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Found 164 results

  1. Compressor for prep?!

    Well this year I've started collecting items to begin preparing crabs and trilobites. Obviously the crab nodules are a bit tougher than the trilobites so I'll need to take that into consideration. I recently purchased a CP9361 for a pretty good deal and also have a decent microscope with 20x magnification. I'll build an air cabinet for micro blasting later and then pickup a medium hopper and micro sand blaster for trilobites eventually but I'm going to start off preparing crab nodules which is why I went for the CP9361. Also probably going to pickup a long 2" tungsten point tip for the CP9361 as their stock tip isn't that good (or so I've heard). I work at my nearby museum preparing a Barosaurus and they use everything from the ARO (couldn't find one of those), ME9100, Micro Jacks, and the CP9361. The museum curator advised going with the CP because they are cheaper and he said he's never had one break down on him and he's had a couple ME9100 break down. So now I have to look ahead and decide what compressor to get! I'll probably be preparing fossils for no more than 2-3 hours at a time but want to be prepared just in case. Everyone who is experienced at preparing on this forum suggests prepping for as long as possible to avoid shutting the compressor on and off thereby fluctuating the hardwares air regulation system. A few things to keep in mind when working on fossils for a long time with a compressor as your power source: * Avoid oil lubricated compressors as the oil can leak from your air line to the fossil. * Go with a compressor that outputs at least 90-110 PSI since most scribes operate at this level. Also make sure it outputs at least 2 CFM (cubic feet per minute). Most tools I've observed require about 1 CFM but it's always good to have more in case you want to use your compressor for other things or more heavy duty tools. * Go with a compressor that holds 20 gallons of air or more if you're going to be working on fossils for a while. Here's a couple I had my eye on: 15 Gallon Dewalt: https://www.lowes.ca/air-compressors-kits/dewalt-16-hp-15-gal-200-psi-portable-electric-air-compressor_g1335346.html @Malcolmt didn't you say you had one like this? This one is 15 gallons and I thought you recommended 20 gallons? Thanks. 27 Gallon Dewalt: https://www.homedepot.com/p/DEWALT-27-gal-200-PSI-Portable-Vertical-Electric-Air-Compressor-DXCM271-COM/303655008?MERCH=REC-_-PIPHorizontal2_rr-_-206796177-_-303655008-_-N 20 Gallon Husky: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-20-Gal-175-PSI-Portable-Electric-Air-Compressor-C201H/206189626 10 Gallon California Air Tools: https://www.homedepot.com/p/California-Air-Tools-10-Gal-2-0-HP-Ultra-Quiet-and-Oil-Free-Electric-Air-Compressor-10020C/206644539?MERCH=REC-_-PIPHorizontal2_rr-_-206796177-_-206644539-_-N Probably won't go with 10 gallon as that won't produce enough air for longer preps. As long as the compressor runs continuously for a few hours that should be sufficient. I'm leaning towards the more expensive 27 gallon Dewalt because it has such a good rating and a bigger tank then the 15 gallon Dewalt or 20 gallon Husky. I'm a bit surprised both the 27 and 15 gallon Dewalts are priced the same from two different stores. What are your thoughts here? Obviously I'll get the three year warranty with this unit. Can't skimp on that!
  2. CP air scribe?

    Finally gonna start acquiring some air prep tools (scribe and abrasive) to better my prepping. My question at this point is this, on the CP brand air scribes, can you use other tips? Have seen here where sometimes a longer or different shaped tip is useful but didn't see in the Amazon description that the tips are changeable. Looking at the CP9160 scribe. So glad I found this group. Already learned much
  3. Kane's Bug Preps

    As I move through my queue, I may as well post to one thread. The most recent prep is another Asaphus lepidurus. I learn something new with each one.
  4. how to prep this?

    does anyone know how to prep this aust cliff jaw bone and tooth out the rock? It is not the goldeny brown bone and the bone looks pretty strong and stable so i'm not sure if acid prepping is fine. any ideas? thanks in advance.
  5. I'm thinking of investing in a quality work light to serve dual purpose identifying/prepping fossils and also in my woodworking adventures. Do ya'll use combo light/magnifying lamps? What works, what doesn't work? What spectrum works best for you? Any suggestions for best bang for the buck? Thanks
  6. Crinoid being prepared

    Hi everyone! I have recently acquired a crinoid from an old collection... I have never seen a crinoid of this type before but I think it comes from a famous fossil site maybe it comes from the usa.... I will soon prepare it but before that I need what exact species is that in order to have a mental image of the specimen and so avoid any damages while preparing it .... thanks for your help!
  7. Miocene Fish prep way forward...

