictures of the prep but frankly they ended up too blurry to use so here is the prep after abrasion is complete and after I have repaired a lot of the parts that broke of in the split. I tend to use a white repair material and always take a picture to let the owner know what has been repaired Here is the bug after coloration applied . The repairs were allowed to cure overnight before coloration and a bit of extra carving to clean up spots.Just waiting for me to do a final cleanup tomorrow after everything has cured a bit more. A long way from being the worlds most pristine or perfect bug but I am relatively pleased that we were able to breath some new life into an ailing bug. Totally prep time about 3 1/2 hours over 4 days. I suspect the owner will be pleased with the result. I have seen people toss bugs in the field that were in this type of shape. For those of you who just need to know the bug is 27mm x 18 mm A slightly different view
  7. Back at it for a bit, then... disaster

    A few weeks ago I realized it had been a few years since I fired up my little prep lab. I went through a career change and I've been super busy. Decided it's now time to take a little time for myself. So I bought a few unprepped fossils on that auction site and today I finally got to work. I started on this little gal from the Weeks formation and, of course, my air compressor decides it didn't want to come out of retirement and crapped out on me. Now I have to wait until I can get a new one, just as the fever was striking again. Oh well. Here's some pics. I forgot to take a before pic, so I had to screen shot the auction listing. It's the one on the far right. The seller listed it as Modocia whiteleyi.
  8. I am looking for a Comco or similar air abrasive unit, have fossils available to trade, or part trade/part cash. Something like these.
  9. Granton Material Hardness

    Does anyone know the Moh's Scale hardness for the shale/slate from the Granton Quarry? I have a prep that is going to require abrasive for the whole thing. The matrix just laughs at soda, so I'm on the hunt.
  10. I have been working on making my own air abrasive unit but the pen section I created it not precise enough being made of plumbing parts. I am curious if any of you have found a somewhat affordable pen. I have only seen tip replacements and pens with the abrasive feeder. Thanks
  11. Well I finally managed to acquire 5 kilograms of aluminum tri hydrate Al(OH)3 with 100% guaranteed to be smaller than 200 mesh and 90% guaranteed to pass through a 300 mesh screen. The tests I ran were as is; unscreened out of the bag. The tests were using a COMCO air abrasion unit at varying presures from 2 PSI to 90 PSI. I paid $35 for 5 kilograms (about 11 pounds). The material seems to be very consistant in size definately under 50 microns. A small particle size is good for delicate prep work. The data sheet that came with the product rates it as non hazardous which is a very good thing , regardless I always wear a mask and operate in a negative pressure blast cabinet. The material I got appears to be pure with 0% silicates according to the data sheet.Silicates are a bad thing. Nasty to breath and tough on fossils Let me state that overall I was disappointed for the type of work that I am generally doing. I had heard so many good things about this media on the forum here. So what did it do well. It was an excellent media for cleaning Penn Dixie trilobites . It appears to be harder than the matrix but softer than the actual trilobite. I would give it a 10 out of 10 for cleaning fossils from the Windom formation. The trilobite practically cleans itself. It did very well at low pressure 2 to 10 PSI with a small nozzel (.018) cleaning black shale from New York state that contains triarthus and another sample from Ontario containing psuedogygites. At higher pressure (40 to 60 PSI and a larger nozzel (.025) it cuts through the shale like butter, works good on delicate shale comparable to the results I get from pure calcium carbonate. Veralum formation grey matrix, James Dick Quarry Brechin, Ontario. Does a good job removing grey matrix seems reasonably gentle on tan coloured flexicalymene trilos. However will not remove at all the tan matrix that is found at the very top of the quarry that you can find crinoid stems in. Dolomite will remove this tan colored matrix albeit slowly. Whitby formation, St. Mary's cement quarry Bowmanville Ontario. Cuts through matrix slowly but does not appear to cut the isotelus trilobite at all. Looks like will be an excellent abrasive for material from this quarry . Ran test at 60 PSI. Needed a bit higher PSI to take matrix off at an acceptable speed. Harrigan Formation trilobites Clarita, Oklahoma (tan coloured). Cuts through matrix very easily. A bit more forgiving on actual caramel coloured trilobites and shells than dolomite. Arkona, Ontario .... Widder, Hungry hollow and Arkona formation trilobites works ok but not as well as the 44 micron dolomite that I normally use on these. For a fragile trilobite it may be preferencial to the dolomite as it does not cut quite as well. But it is much slower in the 30 to 40 PSI range which I generally use on these trilos. Waldron Shale worked very well semes to be harder than the matrix but softer than the typical caramel colored trilobite. would rate it a 8 out of 10 , does not cut the matrix as well as dolomite but seems more forgiving on the actual trilobite. Heres the bad news for me . It will not touch the Moroccan trilobites in the dark grey matrix or the tan matrix . Tried tests on material from 3 different localities. The matrix is definately harder than the aluminum trihydrate (3.0 on the Mohs scale). Even as high as 95 PSI observing under high magnification their was no noticeable abrasion. Dolomite at a Mohs hardness of 3.5 will work on this matrix though it is by no means a speedy process. I will try to update this post with some tests on samples from other localities as I get a chance.