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Found 47 results

  1. Hello So a while back I came into the possession of a Columbian Mammoth Tooth. As you can see it's in need of a clean and maybe preserving, which I have never done and so I'd like some advice. Feel free to treat me like an idiot as I have never done this befor. P.S. I cannot upload anything to the Gallery section either.
  2. Dealing with marine algae

    Hello everyone, I found the below ichthyosaur vertebra on the beach at Wimereux two weeks ago. It had obviously been lying there for some time, as it was covered in green algae and barnacles. Based on the advise of various friends and the fact this rock seems to hard and massive to work through using just my Dremel, I'll be leaving the fossil in its matrix. However, I do want to clean it up from the algae and barnacles. As such, I used a 1:2 dilution of 14° household cleaning vinegar and a couple of sturdy brushes to remove most of the algae (dipping the brushes in the solution between brushings) and soaked it in soapy hot water. Areas with tougher algae were treated using the undiluted vinegar. Today removed the remaining barnacles using wooden toothpicks, following it with another soak in hot soapy water and another rinse. Although I think this got rid of all the barnacles, and the piece is no longer entirely coated in green algae, there are still various green spots on the rock (and a slight green sheen on the vertebra itself) that haven't come out with the treatment. (Also the "dead fish smell" still lingers) This makes me wonder about the following things: 1. Can the algae regrow, given enough light and moisture in the air? 2. Has anyone ever experienced algae spreading in their collection after failing to remove all traces of algae (I mean, fungi will spread between books and, as I understand, algae can transmit their spores by air)? 3. Is there a way I can get rid of the remaining algae on the rock? E.g. exposure to sun/UV light? 4. Is there a way something can be done about the slight lingering smell, or is this just something that needs to dissipate over time? Now I read some of you prefer using diluted bleach to remove algae growth from fossils (as mentioned in the post below), but I'm not sure I feel comfortable playing around with such aggressive agents yet...
  3. Here we see a middle Cretaceous ammonite I recently found. Before cleaning attempt And the other picture is after. I used a dremel and various bits. I wouldn't rate it 100% bad since it is my first attempt using power tools, however I would not recommend it. It lacks accuracy and sometimes the bit moves unpredictably, removing fossil material. Nevertheless, the sample was not something I intended to keep in my collection so I thought to give it a try and verify myself the advice so many people give. Use an airscribe!
  4. Polishing Ammolite

    I stubbled on a few small pieces of ammolite while out fishing. I have searched the internet and this forum for information and have come up with several different ways to clean and polish ammolite. However I have not been able to find a detailed process from start to finish to get ammolite looking it’s best. I know there are different qualities of ammolite and some require little to no work but mine needs some work to get it to look good without getting it wet. I have tried sanding for quite a while up to 600 grit paper. That’s the finest I could find but now have found up to 3000. Should I just keep going with the sanding? Is there polishing or buffing to do after the sanding? Is there an epoxy to put on after to keep the wet look? Any information would help and I thank you in advance. I just want to do it right the first time so that I don’t wreck it or have to go back and try to strip off something I put on.
  5. Cleaning a sharks tooth

    I wanted to show some photos of a tooth that cleaned up really well. This is a small tooth I found some time ago. Regardless of its size, the quality of the specimen was excellent. So I cleaned it and polished the enamel. I thought the difference was significant. My learning was that in some cases cleaning and polishing can greatly improve the looks of a specimen. Before the cleaning. Fresh out of the river After cleaning and polishing the enamel
  6. Totally encrusted large bivalve?

    Good morning all! Hope everyone is healthy and starting to get back to normal, whatever that will be! Found this yesterday below a roadcut in Kansas City laying by itself. The shape instantly caught my attention, and when I looked at it, I believe it is a totally encrusted large bivalve/clam! Very similar to the large native freshwater clams we have around here. The encrusted material is limestone- there are crinoid parts/what appears to be sea urchin spines and "hash". You can see faintly concentric lines. So my questions are-Since it has the shape and appearance of a bivalve, but is totally covered by "matrix" is it a concretion, or simply an encrusted shell? Second-it's very cool in itself, but do I try to clean it up to see what species and have a cooler shell? Could it even be cleaned well enough? Just alternating baths/soaks in vinegar?I have also included a pic of the encrusted matrix. Thoughts all? Thanks! Bone
  7. I am trying to find an easier way to effectively remove green and black lichen from the exterior and crevasses of rock I've collected. Soaking it and using a needle does work, but causes damage to delicate specimens. Does anyone know of a chemical or technique that truly gets the stuff to let go easily?
  8. taking a rock (fossil?!) apart

