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Found 27 results

  1. I got a soft slab of very nice Keichousaurus a a year ago. I keep it in a drawer at home, perhaps it’s too humid, I found that it’s broken into several pieces. Could anyone advise me how I could keep the soft slab without breaking? Shall I apply a layer of protective solution on the slab?
  2. I am going to feel bad if there is already a post with as much information as I am looking for, but I can't seem to find one. Essentially, I am having a hard time finding the proper consolidation materials. I have never prepped before, and I am going to be starting my first project this weekend. That being said, the extent of my knowledge of sealants comes from research on this forum. I am looking for the right materials to use (with or without acetone dilute) to keep my fossils from being damaged while working on some Moroccan matrix. I'm not finding anywhere reliable to purchase PVA B-15, Butvar, or anything of the sort. Is there a more easily accessible material I can work with? I need very little at this point in time, and not necessarily something expensive or overly high-quality as the items I will be working with are small and cheap. What are other alternatives that people use, and what are the benefits of each of them? I am eager to know all there is to know, and I've been slowly going down the list of each of the topics in this thread hoping to find what I'm looking for!
  3. Hi friend, I am working on a cluster of shark vertebrae and need advice on preservation. I have decided to clean up the whole sample and expose some of the fragments of different bones which are in the matrix surrounding the vertebrae. I need to stabilize the whole sample after I finish but I can't get here in Czech republic Butvar b76 as many people recommend. Can I use PARALOID B72 or AKEPOX 1005? Will I be able to apply paraloid with a brush and is it even suitable for this? Can you please advise or recommend other product?
  4. Butvar-76

    Hi Everyone, I recently decided to start preserving all of my pleistocene fossils and feel that Butvar-76 would be the best option. My problem is I can't find it anywhere. I contacted the Florida Paleontological Society and they said they don't carry it anymore. They recommended I either use Duco Cement in acetone or to look on the Museum Service Corporation website. On the Museum Service Corporation website it says that Butvar-76 has been discontinued, but they have an equivalent called B08SY Resin. Here's what they have listed: Butvar Resins White, free flowing powders. Generally soluble in alcohols, acetone and aromatic hydrocarbons. Forms films similar to polyvinyl acetate and is suggested as picture varnishes. Widely used to waterproof textiles. The films resist degradation by sunlight and heat. Average molecular weight is 30-34,000. Butvar B-76 has been discontinued. B08SY Resin is considered an equivalent resin to Butvar B-76, from a different supplier. It utilizes the same Polyvinyl Butyral resin as Butvar B-76. B08SY resin has the same solubility as Butvar B-76, but has a smaller grain size. Contact Museum Services Corporation for additional information, or to acquire a sample for testing purposes. F4503-001 B08SY 1 kilogram $34.00 F4504-001 B-79 1 kilogram $31.09 F4505-001 B-90 1 kilogram $25.08 F4501-001 B-98 1 kilogram $46.12 Has anyone bought B08SY or know where I can still get Butvar-76? If not, are there any consolidants that you would recommend using instead?
  5. I just recently bought one of my most expensive fossils and wanted to know if there's anything i need to do to prevent cracking / chipping. Its a partial antler of a Megaloceras giganteus . It came with a card saying it was treated for that but not to keep it in a room with a ton of humidity . anything else i should do , or is it going to be fine?
  6. Help with preservation

    I found a Mastadon tooth yesterday while walking a creek looking for Indian artifacts I need help preserving this correctly.
  7. I have been trying to find a reasonable solution for preserving St. Clair fossils, which are mineralized in white, yellow and orange colors. Cleaning with water dissolves the colors. Coating with most types of glue will also remove the color, turning white fossils to black! I experimented this week with decoupage, which seems to preserve the white mineralized fossils without changing them, and gives the specimen a glossy sheen. I am interested in this because the colors of St. Clair fossils are fairly robust, but can flake off over time, and may suffer from oxidation. My reason for posting is to ask if anyone has good reasons to NOT use decoupage to preserve and seal St. Clair fossil specimens? Here is a photo one the first one I tried, which is a small fragment - note the glossy sheen, and also how the color and detail was preserved. Decoupage looks milky when applied but dries clear. I want to verify that this is a good approach before trying this on larger speciments, some of which are 1 to 2 feet in size.
  8. I have a shell that I had found a while back and only now have I noticed that it has an outer layer that looks very similar to mother of pearl, this made the shell quite unique among many others that I had found, but sadly this layer is highly fragile and flakes off from any minor disturbances. I was wondering if there is any way to preserve this unique feature of the shell with some kind of coating before it is too late, any information is welcome. Thank you.
