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Found 53 results

  1. I have recently begun my journey into fossil prep, i'm using a dremel electric engraver as it seemed to be the best cheap tool. I have several ammonites from Yorkshire within nodules - these are very hard in the centre and consist of pyritised sediment. It is taking a very long time with the dremel using tungsten-carbide point, so just asking for any advice on how is best to try and get through these very hard bits. Cheers in advance!!
  2. I found this 'geodized snail' in a 25lb lot of kentucky geodes I got off of online years ago. I'm going to call it a geodized snail till one of you corrects me because thats how the seller referred to it in the post. Again, I haven't really prepped a fossil up to this point but I've gathered some information from this forum! From what I've gathered an airscribe would be a good way to start? Would it be safe to attempt to chisel off the larger chunk of matrix?
  3. I've always been interested in fossils but I've never even thought of prepping some till I joined the forums. I have some plant dense rocks from washington that I think would be good practice, but I don't know the first step to this process. I have a dremel tool and hopefully I'm going out to get some new tips soon. It's shale as far as I can tell. Thanks for any and all advice, tips, steps, etc you guys are willing to give!
  4. 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.
  5. 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!
  6. Ceratopsian Parietal Spike

    Hey guys! So about four years ago, someone sold me a really cheap batch of unprepped fossils they dug up in the US; which included a large piece of rib bone (or so the seller thought). I started prepping the 'rib', and thought it looked a little strange. It had a tendon running along the bottom; which seemed weird as it was supposed to be a rib. However, I was still pretty new to fossil prep/ID, and I trusted the seller's ID better than my own. I wound up setting it on the shelf for...a couple years. Fast forward to about a week ago. I was cleaning out my fossil storage 'area' and I came upon this bone again. I again thought it didn't look much like a rib, and decided to google different kinds of dinosaur spikes. After scrolling through all kinds of ankylosaurs, stegosaurs, triceratops, etc. I came upon Styracosaurus. It bore a passing resemblance to the parietal spike on its frill, and I figured I better start prepping it. After prepping it, I was blown away. Not only does the bone have a tendon attached, but there are all kinds of subtle curvatures you couldn't see with the layer of dirt that had covered it. The texture is very unusual too, and the bone is actually really thin! The tip comes to a point and gradually twists. It's hard to describe, so I've included a bunch of pictures. Anyway, after researching more about the sub-family Centrosaurinae, I came across Rubeosaurus and Einiosaurus; which both have spikes that are EXTREMELY similar to the bone I have. If this thing is a rib I'll eat my foot. Please let me know what you think! Any thoughts are much appreciated. -Lauren
  7. Okay, I may not have been particularly thorough in my searching the forum, but I read a lot about pin vice's and rarely see any photos of them. I've accumulated enough material that I'd like to begin prepping&learning. I figure this will be one of those sideline hobbies whereby I can just pick and peck along in quiet solitude and hopefully fairly low expense as I build skills. Would those who use pin vices recommend or post a photo with some dimensions of their vices? I'm sure this is one of those situations where they can be too small or too big. Also, I have read about body piercing needles, hypodermic needles and sewing machine needles. Are there other such things I should be on the lookout for? Thank you, Kato
  8. Picked this rock up while fishing the river over the summer. Since it's to bloody cold to do anything outside I figured I would clean it up and see what all the bits and pieces are. I think it will be pretty when it's done, although some of the fossils are eroded. It's like where's Waldo? See anything?
  9. Hello everyone, I was wondering what tools people would recommend for fossil preparation, I am an absolute newbie in this area and am not familiar with what options there are out there but would really love to learn, so far I only have a pin vise which I have used on rough matrix removal but too scared to get close to the actual fossils. Thank you, Misha
  10. What type of microscope?

    I am looking for input on what type of microscope I should get for prepping fossils like trilobites, ammonites from Montana, and other fossils from the Midwest. What magnification I would need. Any suggestions would help me decide. I mainly use air scribes but have done some cleaning with picks.
  11. I am looking for something like rewoquat or a good substitute sold in the US, for breaking down shale and such?
  12. Help with udig quarry shale fossil

    Hi everyone, firstly I'll apologize for the poor quality pictures. These Fossil are tiny and it's hard to get a good exposure. These things which are in all the shale I brought back are like rounded objects. They will come out leaving the impression behind. One is 1/8th in and another is about half of that. If any one can help, I'd love to know. On the paper they gave us showing what we can find, there are brachiopods but these seem to all and not the right shape. paper has something called pyilocardia or something like that. Thank you
  13. Tips on cracking a Nodule?

