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Found 27 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. Mosasaur jaw in matrix

    So I got this jaw that I was talking about and I still kinda want to clean the matrix and I read somewhere that if you put it in water it gets removed is this the case? Also I see white things like bones stuck in the matrix as well ( like those seen in the picture) are these bones or just rocks? Thank you very much for your time.
  3. 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.
  4. Ichthyosaur prep workshop

    In addition to my work with Fossils on Wheels, I also work for a small science museum that is part of CSU Chico and sometimes there are perks to that job. Tomorrow CSU Chico is hosting an Icthyosaur prep workshop with Dr. Greg Cole. Richard Hilton will also be there and he literally write the book on California's marine reptiles and dinosaur fossils finds. This should be a really informative and fun workshop. I know very little Icthyosaurs so this is a great opportunity to learn more about an animal that we need to learn more about. It is also a chance to learn more about fossil preparation, which is something I want to learn about, and to network with professionals. I will update this tomorrow with more information and hopefully have some pictures as well
  5. Hi. I saw this multitask engrave/sander tool for sale. Is this suitable for fossil preparation? Thank you.
  6. I feel like there's a tube missing for my air eraser that goes inside the canister am I wrong
  7. Admin please move to appropriate topic if needed. :-) Fillmore County, Minnesota, USA - the most fossiliferous county in Minnesota Ordovician Mostly Galena Formation Whispering Winds, Spring Valley, MN I thought I would share some pics of my fossil barn that I have been remodeling on a budget. There are some ideas here that others may be able to make use of. :-) Overview of the outside of the barn. Note the trilobite cutout an pterodactyl toy at the peak. Galena Formation large cephalopod. The hitching rail is nice to use as a comparison to the approximate size this orthocone ceph may have been. The kids love this dinosaur island in the old wooden watering tank. I give fossil tours and host fossil birthday parties. :-) The fossil prep table is open to guests. I have a grinder and brush, a couple of engravers ($7 from Harbor Freight), a dremel tool, and $5 3 magnification visors. Lori turned me onto a mini microscope for less than $5 off Amazon. I also make wire wrapped fossil jewelry here. This wall was created using pallet boards that were stained or washed with paint. Everything is pieced together like a puzzle. I had a couple of gals here wwoofing (wwoofusa.org), trading time for experience and room and board, and they loved doing this creative work. They also put up the reclaimed tin ceiling and I put different reclaimed tin down as wainscote. Note between the 2nd and 3rd window the dried mushrooms being used as shelves and decorations. I'm wanting to add shelves in the windows at the pane lines for more fossil display and greyed wood shelves supported by rusted chain, eventually. I had some 1880s cedar shingles and put them up on two of the walls around some pallet shelving. The pallets are super sturdy shelving for fossils and FREE! Some more pallet shelving and I used some cut off ends for a few papers. I keep my gear in the barn also. Sometimes I use it as a woodworking shop. I like to work in live edge cedar. Kids and adults all enjoy this old aquarium with a black light in the hood as a fluorescent fossil display. I have rock and minerals in it as well. The walk-in door to the hen house is in the fossil barn, I also raise white homing pigeons and ducks. So this pterodactyl is a lead in to the descendants of the dinosaurs. :-) Now to the gardens...
  8. Made this quick reference guide as a fun little graphic to aid in sandblasting matrix. Hopefully, someone finds this useful! Enjoy!
  9. I have recently been getting into the world of fossil preparation. The only tools that I have so far are a dental pick given to me by Roger Farish, and a few other picks of about the same tip size that I bought at Home Depot. They are doing well for me now with the kind of basic preparation that I am doing with the Austin Chalk. The problem that I have is trying to clear away the dust and small rock bits while I am preparing the fossil. So far I have been just blowing it away with my mouth, but in the process it is hard not to breath in some dust, which I know is not good for me. I have tried wearing a dust mask and then taking it off momentarily to blow away the debis, but that is annoying to deal with and I usually still breath in dust. I know that many of those on here who prepare fossils use air abrasive systems where the dust is blown away by the exhaust from the front of the pen. I am wondering what I can do with my setup. Compressed air? Vacuum? Any and all ideas are appreciated.
  10. Prepping Brachiopods