  9. Hello I present an interesting question that I'm not to confident to answer myself and am seeking help from the more knowledgeable. Since it seems like (from what I had seen) iron concretions can at rare times preserve certain fossils or traces in one way or another such as molluscs, brachopods, and such. Due to this would it be possible for material such as turtle shell scutes or maybe even croc scutes to turn up in such concretions in one way or another? (the pics are just snipets of general info that I came across online)
  10. Mosasaur fossil question

    Hey all. I’ve got a couple of quick newbie questions. My wife, who luckily is supportive of this new hobby of mine, decided to surprise me with some fossils from a reputable dealer to help jumpstart my collection, among them this Mosasaur tooth. I’ve not got any questions about it’s species (Prognathodon sp. if I’ve been reading all these posts I’ve been looking at right), and everything about it looks real. What I’m wondering is. A.) What are these two little circular inclusions in the matrix that I’ve circled? There’s one on each side, and they don’t look like natural rock. Fish vert maybe? And B.) Is there anything special I should do to help preserve this piece, as the climate here in Kentucky is vastly different from its original Moroccan home? I’ve read some people add fixatives, some don’t, some do on certain pieces. I just want to make sure that this piece which has lasted for millions of years lasts more than a few more. Thanks for all your help.
  11. Hadrosaur eggs and storage

    I was wondering what the best storage situation/environment is optimal as regards fossilized dinosaur eggs, especially hadrosaur eggs. Any advice would be appreciated.
  12. Long-term effects of shellac?

    I've heard that shellac is not commonly used to coat fossils and bones anymore because it doesn't hold up well over time. Does anyone know how long it typically takes for shellac to start darkening and cracking? Do you have an alternative you prefer? Thanks!
  13. 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?
  14. Mastodon Tooth

    So I found this tooth over a decade ago while canoeing down a local river. I always have had little flakes coming off and I finally decided to see if I could find a way to keep it from falling apart. It is only flaking off from the root of the tooth. Any help would be appreciated.
  15. Curing a large mammoth tusk?

    I work at a small placer (gold) mine in the interior of Alaska, and we routinely find mammoth ivory. Sometimes just small pieces, sometimes complete tusks. I have purchased one from my employer, and try as I might, I have been unable to find any information on curing, or drying, the tusk before treating with butvar-76 or similar. This tusk is over nine feet long, weighs 85#, and is a beautiful specimen from a mature female wooly mammoth. The bark is a rich mahogany color, mottled with blue and ivory patches. It is obviously worth a small fortune, and I would like to preserve it as best as possible. Other tusks I have seen, will crack and deform as they dry. I want to minimize this as much as possible. I have heard of techniques such as banding with hose clamps, wrapping with burlap and keeping moist, even burying for a period of time, or a combination of these. What have others done with large tusks? How much moisture is acceptable before treating with acetone and butvar-76? Will the solution draw out moisture from deep inside the tusk, or will that water remain trapped there? This one has been out of the ground for less than two weeks. Thanks for any help! Here's another, my tusk is the one in the foreground.
  16. Hi guys, can someone please help me by telling me how to clean and preserve a mammoth tooth. My dad got this mammoth tooth from an archeologist about 20 years ago. In that time it was never cleaned and it is really dry and a bit crumbly. I would like to clean it and preserve it, it would be a shame to watch it turn to dust.
  17. Helllo friendly folks of the fossil forum, I have been searching for a coelacanth fossil on and off for years now. I finally found one that preserved all the characteristic fin "limbs" in profile from an Ebayer who acquired it while in Madagascar. I was pleased with the degree of preservation on both split halves. To my surprise, taking a hand lens to the more concave side revealed scale preservation. I know this is typical of bony fish with scutes like Gars from the Green River, WY - but! Is this unusually good for nodules in Madagascar? More to the point, am I keeping something away from the scientific eye that should be seeing this? I imagine 3-D scanning could reveal finer details for comparison to the living fossil ancestor today. Attached are photos taken with my iPhone and two photos through a regular light microscope at 2x magnification. Thank you for any advice or knowledge you may have on these classes of coelacanths. Warmly, Mark
  18. Ammonite preservation

    Part-timer here, always like to look at your beautifully preserved specimens! I collected a number of concretions and recently have had some time to hone my prepping skills....Some of the ammonites I am working with have an awesome mother-of-pearl look to their shell which tends to fade, dry and flake over time. What will preserve them? Is there something that I can do to them before air abrasion to avoid fracturing them? Here's a couple of pics.....my technique has been smash the concretion with a big hammer then look for specimens to work with, is there a better way?