    I have been watching Youtube videos about cleaning fossils and have learned quite a bit. Since I have SO many rocks in my yard I decided to kind of take one apart and learn about it. I originally thought this was some sort of coral/sponge fossil, but now I am not so sure. It has been thoroughly cleaned with vinegar and then I started removing what I think is the "matrix" with a dental pick. It's okay if I damage this - I am doing it so I can learn! I basically dug out any soft areas and have been surprised at what is emerging. In fact, I am not so sure it is a fossil at this point? Question: Will a fossil be damaged by scratching matrix out from around it? How can you tell what is matrix and what is fossil if you aren't completely sure what the fossil is? And I mostly have fossiliferous limestone, which is hard/impossible to remove all of the matrix from (this rock is not fossiliferous, but I have a lot of them laying around!)? All input appreciated! Thanks Ramona
  9. I think I have completed my first full cleaning of a fossiliferous limestone rock. I will post a series of macro photos of the rock here and would welcome input. I am new at this (like I said, it is my FIRST full cleaning) so would appreciate input and suggestions. I first soaked the rock in a vinegar and water solution for a couple of days, taking it out every once in a while and brushing it with a soft bristled paint brush. I had ordered some essence of vinegar to have a stronger acid, so when that arrived I used a very small amount of it on the brush to continue cleaning the rock. I then placed it in a baking soda and water solution overnight, again brushing and rinsing it every once in a while. It seemed to have stop bubbling this morning, so I declared it "done", but would like thoughts on whether it looks completely cleaned or not. I mostly see fenestella bryozoan fossils in it, in different stages and at different angles, so please let me know what else, if anything, you see in this rock. The size of the rock is as follows: 5cm long, 3 cm wide, 2.5 cm tall and I found it in our yard in Huntsville, Alabama. I am posting a number of macro photographs of different areas of the rock and I may ask questions on some of them. Thanks for any and all input!
  10. Hello everyone, I recently received this large 14inch ammonite and the shipper had no care in the world to put even an ounce of protection thus this is the result I'm not experienced with much prep and not confident superglue would cut it so what would you all recommend to help repair this specimen as well as clean off some of the dirt/dust layer coating alot of it?
  11. How to clean

    Hi everyone, I've been wanting to clean this fossil up for a long time but not really knowing how to start because I have little experience with cleaning fossils. Anybody got any tips for removing the hard stone covering the front of the fossil? Thanks in advance! (dimensions are 9x9x7 cm)
  12. Display glass cleaning

    When I get a new rikers display case, the glass invariably needs cleaning to remove fingerprints and whatnot. What would be the best choice of glass cleaner? I’m worried about using standard glass cleaner (ie windex) as these could possibly degrade fossils (or am I paranoid?).
  13. Help with preparation

    Hello, i have a few fossils like the one in the picture, they are all shells in limestone. I want to clean them and i have had some success with acetic acid. I just wondered if someone had any tips or a better way to clean them, also if anyone knows whats the best concentration to clean them, mine is 25% acid but this seems a little high. I can post a picture of a relatively clean one if it helps to identify the best way to clean them.
  14. Hello all! I always see very nice photos of fossils that have been very neatly cleaned and uncovered like the following: I was wondering how I might go about doing this as a beginner and/or what kind of materials react well/not so well when cleaning certain types of fossils. Thanks! -Em
  15. Hello everyone , this is my first post on here so go easy on me lol. I just bought this Eopachydiscus and im waiting on it in the mail. Is there anything i can do to clean it up a little ? or do you think i sjhould just leave it as is? thanks for your time ! p.s -its 12 inches across if you needed an idea of size.
  16. Trilobite cleaning

    I am a newbe on this hobby and just got my first low grade trilobite, not something exceptional, my quastion would be is there any possibility with household items to clean it a little as it has some dirt and deposits on it? Can I put it on water? Thank you all in advance!
  17. Cleaning fossils?

