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Found 218 results

  1. Removing hard matrix

    I dug this up in Wyoming and was told it's a Mioplosus. The soft sandstone came off with only a bit of effort. Now I'm on to a harder crystalized matrix around the most delicate areas. I don't want to lose any of the carbon so I'm asking for help. I've used dental tools and pen razors so far. I see amazing, beautifully completed fossils on this site with no sandstone on them at all. Is there a method or tool I am unaware of?
  2. Preparation tips - newbie

    Hello everyone. I'm sorry to bother you. I have a few ammonites and ammonite impressions from a trip. I was wondering if you have any suggestions in how to clean them. I'm afraid of destroying them in the process. Thank you.
  3. Prepping trilobites

    I got some trilobite fossils that i found many are possibly complete bodies but how do i prep them? How do i know where the body starts and ends? I kind of know where the body ends because of the size of the trilobites. But not really what way it goes in the rock. Up down the side? It also depends on the rock. Its not shale its limestone from kinnekulle. What really worries me are the rib things i Will use dental picks and small and other small sharp hand tools
  4. I am new to fossil preparation, I really want to prepare this echinoid I found on Jebel Hafeet, Al Ain, UAE. I have started prepping it with a small needle, since I don't have access to any fancy machines, but I think I just ended up damaging the fossil. The rock seems to be a type of clay, not too hard. It might also be limestone, since the area is known for its shallow marine sedimentary rocks. Should I soak it in water? Or vinegar? Should I have a go at it with my dremel?
  5. I have a nice selection of various species of Ammonite from cowboy pass, Utah. I’ve been sitting on them for a year as I have no clue how to prepare the ones that have the very hard encrustations. Wire wheels had little effect. I’m thinking something more aggressive on the bench grinder... last year I saw some prepped on here, but was no info on technique. And I cannot seem to find that thread now... will post photos when not on mobile!
  6. A cute little kettneraspis

    I have not posted anything for quite a while as I have been very busy doing prep for a number of dealers and a major Museum. Unfortunately without their permission I cannot post what are some spectacular pieces. I figured I deserved to do a piece for myself for a change. Started this one on the Sep. 19th and finished this afternoon. I did not really track the time but probably in the 6 to 8 hour range. Unfortunately the fellow that split the rock in Morocco was not the gentlest on the bug. The matrix was in three pieces before I glued it back together. There is no restoration or coating on this Kettneraspis (Leonaspis)at this point in time... Might do a tiny bit of restoration on the join line but have not made that decision yet. Let me know if you would do any restoration on this one. The preparation was with a COMCO MB1000 at about 20PSI using 40 micron dolomite mostly with .018 .015 and .010 nozzles. The scribes used on this one were HW-10, Pferd MST-31, CP 9361, and HW322. All preparation was done under an Olympus SZ3060 Zoom scope. As many of you know I never prep anything without a scope. The matrix was put back together with super thin cyano acrylate and was clamped for 24 hours before starting prep The bug is 24.3mm long 24.07mm wide The first two pics are as it is sitting right now (potentially completed) and the ones before are taken during the prep. The difference in matrix color is due to indoor versus outdoor pics The reddish matrix pics were taken outside. Not the greatest pics just with my phone.
  7. Sizing Compressor for Prep Lab

    Looking for some assistance and guidance. I have spent countless hours reading posts about fossil preparation and specifically about fish prep. The knowledge shared here is humbling to say the least. So here goes: If your end goal is to be able to do all the things necessary for 18" layer Green River material, split fish Green River material, Hell Creek material; how big of a compressor should I start thinking is overkill? The smallest capacity I've considered is 20 gallons, the largest 80. I'm just wondering what people are using in terms of capacity and if I'm better off going bigger for future growth of my needs, or for example a 27 gallon is all that I would ever need running 1 tool at a time. I very much appreciate any input!
  8. While I was prepping my first oreodont (his name is Charles ) I noticed something, there seems to be some puncture like fractures. There is a killer out there? My poor Charles has been killed? What do you think based on your experience?
  9. Preparation tips?

    I was able to find this guy over the weekend and am really interested in prepping him. From what I have read air scribes tend to be the best but from initially looking they are a bit more than I would like to spend, especially this new into the process. I was wondering if anyone thinks a Dremel or something would work decently? I have some other things like brachiopods that I can practice on and I plan on using a dental pick or needle once I get super close to the fossil. Does anyone have experience with using Dremmels to get down close to the fossils?
  10. How to remove salt water

    So i got alot of fossils from sweden from the ocean altough i dont remember if its salt water or not. But if it is how do i remove it? heard that it slowly destroy the fossils from the inside what can i do? Im also going to put glue on one of the finds is that going to mess up when i clean the salt water?
  11. When is preservation necessary?

