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Found 8 results

  1. I've been cleaning and remodeling my son's old room these past few weeks, making it a safe and presentable guest room for my son's son, my 4-year-old grandson. Lots of dinosaur stuff in the room now. As I was cleaning out old baseball and hockey cards I had a fossil-brained idea. Such ideas usually lead to many hours of neglect for all the responsibilities of a husband and homeowner, even one who is supposedly retired. This particular idea involved those "collectible" baseball and hockey cards. Why not "collectible" fossil cards? Not just photos though. Real fossils. Even better, how about using the cards to display my own small but growing microfossil collection. Some fossils I've found in gravel matrix I've collected myself, but mostly matrix I've obtained from other TFF members, especially @Sacha I thought about attaching those wonderful little "gem jars" to the cards, but they really wouldn't be ideal for this job. I ordered, instead, a package of 19mm coin capsules, exactly the size of a U.S. penny. Each capsule would hold a microfossil and each card would include a photo of that fossil and it's relevant information. I liked the idea, and I gave it a try. Here's how it looks so far. There are a few ID's I'm not actually sure about, but I wanted to get going on the cards. I'll fix them as need be. Each card has a catalog number that refers to the photo files for that fossil. I attached the coin capsules with either Velcro dots or that tacky putty stuff that's not supposed to damage walls. I wanted the capsules to be removable. Each capsule has a small label inside with the catalog number, in case it falls off the card. I put a bit of cotton in each capsule, and the fossils are sitting on the cotton. I would love to find 19mm foam dots, but the cotton will do for now. The millimeter rules are at the same scale as the photos. The cards fit in anything designed to hold a baseball card collection, mostly boxes and album pages. They also stand nicely in those little plastic frame holders. I used different colors for each location, so far, to make it easier to keep track the cards and the fossils. When I add more locations I might have to change the designs a little as well. It's been a bit of a slow process so far, it should be quicker in the future. I think any shark teeth that could fit in these 19 mm capsules would display nicely as well, as long as they aren't too thick for the container. I'd be glad to hear any ideas which might improve the usefulness of the cards, or any inaccuracies you notice. I'll be posting a few of my questionable ID's in the ID section soon. Thanks for looking. Mike Most of my current ID's are thanks to the incredible photos and research by TFF members @oldbones @MarcoSr and @Al Dente, and others as well. Thank you!!!
  2. Miocene Whale Recovered From & for Display at Westmoreland State Park in VA This past Saturday, Mrs.SA2, @Daleksec (Trevor), his dad Orlin, @MarcoSr, his 2 sons Marco Jr. and Mel, a couple of other folks and I had the pleasure and privilege to finally finish recovering a whale skull from the cliffs at Westmoreland State Park here in VA. Marco Sr's sons had been working to excavate and recover this skull since June, but due to the unstable cliffs, high water levels, wind / waves, and trespassers / poachers damaging the plaster jackets, they had not been able to finish the task until this past weekend. Given the size and weight of the jacketed skull, a boat was the easiest way to get it off the beach and transported to the boat ramp where the Park's employees used a large tractor to lift it off the boat and set it on a trailer. Once prepped, the skull will be put on display at the Park's Visitors Center along with a photo album and video display chronicling the endeavor in hopes of providing knowledge and context about the geology and fossils of the area. Since Mrs.SA2 is still recovering from her fall back in late September, she was tasked with the photography / videography of the recovery. Combined with photos taken by Marco Jr. and Mel from the beginning of the excavation and several others of the group taking photos / videos on Saturday, the Park visitors will be able to see the step by step excavation and preparation process from start to finish. It is hoped that the skull and other skeletal pieces along with the photo album and video will be ready for display to the public by this spring. Everyone working to recover the whale were volunteers except for the Park employees. For the record, back at the end of June these plaster jackets on the skull and post-cranial bones are the same ones Mrs.SA2 and Trevor caught trespassers / poachers beating on