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  1. I was lucky enough to find a crab concretion, and not knowing what it was, opened it with a hammer. I included images below for reference of what I am talking about. * Part of the leg and claw are in imprint. What is the best approach getting them out without damage? I'm thinking manual tools? * It looks like there might be another concretion connected to that piece. Would I be able to freeze-thaw to open it now that the other fossil is exposed or could this cause damage?
  2. How do people prep trilobites in cross sections? Heres a picture i found. I really want to learn to prep trilobites in cross sections how do they know where the head and pygdium is?
  3. Being a member of the forum for 7 great years now, I have seen plenty of questions from beginners asking how to prep their finds. And this was something I struggled with at the beginning myself. As a result, I have brought together some of MY techniques of basic fossil preparation in a picture heavy presentation. Each fossil shown required less than 4 minutes to prep. It works well for me with the type of rock that I pick up. My old techniques will probably make more advanced members cringe!!! But remember, we all have to start somewhere. So let us begin with items that are probably already f
  4. Hello, I have a bit of an odd piece, it's not a fossil, it's a scorpion! The scorpion was in its burrow in a dune when the dune collapsed, I would like to stabalize the sand, so that I can display it. This isn't a particularly important find, so I wouldn't mind if it broke in the process. Keep in mind, I have very limited materials.
  5. Jurassicz

    Trilobite found in kinnekulle

    Not sure if this is a good picture but i Found this trilobite in kinnekulle sweden. And im going to prep it but not sure what species it is. Anyone knows? The age is ordocvician
  6. Looking for some tips. I've been given an older CP 9361 but want to get a new stylus. Looking at getting it from Paleotools. What my question to you prep pros is what stylus would you recommend? I'm thinking the 1.5' or 2' pointed stylus? Will be mostly doing trilobites and plants in shale and mudstone. @Kane @piranha
  7. I threw together a guide to manual prep tools for one of my students who is interested in trying her hand at some peck and scratch work on fossils. Figure I'd share a version of it with yinze. (mildly edited to comply with forum regs) Manual Prep Tools- Earth Sciences Basic "starter tools" You probably have some stuff around your home already that will work for basic prep- large sewing needles, various nails and screws, and even old drill bits. Basically, if it is sharp and pointy, you can probably remove some rock! Hardened nails, like blued fin
  8. I found another Ensiferites brandenburgi sponge that is now currently the largest ever found at 7 cm x 7.5 cm across. Part of the top displays lots of 1 mm spicules. Unfortunately the top of the calcareous sponge is mostly covered with caliche and possibly the limestone matrix. Is there any hope to prep this to expose all the spicules on the top? How? This could become a near museum piece thus I don’t want to practice my prepping skills in it. Help @Ptychodus04.
  9. Well, I’m finally getting to dig into my truckload of fossils from my Wyoming trip with @RJB so it’s my turn to open up a prep thread. I spent a couple hours today poking around to find the perfect fish to start with. The 18” layer never disappoints. This good sized Diplomystus has 2 Knightia on top of it. I’m going to try to save both but I’m concerned that the right hand one is covering most of the Diplo’s skull. If that’s the case, the little guy will have to go! This is after about 90 minutes of scribe work.
  10. MrBones

    Echinoid in rough shape

    Hello, I found this echinoid the other day, and I was hoping to clean it up. Unfortunately, it's in bad shape. This is the only one I have of this type, so I would like to make it presentable. I found it on Jebel Hafeet, Al Ain, UAE (United Arab Emirates). The fossil appears to be covered in calcite, plus the rock there is mainly made up of limestone. I heard that the "vinegar bath" isn't such a good idea, what else can I do?
  11. minnbuckeye

    Prep Room Ventilation

    It has been 9 months since I began planning a room to "seriously" prep fossils in. All of the equipment has been purchased. The blasting box constructed.I am just finishing the wall in my basement. Excitement is growing!!!! My only area of confusion left concerns the general air in the prep room. What do preppers use to keep the room air fresh. I am venting the blasting box outside. I am open to all suggestions. The room is 144 square feet. No windows exist. Does anyone have issues drawing air out of the room and causing the pilot light on the furnace and water heater to go out?
  12. So i got some fossils i need to prep mostly hard limestone. But i use hand tools. Any tips on how to make it easier? Is there a way to soften the limestone?
  13. I probably should have started this thread years ago but better late than never. Ive got a bunch of fossil fish im going to prep out this summer. Im going to start with a Priscara serata that my sons friend found just last week. This serata has another right on top of it but missing some of itself so its going by by. This fish is from the bottom cap of the 18 inch layer and is in some very dense and very hard rock. The stuff I really like!!! A lot harder to prep than the split fish but nicer fish to say the least. Much harder bone too and can stand up against even pure dolomite! My
  14. These are two of my favourites, which I have been working on with my dremel to remove matrix. Parts of both show a fantastic golden pyrite. Sorry the pics don’t show it too well. I suspect the gold is fading however. A few questions: 1. Can I do anything to bring out the gold? Would polishing with a wire dremel head help? 2. What can I do to preserve the gold? Should I coat/seal them? Thanks in advance!
  15. TOM BUCKLEY

