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Found 144 results

  1. 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?
  2. 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:
  3. 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
  4. Asaphus prep

    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.
  5. 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?
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. I'm a fairly novice preparator and I was wondering if some of you more experienced folks could help me out a bit. I am working on a dipleura that unfortunately broke apart upon extraction. Some fragments of the pygidium were lost. I have the imprint and was considering casting the missing parts in plaster or something ideally reversible. My goal is to turn this fossil into a nice display piece. There are also some large voids in the matrix I would like to fill in. I've never done anything of this sort to a fossil before and I was hoping for some guidance on materials, techniques, etc. I have attached a couple of photos of the areas I would like to repair.
  9. Whitby Hildoceras Prep

    A little Hildoceras I picked up recently from Saltwick Bay in Whitby. Unfortunately I didn’t take any before pictures to show. All that was showing was the top of the keel and a small portion of the outer whorl. It’s be no means finished yet, but thought people might enjoy the process so far. Iv prepped out some of the matrix underneath to give the ammonite a floating effect.
  10. Finished this summer score

    Took some time to be done, but it was more about alot of small operations, than endless hours of pneumatic pen. All in all, the more time spent was with the dremel polishing the matrix. Before : Only operation before the picture was an emergency glueing on the field. Some time it s better to do this on the field, sometimes you better packed the different part of the puzzle home, clean them and glue them home. This time it was on the field. Then a bit of small chisel and a bit of pneumatic pen. Then a lot of dremel that will give the grey aspect to the matrix Then a bit of scalpel to remove a bit of matrix from the caudal spine. Then a bit of cutter to save one of the eodal' eyes from the counterpart. Then a bit of glue to set the said eye. And here we are :
  11. From the album La Dominelais / La Noe Blanche - automnal prep - a few more to join the trilo army

    Association of Ectillaenus giganteus and Eodalmanitina Sp - before preparation (except it has been glued on the field.
  12. Isotelus Preparation

    Thought I would "show my work" in the process of preparing this trilobite. It is a first for me in a few ways: the first Isotelus I've prepared, and the first time performing restoration. After about 30 hours, it isn't perfect, but there were some challenges along the way. I found this specimen in October during the biannual trip to Bowmanville. It is an Isotelus "mafritzae" morph type 'A' (presence of genal spine distinguishes it from morph type 'B'). This is middle Ordovician, Cobourg Fm, Hillier Mbr. When initially found, only the left pleural facets were showing. Given where it had been exposed, some exfoliation is present. Once split, and then sawed from the larger rock, a few other fragments of cuticle popped off that needed to be glued back on. What it initially looked like after splitting and sawing:
  13. My guide for the best fossil consolidant and adhesive resources. Please let me know if you find any better ones to add to the list. "Understanding and Use of Adhesives" by Amy Davidson, (AMNH), series of videos by Association for Materials & Methods in Paleontology LINK Davidson, A. and S. Alderson. 2009. An introduction to solution and reaction adhesives for fossil preparation. In: Methods In Fossil Preparation: Proceedings of the First Annual Fossil Preparation and Collections Symposium, pp 53-62. Brown, M.A., Kane, J.F., and Parker, W.G. Eds. LINK Davidson, A. and G. Brown, 2012. ParaloidTM B-72: Practical Tips for the Vertebrate Fossil Preparator. 2012 Collection Forum 26 (1-2): 99-119. LINK Where to buy consolidants/adhesives: LINK
  14. Hey gang....I'm trying to find a source for the inexpensive white folding specimen boxes. They start out as a flat cross shape and fold to about an inch deep by whatever size....I'm looking for several sizes, from about 2 inches square to 4 inches. Anyone have a good source? Thanks in advance!
  15. Looking for cheap fossil prep equipment

    I am wanting to start preparing some fossils. However, I only want cheap tools, so I'm not really looking for any of the air pens or other expensive tools. Are there any hand tools you would recommend for under £35? Also, I'm looking for somewhere to buy some unprepared fossils I could practice on - any suggestions would be appreciated.
  16. Greenops fourplex

