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Found 10 results

  1. Kayak and Trolling Motor Question

    Does anyone here use a trolling motor with their kayak while fossil-hunting? If so, how did you mount the motor to your yak? I have a "Lifetime" brand kayak with a flat back on it. They sell a metal bracket to mount a small motor that straps on to the back of the yak. Unfortunately, the bracket is almost $200 - about double the cost of the trolling motor I am considering. While I might be able to convince the wife that a $99 trolling motor (plus $50 battery) is necessary, I doubt I can push my luck and drop another $200 on a bracket that is basically $10 worth of stamped steel and a couple of $2 straps. Honestly, even if I had the cash, I wouldn't drop it on something that probably costs $20 to make. I'm more of a DIY guy. So, how did you mount your motor?
  2. Found this video on Youtube, and thought it was pretty ingenious. I like the DIY blaster box idea, as well. Thought it might be an option for those of us who cannot break the bank to do our own fossil prep. This has given me some ideas to try out. Hope this helps someone out. Good luck!
  3. Hi, I've just struck up a new interest in fossils (thanks Thermopolis, WY!) and I want to share it with my nephews (6 of them!). I know the fossil sorting kits you buy don't have the most exciting of specimens (Ammonite, brachiopod, clam, coprolite, coral, crinoid stem, crinoid star, dinosaur bone, gastropod, orthoceras, petrified wood, sea urchin, shark teeth, stingray teeth, and fish vertebrae), but I thought it would be a fun start if I bought a pack of them to make some DIY dig kits. The recipe I found for it is 1 part plaster of paris, 1 part water, 2 parts sand, though I'm open to other suggestions if someone knows a better mix! http://longlivelearning.com/2012/11/homemade-geology-dig-kit/#comment-164564 A few questions: Will the plaster mix damage the fossils? What is the best way to clean off the excess plaster once the kids dig them out? I've heard vinegar, is that safe/will it work? Can you recommend some other inexpensive but interesting fossil types that I could buy to mix in? Anyone have fossil/dinosaur/prehistoric life book recommendations for ages 4 - 9?
  4. DIY Sifting Screen

    I need to go back out to the bison site and sift for the feet bones and fragments and whatever else I may find. I looked on Amazon to see what they had, but they were ridiculously priced. This was one of the cheaper ones. It is 22 x 11 inches. Mine is 22 x 15 inches. I asked around about people who might have a screen. I determined I could build one for the cost of gas to go get it. I don’t watch DIY TV shows. I don’t watch TV unless it’s with my kids. Granted, it may not be fancy or pretty, but it will be functional. This is a really simple project if you have the tools, material and time. My sifter is for sifting for bones and bone fragments. But if you’re sifting for stuff in rivers or for shark teeth, this would work, but you’d need a smaller size mesh. I went to Home Depot to get a piece of lumber. I chose a 2.5” x 3/4” x 8’ piece. I paid $1.88 I think. I have a Toyota Camry - not exactly the lumber carrying car, but the back seats fold forward so I folded one forward and slid the piece in the trunk. The end reached up to my gear shift by the console. Tools and Materials Electric drill 1/8” drill bit Jig saw and blade 1.5” wood screws 1” nails 19 gauge wire mesh 1/2 inch, 24” x 15” Tin snippers Hammer Pliers 2.5” x 3/4” x 8’ piece of wood Ruler or measuring tape pen or pencil I had everything, but the right size wood. So the screen basically cost me $1.88 since I had all the other stuff on hand. Plus about 45-60 minutes of time, most of which was messing with the screen. The screen I had was 24 inches wide. I wanted to fold the wire edges up on the inside of the frame so the edges wouldn’t snag, scrape, cut or gouge me, my car or clothes. So I determined I wanted my frame to be 22” long x 15” wide so it would be able to fit in my large backpack. I laid the wood out on the floor and measured 22” and drew a line across the width of the wood. I repeated that and then measured 15” and drew lines for that times 2. I’d needed to make 4 cuts. I took my jig saw outside to my patio and laid the lumber across the arms of a patio chair to make a makeshift sawhorse. I cut along each of the 4 lines I’d drawn. I came inside and drilled two holes in each end of the 15” pieces. I pre-drilled so that I didn’t end up splitting the wood since it is a bit narrow. I removed the drill bit to put in a Phillips screwdriver bit. I put the screws in and drove the tips out the other side, just barely poking out, maybe 2-3 mm. I lined up one end of the 15” pieces with the end of a 24” piece. I took my hammer and gave the end of the 15” piece with screws in it a tap to make the screws leave an indentation on the end of the 24” piece so I’d know where to drill. I did this for all 4 ends keeping straight which end would match up with which piece. The piece I used to hammer had to be the end I would screw in so the holes would align perfectly with the screws. I swapped out the Phillips tip for the drill bit. I drilled the 8 holes. I then switched back to the Phillips tip and screwed in the 8 screws. In maybe 20 minutes I had my frame made. Making the 16 drill holes is what took the longest for the frame building. My drill is cordless and the battery was running a little low so it wasn’t super powerful. Here is the frame. I am bad about doing these projects indoors and on my rugs. I don't want to damage the wood floors and it was below freezing outside. So, I have sawdust on the rug. I got my roll of 19 gauge wire and measured out 15”. Since the wire is like a grid it made it easy to follow the lines and cut the wire. The wire mesh is unwieldy though. The tin snippers are pretty powerful so cutting through the wire wasn't hard at all. It was the trying to bend it out of the way as I cut it so that I didn't gouge myself with the sharp ends of the wire. Here are the tin snippers cutting the wires. They worked really well. After I cut the wire then I cut the edges so that I could fold them in to fit inside the box. You can see the cut 2 squares in. I folded the screen up to a 90 degree angle 3 squares on the end and 1 square on the side. I tried bending the wire a few different ways. I tried laying under the edge of the frame and pulling it at a 90 degree angle. That kind of worked, but didn't get the 90 degree angle I wanted. I ended up using a pair of vice grips to bend it to the 90 degree angle. I worked quite well and was easy to bend. Like this: Once I got all the edges bent to a 90 degree angle more or less I pushed the screen into the frame. Then to fix it in place I nailed in 1 inch nails maybe 1/3 to 1/2 of the way and then hammered over at a 90 degree angle to pin the wire in place. A staple gun would have been so much easier, but I don't have one of those. You can see my nails holding the wire in place, folded over. I think the screen part took me maybe 30 minutes, longer than cutting the wood and drilling holes to building the frame. This is my finished screen. Nothing fancy, but sturdy and hopefully functional. I might add some little metal handles on the ends. I hope to make it out to the bison site tomorrow. My daddy is not on TFF, but I'd still like to thank him for teaching me how to do so many things. Being able to build or repair stuff seems to be becoming more of a lost art. People don't seem to know how to do things anymore. Bless my dad for taking the time to teach me and insist I sit and watch him fix or build things. I did not always want to, but I am so thankful he insisted. It has benefited me enormously throughout my life and as a home owner. He also made me go fix stuff too. I didn't have to know how to do it before starting. I just had to learn and do it. He had me rebuild a carburetor once when I was maybe a sophomore in high school. I'd never seen it or done anything like it before, but he had taught me enough for me to wing it. I did it and it worked great after I rebuilt it.
  5. I was wondering if anyone here has made any modifications to their kayaks with the purpose of fossil-hunting in mind? Having just received a new tandem kayak, I find it lacking in attachment points for gear. It has a good amount of cargo space, but most of it is inside the hull and only accessible through two, 6-inch ports. So, you can only put small-diameter objects into the hull storage. During my previous hunting trips on a single kayak, I always found myself a little short here or there on storage space for my gear : backpack, shovel, screen, probe/walking stick, machete, loot bag, drinks/consumables, and the usual keys/wallet/phone/etc. The result is always a kayak that resembles something out of the Beverly Hillbillies : stuff awkwardly strapped to every surface and poking out in all directions. So, after looking all over the web at various websites about kayaks, building kayaks, fishing with kayaks, etc, I have yet to see anything closely related to fossil hunting. Some of the modifications made for fishing could prove useful, but I am curious if my fellow fossil-hunters here have done anything to their own boats with an eye towards improving the fossil hunting experience.
  6. Hello... I have some cut ammonite fossils but they are not flat like the picks I see above (nice job!)...how can I grind it down? I tried a big ol' metal file, but it takes a long time just to get some dust off. Do I need to have it cut thinner? Is this something I can do? I want to make necklaces out of them...but... Any and all suggestions are welcomed! Thank you
  7. Floating shark tooth sifter