  19. Fruitbat's PDF Library - Taphonomy

    These are a few of the pdf files (and a few Microsoft Word documents) that I've accumulated in my web browsing. MOST of these are hyperlinked to their source. If you want one that is not hyperlinked or if the link isn't working, e-mail me at joegallo1954@gmail.com and I'll be happy to send it to you. Please note that this list will be updated continuously as I find more available resources. All of these files are freely available on the Internet so there should be no copyright issues. Articles with author names in RED are new additions since June 27, 2017 Taphonomy - Fossilization and Fossil Formation Taphonomy - Africa/Middle East El Albani, A., et al. (2014). The 2.1 Ga Old Francevillian Biota: Biogenicity, Taphonomy and Biodiversity. PLoS ONE, 9(6). Taphonomy - Asia/Malaysia/Pacific Islands Anderson, E.P., J.D. Schiffbauer and S. Xiao (2011). Taphonomic study of Ediacaran organic-walled fossils confirms the importance of clay minerals and pyrite in Burgess Shale-type preservation. Geology, Vol.39, Number 7. Cai, Y., et al. (2012). Preservational modes in the Ediacaran Gaojiashan Lagerstätte: Pyritization, aluminosilicification, and carbonaceous compression. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 326-328. (Author's personal copy) Forchielli, A., et al. (2014). Taphonomic traits of clay-hosted early Cambrian Burgess Shale-type fossil Lagerstätten in South China. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 398. Mukherjee, D. and S. Ray (2012). Taphonomy of an Upper Triassic vertebrate bonebed: A new rhynchosaur (Reptilia; Archosauromorpha) accumulation from India. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 333-334. Taphonomy - Europe (including Greenland and Siberia) Beardmore, S.R. and H. Furrer (2016). Evidence of a preservational gradient in the skeletal taphonomy of Ichthyopterygia (Reptilia) from Europe. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 443. Domingo, M.S., et al. (2017). Taphonomy of mammalian fossil bones from the debris-flow deposits of Somosaugas-North (Middle Miocene, Madrid Basin, Spain). Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 465. Kowal-Linka, M. (2015). Analysis of marrow cavity fillings as a tool to recognise diverse taphonomic histories of fossil reptile bones: Implications for the genesis of the Lower Muschelkalk marine bone-bearing bed (Middle Triassic, Zyglin, S Poland). Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 436. Weitschat, W., et al. (2002). Taphocoenosis of an extraordinary arthropod community in Baltic amber. Mitt.Geol.-Palaont.Inst.Univ. Hamburg, Vol.86. Yesares-Garcia, J. and J. Aguirre (2004). Quantitative taphonomic analysis and taphofacies in lower Pliocene temperate carbonate-slicicilastic mixed platform deposits (Almeria-Nijar basin, SE Spain). Palaeogeoraphy, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 207. Taphonomy - North America Allen, J.P. and R.A. Gastaldo (2006). Sedimentology and taphonomy of the Early to Middle Devonian plant-bearing beds of the Trout Valley Formation, Maine. Geological Society of America, Special Paper 399. Caron, J.-B. and D.A. Jackson (2006). Taphonomy of the Greater Phyllopod Bed Community, Burgess Shale. Palaios, Vol.21. Demko, T.M. (1995). Taphonomy of Fossil Plants in the Upper Triassic Chinle Formation. Ph.D. Dissertation - The University of Arizona. Getty, P.R. and A.M. Bush (2011). Sand pseudomorphs of dinosaur bones: Implications for (non-) preservation of tetrapod skeletal material in the Hartford Basin, USA. