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Isle of Sheppey phosphate crab nodule prep


crabfossilsteve

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crabfossilsteve

I have some phosphate crab nodules from the Isle of Sheppey that I've had for years.  Haven't found a good way of prepping them yet.  Tried various air tools (ME9300 and microjack) and air abrasive with limited success.  Do any of you UK guys have any secrets you could share with me.  Have one of the rarer spiney crabs that I would like to turn out good.

 

Thanks for any help you can provide

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I have done OK with air abrasive under the microscope.  But I am not a UK guy, so I don't know if this counts.  : )

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crabfossilsteve

Well, I guess since you're not a UK guy your comments can be ignored....ha ha.   Thanks for the response.  Just thought the UK guys would have the most experience with them.  What abrasive did you use?

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I think I might have used dolomite, low psi and tons of patience, but that was so long ago...

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will stevenson

most of the prep i do is on those sheppey phosphate nodules, to be honest it really depends on the type of nodules that you are prepping, some are a lot softer, some are very hard and pyritized, some vary throughout the nodule so to be able to tell you what to use, i would need to see pics^_^, in a general sense, i prep the very soft ones just with a pin vise, unless there is a lot of matrix to be removed then i use a dremel for mass removal, to be honest i dont own an air pen but those are great for any nodule except for the pyrite ones, these just get sooo hard the deeper you go into the nodule until colour changes from yellow to black, these cannot be prepped as the matrix is a lot harder than the fossil ad unless you want to spend days with a microscope and consolidant i wouldt recommend prepping these as it usually isnt worth it (up to you though:)), finally in general, the very orange nodules have high iron content so the matrix is very hard and the fossils are usually fragmented which you can often see from the outside but you can prep these i would see no problem with a microjack and then air abrasive for the fine details, anyway these are always fun to prep so hope they turn out good for you,^_^ i could send you some spare nodules if you would like to practice

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crabfossilsteve

Thanks all for your suggestions.  Thanks JPC, that is what I have used.  The nodules I have are reddish brown/orange and are hard.  There does seem to be some pyrite.  The one specimen I've worked on appears to be Basinotopus tamarckii "with claws and legs".  I don't want to mess it up, so its been on hold for years...ha ha.  The interior of the nodule is not cream colored and the specimen is not black like pictures of seen.  Will you seem to have hit it, guess I'll just have to keep trying.  See if I can get some pics of the thing.

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Hello, I'm a crab lover with passion of Sheppey fossils. Some crabs are fuse to the nodule and impossible to prepare, others are  very easy. The most fresh nodules (light yellow) are easier to prepare. Old nodules tend to be harder and get an orange colour (but sometimes they prep easy with a sandblaster). Another important factor is the exact location: Tankerton nodules are different from Sheppey or Seasalter. Also specie is important: Portunites incerta are usually the most harder. Feel free to send me pictures, I could give you some advices

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