    Back at the end of June at our spot in the Thedford area a small group of us were busy making benches and unlocking slabs from the Widder Formation. Once we got to splitting, one lucky split resulted in finding three Greenops widderensis on a single plate. With flying genal spines and lappets on an already delicate and thin-skinned species, it was nothing short of miraculous that I was able to get it to the car with no damage. Right away I applied cyanoacrylate, and then it started to rain. This is how it looked in the field:
  17. Hello, everyone! Here is another preparation sequence. This is a Lower Cretaceous (Aptian) piece containing ammonites Acanthoplites nolani Seunes, 1887, Diadochoceras nodosocostatum D'Orbigny, 1841 and small Euphylloceras sp. from the North Caucasus of Russia (Krasnodar region, bank of the river Hokodz).
  18. Prep douvilleiceras ammonites

    Hi folks! I got some douvilleiceras that I want to clean up a bit. Ive let them soak in water and then i used a toothbrush and tried to scrape off some of it. It made a minor difference, its like hard clay but not the easiest to get rid off. Do you have any advice what I could do without the risk of damaging the specimens? I do not have any special tools/machines, Just a dremel tool and a engraver.
  19. I need some advice for consolidating these 3 fossils. #1 The Enchodus fang/jaw itself is fine, however the sandy matrix Is the issue, especially because it’s messy for display because tiny grains keep falling off, etc. What would you reccomend for consolidating that?
  20. Not the best greenops ever