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 302. (Thanks to doushantuo for pointing this one out!) Haynes, G. (2016). Taphonomy of the Inglewood mammoth (Mammuthus columbi)(Maryland, USA): Green-bone fracturing of fossil bones. Quaternary International, xxx. (Article in press) Hunda, B.R., N.C. Hughes and K.W. Flessa (2006). Trilobite Taphonomy and Temporal Resolution in the Mt. Orab Shale Bed (Upper Ordovician, Ohio, U.S.A.). Palaios, Vol.21. Irmis, R.B. and D.K. Elliott (2006). Taphonomy of a Middle Pennsylvanian Marine Vertebrate Assemblage and an Actualistic Model for Marine Abrasion of Teeth. Palaios, Vol.21. Kimmig, J.K.F. and B.R. Pratt (2016). Taphonomy of the middle Cambrian (Drumian) Ravens Throat River Lagerstätte, Rockslide Formation, Mackenzie Mountains, Northwest Territories, Canada. Lethaia, Vol.49. LaGarry, H.E. (2004). Taphonomic Evidence of Bone Processing from the Oligocene of Northwestern Nebraska. School of Natural Resources, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Professional Paper Number 2. Leonard, E. (2013). The Taphonomy and Depositional Environment of Jurassic Lacustrine Fish Deposits, Westfield Beds, East Berlin Formation, Hartford Basin. Bachelor's (Honors) Thesis - Wesleyan University. Lucas, S.G. et al. (2010). Taphonomy of the Lamy amphibian quarry: A Late Triassic bonebed in New Mexico, USA. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 298. Peterson, J.E., et al. (2017). New data towards the development of a comprehensive taphonomic framework for the Late Jurassic Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry, Central Utah. PeerJ, 5: e3368. (Thanks to Oxytropidoceras for pointing this one out!) Petrovich, R. (2001). Mechanisms of Fossilization of the Soft-Bodied and Lightly Armored Faunas of the Burgess Shale and of Some Other Classical Localities. American Journal of Science, Vol.301. Rick, T.C., J.M. Erlandson and R.L. Vellanoweth (2006). Taphonomy and Site Formation on California's Channel Islands. Geoarchaeology, Vol.21, Number 6. Sander, P.M. (1987). Taphonomy of the Lower Permian Geraldine Bonebed in Archer County, Texas. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 61. Young, H.R., R. Li and M.Kuroda (2012). Silicification in Mississippian Lodgepole Formation, Northeastern Flank of Williston Basin, Manitoba, Canada. Journal of Earth Sciences, Vol.23, Number 1. Taphonomy - South America/Central America/Caribbean Bertoni-Machado, C. and M. Holz (2006). Biogenic Fossil Concentration in Fluvial Settings: An Example of a Cynodont Taphocoenosis from the Middle Triassic of Southern Brazil. Revista.bras.paleont., 9(3). Corona, A., et al. (2012). Taphonomy, sedimentology and chronology of a fossiliferous outcrop from the continental Pleistocene of Uruguay. Revista Mexicana de Ciencias Geologicas, Vol.29, Number 2. Menendez, L., et al. (2011). Taphonomy, Chronostratigraphy and Paleoceanographic Implications at Turbidite of Early Paleogene (Vertientes Formation, Cuba). Revista Geologica de America Central, 45. General Taphonomy Allison, P.H. and D.J. Bottjer (2011). Chapter 1. Taphonomy: Bias and Process Through Time. In: Taphonomy: Process and Bias Through Time. Allison, P.A. and D.J. Bottjer (eds.), Topics in Geobiology, 32. Andrews, P. (1995). Experiments in Taphonomy. Journal of Archaeological Science, 22. Behrensmeyer, A.K. (1978). Taphonomic and geologic information from bone weathering. Paleobiology, 4(2). Best, M.M.R. and S.M. Kidwell (2000). Bivalve taphonomy in tropical mixed siliciclastic-carbonate settings. II. Effect of bivalve life habits and shell types. Paleobiolgy, 26(1). Brand, L.R., M. Hussey and J. Taylor (2003). Decay and Disarticulation of Small Vertebrates in Controlled Experiments. Journal of Taphonomy, Vol.1, Issue 2. Butler, A.D., et al. (2015). Experimental taphonomy of Artemia reveals the role of endogenous microbes in mediating decay and fossilization. Proc.R.Soc.B, 282. Carpenter, K. How to Make a Fossil: Part 1 - Fossilizing Bone. The Journal of Paleontological Science, JPS.C.07.0001. Elder, R.L. and G.R. Smith (1988). Fish Taphonomy and Environmental Inference in Paleolimnology. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 62. Eren, M.I., et al. (2011). Flaked Stone Taphonomy: a Controlled Experimental Study of the Effects of Sediment Consolidation on Flake Edge Morphology. Journal of Taphonomy, Vol.9, Issue 3. Fernandez-Lopez, S.R. (2006). Taphonomic Alteration and Evolutionary Taphonomy. Journal of Taphonomy, Vol.4, Issue 3. Francillon-Viellot, H., et al. (1990). Chapter 20. Microstructure and Mineralization of Vertebrate Skeletal Tissues. In: Skeletal Biomineralization: Patterns, Processes and Evolutionary Trends. Vol.1 Carter, J.G. (ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York. (Thanks to doushantuo for pointing this one out!) Gaines, R.R. and M.L. Droser (2005). New Approaches to Understanding the Mechanics of Burgess Shale-type Deposits: From the Micron Scale to the Global Picture. The Sedimentary Record, Vol.3, Number 2. Gaines, R.R., et al. (2012). Mechanism for Burgess Shale-type preservation. PNAS, Vol.109, Number 14. Greenwood, D.R. (1991). Chapter 7. The Taphonomy of Plant Macrofossils. Jensen, S., M.L. Droser and J.G. Gehling (2005) Trace fossil preservation and the early evolution of animals. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 220. Locatelli, E.R. (2014). The Exceptional Preservation of Plant Fossils: A Review of Taphonomic Pathways and Biases in the Fossil Record. In: Reading and Writing of the Fossil Record: Preservational Pathways to Exceptional Fossilization. Laflamme, M., J.D. Schiffbauer and S.A.F. Darroch (eds.), The Paleontological Society Papers, Vol.20. Lyman, R.L. (2010). What Taphonomy Is, What it Isn't, and Why Taphonomists Should Care about the Difference. Journal of Taphonomy, Vol.8, Issue 1. McCoy, V.E. and D.S. Brandt (2009). Scorpion taphonomy: criteria for distinguishing fossil scorpion molts and carcasses. The Journal of Arachnology, 37. Nudds, J. and P. Selden (2008). Fossils explained 56. Fossil-Lagerstätten. Geology Today, Vol.24, Number 4. Orr, P.J., et al. (2016). "Stick 'n' peel": Explaining unusual patterns of disarticulation and loss of completeness in fossil vertebrates. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 457. Palmqvist, P. and A. Arribas (2001). Taphonomic decoding of the paleobiological information locked in a lower Pleistocene assemblage of large mammals. Palaeobiology, 27(3). Pewkliang, B., A. Pring and J. Brugger (2008). The Formation of Precious Opal: Clues from the Opalization of Bone. The Canadian Mineralogist, Vol.46. Pewkliang, B., A. Pring and J. Brugger (2004). Opalisation of Fossil Bone and Wood: Clues to the Formation of Precious Opal. In: Regolith 2004. Roach, I.C. (ed.), CRC LEME. Schiffbauer, J.D. and M. Laflamme (2012). Lagerstätten Through Time: A Collection of Exceptional Preservational Pathways from the Terminal Neoproterozoic Through Today. Palaios, Vol.27. Schiffbauer, J.D., et al. (2014). A unifying model for Neoproterozoic-Palaeozoic exceptional fossil preservation through pyritization and carbonaceous compression. Nature Communications, 5:5754. Seilacher, A., W.-E. Reif and F. Westphal (1985). Sedimentological, ecological and temporal patterns of fossil Lagerstätten. Phil.Trans.R.Soc.Lond. B, 311. (Thanks to doushantuo for pointing this one out!) Spicer, R.A. (1991). Chapter 3. Plant Taphonomic Processes. In: Taphonomy: Releasing the Data Locked in the Fossil Record. Allison, P.A. and D.E.G. Briggs (eds.), Plenum Press, New York. Wilson, M.V.H. (1988). Paleoscene #9. Taphonomic Processes: Information Loss and Information Gain. Geoscience Canada, Vol.15, Number 2.
  20. vert getting fragile

    I know this has been brought up many times but I will do it again. We have some whale verts that are getting fragile. These are not museum quality but we would like to keep them for awhile and carry them place to place for "show and tell" So with out doing a lot of searching of past post, what do we do for a sealant? Craig
  21. Preserving Fossils

    Hi, I recently found a Pleistocene fossil on the Isle of Wight and I was wondering what the best way to preserve the specimen is? It had a small crack when I found it but it appears to be getting bigger and don't want to see it damaged any further. Thank you.