    GREEN RIVER FISH PREP

    I've got a few Green River fish to prep and am having difficulty with the fins. I've prepped invertebrates before but haven't hit on the technique for these fish yet. I have a Paleo-Aro airscribe and an abrasive blaster, sodium bicarb and dolomite. The Paleo-aro seems too robust for the delicate fin rays and tends to damage a lot of them. I'm thinking of getting a micro jack but not sure of which # would be appropriate. I almost have my air-blaster up and running again. Is using sodium bicarb at a low pressure the answer? I know a couple of people who only use manual picks and have amazing res
  16. Nothing too spectacular here, but am getting better using the new air scribes and media blaster. Having the stereoscope on a swing arm reall helps! these are all common or low quality fossils I collected or kept around just for practice.
  17. I have 1kg of rough Burmese amber stones ready to polish but I'm a little stumped as to where to start. I've polished Dominican pieces before using a dremel and wet sandpaper with success, but this stuff is older and much harder. In addition to the thin rough skin on these pieces, a lot have rock (or some combination of amber/earth) running through them making it difficult to figure out the plan of attack in regard to finding inclusions and getting a nice shine. Anyone here have experience with this?
  18. PODIGGER

    Proboscidean Ulna

    Since the Peace River, FL has been running deep and fast for the last few weeks I decided to spend some time prepping and making a display for several proboscidean bones found in the spring. After posting the bones for id here when they were found and doing a bit of research on my own I believe what I have are pieces of an ulna from either a Mammoth or Mastodon. There is the possibility of Gomph, but Dr. Hulbert has informed me a couple of times that Gomph specimens have not yet been found in the Peace River. So first up is a photo of the four ulna sections along with the other
  19. It came up in another thread, so I figure it might be worth discussing: Let's talk resin pigments! Personally, I never bother with coloring the actual epoxy putty, but only because I'm more familiar with painting. I have from time to time, mixed in colored clays or matrix powders, but this was more for texture than color. I've seen folks use mixed colors of polymer clays to achieve these effects, but to be frank, I have yet to see a polymer clay that is durable enough to meet my needs and standards. However, I recently discovered that there are many inexpens
  20. Tunis

    Echinoid clean up

    This is the nicest echinoid that I have ever found here in South Texas. It always bugged me that I didn’t clean it up completely but I was scared that I would create more harm than good. After reading other’s post, I decided to go slow and see what I could accomplish. Here are the before and after picture. I think I am now happy with the results. Any further suggestions or am I at a good place?
  21. Okay gang. Don’t ever do this. Brachs are so common here ( along with crinoid bits) I use them as aquarium gravel... But, here’s what happens when you figure out how to acid prep Kewitz limestone to expose calcite and not loose morphology: I finish these with a week long silicon oil soak to make them shine.
  22. I give you the World's Cutest Fossil Preparators! I found a lump of matrix with a sliver of clam shell exposed about two years ago in Buxton, NC. It's a chunk of the Pleistocene shelf on which the OBX are sitting. When I brought it home, all you could see of the shell was the yellow strip in the middle. It was the only fossil visible at the time. It sat on a shelf for two years, waiting in vain for me to scrape away the matrix. I finally decided to use it for mouse furniture a couple weeks ago. They decided that they really like the minerals in the matrix. They have been licking away the
  23. DanJeavs

    Yorkshire prep thread

    Rather than just post separate posts every time, I decided to condense everything into this thread. I don’t see many people posting Yorkshire finds on here, which is a shame as there are some brilliant specimens out here. Hope you all enjoy. Dan.
  24. So, I tried out my new air scribes and media blaster today. Finally, time to play with real fossils for a change! I’m starting to enjoy all the half days I’m working due to the pandemic. First up a bug from Warren County, Ohio that I found as a Boy Scout over 30 years ago. For years thought this was a partial hidden in the matrix. Next is a brachiopod from Cass County, Nebraska It was fractured, but I reconstructed it.
  25. Jurassicz

    Prepping with hand tools

    So i prep with dental picks and pin vises and i actually like it. I have more control while prepping. But how far can you get with hand tools? I have read when prepping with hand tools that the fossils get really damaged. I have not noticed it at all. I am prepping a trilo and it goes well. Really well. should i keep prepping with hand tools? And can it make amazing preps?
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