with a large stick in hopes of stealing fossils. By the time they were discovered (caught red handed in the act), the trespassers / poachers had already busted the jackets open and removed multiple vertebrae, flipper bones and ribs from their matrix in the now busted open jackets. Thankfully, Mrs.SA2 & Trevor were able to stop the crime, take possession of the removed bones and then turn them over to the Park for safe keeping. Unfortunately, the Park Rangers were unable to catch the criminals despite the great descriptions provided. Here are a few of the photos taken during the recovery on Saturday. The first task of the day was clearing off the debris and sediment that had recently fallen on the working ledge. Mel is on the left in the red hat. I'm on the right and Marco Sr. is in the middle. (Don't worry folks, there are better photos of Marco Sr. a little later.) You can see the delamination and cracking of the cliff on each side of the working ledge. Here is Trevor taking a break from shoveling. Here is Mrs.SA2 posing in front of the skull. Once the debris and sediment was cleared away, the damaged / wet plaster jackets had to be removed and then the sections re-jacketed for stability during recovery. Aluminum foil was used to provide initial cover for the bones. Mel is putting on the foil while rest of us discuss how much this thing is going to weigh. Marco Jr. is in the bright blue sweatshirt, Marco Sr. is in the blue stocking cap, Orlin is in the gray hoodie closest to the cliff and I've got on the baseball cap turned backwards. Burlap is applied after the foil so the plaster will have a substrate for binding. Here, Marco Jr. is wrapping the skull in burlap while Mel mixes up the fist bucket of plaster. Next comes the plaster jacket. The Potomac River provided free water which was mixed with bags of plaster in a bucket, then hand applied to cover the burlap. Water temperature was 49F on Saturday. Mel is on the left and Marco Jr. is on the right. Didn't take long for their hands to turn blue. An interesting side note for those who don't know, Marco Sr., Marco Jr. and Mel have a website called phatfossils.com. They also have a Facebook page with the same name AND they have M&M Ranch in Nebraska where you can find Oligocene terrestrial animal fossils. You can Google that one if you want. Mrs.SA2, Trevor and I always enjoy fossil hunting and fossil discussions with them because we learn so much! Recovering the skull, we just provided the boat and some manual labor, they did the hard part. A couple of photos showing better views of the cliff. Marco Sr. is on the left in the blue stocking cap. Our buddy Zsolt is in the black coat on the ledge. Zsolt helped with taking photos and videos and is saving himself for the important task of lifting the jacketed skull off the beach. More on that later. Here is the skull with its new plaster jacket and wooden support. We found a 2" X 8" board on the beach and cut it to length in order to provide a rigid support once the jacket is flipped over. It took about 90 mins for the plaster to harden / set. Once the jacket was solid, Marco Jr. and Mel dug out underneath of jacket to separate it from the surrounding matrix. Orlin (on right with gray hoodie and shovel) helped shave off the edge of the ledge so we could roll it over and move it off the ledge and down to the beach. Note the sediment ramp built below the jacket. Once the jacket was free from the surrounding matrix, it was rolled over onto the 2X8 board and slid down the sediment ramp to the beach. It was remarkably easy since Marco Jr and Mel had built such a good jacket and gravity worked with us. (Photo below shows a much better shot of Marco Sr., blue stocking cap, 2nd from left) Next, extra matrix was removed from what was the bottom in order to get rid of weight and lighten the load. Below, Orlin (on left) is calculating the weight. Just for reference, a cubic yard of wet sediment from this location weights roughly 2,200 -2,500 lbs. The 8 of us were going to be picking up at least 1/2 cubic yard of dirt, plus the plaster jacket, 2X8 board and skull. Trevor is on the right helping Mel trim off extra matrix. Mel's tongue only came out a few times. After the load was lightened as much as possible, we used those always handy, ratchet straps to keep the jacket closed and secure during transport. The straps also kept the jacket attached to the wooden boards we used for lifting. Wouldn't want it to slide off and us drop it. You can see one of the boards sticking out the left side near Orlin's knee. We used 3 boards perpendicular to the jacket, plus a person at each end, in order to lift it. (YES, it was heavy.) All the boards were found along the beach. More to come in next post.