    I'm working on getting equipment to clean fossils, however I've ran into this problem. If the air scribe never seems to come with an air compressor, how do they expect you to use it? So I have found two tools, the air scribe with those hose and scribe but no compressor. The second thing I have found was the air abrasive tool with the compressor. Can I simply use the same compressor for both parts or will I need to buy a special air compressor for each. I hope I can just use the same one.
  18. Novice seeking ID help

    I am a novice fossil hunter seeking some confirmation on a couple of finds in the Peace River, FL this week. I believe the images in the attached photo are a Tapir tooth and Alligator jaw section with two teeth. I would appreciate help in confirming or properly identifying these finds. I am also interested in information on how I can clean the "Alligator" jaw/teeth to remove green algae without damaging the specimen. Thanks
  19. Okay so I have some questions on what you can and can't do with your typical trilobite in shale fossils. To help direct the discussion, I am interested in setting a small trilobite in silver as a gift. I make silver jewelry both using PMC (Precious Metal Clay) and traditional cutting and soldering. So, first question: Can you use high percentage (70% or higher) rubbing alcohol to clean all the dust and debris before sealing a trilobite? If not, what should I use? (I know you shouldn't use water) Question 2: What sealants can/should you use on a trilobite? I am looking for something that will be both waterproof and help prevent chipping. Question 3: Does anyone have any experience exposing them to high heat? It is common in jewelry making for heat to be involved, from both direct flame and indirect radiant heat. Is there any kind of precautions I should take and if so, what? What type of heat did you expose them to and what was the result? Different minerals act differently so remember we are talking about soft-medium shale. Question 4: Do you have any other advice or precautions you can give me regarding the use of fossil trilobites in/from shale matrix regarding their use in mixed media projects? The information I gather on this will help dictate my methods and help me create a plan for my project. There are many different ways I can do this and want to get a better idea of my options. Thanks. Picture is not of the exact trilobite to be used. It's just a reference for the kind of material/fossil I will be using.
  20. Crushing in a crusher

    I'm reading a 1960ish report on a formation near me (Bloomsburg). Among other interesting things it says "The most effective method of extracting the fossils from the claystone is by crushing in a crusher in which fine particles drop out so that they do not constantly undergo breakage." Can anyone elaborate on this process?
  21. Sometime ago, I acquired an ichthyosaur skull that was poorly prepped. It had been roughly grinded and had lost much of its surface details. This is unlike the Holzmaden-style ichthyosaurs that were professionally prepped from the beginning, resulting in a beautiful fossil with scleral eye rings and full teeth etc. It's the reason collectors get unprepped Keichousaurus and send them to professional preppers, with the resultant Keichousaurus being more detailed than the ones you see from the Chinese market. This guy here is as flat as a pancake and so it would take delicate work to remove the hard matrix without damaging what bones still remain. Thankfully, @steelhead9 was up to the task of prepping him further. There is no restoration here. I'd say he has done one heck of a job.
  22. Pyrite fossil care

    Does anyone have any tips for bringing back the shine to pyrite fossils? I have some that barely have any shine left, but have seen pictures of them at full beautiful golden shine. How can I remove the tarnish and beautify them again?
  23. Proper Cleaning of Fossils?

    Hey! I apologize if this has already been asked/answered. I looked through the site, and did a search, but didn’t come up with anything. However, there is a plethora of information here, so it’s plausibe I simply missed it. Is there a preferred method to cleaning fossils without damaging them? What about storing them? Currently, I soak them in hot water with Dawn dish soap, and scrub them with a medium/medium-hard, plastic bristled brush. The same ones you used to clean under your fingernails. Currently, I’ve not found a sufficient storage system, and have just packed them into plastic tupperware, etc. I’m pretty new to fossils, and finding them, and basically anything handling fossils entails, so I want to make sure I’m asking all of the right questions, and am doing things correctly so as to preserve them as they should be. Thanks in advance for your help! Pictures of one of my favorite finds for attention.
  24. Recently I acquired this 7x3 inch bone from the Kem Kem Beds (seller specifically labeled it as coming from Tegana Formation, but I know this formation is no longer valid). When I received the bone I saw that it was covered in spots of sand, so I found my box of exacto knives and went to work. I spent all last night picking off any sand I could find and I think I got most of it. However, the bone is still quite dirty looking and my exacto knives cannot pick off any of the remaining sand-colored material. My first thought was to soak the whole thing in water but I once heard that soaking Moroccan fossils in water can ruin them. What should be my next move? Thanks for any suggestions!
  25. Tooth cleaning

    This tooth can be cleaned off more than this, cant it? It looks like there's plenty that is layered on top of the actual tooth that should be able to be removed, but I know it's not always as easy as that. And of course, not just if it CAN be removed, but removed safely? More to the point-safely by an amature?
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