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Found 115 results

  1. Hello all. I hope this is OK to ask... I was wondering if anyone would be generous enough to send me (Nathan) some "throw-away" matrix material or partially encased fossils so that I can attempt to prepare and document various methods for sandblasting them. We are currently trying to make improvements on our sandblasters for harder, more difficult matrix and I need samples for R&D. I would happily send this person the specimen back after it's been prepped if they would like and will give full credit in any publications we create using the sample. There would be videos showcasing the removal as well as lots of photos to share with the community during the process. Please feel free to DM me if you're interested in helping at all. Thank you! -Nathan
  2. Little prep....id ammonit

    Hi everyone, today i have finished preparing this little ammonit from Normandy. Does anyone know what ammonit is this? Before After
  3. Forgive me if I'm being impatient or repeating myself--I'm new to this site and forum. I tried posting this under Questions and Answers a while ago and haven't seen it appear yet--maybe there's an approval process that has to run its course before a post appears publicly. In case I just didn't get it entered correctly I'll try again under this heading, which I didn't see at first. ANYWAY . . . . Does anyone have experience removing iron stains from St. Clair, Pennsylvania plant fossils? The white mineral that provides the striking contrast with the slate is pyrophyllite, a silicate. As an avid mineral collector (sorry, not too knowledgeable about fossils, even though I grew up in eastern Iowa--I decided I couldn't be an expert on both and settled on minerals) I am familiar with using Iron Out, Waller's solution, oxalic acid, etc. to remove iron oxide stains from mineral specimens. Can iron oxide stains be removed (or at least lightened) on St. Clair fossils by soaking in one of those reagents? They shouldn't affect the pyrophyllite chemically, but I can see how removing the iron oxide could disrupt the coating physically. I do not intend to scrub them--I'm sure that would do more harm than good. Any other suggestions? Thanks!
  4. Preparation advise

    Looking for advise on a mosasaur jaw in sandstone. I’m wondering if I should do more prep to show more of the jaw still hidden in sandstone, the only problem is the jaw bone is fragmented. Any advise would help
  5. I found the following multiblock during a recent trip to the Wutach valley which I described here a few days ago. There appear to be at least 3 ammonites on the one side, although there could be more buried under the matrix. I didn't notice until after I had extricated the block that there is also one large one on the reverse side...not quite complete, but certainly worth exposing as well. Let's see what happens. Here are both sides of the block in the raw. The first thing to do then, was to have a go at removing as much matrix as possible with the air pen without getting quite down to the shells, in order to try to ascertain the position and size of the ammonites and also to see if there were any more in there. The next photos show how far I had gone before I decided that it was time to put the air abrader into action. There was a lot of broken shell material in there, but no more ammonites. There were also a few sticky spots and I didn't want to take the chance of breaking into a shell with the stylus. It turned out that the matrix on the side with the large ammonite was soft enough to be removed quickly, but there were a lot of spots where it was pretty tough on the other side. I did however manage to remove enough soft matrix to get a good idea of where the ammonites lay. With the exception of the one at the bottom left, since it fell into the matrix at a relatively acute angle, although I was getting the feeling more and more that this was just a partial. There was also a larger partial just above it which could be causing problems.
  6. Part 4 (from Washington)

    Ok, so here's where I've gotten to & this will bring you up to date with what I've accomplished so far. First, I used a couple of different small stiff brushes and a very low impact tool that is similar to a Dremel tool. I cleaned a sand type of dirt, that fell away without much effort, in places in & around on the surface. About half way through the cleaning the piece started to make noises as if cracking. I mixed up a tube of Duco cement with a six oz. bottle of acetone. I decide to apply it generously to areas I'd already cleaned. I believe it was a good move as the sound has stopped. Also, it feels more sound when I pick it up. After I had applied the solution, I left it under a uv light to dry.So what do you think so far?
  7. I have been wanting a Micro Jack for a while. If anyone has one that they don't use, I would be interested in buying or trading for it. If not I will probably order one from PaleoTools soon. Thanks!
  8. Hi everyone, Last year I went on a one day fossil hunting trip to the Champagne region in France with a fossil hunting buddy of mine. We went to the well known locality of Fleury-la-Riviere, where Lutetian (Eocene) rocks are outcropping on the hillsides above the vineyards. We had a really good day, with lots of cool finds, among others a small but very nice Campanile giganteum. It was a lot of work to extract this gastropod in one piece, but it worked out nicely.
  9. Here was a nice surprise. I picked up this fossil cluster of barnacles and noticed a nice layer of agate underneath! When I processed the photo I took of it, I saw that the light from my flash dispersed giving this rainbow effect. It's very small but now when I hold to the light I can see the little rainbows! I heard this process is called diffraction grating. I would like to polish the agate but I think the rainbows will go away once the material is flattened.
  10. Tortoise Display Stand

