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Found 107 results

  1. Polishing Fossiliferous Stones

    I have found a number of fossiliferous paleozoic stones of various sizes, types, and quality, in a cretaceous conglomerate layer. I have included a picture of some of them. I rather like them because, although the fossils are not very high quality, it is neat to think about how they have been fossilized and eroded out multiple times. I was thinking about running them through a rock tumbler to polish them, but I am concerned that the hardness of the fossils compared to the rock might present some sort of issue. Does anyone have any thoughts on why this may or may not work?
  2. How do you guys/gals polish down and what do you use to avoid damage to the fossil ? Thanks.
  3. I've done bits & pieces in the last few months, detailing etc, but found this a few days back, knew had a chance of good preservation inside due to the colour, spent about an hour on it, still not finished but came up good, any tips on finishing welcome, thanks. Alan.
  4. Phytosaur Prep

    Last night I took delivery of a phytosaur skull to prep. I think it might have been collected with a sledgehammer and a blender! There appears to be a very good portion of the skull and upper jaw preserved but many pieces are VERY small. This is a perfect prep for the dark hours of winter. The 4 sandwich baggies are the part that is going to hurt.
  5. I was thinking about adding some black shoe polish to my trilobites so they show better and stand out from the matrix. Is this a good idea?
  6. Ammonite

    Somewhere, I posted about the receipt of this ammonite from @RJB‘s cast off pile. I finished up the prep yesterday. Unfortunately, I don’t know these ammonites well enough to give it a good ID. I know there’s someone here who does though. I gave up on the back ammonite as its quality wasn’t worth my time.
  7. Hi all... I finally got my new prep lab up and running and pulled a jacket out of storage. A pile of crocodilian scutes and a few bones form the Eocene Wasatch Fm of southwestern Wyoming. i have exposed the bones and I am stumped. Do I leave these bones in matrix to show them as found, or take them out and have a cool collection that is much more easily stored or displayed. They main argument for removing them is that it is a fairly big bloc, and I don't have all that much display space, and it is not really articualted. The main argument for displaying as is is that it would be a lot less work. A lot less. I kinda want to know what you folks think. I was hoping I would find a skull or a jaw, but no such luck yet, although there are few areas that puzzle me. Here are some pix. Notice that it is primarily scutes, as croc skeletons tend to be. and a few closer up shots. Here is a pile of scutes. and here are two leg bones... and a bunch more scutes, and at the top of the picture is a string of articulated verts. Here is another shot of the verts. Through the out-of-focusitude, notice how fractured they are. These will be a lot of fun to put back together, but they will look a lot better (I hope). Thanks for looking and What would you do?
  8. Diplurus Prep

    Here’s a before and after look at a small Diplurus newarki that I just finished for another TFF member, @LoneRanger. This is small and well preserved minus a nasty coating of pyrite on most of the fossil. This prep took 7 hours to complete. Tuesday, I started another specimen that is even smaller! These were collected before I was born! Can you find the fish? Hint, I scribed on it a bit before I thought to take a pic...
  9. Ammonite prep advice

    Hi, found a couple of nodules, thought this one had a small Ammonite in, went to remove a bit of the bulk and found a larger one insure, you think I best prep around the outside first to expose the entire Ammonite then work inwards or you think worth tapping to remove more bulk ? Thanks.
  10. Hello all. I recently picked up this Airbraisive which has a quite large "industrial" nozzle that's orifice is WAY to large for me ! I'm using 44u CrystalMark dolomite as well as some CrystalMark soda. Any thoughts on upgrading the handpiece and or just nozzles. Sizes, etc.? Thanks in advance.
  11. Hi, thought would have a little look/dabble with this as been in a box a while, the top always looked like it would pop straight off, looks like this is the case but spines on the opposite side are still fully in tact but I think the fracture runs straight through, do I "peel" off the top and prep the spines out to add later or attempt to prep around the spines, either way the top will lift off, cheers.
  12. Potassium Hydroxide Experiment

    With the discussion of using potassium hydroxide to prep clay based matrices I procured some Granton material from the magnanimous Tim @Fossildude19. He sent me several fragments with bits of coelacanth in them for me to experiment with. I very carefully placed a few flakes on the matrix with long tweezers (it is a VERY strong base and will mess you up if you're not careful) and watched in amazement as it immediately began to become liquid. I let this sit overnight and rinsed in clear water. There was no visible effect on the matrix so back into the dish it went for further treatment. This time, I added a few more flakes and allowed it to sit for 3 days. No change. Next, I decided to dump about 1 tablespoon's worth of flakes on it and let it sit until I saw something happen. After a week, there was a minute amount of black clay particles in the dish. I added more flakes. After a total of 3 weeks in solution there was a significant effect but not what I had hoped for. Rather than the matrix dissolving, the piece had split into 3 thin wafers with the same material still covering the fossils. Result of the test... don't use potassium hydroxide on Granton Quarry material. Next, I took a piece to a geologist friend for a hardness test. Overall, the matrix tested at a 3 on the Moh's Scale. Dolomite will remove it very slowly. With this data, my plan of prep attack is staying the same as before. Scribe under a microscope, clean up with abrasive, go slow, take a bunch of breaks, and be thrilled when the prep job is over!!
  13. Water Trap Dust Collector

