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Found 94 results

  1. 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
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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?
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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.
  13. I've been showing some of my finds here from the Middle Jurassic Callovian stage in the Wutach valley recently and I've been busying myself today with this: You can see the mineralized inner whorls clearly and also a faint outline of the more outer whorls. It wasn't quite clear from the outset how much of this ammonite was hidden under the matrix, but there were at least a few indications as to where I could begin setting the airscribe, so I carefully chipped off a bit of matrix from the two blocks in order to get my bearings and then glued the two pieces together. You can now imagine roughly where the ammonite runs around, although I was starting to have my doubts about the preservation of the outer whorls, particularly on the right hand side. There are a lot of iron oolites in this particular matrix, which sometimes cause some heavy corrosion. But in order to find out, all I could do was to dig away a bit more and try to get down as close to the shell as possible. The next photos show front and back after this procedure. You can see a white streak at the bottom in the first photo, which indicates a bit of shell from an outer whorl showing how large, or maybe even larger it may have been, but that has long since been a victim of corrosion. Now it was time to get down to some serious abrading in order to see what kind of condition the shell was in. The matrix is a relatively friable iron rich marly limestone, so it gives way quite easily. I know that the shells at this exposure can take up to 80psi, but just to be on the safe side I started with 60. At this point it became obvious that the outer whorl from 9 to 3 o'clock was too corroded to be of any use, so there remained no other choice than to remove that part. Front and back views follow again. Now that I knew what could be made of it, it was time to abrade the rest of the matrix off the shell. I wasn't quite finished with the back as I took the next photos. Here it is after the finishing touches; abrading the inner whorls on the back, smoothing up the block with air pen and abrader and finally applying a thin coat of beeswax finish. A Homeoplanulites sp. with a diameter of 7cm.
  14. Hi all just sorted out some old fossil and found this fossilised seabed. I found it 20 years in a river in South Wales can't remember where it was. This was before I was interested in fossils or natural history. The fossil over years is going a chalky lighter shade , if that makes any sense. This is photographed wet too show the details . Has anybody got any advice to protect it. Kindest regards Bobby
  15. Should I/ how do I prep this?

    I recently took a trip to the lost river site in West Virginia (Devonian, needmore fm) and I found a few partial trilos. Here is a plate that has at least three ( I assume Eldredgeops, but I have to see the cephalon first), and I'm wondering how I can tease them out. The shale is delicate (already had to glue a little just in case), and the three trilobites lay under about 1/2 an inch of stone, which is just a painful amount to go through with a manual scribe (which I lost, so I need to get a new one). I don't really wanna take my chances with a split, so what should I do? Is it worth sending to a pro? thanks!
  16. Green River Fish Prep

    I'm working on some Green River stuff for @abctriplets that they collected on their fossil extravaganza! Thus fish is turning out to be a real gem. This is how the piece arrived in Texas. EDIT: 1st two photos courtesy of Jared. I applied copious amounts of Paleobond to both surfaces and clamped them together for several days, marking the location and direction of the fish so I don't forget. Then I went on the attack. The fish layer was about 3/4" below the surface so I used a small chisel and knocked about 1/2" off the top of the slab to reduce the depth. Then comes the CP9361for fast bulk matrix removal, being careful not to hit the fish. There is a very slight color change (darkening) to the matrix immediately before you expose the fish. Once I saw that, I switched to the Micro Jack knowing that the fish is anxiously waiting to fall apart just below the surface! These fish are extremely brittle so I'm stopping every 30 seconds or so to consolidate. Scribe, consolidate, repeat... 2 hours later and here's where it sits. I believe this is a Mioplosus sp. and it looks like it will be complete. You can see the glue where the break ran across the skull and down the body.
  17. Prepped by hand outwards in (minor) until I had the centre resdy, thought a few little taps with a small cold chisel would pop the centre up, nope, just chipping away, my ST pen will just bounce of this for sure, any other methods ? Nice sized specimen and hoping to view it in all it's glory.
  18. South Texas Fish