    Hello, I see all the great trilobite preps that people have done on specimens found at Penn Dixie and I was just wondering whether anyone puts the same amount of effort on any of the brachiopods or corals (or other things for that matter) that come out of that site. Specifically, I am curious whether you can use the same air abrasion techniques or if the fossil left behind from these brachiopods and corals is not as dense as the trilobites and therefore just gets destroyed by the use of air abrasion. If anyone has used a similar technique on brachiopods or corals I would be interested in hearing these sucess stories and seeing some of the finished products. I have been using manual tools (picks, needles, etc.) thus far with decent results but always looking to up my game. Thanks, Microtooth
  11. As above. I am considering getting a Green River fossil. The slab is much bigger than the fossil, so I intend to cut it down. However, the seller declined to cut it, saying it was a thin slab, and he feared cracking into the actual fossil. Has anyone here done prep work on GR fossils? Can I use a hand saw, knives, or scissors to cut down thin-slab Green River fossils? Or are there other methods you would recommend?
  12. New Member

    Hi, Im new to the forum and was happy to find it. I'm an amateur geologist, and fossil collector. I have excavation experience in late Roman early Christian archaeology in Winchester England back in college, so I still have my trowel and dental tools Now I enjoy the hobbies with my son when we take a break from life in Manhattan, New York City. I purchased a Mosasaur tooth , from Morocco mines and in the matrix that it came with I was able to expose another tooth....but what is it??? Its 1.5 in long including the root. I kind of like the specimen as a clump rather than just two teeth so I stoped exposing more. Any help greatly appreciated.
  13. Simple Homemade Display Stands

    Thought I would share some simple, inexpensive display stands I made for some of my smaller fossils. I don't suggest these are museum quality, but hopefully this will encourage others to experiment. These fossils were in my display case but just lying on the floor of a shelf. I didn't feel this was an optimum way to display them. I wanted to get them up off the floor, but I didn't want to spend a lot of money. So I decided to go with a simple wooden base together with some brass rod I bent to shape. The wood came from a 1x3" piece of red oak, 2 feet long, that I got at the local Osh hardware store for $4.49. I sawed some pieces off of it the correct length and have plenty left over for future use. For the brass, I bought some 1/16" rod (4 pieces, 12" long each, for $2.99) and some 3/32 brass tubing (3 pieces, 12" long each for $3.49), also from Osh. I figured out what lengths I needed and cut them with a jeweler's saw. There is plenty left over for more stands. The tubing serves as the straight vertical piece, and the rod (which fits neatly inside the tubing) is bent to shape to hold the fossil. I don't try to get a tight fit around the fossil, I want to be able to easily remove the fossil whenever I want. After I got everything the way I wanted it, I soldered the brass together using 95:5 tin-silver solder (it is fairly strong for a soft solder). Unfortunately the color of the solder doesn't match the brass, but it's behind the fossil out of view so I wasn't too worried. For the wood stand, I rounded the corners of the wood and sanded it smooth, then figured out where I wanted the vertical rods and drilled 3/32 diameter holes at those locations. I then stained the wood with some leftover stain from another project. After it dried, I sprayed on two coats of clear gloss polyurethane. After everything was dry, I inserted the rods into the holes and used some 5-minute epoxy on the underside to hold them in place (there is a shallow clearance hole drilled on the underside of the hole for the epoxy). The labels are just something I put together from PowerPoint and printed on ordinary paper using a color laser printer. I protected the front of the label with ordinary scotch tape and used spray adhesive on the back to apply it to the wood. The one thing I'm not sure about is whether I should dip the ends of the brass rod where they touch the fossil in some liquid plastic something like black Plasti-Dip. I'm worried the brass might scratch the fossil where it touches, but I'm not sure whether a plastic covering would be archival quality. Any advice would be welcome. Hope this inspires you to try your own designs.
  14. Fossil Show: Ede 2017

