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Found 295 results

  1. Sacrum Prep

    I’ve been working on this prep on and off for several months for a client and I finally finished it this week. It took 24 hours and there’s a huge pile of rock chips on my bench and lab floor thanks to this! This is the sacrum from a Triassic Phytosaur. Here’s a before and some after photos. This thing was covered in calcite and there were areas where it had displaced the bone and even grew into the bone itself. That stuff will make you lose your religion!
  2. Hello all, (I do hope I've gotten this in the correct category) I'm considering trying to invest in an air abrasive setup for fossil prep. Mainly looking to find something that will be capable of some light matrix removal in tight spaces. I already have a functional air compressor and I find these kits online for cheap. My questions are simply, are these cheap pens functional for prep? And will the aluminum oxide they come with be safe for fossils? Thanks for all of your help and guidance!
  3. Bones extraction

    Hi, I am in need of advice in order to remove these bones from the field. For scale, the rib size is about 30cm and is going to the top pf the picture. My issue is that the matrix is a mix of sand and clay, very soft, and the bones are extremely fragile. Ideally i would like to remove them with the matrix but it would need to be stabilized otherwise it will fall apart. I am thinking about putting a lot of starbond on bones and matrix all around to solidify everything ? But then how to remove the plate ? By the way is it possible to remove matrix sticking to the fossil if it has been "starbonded " ?
  4. So i prep with dental picks. Do i need a dust mask for it? Also i was putting small drops of glue cyanoacrylate i think its called. What happens if u breath in a little bit of glue? Is it dangerous?
  5. Found this trilobite a while ago. But i have no idea how to prep it. The matrix is super thin some parts i can prep. I will probably damage the fossil if i try to prep the thin parts. Any tips?
  6. First Fossil Prep

    I got two unprepared GRF fossil fish, a Knightia and a Priscacara as presents for my birthday, in a kit that also contained a small handheld needle-like tool. I would like to get some advice from the experienced members of this forum on how to proceed. For tools, I have a sewing needle, x-acto knife (with parental permission,) and the tool that came with the kit. I have a slides microscope that can focus well enough for a prep in order to have some magnification. I have Lance Grande's book on the GRF for anatomy, and have read all of the prep threads I could find on this forum. I have decided to start on the most exposed part of the backbone, and move up from there, saving the delicate fins for last. I have already tried out the tools on a few coprolites and vertebra on the rock. What advice do you have for this prep to be as successful as possible? @RJB @Ptychodus04 ? Thanks!
  7. Whats a Good first air pen?

    So i have always prepped with hand tools. But i really like the air scribes. But theres alot to choose from. Many of my fossils are limestone and sometimes theres a super small layer of matrix on the fossil that if i try to remove will damage the fossil. I have heard about sand blasting is that any good? I would really like one that can prep fragile fossils. I have seen many where they dont even Touch the rock when prepping. I also saw a shop called zoic palaeo tech i think its called. They were selling alot of tools but dont know what to choose anyhelp? I Also see these wooden boxes people use for prep i right now prep on my desk. Should i also get those wooden boxes? And when i prep the fossils now i spray little bit of water to see more details so its easier for me to prep. But i have heard fossils get destroyed while drying fast. I Only use a ikea desk lamp and the sun does not reach in. I know that the sun can really sunburn fossils. Sorry for the long text and questions
  8. This is probably just something stupid but these black dots always come on my fossils really hard to remove them is it just matrix i had not seen? Its really annoying they always show up. Its on the side of the belemite.
  9. I have alot of fossils with super thin matrix on them. How do i prep it manually? The rocks are limestone.
  10. I have used this glue a few times before but on one of my finds its came out of the crack can i remove all glue and try again and Will it preserve fossils in the long run?
  11. My daughter and I do most of our collecting around the Whitby area where we mostly collect ammonite nodules with high iron content, making them very hard. I have tried prepping them with a Dremel rotary tool and while it often works quite well around the outer whorls it barely scratches the centre. I’d like to step up to using an air pen or similar but it looks a heck of a jump in terms of cost. Initial research looks like it’s going to cost £400-500. Is this a realistic estimate for entry level, but decent equipment? I wouldn’t want to throw a couple of hundred at poor quality gear that isn’t up to the task. (I’ve seen cheaper alternatives on a popular auction site that are shipped from China that I’m keen to avoid) Any advice is greatly appreciated
  12. Hello TFF friends! Fossil Preparation has been something I have delved into on a surface level since I do not have the money to purchase air scribes and abrasives yet. So far I have been using a carbide scriber and some chisels or a dremel for larger matrix removal. Now I am looking to upgrade a bit and get a pin vise, they seem quite versatile and pretty cheap. I have found a vise that I think will be good for now, but I am now facing the task of finding needles to use with it. Can anyone recommend any good pin vise needles? I am looking to use them on matrix of different hardnesses from fairly soft shales to harder limestones if possible. Thank you for any help, Misha
  13. Fossil Preparers