    Now that the eclipse shenanigans are over (until January when we have a lunar eclipse) it's time to get back to work. I have several projects starting up at once that I plan to rotate time on. The first is a large fish from south Texas that belongs to @StevenJDennis. He sure has a rock thumb! We have yet to 100% identify it and it needs the puzzle pieces put back together but it looks a lot like a Bananogmius but it appears to have a short fan-like dorsal fin anterior to the large sail-like dorsal fin you would expect in Bananogmius or Pentanogmius. The only thing missing from this specimen is the caudal fin. The worst part about this specimen is the matrix. It's so hard my CP9361 has to work to take this stuff off. I need @RJB's Mighty Jack!!
  19. professional fossil prep

    Hi - thank you to all that have helped me to acquire so much information on my fossils/concretions. How would I go about hiring a professional to prep some of my larger bone fossils? I assume it would be very expensive and would like to know if it's worth the time and money. I posted several photos in the ID section under the title "Bone or Concretion" and "is this a sea lion". If needed I can resend to this post. Thank you for your continued help and knowledge... very much appreciated!
  20. I put this under q and a but feel free to move it. I'm going to be consolidating a few bones very soon and I have some questions before I start. First, my solvent. I have butvar, but I don't have acetone. What dilution should I get, or should I get 100%? Also a experienced fossil hunter I met said alcohol (isopropyl I assume?) works as well. Is this true and are there any downsides to this? One of the bones is broken, so do I consolidate first and then glue? If I come up with more questions I'll post them here as well. Thanks for the help!
  21. Hi guys, this is a pic of my unfinished prep. I found this ammonite in a woodlands not far from where I live. Along with many other fossils, at first it was so dirty and clumped with hard mud. I've been working about 2 hrs on this now, I'm using a sharp scalpel attached to a pen designed for it, gently etching away any loose material to reveal more of the ammonite, there are some scratch marks left, any ideas how to get them off? How does it look also, don't think I'm finished yet any advice on how else to clean this, bearing in mind it's my first ever prep.
  22. Coelacanth Prep

    @Jeffrey P has issued quite a challenge with a request for preparation of a small coelacanth. This little guy appears to only be missing the tip of the head. Unfortunately, the rest is under a thin layer of diamond hard shale! Here's a pic of the specimen as it arrived. Where's Waldo? Only parts of the skull are exposed with a hint of the caudal fin under the matrix. Here it is after 4 hours of prep. This guy is a textbook example of sticky. I'm switching between 3 tools to prep this. I start by removing about 1/2mm of matrix with the Aro. This is kind of like doing dental work with a jackhammer but if you're careful, it will get you down to the later just above the bone pretty quickly. Then I switch to the Micro Jack. The problem with the scribes is that the matrix turns white when you scribe it... and the bones are white! I scribe away for about 10 minutes with eagle eyes out for any hint of bones (this uncovers an area about 5mmx10mm) and then hit it with abrasive to knock off the scribe marks so I can see the bones against the matrix.
  23. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/08/nodosaur-dinosaur-fossil-study-borealopelta-coloration-science/ An amazingly well preserved specimen. Well done to the paleontologist who decided on the name!!!
  24. Curious on how to connect shopvac

    So I recently purchased a blast cabinet to eliminate some of the dust from abrasion. But, I don't know if I connected the shop vac properly. I connected it to the side(where there was a filter already) with duct tape. It feels like it's drawing some pressure, but it just doesn't seem right. The cabinet stays clear for me to work on fossils, but a lot of medium remains in the cabinet. Any ideas? Suggestions? Pics of your own setups?
  25. Trilobite Prep

    I just finished up a prep for @Fossil-Hound of some E. rana trilobites from Penn Dixie. It was a lot of fun and they were cool to prep. I got to really put my Micro Jack to work! Here are a few pics of a before and after.
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