    Hello, Total amateur collector here. I found a mastadon tooth yesterday in a Florida river, with some beautiful enamel. My question is, how do you know in advance which fossils are unstable and will need preservation? Is it okay to let things dry and just see what happens? Are there general rules? I know tusks are fragile, but have been having a hard time getting more information! Thanks!
  12. My biggest Tumido crab yet!

    Well I started my next project tonight, and compared to the last one, this one is so much fun (so far ). The rock is softer and it also peels off the shell beautifully. Things are going to get a bit more complicated I can see already as there is a thick layer of powdery calcite around the edges. I originally thought it was shell and I’d stripped off the shell the whole time But I checked with the scope and it’s calcite. Some before pictures. The concretion is 24 cm (9.5 inches) wide. The claws were already exposed like this, I found it wedged in between 2 rocks facing me like this! The big claw exposed section is 8 cm (3 inches) long, so the big claw will be at least 16 cm (6 inches long)!
  13. Hi All, I am a newbie to fossil collecting other than randomly finding them while rockhounding. I have a standard backpack of things I bring when gold panning and another one that I bring for surface collecting vs mining. After having a blast at the Florissant Fossil beds in Colorado a couple of weeks ago I have decided to take my daughter on a day trip to Mazon Creek area for some hunting. We are making out list of items we will need to bring. Since we are driving about 4 hours each way there will be no going home for forgotten items or returning the next day so we want to have everything we will need or want with us. We would appreciate any input of items that we might not think of including for this area, and any suggestions, or photos of what to look for in particular. photos of the fossils online are great, BUT we know they don't look like that in the field. Are the concretions fist sized or basketball sized? round or egg shaped or flat like the layers of shale in Florissant? Is the area one that denim shorts are fine or do we need long pants to protect our legs from scratches. Bug spray??? hiking boots or tennis shoes? I'm hoping we find a creek or two that we can hunt around and we are packing extra clothes and towels for the car ride home. We are including a box of large 2gallon sized ziplocs to help sort and label locations where concretions are found so that when we open at home we can figure what was found where, and will photograph sites and note on map for later reporting but I am sure there are things we aren't considering or realizing that we might need. I would rather bring more than I need than get there wishing we had remembered something we had (like my favorite loupe) but left at home. Thanks!
  14. Hello TFF friends! Fossil Preparation has been something I have delved into on a surface level since I do not have the money to purchase air scribes and abrasives yet. So far I have been using a carbide scriber and some chisels or a dremel for larger matrix removal. Now I am looking to upgrade a bit and get a pin vise, they seem quite versatile and pretty cheap. I have found a vise that I think will be good for now, but I am now facing the task of finding needles to use with it. Can anyone recommend any good pin vise needles? I am looking to use them on matrix of different hardnesses from fairly soft shales to harder limestones if possible. Thank you for any help, Misha
  15. I've owned a sweet Keich that came from China via Germany in the mid-20th century. In our last move, it was broken. The photos attached show the main break point with missing vertebrae. The next photo shows the cross-section, just for the sake of proving authenticity (you can see how the matrix striae curve around the bone as well as the details of the spine in cross-section). As I was lucky enough to find the missing vertebrae I placed the pieces together in the next photo and held the pieces in place in the final photo to show how it should look when finally repaired. My question: What adhesive should I use to repair the matrix and is there something different I should use to glue the delicate piece with the vertebrae into place? Many thanks to all for any experience/advice.
  16. Hello, I'm about to start my first experiment in preparing an Eocene fish from the Green River 18 inch layer. I've done some prep of fish from the "split fish" layer with some success. But the matrix here appears much different! I'll be doing with with a pin vice, scribe and a head band magnifier with good lighting. I could use any advice from y'all with MUCH more experience than me! Thanks
  17. Hi everyone, Have been fossil hunting at Achanarras quarry and I have found what I am sure is an complete Dipterus valenciennesi. The only problem is that it is covered in a thin layer of hard stone. I am just wondering if anyone has had any experience with preparing Caithness fish fossils and know what tools are best for the job?
  18. Hello everyone! I am a digger and prepper of about 7 or 8 years, and of course a lifelong dino lover. I have a lot of experience both digging and prepping fossils from the Hell Creek formation specifically in Montana, but I still have a lot to learn. More recently I’ve begun prepping bones from the Morrison and Aguja formations, and I’m very intrigued by the differences in bone integrity, structure, quality, and mineral make-up. I understand that bones from the Morrison formation are much, much older than that of the Hell Creek and are by and large more agatized. I don’t mean to generalize, but for the purpose of brevity I’ll get to my main question. Ajuga bones. Particularly from the West Texas/Mexico area. I’m finding them to be very strange. I assume the KT Impact Event has a lot to do with their condition; which makes them even more interesting. The ones I’ve encountered (just in my brief experience) are in perfect shape. No predation. Which would fit with a major extinction event. But more intriguingly, I’ve noticed textural indications reminiscent of tissue/skin/muscle on several bones. Moreover, the bones appear to be white and chalky, and sometimes have a feeling and density similar to your teeth when your mouth is dry (REALLY weird and specific comparison I know but can’t think of a better likeness). I assume some of this has to do with the dry climate? I know these are not modern bones because they are very large and VERY heavy. Can anyone explain to me the reason behind the texture and the makeup of these bones from a geological perspective or their experience prepping bones from this formation? Also, regarding the tissue, I normally assume that tissue like structures are just my imagination running wild, but maybe there’s something to that as well? Thanks so much!! Lauren
  19. I'm starting to get into mechanical prep seeing as with the quarantine I have extra time on my hand. My equipment arrived before my projects did so I've been practicing on this invert I had on hand. I believe this is a gastropod? Or is it a bivalve? I can never keep them straight in my head. Anyways, I forgot to take a before picture so I apologize for this awful photo as it was the only one I had: And this is it currently: Obviously not done yet, needs some more work and then some serious clean up to make it look nice but I'm thinking to put it aside for a while. The matrix is very annoying. There is less than a millimeter of rock covering the left side but as I learned the hard way on a small section, haste leads to immediate damage of the fossil. Prying upwards is great for chipping the rock away quickly but wants to take the fossil with it I'll finish it eventually but it will be slow, slow going. On a more exciting note one of my real projects arrived today. Here in a bit I'll draw up and post a plan of attack and tomorrow I'll probably get a start on it. My hope is that with this thread I can get your guys' opinions and advice to help prevent me from adding another cautionary tale on the bungled extractions thread
  20. Echinoid prep