    I apologize ahead of time time if I am not allowed to post this here. I was curious if there’s anyone in Oregon that does professional or really good quality fossil preparation. I have some leg bones that need to be worked on. I don’t want to have to ship them out of state and I honestly don’t have the time right now to prep them myself. So if there’s anyone that you could recommend, I would really appreciate it. And if this is not the place to ask, I apologize again and please remove the post. Thank you ahead of time!
  14. I am looking to spend around $250-350 total on an air compressor and one air tool well equipped to prep both green river formation limestone and softish shales like penn Dixie/dsr. I understand that no one tool would be perfect for that, but I want to find one that can do both jobs solidly.
  15. Hello everyone! I am a digger and prepper of about 7 or 8 years, and of course a lifelong dino lover. I have a lot of experience both digging and prepping fossils from the Hell Creek formation specifically in Montana, but I still have a lot to learn. More recently I’ve begun prepping bones from the Morrison and Aguja formations, and I’m very intrigued by the differences in bone integrity, structure, quality, and mineral make-up. I understand that bones from the Morrison formation are much, much older than that of the Hell Creek and are by and large more agatized. I don’t mean to generalize, but for the purpose of brevity I’ll get to my main question. Ajuga bones. Particularly from the West Texas/Mexico area. I’m finding them to be very strange. I assume the KT Impact Event has a lot to do with their condition; which makes them even more interesting. The ones I’ve encountered (just in my brief experience) are in perfect shape. No predation. Which would fit with a major extinction event. But more intriguingly, I’ve noticed textural indications reminiscent of tissue/skin/muscle on several bones. Moreover, the bones appear to be white and chalky, and sometimes have a feeling and density similar to your teeth when your mouth is dry (REALLY weird and specific comparison I know but can’t think of a better likeness). I assume some of this has to do with the dry climate? I know these are not modern bones because they are very large and VERY heavy. Can anyone explain to me the reason behind the texture and the makeup of these bones from a geological perspective or their experience prepping bones from this formation? Also, regarding the tissue, I normally assume that tissue like structures are just my imagination running wild, but maybe there’s something to that as well? Thanks so much!! Lauren
  16. Hello everyone, I found this bad boy about a year ago in Wyoming. It was in a 100’ ravine and I tore my calf getting it out. I’ve tried to prep it out myself, but the matrix is extremely tough-I’ve spent a few hours with my CP9361, but I don’t have the time, tools, or skill to finish this. I’m guessing that it’s all or mostly in there, but who knows. It’s pretty heavy at around 40 or 50 lbs, but the preserved part that is extruding is very tough, almost metallic. Im looking to pay someone to prep this out for me-I really want to display this thing, especially considering the injury I sustained getting it out of the hole. If anyone has suggestions, or is willing to give it a go, let me know. cheers -J
  17. I recently had a chance to try my hand at a few matrix pieces from Sharktooth Hill. I'm happy with how they came out, although I know I could do a better job next time. Huge shout out to @digit and @ynot for their advice and encouragement. I think the thing I appreciate about matrix pieces like these are that prepping them this way can turn a rather unremarkable tooth into something unique. Anyway, I had fun doing it and I was encouraged to post a "trip report" so here goes... Here's how they looked when I got home. Nice to find out the tooth was intact. WooHoo! I used dental tools (nice set online for <$20) and small paintbrushes to scratch away the matrix. A super soft fluffy brush I found in my wife's makeup kit (shhhh!) was great for removing loosened silt. The matrix looks wet because I was dipping a finger in water and barely touching the matrix to soften it. Not too much though because that Sharktooth Hill matrix can be really soft. When I got more experienced I started using a small paintbrush to apply the water more carefully. Oh nooooooooooo! The tooth fell out. Does that happen to anyone else? I decided that meant the tooth just wanted to be cleaned so I took the opportunity. A quick clean up and a little CA glue and we are back in business. QUESTION: How do the rest of you actually get the tooth clean? There was no way I was going to be able to wash it or use a toothbrush or anything like that. I can tell myself "I like them a little dirty" but can't help but notice that some people get them really nice and clean. Any tips? Esp. with that STH matrix.
  18. My Isotelus