    Hello everyone! I found this fish in the Monterey Formation in California and have been unable to get the middle to pop off. I have zero experience preparing fossils of this type so I'm looking for some beginner advice on how to proceed without totally botching it. Thanks!
  8. Field jacket mapping methods

    Hi preparators friends, I know that the method can be different according the preparator but can you explain us your method to map a jacket when you prep one. How do you proceed when multiple fossils are on each other in a jacket. What to do and don't. Please share with us your knowledge and experience.
  9. Interesting Bug # 1

    Let's go on what may turn out to be an extended journey. It is my intention to try to take pictures ever few hours along the way while prepping this little guy. In a few minutes I will post a picture of an unprepared trilobite exactly as found with no preparation whatsoever. What is a bit exciting about this one is that it is actually my bug and eventually when finished I will actually get to keep it for my own collection. Unfortunately for me, most of the really nice bugs and crinoids I prep end up not being mine, but at least I get the chance to experience them and see them come alive in person. I actually have 4 bugs and a nice plate sitting beside me right now that are not mine and waiting for a couple more to be done before packaging off to the owner. To set the scene a piece of matrix a little larger than my fist was split very cleanly into two pieces. The trilobite was cleanly dissected into two pieces across the split as are many trilobites when they are found. I am very hopeful from what I can see that the trilobite will be essentially complete; but that is really only known by the fossil faerie's at this time. You know those little gnomes that during the night hide the fossils for us to find, But they often try to trick us with those pesky partials. To help you out a little bit I have placed the picture with the trilobite roughly in the correct orientation. Eventually the two halves will be reunited by using a super thin cyanoacrylate that is made for Radio Controlled airplanes. So to answer a prep question that is often asked , Do you glue first then prep or prep then glue. The answer is it depends on the type of split you have, the amount of matrix to be removed and the quality of preservation of the fossil. In about 80% of the fossils I will do some prep first , then glue. I specifically want to see that I do in fact have the correct orientation for the fossil. I am also at this point trying to determine how complete the bug is. You do not want to spend 100 hours on a bug only to discover it is a partial. I once prepped 3 Oklahoma dicranurus for someone and sadly they all turned out to be partials. For example once you determine where the cephalon or pygidium is, go to where you think the opposite end of the big should be and see if it is there. If you are dealing with a spiny bug like a dicranurus look to see if the free cheeks are there and check that the long pygidial spines are there. If they are not you may be better off investing the 100 plus hours it might take in a better specimen. You will often find partially prepped dicranurus for sale that have been abandoned at the point the preparator discovered that something that should be there is missing. It takes almost as long to prep a dike missing say 1 free cheek as a perfect one, but the price difference between the two bugs when finished could easily be double. It is very important that you know the anatomy of the bug you are prepping. If I am working on a less common bug I will always have a picture of that bug at my prep station . However, reality is that I end up prepping the same 5 types most of the time (eldredgeops, greenops, ceraurus, isotelus, flexicalymene) as this is generally what I and my clients actually find. If it is a spiny bug you must know where the spines are likely to be on your matrix or you will without any doubt destroy them. If the bug is say a phacopid then you are off to clear sailing and can use very different methods to get down to the bug. I for instance on a non spiny trilobite will often use a Dremel with a diamond wheel to quickly remove a lot of the overlying matrix. I would never do this on a spiny trilobite. So without further rambling delay here is the mystery bug prior to any preparation. I am not at this point going to even tell you what the bug is, but if you would like to hazard a guess then send me a PM and I will let you know if you are correct Now here is the same side of the bug after about 15 minutes of preparation. At this point I have not discovered anything that would lead me to believe that the bug will not be complete. Note that you can see black sharpie lines on the left. I always put sharpie lines across the split to make it easy to line them back up when time to reassembly. You cannot see it here but all sides have them If you have anything interesting that you would like to consider having prepped you can always send me a PM and we can discuss. My next plan of attack is to spend about 15 minutes on the opposite side of the split. Following that I will come back to this side and use a Pferd MST31 air scribe with the fine stylus to remove some of the matrix well away from the actual fossil. Note that at this point I already know where the head and tail should be on the fossil and the correct orientation that I am going to prep from.
  10. Ceratopsian Parietal Spike