    Hello, I believe that this is a fossilized sea urchin, it might not look so, but I do see a resemblance. It appears to be made out of gypsum, or another soft crystal. I was wondering If iy would be wise to dip it in vinigar. Would you be able to see some more details? Or will the wjole thing just dissolve?
  21. Hello everyone! I found this elephant tusk in the desert a few months ago, everything I find here is very brittle, and this is no exeption. I have already set the small unstable fragments with a very small layer of super glue. Should I use paraloid? I haven't been able to find any in this country, is there any other more common substance I can use (I've heard bad things from wood glue). I still want to remove some of the matrix, but I am unable to do so because of the fragility of the fossil. Thanks in advance.
  22. Base of tooth consolidation

    Hi All, I am very new to prepping, so thank you in advance. On the base of some of the small teeth that I have, I like to place superglue to prevent "crumbling" of loose particles. The superglue works great but leaves a shiny/glossy appearance. Is there something better to use? I have Vinac beads that were given to me but not sure how to use it in that capacity. I placed superglue on the left tooth and nothing yet on the right. Thanks again
  23. Starting to prepare specimens from Green River Fm Split Fish Layer. Several are quite thick - up to 2-inches. I would like to split them further but the pieces seem a lot harder than when collected. Presuming this is because they are much dryer (collected in early June, rock still very moist). Questions: 1) Is the dryer rock likely to split less cleanly than it did when moist? 2) Will re-hydrating* the rock make them easier to split cleanly? 3) Even if it does, is re-hydration likely to loosen the fossil on the upper surface of the rock? I could just experiment but would hate to loose a good specimen in the process. Thanks for any help. *I could re-hydrate by submerging in water but that seems most likely to damage the fossil. The first approach I would try is to support the slab over water in a closed plastic containers. Placed in the sun, the high humidity should re-hydrate the rock fairly quickly. Any other re-hydration ideas are most welcome.
  24. Hello everyone, first of all I want to say how I love this forum and how many great people are here, I couldn't find a better community. Back on topic I'm pretty much a novice when it comes to fossil preparation, I only prepped some echinoderms, bivalve and some isolated Ictitherium teeth. But after reading and reading topic on this forum I decided to begin a bigger project. I bought an oreodont skull, as you can see from the photos it seems in really good conditions and the matrix seems really soft to work on. At the same time I see that there are many fracture on the skull (pretty normal for these fossils) and so I though that I should consolidate the skull before starting to prep it. Do you agree with me? How should I consolidate it? I read that a great way to consolidate such fossil is brushing them with a 1 to 50 paraloid solution. It this the correct strategy to use? Thank you to anyone who can help me on this task, I 'm so excited to start this project.
  25. Hi Guys My son found this neat little fossil on the beach at Charmouth, Dorset, U.K. We had no clue what it was until we had it looked at by an expert at a fossil roadshow. We are considering removing some of the limestone matrix that hides some of the teeth. Do you think we should attempt to remove some of the matrix or is it too risky. There are several Hybodus shark teeth in what appears to be part of the jaw bone. With what I think is a limestone, type matrix covering some of the fossil. None of the teeth can be seen in full. I have some experience using fine hand held electric carving tools. And it would be very interesting to see more of the teeth. What do you think ? Thank you for looking at this for us. Matt