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Found 79 results

  1. 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!!
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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!!!
  8. 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?
  9. 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.
  10. I have been trying my hand at prepping for a few months now. Started with some nice air scribes, then tried air abrasion. I bought a cheap badger airbrush and threw tons of media at fossils. To me, it seemed that no matter what the pressure or sand agent, I saw absolutely no results. So, I bought a AEC and had it overnighted, hoping I was just using the wrong tool. Well, absolutely I was using the wrong tool. The moment I got the AEC up and running, I finally understood why it's called an air eraser. Slowly, but surely, the tough dolemite matrix melted away, as if it was being miraculously erased. HOTDOG! I thought these calymenid trilos I found in Kentucky were gonna be a wash...but dag nabbit, the details are coming out! This isn't the final prep, and I don't have any before prep pics, but this is a huge improvement. This trilo was just showing 1/4 of one side of its body. I didn't even know if it was fully intact...sure is! Even pulled out both the eyes. Super stoked guys. Level up-points into prep skill. BAM
  11. Hi, couple of Ammonites that have a thin layer still, lovely colours underneath that I would like to get down to, what's the best method you guys/gals think to get the best finish ? Thanks.
  12. Split fossil prep

    I believe I may have found an anchura, which is a Cretaceous gastropod. I've only found 3 before. Now for my fourth it seems luck would have it that the fossil has split down the middle. How can I prep this fossil? This is something I really don't want to mess up. Thanks in advance!
  13. Micron size

    When prepping fossils with an air abrasive unit, what is the micron size of the dust created? I've been looking on here, googling, etc trying to find some data on this with no luck. I know it varies on what you're working on and substrate for blasting, but wondering if anyone knows what the smallest particle size is released from the prep work?
  14. Attempting a Flexi

    As it doesn't look like I'll be able to get out to collect today, I thought I'd throw the ol' shoulder into some basic prep, and this one presents a few challenges. I did manage to find two full Flexicalymene senaria prones in Brechin, but lost one in the field (doh!). This one is pretty kinked up, almost as though a cartoon iron bar was dropped on its thorax. So, it undulates and stretches accordingly, and it is unclear just how much of it is tucked in the matrix. The first pic is pretty much how I found it.
  15. Question to you master preppers out there. When you prep with hand tools such as dental picks, sewing pins, etc, do you wear respirators? I know with the air abrasive you need to be careful, but I'm wondering how much of those tiny particles are released when doing a more mechanical prep. I'd like to set up a nice prep workshop as I bought the pneumatic tools, but don't want to use them until I figure out a safe way to use them without making a mess of my garage or venting it outside where my kids play. Until then I thought I'd try and give it a go with hand prepping, but want to make sure I'm protecting myself as well as my family as the kids will undoubtedly want to be part of it. i imagine that it wouldn't hurt more than playing in the sandbox, but just curious what others opinions are on it. The matrix I'd be removing would be Pierre shale, sandstone from hell creek, and maybe dolomite. Thanks in advance.
  16. 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
  17. Sea Star Prep

    @pamk7802 brought me a slab from the Lower Cretaceous Duck Creek Formation full of brittle stars to prep recently. Most of the prep was with abrasive. I did have a couple areas of thicker matrix that required some scribe work. Here's the slab before: and after: PVA consolidant applied to lock everything down as the arms are VERY fragile. Close up pics:
  18. I don't have much experience with splitting rocks (just about zero), but I got this nice trilobite in the mail recently. Looking at it, there are some negatives in other layers, so I am wondering what my odds of finding more inside the rock would be. It is fairly thick, but I don't want to damage the big one. Do you think it is a good idea to split it more, or should it be left alone? Is I were to split it, what is the safest way to go about it?
  19. Hi, was going to test my pen/compressor today, water trap not been delivered yet, is it safe to have a little play with the pen on a few specimens without the trap for a little while ? Cheers.
  20. Ready to start...

    Right... bought my ST pen few months back, got my compressor today (50l) going to order my water trap soon, got hoses too, got a build up of large Ammonites and bone concretions that need to be prepped, will start off with a few practice Ammonites then move onto bigger things, any hints n tips for first time set ups and prep ? Cheers.
  21. Phytosaur Prep

    Now that Snollyfish and the Oreodont Smoothie are done, the next project is another fine specimen belonging to our very own @StevenJDennis. I swear, he has all the luck and a collection to rival the Smithsonian's. This little baby is a nice phytosaur snout. It has really brittle teeth and hard matrix (exciting combination), so fast removal with the CP9361is out. The Aro is almost too much and I'm having to be extremely careful around the teeth with liberal use of PVA consolidation. It has had previous "restoration" done with what appears to be wood filler on several breaks. Thankfully, it appears to be holding on well so I'll only mess with it to finish it up. Here's a pic of it before work started. And, here's how it sits currently after 4 hours of prep. The distal end will eventually be reattached.
  22. Hi so this is not an ID request more of an advice post. I had a very productive day at Port Mulgrave this week but unlike a number of the people on the shore who were smashing everything in site and leaving anything but perfect fossils strewn across the beach I prefer to collect a few potential nodules to bring home. This is I hope going to yield a nice specimen. Before I start could anyone offer advice on how to start and whether it appears to be a keel on the rim or a geological feature. I have a Dremel and a cheap air pen for detail but have never undertaken anything like this. i am reluctant to just hot it with a hammer. Any thoughts and sorry for the above rant but over the past few weeks the area at Port M has become a draw for treasure hunters rather than collectors. each to their own probably but I see each fossil as special. Steve
  23. Preparing a sea urchin

    Hi all, First off, I am a real noob when it comes to prepping fossils... This is why I have a question for you, which I don't think would be too hard for you pros out there. Some of you may have seen this sea urchin before; anyways I wanted to prep it, as I believe it will look quite nice after a good prep. There is just one problem though: the matrix is very hard (compared to what I'm used to). So how should I clear all this matrix? The tools I have are very limited, but I can buy new things (as long as they are very cheap materials). I have: one long thin metal needle, one strong pointed needle, one strong small chisel, and one thing to blow the matrix away (sorry if I don't have the correct terms)... If needed I can post a picture of the tools. Here is a picture of the fossil:
  24. I found a really cool Calamites fossil with exquisite detail on a wet day a couple months ago, but after a week or so of keeping it indoors, the details started to fade and the colors became dull. It springs back to life when damp, but that only lasts so long and I fear that annually applying water might eventually wear the fossil. I think I've read somewhere that you can use vegetable oil to keep rocks/fossils looking saturated, but I was wondering if that might cause any structural damage or any other ill effects to a sandstone-based fossil. Thanks!
  25. Post a pic of your work station

    I'm just curious to see what all your pros are working with. My station is pretty much complete, I have a limited area in south tampa. I've seen a lot of the air abrasion boxes, and I'm curious, what's the point? Why not just use a full face APR, gloves, and call it a day? Anyway, SHOW ME WHAT YOU GOT!