    Hey guys! So about four years ago, someone sold me a really cheap batch of unprepped fossils they dug up in the US; which included a large piece of rib bone (or so the seller thought). I started prepping the 'rib', and thought it looked a little strange. It had a tendon running along the bottom; which seemed weird as it was supposed to be a rib. However, I was still pretty new to fossil prep/ID, and I trusted the seller's ID better than my own. I wound up setting it on the shelf for...a couple years. Fast forward to about a week ago. I was cleaning out my fossil storage 'area' and I came upon this bone again. I again thought it didn't look much like a rib, and decided to google different kinds of dinosaur spikes. After scrolling through all kinds of ankylosaurs, stegosaurs, triceratops, etc. I came upon Styracosaurus. It bore a passing resemblance to the parietal spike on its frill, and I figured I better start prepping it. After prepping it, I was blown away. Not only does the bone have a tendon attached, but there are all kinds of subtle curvatures you couldn't see with the layer of dirt that had covered it. The texture is very unusual too, and the bone is actually really thin! The tip comes to a point and gradually twists. It's hard to describe, so I've included a bunch of pictures. Anyway, after researching more about the sub-family Centrosaurinae, I came across Rubeosaurus and Einiosaurus; which both have spikes that are EXTREMELY similar to the bone I have. If this thing is a rib I'll eat my foot. Please let me know what you think! Any thoughts are much appreciated. -Lauren
  11. T rex tooth prep

    I have a chance to acquire a nice T rex tooth that is 3.5 inches in length. It was found in multiple pieces under plant roots and the pieces have all been reattached with cyanoacrylate and very stable. Who can I use as an expert prepper to fill in cracks, possbily, to bring it back to its glory? Thanks in advance
  12. Crushing in a crusher

    I'm reading a 1960ish report on a formation near me (Bloomsburg). Among other interesting things it says "The most effective method of extracting the fossils from the claystone is by crushing in a crusher in which fine particles drop out so that they do not constantly undergo breakage." Can anyone elaborate on this process?
  13. Kane's Bug Preps

    After 48 total hours of very challenging work, an 80 mm Asaphus lepidurus is complete. I've prepared this species before, but this one was the toughest on account of very sticky, hard, calcitic matrix glued right to the shell, which meant very slow and extremely careful scribing under very high magnification. At times, I was removing matrix by the grain! This was the block when I received it with a bit of the bug poking out of the side.
  14. Can coke be used to melt away Lyme Regis limestone?
  15. I'm looking at purchasing another Keichousaurus for preparation, and wondering what the experts' opinions are on which of these two would be easier to prep for a relative beginner like me. The first one looks entirely covered in shale, and the second seems to be a little more exposed. I have my Paasche air eraser that I was planning on using, although if someone recommends an acetic acid prep over the air abrasive for these specimens for one reason or another, I would love to hear suggestions. If the second one is more likely to be incomplete/damaged than the one under rock, I would prefer to stay away from that. But that being said, if it would truly be easier to work with the one that is already partially exposed, I am all for that!
  16. Large Whale Bone to Stabilize

    I found this beautiful whale vertebra this weekend. It fell out of the cliff face just a few days ago and tumbled into the Potomac River (brackish?) just far enough for the waves at the tide line to gently lapped it clean. Gotta love it! It is currently soaking in clean water to get the salt and anything else out as much as I can, but I've never done anything this big before. I'm used to stabilizing little stuff and blocks of matrix that really just need a thick, hard outer shell. The little bones air dry quickly enough that I don't have to worry about moisture at the center, but this thing is 4 1/2 inches in diameter! I have both Paleobond and Paraloid on hand. Anyone have any practice at this?
  17. Hi all, I have an ammonite specimen from Folkestone, UK that is locked in a phosphate nodule. Is there any way for it to be removed? Thanks, Jay
  18. Hello everyone, I was wondering what tools people would recommend for fossil preparation, I am an absolute newbie in this area and am not familiar with what options there are out there but would really love to learn, so far I only have a pin vise which I have used on rough matrix removal but too scared to get close to the actual fossils. Thank you, Misha
  19. Hyracodon Skull