    After prepping the big Stylemys that I recovered in Nebraska this summer, it seemed a shame to have spent all that time on the plastron only to have it sitting on a shelf out of view. So today I welded together a stand for it. I wanted the part upon which the tortoise rests to have as small a footprint as possible, because my idea was to use a mirror or mirrors to make the plastron visible to observers. Of course the angle of the mirror will depend on the height of the shelf where the tortoise is displayed. At just below eye level, this set up works reasonably well. If positioned below eye-level, this set-up works well (showing even more of the plastron).
  11. My last time out I found a lot of shark teeth. They are all black. Can these be cleaned or are they just black? If they can be cleaned how does one go about cleaning them?
  12. Air abrasive on GRF Fish?

    I have heard of using an air abrasive for GRF fish, but haven't been able to find any pointers on how to do it. Is this a safe method of matrix removal? I have one slab I am working on now (first try on a fish) and have been thinking of getting some more 18 inch layer fish to prep if I can. I am guessing you would use bicarb versus dolomite. If you do use this method, any pointers on PSI, and overall technique, when to use, when not to use? So far I have just been very sporadically working on it with an Aro. Nathan
  13. Dust Masks

    So far the only prep tools that I have are different types of picks. Because of this there isn’t that much chalk dust being put into the air at one time. I currently wear surgical masks which are less restrictive than other dust masks but they seem to be ok for what I am doing. If at some point in the future I start using tools that generate more dust, such as air scribes, would these kinds of masks work or would I need more restrictive ones? What do you use? Thank you all very much for the help that I have received. I am just beginning to prep fossils and I am trying to learn as much as I can.
  14. Trilobite Preparation

    Hello everyone, I recently purchased an Ordovician Trilobite on a auction site. It really needs some preparation,and it would look so stunning. I am looking for a professional expert in fossil preparation who knows what he is doing, I would like it for him/her to be in Europe because outside Europe the shipping is very expensive... I would be shipping it to the preparator,he would prep it and then I would pay him whatever the shipping costs to ship it back to France.(With an additional little ammount to say thank you.) If you are interested,contact me by private message, and I will tell you all the detail you need. Really appreciate it and this prepped trilobite would look amazing in my collection. Thanks,Thomas
  15. Catching up on Texas Preps

    This thread is a saga of procrastination. First of all, many of these finds are months old. Second, this weekend's prep efforts have helped me continue to procrastinate on my kitchen remodeling efforts. Third, the time put into shooting photos and creating this thread is helping distance me still further from moving ahead on the kitchen. So...let's waste some time together. I found a few cool Pennsylvanian inverts last weekend in North Central Texas, and pushed their prep to the front of the line. I enjoy the matrix association pieces most, so let's have a look. First, Meekospira and Worthenia. Second and third, 2 views of maybe Glabrocingulum in the aperture of a Pharkodontus. Third, a cool little orthocone nautiloid resting in next to a Worthenia gastropod.
  16. Hello everyone, I've recently been put in charge of emptying a fossil collectors secondary collection (the non-prepped fossils he collected himself in the sixties and seventies). I found several plates hidden underneath a built-in aquarium inside a wall, see pictures attached. They seem to be flattened shale ammonites from Whitby, and they seem to be flaking. I guess because they were being used as a crutch to keep the aquarium in place. Is there any emergency prepping, maybe a coating of somesort I can do to keep these plates from flaking any further? Or maybe some tips to safely transport them? I've already moved crates full of smaller plates, but these are very large and unstable. I'm a hobbiest fossil hunter and I've never prepped a plate like this, so any help is welcome. I only have 6 days left to move and secure these plates in one piece. If not moved by then, they will be dumped in a thrash container :(. Thank you in advance!
  17. I just bought this fossil fish. I wanted to know if the "wide open" areas just under the dorsal fin and in the ribs are signs of breakage, or are they just under the matrix?
  18. Hello everyone, A geologist friend of mine roped me into his love of all things ancient, so here I am new to the fossils, and new to the Fossil Forum. I received my first Green River fish slab yesterday and spent most of the day on and off working off the layers with dental scaler that I've used for in the past for Roman coins. Must say that this matrix is much easier than the stuff encrusted to the coins! So far I'm pretty happy with the progress, but am looking for advice on how far to take this so that I don't overwork the piece. Here are a couple of photos of the progress. Note the series of three stages use lighting from the top to highlight the 3D effect of the specimen. The other photo uses light from the lower left to show a more natural visual look if you just look at it laying on the table. I believe I still have a lot of detail work taking off sediment between the bones and along the spine, etc. Any advice on around the head and eye socket, the border? How about surface finishing? If the slab is dampened, the fish stands out more, so would a mat clear coat of something be a reasonable finish, or should I leave it alone? I believe I read that a 20% solution of white glue in water might create a good effect. Any experience with that? Again, there seem to be many schools of thought. Thanks in advance for your help. Also, I believe this is a Knightia, but wouldn't mind confirmation from someone in the know. The fish is almost exactly 4" head to tail. Again, thanks.
  19. Cleaning a fish