    Hello all fossil-friends! (I'm not sure whether this is in the right thread, if it's not I'd love the admins to put it where it's meant to be .) Anyways, I wanted to tell everyone that their is a big fossil market at Ede (Netherlands) this weekend, and that I would love you to come! It is organized by the Paleobiologische Kring van Nerderland/Vlaanderen (Paleobiological Group of Netherlands/Flanders), the Werkgroep Fossielen Wageningen (Workgroup Fossils Wageningen), and the famous Fossiel.NET (basically a Dutch version of TFF); many other organizations/museums will be there too. There will be plenty of stuff to do: amateur-paleontologist encounters, fossil IDing by experts, fossil trading, fossil buying/selling, lectures by paleontologists, prep demonstrations, and many other fun fossil-related activities/workshops! Here's the info you need to know: Date: Saturday 11th March 2017 Time: 10:30 till 16:00 Address: Het ROVC, Galvanistraat 13, 6716 AE, Ede, NETHERLANDS Entry fee: FREE! Stuff to bring with you: fossils you are willing to trade, to prep, to get IDd, etc; and some money. No food needed (drinks and food available). Here is a link with all the information you need: https://english.fossiel.net/beursede/ BUT: this is only for fossils, so NO minerals, artifacts, etc.! I will of course be there, and I hope that you will also be. I hope to see you there! Max PS: I'm not an organizer or anything of the event, I'm just telling everyone about it so that there will be more people to meet.
  15. MicroLux Grit Blaster

    Anybody ever try this mini sandblaster from Micromark for fossil preparation? I would be amazed if it worked but thought I would ask: http://www.micromark.com/microlux-grit-blaster,13027.html
  16. Hey guys! So I thought that I would start a new blog here. I have been looking for videos and other instructional material on line for how to prep / clean a fossil and have not found much. Google did not seem to be to helpful in this matter. I did find a few more things on this forum and they were very helpful. I learned what materials I needed and some techniques of how to clean fossils, but nothing like "Make sure to do this.....", "don't do this....". So I was able to gain access to my School's Palio and geoscience lab, and we put together a fossil prep lab. Now it may not be as fancy as a museum but it works!! And I am excited to work there! I may also be able to go to a nearby museum and be trained in how to do this as well. We will see. So I have some trilobites from the wheeler shale formation, in Dugway Utah, that I will be practicing on. The point of this is to get my skills high enough to be able to work on other fossils with out damaging them, for a research project I am involved in. In the video I show you what I do and talk about why and also talk about what I do wrong and how I fixed them. Please feel free to talk about this and to give advice. Here is a video of what I have been able to do so far. I started a youtube channel so that everyone can see what I am doing. https://youtu.be/sS_wvF4v2VE I have more info in my blog. So please go check it out and follow it so you can get updates right away! http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/blog/165-fossil-preparation-blog/ You can also subscribe to my youtube channel and find me on Facebook as well!
  17. Hello everyone! So i have been hard at work. Last time I damaged a couple of fossils because the PSI on the sandblasting machine was too high while I was working on removing matrix directly off the fossil. This time I learned that higher pressures like 20 or 40 PSI can be useful for removing large amounts of matrix that are not directly touching the fossil. While lower pressures like 5 PSI are useful for removing small amounts of matrix to expose details of fossils. Also it is a good idea to wait to expose details until the entire fossil is mostly exposed and only detail work remains. This is because the more a fossil is exposed and being worked on the higher chances are that details will be erased by the air abrasive moving over the fossil. Even in areas you are not directly working on. Please watch my video and learn more about it! Special thanks to the University of Utah for letting me use their lab, and a special thanks to the University of Utah Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program for helping too!
  18. Getting Started