    Finally got around to prepping out and making a stand for the Hyracodon skull. It was in pretty rough shape and not complete, but I think it displays well. What are your guys thoughts?
  20. Kane's Bug Preps

    This being my second attempt at restoration, I still have a lot to learn. I thought I'd showcase my attempt here as I continue to practice and (hopefully) improve my skills. The trilobite selected for this attempt is a common Eldredgeops rana from Penn Dixie. I have tons of these common ones, so it wouldn't be the end of the world if I botched it. This one came out of some harder Windom matrix, and a lot of the left side and pygidium were lost. It also is an unattractive specimen on account of it having a bit too much "character" (i.e., serious crush damage, twisted, and as if stepped on by some Devonian boot). Both genals are folded underneath, the whole bug lists to one side, and the glabella is crushed. In other words, a perfect candidate for a resto attempt. Here is roughly how it looked before I took on this task:
  21. Trilobite from Udig, Utah

    Hi everyone. I'm new to preparing and don't have the money to get the proper equipment. However, I do have the Harbor freight Air eraser I was recommended by several b people on here. Anyway, I have one of those tiny to segment Trilobite who name I forget for the minute. The matrix he was in broke up, so I've mounted it to another piece of same udig shale before I start work on the Trilobite so I don't have it break n in half. There's a small Gap in the matrix because it's not a perfect fit, but Very close. The glue is holding well and clear , but what can I use as filler for the tiny Gap? Can I mix clear glue with some sanded matrix mixed in to make a filler? Thanks everyone
  22. Kane's Bug Preps

    Put in a good 17 hours on what was supposed to be a quick and easy prep. This was from my excellent Russian connection, and I was under no illusion that there wouldn't be some problems with this bug. This will have been the third Asaphus lepidurus I've prepared this year, and the second in this orientation. Already, there is a fracture in the last pleural segment / facet nearest the pygidium, so this was going to be a practice prep.
  23. Hey, I'm just starting out and I wanted to know, what preparation tools and tactics will work best for removing limestone without damaging the specimen? (Preferably low budget) I also don't have a lot of workspace since I'm just taking a crack at this legitamate, fine-detail stuff for the first time; and after some research on air scribes, abrasives, and erasers, I realize they are much too costly and the whole air system and workbox takes up a lot of room I don't have. So is there anything you all could recommend for me?
  24. Recently found a decent ammonite at Lake Texoma. I wanted to reveal the specimen in its entirety, but this would require more preparation than I was used to - meaning it would require more than warm water and a soft brushing down. The preparation began with a tack hammer and a variety of nails. After the bulk of the situ was removed, I exchanged the soft taps of the hammer for the electric buzzing of a Dremel with a small carving tip, which seemed to work well for the remaining excavation. A little high quality wax was applied before display.
  25. Kane's Bug Preps

    There are several expert preparators who eke out a living collecting and preparing their finds. There are those finds that are just too problematic to deal with, and so get tossed into the chuck pile for whatever reason: missing parts, discolouration from mineralization, compaction damage, or just too time consuming to make good ROI. Some of them will offer up these B-grade pieces for sale for relatively cheap so that folks like me who don't have access to some sites can give it a whirl and get much needed prep practice. One of my main goals of preparation is to learn something new each time, which isn't hard as I've only been preparing with air tools on occasion for a little over a year. I get to learn how to approach different species, challenges, matrix types, try out different techniques, and -- the best teacher of all -- by making mistakes. So this was the piece I acquired cheaply, a Illaenus sinuatus. The specimen came out, as a good number of them do, in pieces and was glued together in the field with good Russian glue. There was a preparation attempt, but it was likely decided it wasn't worth the time to pursue this one given its many problems.