    About a month ago I went to Penn with two fossil buddies and they both found prone greenops. Sadly I did not find one. However both of these greenops were split between the positive and negative and probably were missing some skin as the material was quite flaky. For one of my friends this was his first ever find of a prone greenops. Prone greenops that are nicely laid out are a very rare find in the Windom shale. Most of the ones I have found from there or others that I have prepped for people are fully, partially enrolled or distorted. So to my fossil buddy this was a bit of a special find. We wrapped up the two pieces in tin foil in the field and I agreed to take it with me and prep it for him. Well zoom ahead a month in time and I am going out with him last week to collect and he asks how is his greenops coming, whereby I realize that I have not only not started it ,but in my senility had forgotten I had it and had no clue where it was. Well when I got home it turns out that I had never unpacked the bucket of fossils from that trip and low and behold his fossil was packed just as we had left it. A careful look at both parts under the scope confirmed my opinion that the bug was in pretty rough shape , but a prone greenops, not to mention perhaps his first ever prone warranted we attempt to bring it back to life. Unfortunately I did not take any pics until a ways into the prep but here is what I did to start. 1. Washed the mud off both plates scrubbing with a tooth brush 2. Squared up what would become the fossil plate with the diamond gas saw 3. Cut out as small as possible a square from the top piece of the matrix that contained the top part of the greenops using my 7 inch tile saw with diamond blade 4. On a belt sander using aluminum oxide 120 grit thinned the top piece as much as safely possible to help minimize my prep time later. 5. Using super thin cyanoacrylate glue reattached the top portion to the main slab clamping tightly with a c-clamp. Asusual all prep was done under a zoom scope at 10x to 20x magnification using a Comco abrasion unit and in this case a German Pferd MST 31 scribe exclusively.. Not a lot of scribing was done other than to outline the bug as the skin was not in great shape. Abrasion was pretty much done with a .18 and .10 nozzle using 40 micron previously used dolomite at 30 PSI. Here is the bug after about an our of prepping . I have outlined in red where you can still see the outline of the section that was glued down. A lot of people do not realize that many of the fantastic trilobites you see on the market have actually been glued back together because the splits are often through the bug. I once did a Moroccan trilobite that was in 7 pieces when I received it Here is the bug after another 40 minutes Took some pictures of the prep but frankly they ended up too blurry to use so here is the prep after abrasion is complete and after I have repaired a lot of the parts that broke of in the split. I tend to use a white repair material and always take a picture to let the owner know what has been repaired Here is the bug after coloration applied . The repairs were allowed to cure overnight before coloration and a bit of extra carving to clean up spots.Just waiting for me to do a final cleanup tomorrow after everything has cured a bit more. A long way from being the worlds most pristine or perfect bug but I am relatively pleased that we were able to breath some new life into an ailing bug. Totally prep time about 3 1/2 hours over 4 days. I suspect the owner will be pleased with the result. I have seen people toss bugs in the field that were in this type of shape. For those of you who just need to know the bug is 27mm x 18 mm A slightly different view
  21. It was a pretty good week fossil collecting I managed to make it to Penn Dixie Tuesday and Friday. A few of us Canadians had the place to ourselves both days Tuesday was an interesting day, three of us went Mike, Greg and myself and we all ended up with heat stroke. The temperature topped out at 39 Celsius and then you add in the humidity factor and it was low 40's. Stupid weather for collecting but we all found some very good stuff. Greg found a huge plate that I cut down in the field for him to about 12 inches by 12 inches. It would appear to have 4 complete prone E. rana on it . It currently sits in my basement waiting to be prepped. I do not have a picture as of yet but if I get his permission I will post one. Mike as usual is the greenops whisperer and he found 2 or 3 relatively complete and large greenops at the top of the blocks in the main Penn trilobite layer. I was having a reasonable day I probably had 20 to 30 enrolled or partially enrolled trilobites in the bucket along with a very nice Pleurodictyum americanum (a tabulate coral) . I only find a few of these each year at Penn and always take them home because they prep up quite nicely. I was getting a bit frustrated that both Mike and Greg were finding prone rana's including Greg's spectacular plate, when my fortunes changed with one split of the rock. For those of you that have been collecting with me you know that my style is to spend the morning breaking out huge blocks from the main trilobite layer with big prybars, wedges and chisels and then I split for the whole afternoon. We were working a large bench and had gotten to the state where all the blocks were locked in because of convoluted dome structures and the lack of natural cracks. The blocks that day were coming out about 200 to 300 pounds and about 12 to 18 inches thick. Eventually I would resort to the diamond gas saw and create some weak areas that we could exploit, but back to this story. In frustration with the heat and three guys not being able to get the next block out I just took a chisel and a 5 pound mini sledge and took my frustration out on the rock. Well to my pleasant surprise off popped a piece of matrix that clearly had 2 nice bugs in it. Wow one strike of the sledge and the fortunes of the day are totally changed. I always tell people who are collecting with me to keep at it, your are only one strike of the hammer away from having an amazing day. Unfortunately I did not take any pictures in the field my phone would not let me it said the battery was over heated. Here is ta picture of the shard about 1/2 hour into prepping. What you cant notice in this picture is that there is a 3rd bug buried to the left, I was just able to see the edge of a pygidium from the side. For once I got lucky and it was not just an isolated pygidium. Here it is probably an hour into the prep Prep was pretty standard using a COMCO air abrasion unit at about 30 PSI with 40 micron previously used dolomite, utilizing .025. .015 and .010 tips. Very little scribing was used on the piece because was quite thin and looked to have weak spots that were stabilized with cyanoacrylate and dilute vinac in acetone .Anyway for your viewing pleasure here is a series of pictures of the completed bugs. The plate has no repairs or restoration and the bugs are lying in their original positions. Going into my collection besides the "Perfect Bug" I found earlier this season.
  22. It’s been a long time since I posted here. So here’s a thanks to everybody that’s helped me out in the past on here. It’s seriously appreciated. So. Here’s a lovely 6 inch Hildoceras I found recently at Kettleness, I’m the Yorkshire coast. She’s a beauty. A few of the outer whorl chambers are a little crush, but it just adds to the piece of think
  23. There is only one way to do this. 1. Do it 2. Say sorry
  24. How to stabilise and prep fossils?