    Hey guys! So I thought that I would start a new blog here. I have been looking for videos and other instructional material on line for how to prep / clean a fossil and have not found much. Google did not seem to be to helpful in this matter. I did find a few more things on this forum and they were very helpful. I learned what materials I needed and some techniques of how to clean fossils, but nothing like "Make sure to do this.....", "don't do this....". So I was able to gain access to my School's Palio and geoscience lab, and we put together a fossil prep lab. Now it may not be as fancy as a museum but it works!! And I am excited to work there! I may also be able to go to a nearby museum and be trained in how to do this as well. We will see. So I have some trilobites from the wheeler shale formation, in Dugway Utah, that I will be practicing on. The point of this is to get my skills high enough to be able to work on other fossils with out damaging them, for a research project I am involved in. In the video I show you what I do and talk about why and also talk about what I do wrong and how I fixed them. Please feel free to talk about this and to give advice. Here is a video of what I have been able to do so far. I started a youtube channel so that everyone can see what I am doing. So far I found that if i put a circled groove around the fossil, hopefully deep enough, that when I break the parallel layers of shale below the fossil that it will let the fossil be removed, with some matrix, from the rock. I will then later remove the excess rock off the fossil with an air abrasive / sandblasting machine. After I put the circled groove around my trilobite fossil I put my finger on it so that way it does not fly away when I use the air pen to pop it out. I had some success with this. I also found that keeping the PSI on the sand blasting machine around 5 PSI was necessary. Anything higher then that and I was damaging the fossils I found this out the hard way. I damaged two fossil because I did not check the PSI on the machine before I started. Fortunately they are ones that I own and not some one else. Best check that PSI next time!! Well enjoy my video! and remember please share this with others who are interested in getting started. And feel free to give any advice I would need for a beginner! Zach
  19. Chalk fossil preparation

    Hi everyone, I need some advice on preparing fossils that are encased in very, very soft chalk. Thanks for any help, Christian
  20. Acid Prep

    hey guys, I'm new to posting, I hope this is in the right place. So I got these sorts of fossils from the Richmond/Hughenden Queensland area and I was wondering if there is any way to acid prep so I could be left with the fossil shark teeth and belemnites. The rock is not limestone....so I'm not sure if it's even possible. Any help would be great Thanks Roy
  21. Can anyone give me suggestions as far as what to look for in a microscope for prep work? I have a 1950's Bausch and Lomb but the working distance is too short and I can't see how I can attach a Barlow lens to it as there are no threads on the bottom lens.
  22. Amber Anti-Oxidation Coating

    ---topic closed by owner---
  23. Hi Everybody, started videoing some of my fossil prep a while back which was prompted by the amount of questions I have had in the past. The Fossilsoft Channel is not there to teach people how to prep but is aimed at beginners and others with an interest in fossil preparation and is mainly to show how I do thing's and give people some encouragement and ideas. I was quite amazed at the response I have had, did not realise that so many people have an interest in this sort of thing. I originally intended to just do the odd one or two but the channel has taken off so well I have increased the amount of video's I have been doing and try to do one at least every couple of weeks or so. The problem now being I have no raw material left myself at this time and I am having to beg and borrow from friends....lol. I will have to get a few trips in up to the Yorkshire coast I think. http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC28l5ieRnm6rZKR7PbBoGEQ
  24. Window Into The Past

    Quick prep video of a nodule from the Upper Lias of the Whitby area I did the other week if anybody is interested.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMN1J6O-NEM&list=TL9fjxRxte4kno0x5ZseozgaSIbp8eJv0q If you happen to read this Jonny, note how thick the pyritic wall of the nodule is and that is why you need a TT when working on this sort of stuff especially if you are trying to remove it.
  25. Hi everyone, I picked up a piece of silstone from Glen Affric beach in New Zealand (attached picture). This is a Miocene site and some of you may have seen some of the awesome crabs that come from this locality. The siltstone is hard and may be calcerous (need to test with some acid). It is also full of bones. Many large bones (some can be seen in the picture) and lots of smaller fragments. I'm pretty sure the larger bones are from a whale or dolphin. Not sure which parts yet. My question is: Should I prep this with a scribe or would acid be useful? I've never used acid prep before but I thought maybe it would be advantageous when working with rock that is full of bone. It might be easy to keep on hitting them with the scribe. Has anyone done any acid prep before? I'd love to hear any suggestions. Thanks!
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