  3. Hi everyone! I'll be moving from a townhouse into a detached house in a few weeks, and now I'm getting really excited because I'll finally have some space to display my fossils - hooray! So I was hoping that some of you would have some suggestions as to what type of cabinet I should look into acquiring, including what materials it should and shouldn't be made of (I've heard that some woods can damage fossils - is this true?) I'll likely be setting up the cabinet(s) in the basement, although I may end up displaying some of my favourite fossils in the living room - we'll see... Thanks in advance for your help! Monica
  4. 3D printed display stand

    Constantly forgetting to order display tools to securely display my fossils which are right now at risk of being damaged from grinding the glass shelves in my display, I decided to print a stand for my last model before I took my 3D printer home (and not use it until I get a microSD reader so I could transfer files to the printer). I didn't really pay too much attention to exact dimensions, but it actually printed quite fine and did fit one of my boxed fossils I wanted to display but couldn't before. The stand is blue because that's the only color of filament I own When I get to buy a microSD reader sometime later, I'll probably print more of these stands, and maybe even print a custom stand for all of my fossils (except for riker mounts which simply can't be printed)
  5. As above. I am used to my fossils looking a tad darker or shiny when I apply a sealant to them. I use matte artist varnish. To me it's simply the trade-off of preserving them longer. I was rather surprised when I applied the same sealant to my Lebanon squid, and the tentacles darkened a lot. This is a unique situation as the tentacles were almost invisible originally, but now they are obvious (not so much that they stand out against the rest of the fossil though). I am not a fan of painting over Lebanese fossils to enhance their looks, so turning my squid tentacle from almost invisible to highly visible made me feel somewhat guilty.
  6. This is an Ordovician Sea Bottom Display done by MinnBuckeye. He collected ALL of these fossils within the city limits of Rochester (!!!) during the summer of 2014 - and yes he works full time plus in a small town way outside of Rochester! It shows nearly all of the common fossils you can find in the Ordovician of southeast Minnesota with the exception of the Ordovician index fossil Maclurites. Incredible display, well done, needs to be shared and he shared with me how he did it! Which I will share with you as I consider this a wonderful display to create for teaching about Earth's history and fossils. Please be patient with me as this will take a reply or two, so I will note that with "Continued..." If you can't wait, just go to my blog. :-) You should be able to click on the pictures once or twice to enlarge them and get a better look, but I did reduce them to fit into fewer replies, didn't on the blog. Now for the closeups! Continued...
  7. Here is an inexpensive jewelry armoire, $59, but I have seen them as cheap as $39 and of course way more expensive! About 34 inches tall. I've kind of set it up with fossils to give you an idea for a display. It would work a lot better with smaller fossils than I seem to collect The very top has a ring area that would be ideal for sharks teeth, claws, that kind of thing. The drawers could be left slightly open for display, or not. The "wings" for necklaces could be set up very nicely with screwable Ls to display fossils. The backs are definitely heavy enough to screw into and hold larger fossils. And it could have fossils under it as well, perhaps even back lit. There are different types and sizes, colors of course inside and out. I personally hate the color pink, but if you have darker colored fossils a buff might be nice. Jewelry boxes in general could be used for nice fossil display cases. They will be cheap after Xmas! After I bought this one, it seems a little femmy for fossils and I found another (Target online) that has more masculine/modern hardware. Or do I just want to keep this one for my jewelry!? LOL But it doesn't hurt to throw out ideas. Someone may benefit Bev
  8. I had a fossil display at the Rochester Gem & Mineral Show this past weekend and I was asked "Where do you get all your display stands from?". When I worked for World of Science Inc. and Natural Wonders, I bought ALL my stands and bases from Jule-Art inc.. I spent $25,000-$30,000 a year on acrylic displays and any specimen I sold in our stores over $50 came with a free base or stand. They have a ton to choose from and they pack them extremely well and ship quickly. On some of the beveled bases I applied black or burgundy felt so the specimens wouldnt scratch the acrylic and it looked good. Go through your collection, use your imagination, and have fun displaying. Heres a tip - 3 prong stands, easels, and bases with rubber feet work the best for most fossils. mikey http://www.jule-art.com/
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