  22. Hello All, I was surprised with a couple boxes of what appears to be fern and horsetail fossils in very soft, dusty rock - some are imprinted and some have a carbon film. I am an absolute beginner on preparation of fossils(this is my first time), and all the materials I have are paint brushes and sewing needles. I googled the best way to clean dirt off of carbon film, to no avail. I tried a little bit of water and gently wiping the dirt, but it ended up removing the film(luckily on a less important piece). So I attempted to chip away the dirt with a sewing needle which is working much, much better, but as I remove the dirt, the rock is nearly the exact same color as some of the fossils making them kind of hard to see. I still find them really attractive pieces and would like to display them, though, as one is a nearly full fern branch. So, a few questions: Is there a better way to go about cleaning these with limited supplies?Is there a way to increase the contrast between the fossil and the rock?There are a few breaks due to the soft rock, possibly mudstone? Most are fairly clean breaks, though some are a bit wider and don't fit perfectly. The best I can do at the moment is super glue, but is there a better way to attach the broken bits? Preferrably cheap-ish, college student here.Would artist's fixatif in matte be good for preserving them? I saw it mentioned elsewhere here.My phone is being a pain right now, but I'll try to get photos as soon as possible. Thank you for any help!
  23. Let me start out by saying I am not a fossil preservation expert, nor a paleontologist. I have a PhD in Paleoclimatological Modelling and as a consequence, spent my time glued to a computer, with my head deep in computer science and geological papers but not the rocks. My undergraduate honors thesis however was in paleontology, determining a metric for characterizing patterns in evolution using the morphology of Conodonts and Archosaurs... so I've always had a love for the field and have taken up fossil collecting again as a hobby now that I have found some time. Thought my recent head-first dive into fossil consolidation using Butvar-76 could help given the fact that a lot of newbies, such as myself, bring up the topic often and repeat the same questions. So, my effort to consolidate the information (pun intended) is here. One of the things I began researching was preservation of various material - bones as well as other delicate fossils as I wanted to preserve what I had collected and subsequently neglected over the years, until now. Clearly, consolidants such as Butvar-76, Vinac and PVA were regular hits in my research. My own decision was to use Butvar-76 simply because it was (or still is?) a standard in preservation and fully reversible if so desired. You can make your own decision to what best suites your own needs, but my write-up here is for my experience using Butvar-76. My initial research focused on these specific forum topics: http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/3629-preserving-fossils/ http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/23262-butvar-76-bone-frosting-solved/ http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/21591-butvar-vs-duco/ http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/35626-cleaning-and-stabilizing-st-clair-fossil-ferns/ http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/32206-where-to-buy-butvar/ http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/28135-butvar-b-76-question/ Harry's responses have always outlined exactly what I was looking for and he has a great write-up which I used as a basis for my first attempt: http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/user/42-harry-pristis/ My first prep. and preservation was to be on a baleen whale jaw section and vertebra from the St. Marys formation around Calvert Cliffs. It was collected 12 years ago (roughly) and still had a lot of dried out clay material and shell frags embedded in it which I wanted to remove and some portions broken apart either during collecting or drying over the last decade. The bones fresh out of storage. Baseball for scale. The points Harry and others drive home is that Butvar is for impregnating. You can mix it up thick for a glue or for a demi-shellac, but technically for vertebrate material you want to soak the stuff - completely impregnate the bone with plastic by allowing the Butvar to seep into every pore and crack in the piece to consolidate it so that your precious finds wont dry out and crack over the years. If you are just starting out, like I was, I highly recommend reading Harry's write-up I linked above. For those looking for a shellac type substance, a different thickness in Butvar solution will accomplish this leaving your piece with a wet-like finish (a thin coat of solidified, fully reversible plastic). The look of the finish will depend however on your solutions viscosity (how much Butvar powder you dissolve), the amount of water in your material before application (this is bad) and how quickly you let the material evaporate. Personally, I wanted to keep my pieces as natural as possible without a shellac, but with the protective qualities of plastic impregnation. When you purchase your first Butvar-76 batch, expect it to come in a form similar to this. Powder. The things to watch out for, and pay attention to were: (1) Water such as surface, humidity, pore, interstitial etc; (2) evaporation rate of the solution after application; (3) thickness of the solution; (4) Materials for mixing (e.g. acetone can chew through lots of different kinds of plastics); (5) Storage. For the jaw section, I cleaned it using a soft toothbrush and water and left some of the clay material in some of the cracks that I thought would help stabilize the bone - for