    Need dust collection but don’t want to spend a ton on a <3 micron collector? Here’s what you need. The water trap collector. The parts are... 1 -2 1/2” shop vac hose 2 -1 1/2” to 1 1/4” threaded adapters 1 -1 1/2” threaded coupling 1 -1 1/2” threaded 90 short piece of 1 1/4” pvc pipe 1 -5 gallon bucket 1 -5 gallon bucket lid 2 -2” hose clamp couplings
  14. so bought yet another rib from them Berber's of morocco, this one is different to the other two i have in that it is fatter, and has different feel to it, was also found completely in red sandstone not the usual conglomerate mix of clay and silts, just working with an engraving tool and gently removing the hard matrix around it. opinions on how my work is going would be appreciated
  15. My first prep: unknown rhaetian tooth

    I was sent a chunk of material from the aust bone bed of the U.K. by @JohnBrewer (thank you very much!) to practice some prep on, mostly for the large bone and coprolites. I was also told to soak the material in vinegar to get all the little microfossils. I've gotten started by breaking off some chunks (I haven't gotten the acetone for my consolidant yet so I'm not touching the bone just yet) and soaking them in concentrated vinegar (30% acetic acid I believe, strong stuff). After an initial soak I saw this little guy poking out the surface. I saw the opportunity to prep and got right to work (being the forgetful procrastinator I am, I haven't bought a new scribe yet so for the first half I used a blunt dental instrument, the next fourth using a sowing needle, and the last with the needle duct taped to a piece of metal). Here are some pictures of the prepping process. I at first got excited thinking it was a plesiosaur, but I doubt that because of its size (6mm). It's hollow, and has striations similar to the carinae of a crocodile (don't think they have those there). Severnicthys is one possibility I stumbled upon. Opinions are welcomed and encouraged!
  16. Intro to prep

    What tools are needed for fossil prep? I recently bought a rough oreodont in Denver as well, and where can I find dental picks to help clean that out? What other tools are helpful thank you!
  17. I started working on a Mosasaur snout end, and so far it is coming well. I have been running into one issue though with starting to use a sandblaster, and that is that I can't figure out how to clean the extra dolomite off the piece when I am done. I have tried blowing it off with an air compressor, which gets most of it, and using water, which has caused some problems. The water seems to get into cracks and destabilize the matrix, leading to breakage. Any ideas? On this one it dissolved some elmer's glue that was used in a repair, and on some trilobites it broke the matrix. Thanks! Nathan Progress so far.
  18. Nice little Stylemys

    Finally getting to work on some of the fossils we got on our last trip to Wyoming! After some pretty simple wash jobs we decided to start on a little Stylemys we found the first night. We think we got most of him, some of the shell was washing out but we caught it pretty early and picked up most all the frags we could see. There's a pretty stark shift in color between the exposed shell (white) and the dark purple of the shell we uncovered. Pretty quick job of getting it out, but apparently I packed it up before the consolidant had really set
  19. A package arrived from Spain. Its ill-used appearance caused initial concern, but all was well inside. Within the box - two fossil specimens IDed as: Halisaurus; Upper Cretaceous, Maastrichtian stage; Ouled Abdoun Basin (Phosphate beds); Oued Zem, Morocco. Forum member jnoun11 graciously reviewed photos and provided additional refinement of the ID and the life position of the sections. Halisaurus arambourgi The two jaw sections. upon arrival Right dentary, lingual aspect, 4.56 inches Left maxillary, 5.23 inches
  20. Second air scribe

    I am considering adding a second airscibe. I have a chicago right now, but was wondering what a good option would be for detail work?
  21. Tips for sandblaster?

    Does anyone have a suggestion of where to get tips for the end of sandblasting pencils? I have a two pencil unit with a blast box and the tanks on the back ( a vaniman sandstorm). Not sure either if there are different sizes with one more ideal than another? Will mostly be prepping trilobites and some fish.
  22. I have been working on making my own air abrasive unit but the pen section I created it not precise enough being made of plumbing parts. I am curious if any of you have found a somewhat affordable pen. I have only seen tip replacements and pens with the abrasive feeder. Thanks
  23. I recently found what appears to be a complete land tortoise foot and would like some recommendations on what to use to piece them back together. Ideally, I would be easily removed in case I get some inthe wrong spots and the bones are very light colored and would prefer that whatever I use doesn't stain or discolor them. Thinking of some sort of modeling putty? Thanks for any suggestions and where I could obtain it would be very appreciated
  24. I was fortunate to be the winning bidder on a rolling auction lot of two Knightia eocaena, one prepped and one unprepped, generously offered by @FossilDudeCO to benefit this awesome forum. It took me awhile, but I finally finished the prepping of the unprepped fish, and I wanted to share it here. These rolling auctions are nearly always great bargains, and the best part is they all help to keep the lights on here at TFF. Here's a link to the original posting for these Knightia. Here's how it began: And here's the result of my novice efforts (this was my second attempt at prepping a fish from the 18-inch layer): I'm happy with the way it came out and I'm proud to give it a little space on my crowded shelves. Thanks, Blake! I didn't keep track of the time it took, probably about 15 hours, more or less, with my "primitive" tools. I started with a dental pick, but this fish was already so close to the surface I didn't need to remove a whole lot of matrix. Most of the prep was done with a sewing needle held in a mechanical pencil, at first, and then in a pin vise of sorts. Actually it was an X-acto knife handle. I took lots of photos along the way, with the idea that I might turn them into an animation someday, but getting everything to line up properly might be more work than I want to tackle. I greatly enjoyed the whole prep process, and I'm looking forward to another project. I'm sure it's much slower than and air abrasive system, and not quite as "finished", but I do prefer the peace and quiet of the pick and needle. I wouldn't want to tackle a monster fish that way though! Mike
  25. Air grinder kit

    Hi, anyone recommend a good air grinder kit ? Want to start putting nice finishes to some fossils, loads of kits on Amazon pretty cheap, any tips with grinding ? Thanks.