    Hello all, I think this question has been asked a lot here but It is still not 100% clear for me how to stabilise, glue and prep fossils. I've found some beautifel ammonites, a reptile tooth, trilobites... But every time I try to prep one it turns into a disaster after a couple of minutes. I have an air scribe and a lot of hand tools , but I am afraid of using them again since all of my tries turned out in the destruction of the fossil. Could someone give me hints on this? Greetings Thijs
  25. The Perfect Bug

    Some of my collecting friends often ask why do you keep going back to Penn Dixie its really not a place for hard core collectors. I have no clue how many times I have been to Penn over the years but I never get tired of going. If someone says lets go to Penn Dixie.. my answer is "I'm In". Penn is a spot to go to meet great people who actually get it when it comes to this crazy passion of ours. If you have never been to Penn figure out whats stopping you from going .........and get there.....( tell me or Devonian Digger you are going and we will try to get there as well) When I go to to Penn I am on a quest for that perfect plate of multiple E. rana , or that prone greenops or the even more elusive Bela. But I am always hoping to find that perfect bug, the common E. rana that just screams out to you I am perfect. I am going to make your day. To me the lowly phacopids are just beautiful when professionally prepped. They may not have the monetary value of a dicranurus or some other spiny Moroccan bug but they are every bit as beautiful and deserving of a spot at the center of your collection. As I indicated in another post last week I had an amazing day at Penn last Sunday. 45 potentially complete enrolled and at least 8 complete prone. For some reason this particular bug screamed out to me Prep me first. Generally I am prepping bugs for other people and it is getting to be rare that I am actually working on something of my own. So here is the bug that I just could not resist getting into the blast box. Does not look like much but the qualities I am looking for in a specimen to prep are there. Most of the bug is buried in the matrix so if it is there it will be undamaged The part that I can see is flawless The cephalon has the first pleural segment attached The matrix is not so large as to be hard to work with in the blast box There were others on the pool table that looked promising but this was the one that got chosen First a bit about the actual prep. Two scribes were used, an Aro for the rough matrix removal and a German Pferd MST31 for the fine close in scribe work. My goal is to expose as much of the bug as possible using scribes before starting any abrasive blasting. The less abrasion that is used on the bug the better the end result. The more you use the blaster the less detail you will get in the finished product regardless of the blasting media you use. With the Penn E. rana's you can generally get a bug 90% clean with just scribe work. In fact I will often scribe out bugs for an afternoon and then only final prep the absolute best ones. If a plera is missing or some skin is gone then the bug goes into a box to be prepped on a rainy day when I have nothing better available. The actual abrasive blasting for this bug was done on a COMCO MB1000 using previously used (this is a little gentler than unused) 40 micron dolomite. This powder was sieved through a 325 mesh sieve and dried in an oven a 225 F. (just over 100 C.) for 30 minutes. As most of the matrix was removed using the German scribe only two of my smallest nozzles where used in this prep .015 and .010 (smallest I own). The prep for this was done under an Olympus zoom scope at between 10x and 20x magnification. At the conclusion of the prep no visible matrix remained on the fossil down to 20x magnification. End result a "Perfect Bug" , that ever so elusive beast that we all aspire to be blessed with. So what make the perfect bug (In my humble opinion) Flawless exoskeleton Nice positioning on matrix Prone with no undulations 100% Complete No toolmarks No burnthroughs or overblasted areas No glue, consolidants or coatings Symmetrical bug Zero twisting or distortion No repairs or restoration No coloration Provinence known So without any further delay (I know you are all waiting with baited breath to see what I call the perfect bug) Here is the bug that made my morning today. It measures 34mm from edge of pygidium to tip of the cephalons nose and is 20 mm at its widest point. It was excavated on Sunday July 8. 2018 out of a block (one of about 25)that Jim and me excavated at the north east end of the drainage ditch that runs below the section that was dug for the dig with the Experts weekend this year. Yes J. this is the spot you were excavating and having little luck with....... unfortunately thems the breaks.....
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