    OK, so guess who's using this Covid-related down time to post the topics he never got around to? In late 2013 I visited the Mt Orab "trilobite farm". This was my 3rd or 4th time (and final) and, as were most, I was always fairly lucky finding something. I usually just "dug" in the area where the flexis could be found, once stumbling on the partial Isotelus shown above. This day I decided to lend a hand on the area where Isotelus' were more prevalent. As at Penn Dixie, long crow bars were pounded into the layered shale so that massive pieces could be extracted. Those pieces were then methodically chiseled into smaller and smaller pieces in the hopes of uncovering an Isotelus. One partial was uncovered and folks oohed/aahed and commented about it. But at the end of the day it was laying in the scrap heap. I asked about it and was told by the "owner" of the property that since only a part of it was showing it wasn't worth his time to prep it further. As at many such spots, the impressive ones go to the owner. He told me I could have it. When I got home I wrapped it up good and pondered for a long time on how to prep it. 1 1/2 years later it still wasn't prepped (but still wrapped) and we moved into a big DIY house that I had to put a ton of time into. And the Isotelus was forgotten. And it stayed that way until this past fall/winter when I came across it among the boxes in my basement. "Oh yeah!" This was my first time prepping something so fragile but I decided on a plan. I'm a dremel and dental pick guy but I knew those were not the way. I used the dremel attachment with the sharp point as a chisel and slowly started to chip the dry shale. It worked remarkably well. The "lower" portion is the newly uncovered area. Once I got it completed I decided it needed a covering. It was too brittle and fragile to last. that's where I made my mistake !!!
  19. Back in April 2017 I posted pics of what I thought was a unique bryozoan encrusted horn coral.... Since then I have come across more while collecting in SW Ohio that I'd like to share. And, yes, the prep can be extensive. The first one, there is no real top/bottom or side view. It is 7 cm across x 10 cm "tall" This one is 4.5 cm across x 4.5 cm "tall". I believe the bryozoan on the following is Constellaria florida This one is 5.5 cm across and 6 cm "tall" This last one is my favorite. I finished prepping it in early March. I think the layering of the bryozoan is amazing. It is 7 cm across x 9 cm "tall" x 4 cm "deep". The horn coral is broken.
  20. I just finished prepping this fossil crab, a tumidocarcinus giganteus I found here in New Zealand. Still using the one air scribe while I save up for a microjack I tried my hand at prepping both side this time, man that ventral takes ages to do!
  21. Hi there I recently purchased a Albertasaurus tooth. A portion is in a matrix and there are some broken off pieces. This would be my first attempt a putting a fossil back together. If you could provide any input on 1. if it would devalue it by doing it, 2. how I should do it, 3. and what tools or glue or putty I should use. If you could dumb down the language for me that would be appreciated, like I said this is my first time!
  22. ParkerPaleo's White River Prep

    Now that hockey season has ended and the lab is warm again, and perhaps due to my new found extra time in isolation, I am embarking on documenting my prep projects. I thought I would start the prep season off with something easy that should turn out fairly nice. Please welcome my new little friendly Oreodont, Miniochoerus gracilis. It came into my collection in the summer of 2013 and has sat jacketed in a box until today. This evening I concentrated primarily on consolidation and bulk matrix removal with an ARO, and still have a ways to go. The plan is to prepare the "down" side in the hopes of a beautiful orbit and zygomatic arch. I did notice a cross section of vertebrae on the rear of the block so there is probably some neck attached as well. I'm hoping there is enough matrix below the jaws to make a nice pedestal to sit on as well.
  23. Allosaurus tooth

    Recently received back from my prepper a 2.2 inch allosaurus tooth. Here is the before and after. Big difference. At first I thought that the tip was missing but it turns out that it was natural feeding wear! Extra bonus.
  24. Ammonites!!!

    I finished up a prep of a nice double ammonite block that I got from the illustrious @RJB as part of a larger trade for a trailer load of smoker wood last year. I think Ron said these were from the Pierre Shale. Is that right Ron? If so, does anyone know the ID? I don’t know these ammonites well. Here they are, happily atop my antique dental cabinet. Don’t judge my photography too harshly.
  25. Hi everyone I've made a time-lapse of my prep of a recent crab I found here in New Zealand. It's one of the Tumidocarcinus Giganteus ones. I don't have a scribe for the fine detail yet, but got quite a bit of it exposed. Hope you enjoy it