    Hello everyone! Im just wondering if anyone has any tips on cracking a nodule open? Me and my geology hammer have taken a good whack at around the edges but all I’m getting is chipping and no splitting. My first time with a nodule. I found it on a trip to Lyme Regis. I’ve posted a picture of one of the chips with a few ammonites showing themselves. thanks for reading! Ryan
  14. New pin vice idea

    I've been using hypodermic needles in my pin vices for fossil prep which work GREAT. And maybe I've re-invented the wheel here, but I just discovered body-piercing needles! These are so much better and cheaper! $12.99 for a multi-size pack on Amazon. The shafts are much longer, too, which is great. Easier to acquire by most, also. Thought I'd share. Here's the $12.99 mixed-size pack I got.
  15. I found this ammonite on Saturday. It is the best Trachyscaphites springer I have ever found. I think it is a T. springer. I assume the other ones I have are males and maybe this one is a female. I don't know much about sexual dimorphism in this genus, but it does exist. When they say there is dimorphism is the female is bigger? It is so very different from any of the others I have. I know there is another species of Trachyscaphites in the NSR, but I don't know what it looks like. I really like this one though. It is free standing too! Bonus. It has some damage on the dorsal venter and the aperture. It also had some pyrite on the umbilicus area (I can’t really see an overt umbilicus since it is so involuted). My prep work is still very crude. There is so much I need to learn. I just keep at it and learn by trial and error though. I don’t have pneumatic tools. Here it is. See the white film on the right half? The white on the left half is nacre, but some of it has the film on it too. This is from the red zone of the Ozan formation, Cretaceous. I doubt it matters, but I am wondering if the film layer is pyrite in nature or gypsum or something else. I have specimens from the Britton formation of the Eagle Ford group, which have a gypsum film on them and this looks a bit little that. But that isn't my main question. It is just a curiosity. This is the other side. You can see some pyrite at the bottom left along the umbilicus grove. I have a number of these, but this is the first where I can actually see suture lines mostly at 11 to 12 o'clock down the midline and on the right. I am going to tag @Ptychodus04 and @RJB on this. I don't know if Ron is familiar with fossils of this matrial and matrix, but I imagine he is. I am pretty sure Kris is. Questions The film issue 1. Do you think I should attempt to remove the film? I think I should. See the tubercle by my thumb in pic 2? There was a tiny fleck of white showing so I chipped away at the red clay and revealed more nacre under it. So I believe there is still nacre under some of it on the left 2. What is the best way to go about removing it? I was thinking of using sandpaper, but I don't have much experience using sandpaper on fossils. I have a range of grit up to 3000 (or is it down to since the grit is smaller and finer?) The nose issue I am calling it the nose since it looks like a little nose. It seems to be the first part of the first visible whorl. 3. Any advice as to what to do with this part. I am not sure what to do with it. At times I prep haphazardly and then I think I have damaged it and I get paralysis of analysis and that is where I am on the nose. I have removed some matrix from the top, left and right. I think I might have gone down into the nose on the right side some. It is hard to tell where the matrix ends and fossil begins. These are other views of the nose. The lines on the nose are from me scraping away, thinking I was on top of ribs. I am not sure if there are ribs there yet. Like I said my prep skills are pretty crude still. The other side of it. I still have some matrix to removed on the side there. I think part of it is chipped away, but I am not totally sure how it is supposed to look. Maybe it got crushed. It just looks odd to me. I have several other of this species, but I think they may all be males or something. They are more open, the whorl does not cover the umbilicus and they are much flatter and smaller. The pyrite issue. I know I have asked these types of questions before about prep so sorry for the repeat. 4. What is the best way to address the pyrite to keep it from coming back? I have scraped most of it off already. I have heard people say to soak it in Iron Out and I have that. But I am concerned it may hurt the fossil. I guess I could experiment on other concretions I have that look like the same, but are rock and not fossil. 5. What should I do as far as long term preservation to slow the progress of pyrite disease? I think someone recommended Butvar. I looked into buying it, but I got sidetracked by trying to figure out which was best. Then couldn't find what was best and kind of forgot about buying again. 6. What is the best Butvar or product to use for sealing it? I looked at buying some on different sites. Paying so much for shipping irks me. I am spoiled with Amazon Prime and just don't think about shipping costs. I have a buddy who works at Eastman. I asked him if they had a store where individuals could purchase products like Butvar 76. He said no, but he would see if he could go ask for a sample The museum supply site. It has Butvar-80 for $34 for 1 kg and $15.53 for shipping. I don’t need 1 kg. Talas has Butvar-76 500 g for $17.50, but then is charging $14.64 for shipping! I have seen people reference McGean-15 or Vinac and they seemed to prefer it over Butvar. 7. Can anyone tell me the molecular weight of the Vinac or what grade of polyvinyl acetate Vinac is? I think my buddy could come up with that for me more easily since I think he manages production of a form of it. I found something called Vinapas. I have not looked at the shipping on this site. Here: http://www.conservationresources.com/Main/section_37/section37_08.htm PVA Resin Solid Vinapas This consolidant is a polyvinyl acetate solid suspended in granular form, with a molecular weight averaging 51,000 and a melting point of 50 C. It is used as a consolidantfor porous, dry, non-metal objects-particularly those found in digs. This is typically applied in concentrations of 20-25% I.M.S. with a soft brush. It may also be used as an isolating varnish and thermoplastic adhesive. Item # Description Price SY01 Vinapas, 1 kg. $22.00
  16. I have started recently being able to hunt dinosaur footprints and while I don't want to cover the ones that are naturally visible I may want some of the lower quality or hard to see tracks to stand out. Anyone prepare tracks themselves or know of a good clear coating? I've heard of rustoleum but I am unsure if it's paint or spray I should be using.
  17. How to choose abrasive media?

