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Found 7 results

  1. Matrix Removal Help

    I have a couple of questions regarding using a circular saw for bulk matrix removal. First, is it safe to use the circular saw to remove soft matrix from a fossil? Secondly, can I use the saw to shape/slice the matrix or is this best left to another tool? Finally, what do you do to clean up the fossil, once it has been exposed and prepped? For example, let's say I prep a trilo, expose it to my liking and I end up with a bunch of mounds and lines from using the Dremel. What do I use to smooth the bumps and lumps out of the surrounding matrix?
  2. Caution Under Calvert Cliffs

    I know it has been said before, but anyone collecting along Calvert Cliffs, always be careful. I was out yesterday and saw 2 different falls. One was giving warning of it coming, with a number of small clods trickling down. I did not hang out in that area and kept well away from the cliff. About 45 minutes later I heard the sound of a fall and saw it come down. As I was kayaking home I saw another section, about the size of 2 minivans, come down. That was in an area that sees a lot of collectors. Also, when I was out yesterday the bay was absolutely full of sea nettles. It looked like the scene from "Finding Nemo" with the jellyfish swarm. Those actually sting, and they were so thick anyone in the water would encounter dozens of tentacles very quickly.
  3. In praise of my faithful old walking stick and why I carry it fossil hunting: · To clear cobs’ webs from my path · To serve as a third leg on slopes and uneven ground · To clack on boulders advising the residents (especially snakes) that I am about · To extend to a friend helping him get up that last few feet of cliff · To probe among stones where I’m leery of putting my hand · To hold aside the leafy foe – poison ivy · Or the spiny foe · To help carry my bag of rocky treasures, suspended from the “handle” · To look very slightly less defenseless than an empty-handed old man · To act as a crutch when I have just stepped wrong and cracked my tibia and fibula above the ankle Here’s the story on the last one. Yesterday, I went with my friend, Mike, to a favorite fossil hunting spot. It’s a rock face (Winterset) about 100 yards of brush, small ditches, mud, rocky-rubble, and tangley-vines off the road. I was delighting in a couple of newfound trilobits and some cephalopod pieces as we gathered our finds and backpack and headed toward the car. A few yards later I stepped into a small ditch where my foot slipped and stuck at an odd angle between two large rocks, while my body continued forward. I felt my ankle wrenching. It’s an odd sensation and I knew I had done something nasty to it. Mike helped me get up and gave me a hand as he could along the way while we spent the next five years getting back to the car. My mainstay for this journey was my old walking stick. Imagine a single four-foot crutch – not ideal but worlds better than nothing. The doctor commented later that afternoon, “Well you really did it!’ I had. Tibia and fibula were cracked above the ankle. So, you may understand my sentimentality. It’s just a nicely shaped limb of osage orange, straightened a bit, with a metal cap on the bottom. My son (he’s forty) made it for me. But I’ve used it a hundred times in the last few years and it’s a sort of faithful companion. If I lost my 10x Belomo loupe, my Estwing rock pick, my phone, my backpack, or even (gulp!) a bag of newly-found fossils, I would kick myself; but loosing my old walking stick would sadden my heart. Russ
  4. Questions for the ladies

    I want to invest in a pair of insulated wading bibs for next winter & I just wanted to see if anyone has a strong opinion on brands or types. Also, opinions on best hats, hiking boots, socks, and or general safety gear or even just other tips for hunting safely and comfortably would also be appreciated. Also just looking to "meet" more of my fellow women fossil hunters. Thank you.
  5. Hi, I got a few chunks of dinosaur bones about 10-30cm long and 20-30cm wide. I used a Geiger counter to check for their radioactivity. The readings ranged from 0.28 usv/hr to 1.9 usv/hr. For those with 1.9 usv/hr, should I be concerned about the potential risk to my health if I put them on display in my living room?
  6. I think fossil collecting is great but I've encountered a snake and a scorpion while collecting and it's really made me more fearful of any rock I try and flip over. Any tips for staying safe out there?
  7. ...or, Always Wear Protection! Monday night I went to the garage to just poke at a fossil for a few minutes. I'd picked up a decent shell still mostly in matrix in the Selma Chalk of Alabama over the weekend. Though I only intended to take a few tentative swipes at it, I ended up spending over an hour on it, chipping away rock with my airscribe, then smoothing out the matrix with my Dremel. Anyone who has ever worked on this kind of material will see where this is going. The rock that comes from this deposit really is chalk. When dry, working on it with any tool, but especially a grinding tool, creates a lot of very fine dust. And since I hadn't really planned on working on it for more than a few minutes, like an idiot I didn't put on my dust mask. Later that night I woke up from a sound sleep to discover that my sinuses were a disaster. Running, stuffed up, and a bad raw burning sensation all the way into my throat. Since then I've had a couple of nights where I didn't sleep for more than two hours at a time, I've become very well acquainted with my Neti Pot, suffered several nose bleeds, have taken enough Sudafed to run a respectably-sized meth lab, and burned through more than one box of tissues. Finally, I think the worst is over. I'm down to merely frequent sneezing and nose blowing. Essentially, I believe I had the equivalent of bad road rash inside my sinuses, caused by the chalk dust irritant. What did I learn from this? Well, probably nothing. I'm kind of dense, apparently. But hopefully others will learn to wear a dust mask when working with this kind of material.
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