    I got an unprepared fish fossil from my grandparents as an early Xmas present, and I've been working on cleaning it up. This is what I have after a few hours' work. I've been using the dental scraper pictured, mostly just trying to find the general outlines of the body so I can figure out what species this might be. Thing is, I'm a bit confused. The area above the cleaned area to the left is where the head is supposed to be, and you can see raised areas that seem to indicate the structure of a skull, but I'm finding what looks like skin way past that. I also don't seem to have any ribs yet. What's going on? Could the skin somehow have come loose and been moved?
  20. I have a batch of fossils, mostly small gastropods, from the Waco shale pit. Most of them look pyritized to some degree, so I want to treat them to be sure they don't fall apart. Thing is, they're really small- most under 1cm, some as small as 1mm square, and one ammonite that's something like 3mm across. My original plan was to soak them in Iron Out overnight, wash them with dish soap and a toothbrush, and then coat them in butvar. Is this still the best way to go? Should I soak them for less time since they're so tiny? And any tips on bushing butvar onto such tiny fossils?
  21. We found a couple of sand dollar fossils in a hard matrix. From what I have read today I can’t get the hard matrix off without some special air tools. What should I do to preserve the specimens?
  22. Hi. Can anyone tell me the air psi range for a Paletools Micro Jack 3? Also, what are the lubrication requirements. Thanks, Andy
  23. I'm really getting into preparation as of late, courtesy of having some of the right tools on hand. But as I am still a novice at it, I have been practicing on easier specimens. I thought I'd share my progress - and a wee bit of pride. When it comes to easier prep jobs, Penn Dixie Eldredgeops rana can be fairly forgiving for the beginner. The first picture is of how the roller (on the right) appeared once I freed it from the matrix. It's a might bit dusty and caked in matrix.
  24. Hi there. I recently purchased a big box full of shale, containing a number of disarticulated ichthyosaur bones from South Wales. Mostly ribs, but there's also a humerus and one or two other unidentified bones too. It's not an amazing piece, but I'd consider it good practice. I've been trying to work out how to prep it. It's in many pieces, and putting them together is a bit of a task in itself! As you can see from this terrible photo, I've made some progress. I've numbered the joins so that their positions can be found easily, and drawn in marker pen on the surface of the shale where the bones appear to run beneath. I'd appreciate any advice from anyone that's done this sort of thing before. This is how I intend on proceeding: 1. Complete the jigsaw - and hope it all fits together! 2. Prep each piece to expose the bones 3. Set the pieces onto some kind of backing - not sure what? 4. Tidy up the prep, and use epoxy clay to fill the cracks. If anyone has any suggestions, I'd be very grateful. I've never dealt with any icthyosaur material before.
  25. Hi! I need a little help with deciding to buy an old sandblaster machine together with compressor. It will be my first blaster, and I have zero experience with these machinery! So I turn to the community for advice! Please if you have any comments, remark, share it with me! Thank you in advance!