filling other cracks after the pieces were assembled I intended to use matrix mixed with white-glue. I did not glue the two larger pieces back together yet as I wanted to Butvar them separately as the acetone may weaken the glue. Since I used water for cleaning, I put the bones in the oven on low for an hour to dry them out. I read about heat shock damage, but many threads say they never experienced them, so I took a shot. I did however buy a few pounds of silica based desiccant (very cheap at pet stores and Ebay) for a homemade desiccant chamber just in case - and something I will touch on later for another piece to dry it out. Silica gel desiccant for drying items out that you don't want to put in the oven. You must create a very closed system for this. After drying, I used a 800 ml mason jar to mix my Butvar solution. My jars were acquired at the local Weis store and were less than a dollar a piece. The inner rim has a silicone based sealant which gets degraded with use - but since the jar is beveled and has the classic two-part top, you can still get a very tight fit without the spills. To mix, I measured the Butvar powder out and sprinkled the powder into the acetone. I then tightened the lid and shook violently until the powder became almost dissolved into the acetone (you will notice the white powder starts expanding into "clear bubble like" globs before finally fully dissolving into solution. I then left it for about 5 minutes to allow it to fully dissolve - and shook more if necessary. I made sure to check the bottom of the jar to disrupt any powder that may have settled to form a layer. Be rough with it. 800 ml Mason Jar. Mason Jar classic top, with beveled edge. This silicon gel sealant will get eaten by the acetone. If you are using a classic mason jar lid however, that doesn't matter if you tighten the top. I tested different thicknesses on random clean, dried rocks to see the different results. 1 tablespoon in 800 ml seemed to do very little. May be good for a deep soak but was hard to tell how much stability I was getting. At 3 tablespoons shale was getting a wet-like surface and at 3.5 tablespoons I was getting a clear coat on the outside that was painfully obvious. I didn't like this result personally, but my friend liked it on his St. Clair material as it made the shale darker, and ferns whiter. I will touch on this point again later on. Finally, after a bit more trial and error, about 2 and a third tablespoons seemed to be my sweet spot. Fractures were consolidated in shale, and smaller bone frags I had laying around definitely benefited. The outside also wasn't too obvious although when you touched it, you could tell ever so slightly that it was there. I then created a tin-foil pan using heavy-duty tin-foil, placed the bones in the foil pan and covered it with my solution. After about 30 seconds to a minute, I removed the pieces and placed them into a Rubbermaid PP recycle number 5 container to slow down evaporation. Earlier, without tenting the material, a bone fragment got the white dusting on the outside that had to be removed with acetone later on. I wanted to avoid this. It should be noted that not all plastics are created equal and there are many out there that can fit the bill here for both soaking (if you don't want to use tin-foil) and tenting to slow down evap. I used the following to allow me to find the right materials for this job: http://www.coleparmer.com/Chemical-Resistance http://www.plasticsintl.com/plastics_chemical_resistence_chart.html Simple Rubbermaid storage container - singular unit PP 5 plastic. Recycle number 5, PP, is Polypropylene and is A-Excellent for compatibility with acetone. Lots of Rubbermaid tubs are made from this but make sure to check - LDPE is not very good and after a few uses will start to degrade. Recycle number 3 will simply dissolve. Silicone also will degrade which is often used in lids including the popular Pyrex home storage container lids. My container was a singular piece PP box. I added some tin-foil balls to the base of my box for drying purposes, as I wanted to have less contact points on the incoming wet fossils - the balls act as pedestals over the plastic which seemingly helps drying on all sides - and the natural crinkles in the foil further reduce contact points. Super-dee-duper simple drying rack. Tin foil balls placed in the bottom of the PP5 container. The balls act as a colonnade to stack your fossils on to reduce contact points while drying. The crinkles in the foil further reduce surface area touching the specimen. Fossil stacked for drying, tented for slower evaporation of the Butvar solution. After tenting and allowing the bones to fully dry, I glued the fragments back together with cyanoacrylate gel (super glue) and am beginning the process of finalizing the finer details using white glue and matrix. Any "frosting" you get due to whatever process you use, can easily be removed using a q-tip or brush dipped in acetone. The amount of pure acetone you will re-apply depends on what you are doing - if you are re-soaking in acetone to remove the plastic (or some of it), or simply adding some acetone to try and get the plastic back in solution to seep deeper off the surface. Current prep. state of the same bone material. Brown coloration coming through after cleaning, fully impregnated with plastic. No frosting and pieces are re-assembled using cyanoacrylate gel. Cracks will be filled in with a mixture of the calvert clay and PVA. For brushes I used a Nylon based brush as Nylon does not react with acetone. You can get natural hair brushes from an art store, but Home Depot had artificial bristles, Nylon of which was the most compatible with acetone. Simple Nylon bristle brushes - thanks Home Depot. Nylon has a high level of acetone compatibility. Other artificial bristles will dissolve. For impregnation I poured over the entire bone. Brushes were used on smaller pieces to drip solution over. I rarely brushed - I may have dabbed here and there especially over areas of bone that had more pores in them to help the solution to get into the material. These brushes can be used in pure acetone to re-dissolve Butvar, or clean up and frosting which may have occurred in your own experiences. Every thread regarding Butvar talks about bones because that is seemingly the primary use. Agreed. However, I wanted a material that could be used almost universally for archival purposes, vertebrate and invertebrate - even on St. Clair shale. 