    Didn't get out to the cliffs this weekend, so I decided to make a floating sifter. This one has 1/4 screen in it. I am going to make another one that has 1/8 screen, but I'll have a smaller 1/4 screen that fits over it along with a scoop that I can pour water over the larger screen. I think I will fashion some sort of strap on it so I can carry it on my back so that I can still surface collect until I get to a good sifting spot.
  8. DIY rotating display

    Recently the DVD drive on my laptop stopped working, and I decided to disassemble it and recycle a little part in there. The little wheel that holds your disk in place and spins it around for the contents to be read is perfect for a rotating display to show off your fossils or minerals. Step 1. Glue something to the bottom as a base to increase height and stability. Step 2. Glue the end of a string to the wheel. Step 3. Put on a disk, bottom side up. Step 4. Spin the disk around so the string wraps around the wheel. To avoid the string being stuck under the wheel, hold it upward while spinning the disk. Step 5. Let your treasure hop on and pull the string!
  9. Hi everyone, So I made my first fossil hunting trip some time ago and was quite lucky to find a nice, almost pristine (well, sort of) condition ammonite. I want to make that into a necklace. What would be the best way to attach a loop for the necklace chain to go through? I am thinking of drilling a blind hole, sticking a "pin" in and then fill the hole up with some epoxy. Good idea? Note that it is quite small and I think it needs some kind of a polishing for it to shine, so any advice on getting it to look nice and bright are welcome too! Thank you!
  10. Poor Man's Air Blaster

    I hope some of you find this interesting. Poverty is the mother of invention. Here's the poor man's abrasive blaster. COMPONENTS: Paasche Air Eraser Kit. ($84.00 from Micro-Mark) Campbell-Hausfield compressor. (~$100.00 from Harbor Freight.) Shop-Vac, 1.5 HP (~$25.00 from Home Depot) Table (.50 at yard sale) File Storage Box ($2.00 at Staples) Glass, 8x10", from an old picture frame (.25 at yard sale) Shopping bags (.04 at Shoprite....I believe that A&P's will also work) I may upgrade to a pair of socks sans toes in the future. Light ($15.00 from Staples) Link to photos: https://picasaweb.go...JO1qsHurY6UqgE# Tom EDIT: Pictures Re-added
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