    Hello! I have recently acquired an air eraser to prep fossils out with, and I was just wondering how to choose an appropriate abrasive for the task. I have a few different items I would like to prep out, but most specifically are some horn corals and hexagonaria from the Devonian Coralville formation.
  18. Hello, Has anyone used a digital microscope (such as Dino-lite) in real time for fossil prep??
  19. Gone' Fishin

    Figured I'd share my current project here. I'm currently testing different sandblasting media and their effect on various matrices since this is a somewhat new application for us at Vaniman. The picture is an almost-finished Green River Fish that's roughly 4" x 2" in size. I will be doing a full-scale article regarding the entire process but wanted to share some of the work with you all for fun. I have a lot more pictures so if you're interested- let me know. It's only letting me upload one (?)
  20. "Petoskey Stone" cleanup?

    Hello, all. New to the form and first post. I wanted to share what my daughter found among the wood chips in our neighborhood playground and ask if there's a way to "clean" it up (remove the rocks, etc.) without damage. I believe it is a petoskey stone and I'm not interested in polishing it, as I can purchase polished stones pretty much anywhere here in Michigan. Thanks!
  21. Made this quick reference guide as a fun little graphic to aid in sandblasting matrix. Hopefully, someone finds this useful! Enjoy!
  22. Kobalt air compressor

    I'm looking at purchasing a 1 HP, 4.3 gallon, 125 PSI quiet-tech Kobalt compressor to use with a microjack 6. Any thoughts about the suitability of this small air compressor?
  23. Dust Blower

    This tool is probably well known to most, but I just discovered it. So I thought I would share. When working with a pin vice under the dissecting scope, I'm always having to lean down and blow away dust. These little non-aerosol dust blowers are available on-line for between $5 & $10. I prefer the one with a brass tip and one-way valve (it takes air from one end and blows from the other). Search online as "dust blower" or "dust blower bulb". FWIW...
  24. This is just an FYI in case anyone is interested. I was at Harbor Freight this evening and walked past this blast cabinet on sale. I thought it was a pretty good deal, $114. They also had a free standing one that you didn’t need a table for and could pull a barstool or a tall chair up to on sale, but it was quite a bit more. T
  25. Graysonites ammonite prep

    I’ve been on TFF for a few months. I’ve been collecting fossils for over 25 years, but I’ve never prepped any of them much at all. Anyway, I have an ammonite I found in Hurst, TX that I am prepping. It isn’t in the pretties condition. It is pretty worn down and covered in oysters, but I think it is still a lovely specimen. I’m working on removing the oysters and any matrix. I am also trying to smooth out the surface putting and roughness from brakes. I think it would look very nice to prep down to the sutures in the center of the whirl, but I am not sure how thick that layer is and how far to go into the layer for the best look. Any thoughts on it? Another question I have is about the break. As you can see there is a break. I have glued it back together, but I’d like to minimize the appearance of the break. So I plan to smooth down the the area of the seam and then fill it with the grindings from the fossil prep. I have saved a bunch of those, but I have no idea what I’d mix them with to make a compound to fill the cracks and minimize the appearance of the break. Can anyone give me tips on how I’d do that and what compound/substrate I’d use to mix the grindings with? Here is how it looked from when I found it. Here is how it currently looks. I still have a long way to go on it. This is a close up of the center of the whirl. You can see sutures just showing through. There is still oyster present. I’m working on removing those and the layer above the sutures still.
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