14 inch St. Clair plate, multiple species, pre-Butvar. Fern fossils from St. Clair are very intricate and have both a graphitic like imprints and the famous white Pyrophyllite form. The later of which flakes off easily even as you try and get it out of the field site. I wanted something that could preserve the ferns, Pyrophyllite and all, as well as consolidate any shale layers and frags that may have been loosened during excavation. The Pyrophyllite also seems sensitive to water content so I wanted to completely preserve the piece. People have had success using hair-spray in the field (cf. links above) and in hind sight, I probably would use a soluble hair-spray in the field for removal, bring the fossils home, rinse with water, dehydrate, then consolidate. In my first attempt however, I skipped the hair-spray and brought them home the best I could. Since I didn't want to "cook" shale from a high carbon locality, I took the silica desiccant, filled a porous sack (feel free to use a sock) and put it in another Rubbermade container. I then left the fossils inside this home-made desiccant chamber for 2 days, only to remove them immediately prior to Butvar application. It's not perfect, but I like to think it did something - the Rubbermade get's a very good seal to it, proof of which is the fumes of acetone when you finally open the lid. Along these lines an important note: make sure to always do this in a highly vented area (outside is good) and no where near anything flammable. At 3.5 tablespoons of Butvar in my 800 ml container my friend got a wet-like clear coating on the outside of his pieces which he liked as they made the shale blacker and the white ferns pop more. And clearly they were preserved. I wanted something less obvious and went with my 2 and a third tablespoon mixture again and followed the same procedure outlined above. The outcome was perfect, with layers and fragments firmly in place, the shale still in its original color and I can tell that the piece is Butvar'ed since I can rub my finger on the pieces and not get an anthracitic stain on my figure from the residue of the shale. Also, the white portions no longer flake on contact. Putting a non-consolidated shale piece next to one I did at 2 and a third tablespoons, you cannot tell the difference. Same plate as before, after Butvar using the solution ratio mentioned. A lot of this was trial an error using the aforementioned posts as a guide. I am sure the heavies will chime in on the mistakes I made along the way, but thought first timers may enjoy a report on a fellow first timers attempt. And Harry, if you feel I lead someone astray with some wrong information, I will gladly correct my wording - or point out my own mistakes. Best, M
  24. I've just come back from a trip to Yorkshire where I managed to do a little fossil hunting and was lucky enough to find this ammonite. The problem is though is that generally the preservation in the area wasn't great and this one is clearly covered in a mudstone/ shale type of rock. However I think it might be worth trying to remove the surrounding rock because the small bit which I can see seems to have preserved fairly well. However I don't know the best way to remove it, see i'm not very comfortable with chiseling it away because I'm fairly new to this so would probably end up ruining it! I've been told that it may work if I was to put it into the oven to warm it up and then put it into cold water which could 'shock' the fossil to break along lines of weakness but I'm not sure if it would work or not. I've tried to post a picture of the fossil here but I'm not sure if its worked so if not here's a link: http://s1069.photobucket.com/user/zozzy-zebra/media/IMG_0003_zps69eb4cbf.jpg.html Any suggestions of how I can remove my ammonite would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
  25. On February 2nd, the Finger Lakes Mineral Club will be having an open house event at the Museum of the Earth in Ithaca, NY. We're in the planning stages now, and I'm working on assembling the displays I want to bring. One of those will be about different mineralizations that fossils show. At present, I have a number of limestone, shale, and sandstone fossils to choose from, including a few brachiopods that appear to have the original material preserved, plus a few examples of types that are less common and possibly unknown to the general public: -- Opalized shells from Australia -- Petrified wood replaced with jasper -- Agatized coral -- A beetle from the La Brea tar pits -- A piece of Lepidodendron from Pennsylvania coal -- Shells from Florida that appear unaltered, including original color patterns on a few -- Insects in amber -- Green River fish fossils Does anyone have any suggestions for other types that I should include information about? I'm planning on typing up some placards to put with my pieces explaining (as best I can) how these mineralizations occur. If anyone has any information that I should include, I welcome the input! Last year, we had 70+ visitors come by to check out our displays. We'll see how many visitors we get this year!