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BentonlWalters

Stabilising Dinosaur Footprint

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BentonlWalters

Hello everyone,

I have a question regarding stabilising sandstone to keep it from crumbling. Last year I found and extracted a dinosaur footprint from a block on the beach at Whitby, Yorkshire UK. The footprint is of an Aalenian age therapod from approximately 170 million years ago. The print itself measures 20cm from the base to the tip of the centre claw mark.

I am hoping to get the block it is in cut down into a slab in order to frame it but now that it is dry the sandstone is very loose and crumbly. I am looking for something that will add strength to the stone and prevent crumbling without significantly changing the colour of the stone or adding a shiny finish as I would like the finished piece to remain as close as possible to how it was, just stronger.  

I was hoping somebody would have an idea what would be best to soak the block with in order to keep it from falling apart. Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

Benton Walters

Footprint Extracted.jpg

Footprint In Situ.jpg

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connorp

Before consolidating you should put it under a heat lamp or in the oven for a bit. There might be residual moisture left in the rock which you don't want to trap inside.

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Ptychodus04
1 minute ago, connorp said:

Before consolidating you should put it under a heat lamp or in the oven for a bit. There might be residual moisture left in the rock which you don't want to trap inside.

Depends on how long ago "last year" is. :D But, overall, I agree that this is a good idea. Low heat (just over 100C) for about an hour will bake off any residual moisture without stressing the specimen too badly. Let it cool slowly inside the oven until you can touch it with bare hands.

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connorp
Just now, Ptychodus04 said:

Depends on how long ago "last year" is. :D

He may also live somewhere humid. Better to be safe than sorry, and I've never had nor heard of a fossil being damaged by some low heat. That's a nice find btw @BentonlWalters!

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Ptychodus04
1 hour ago, connorp said:

I've never had nor heard of a fossil being damaged by some low heat

Agreed. This would be an unlikely occurrence. I've collected some bird bones that were very soft and held together by gypsum that I wouldn't want to try it on. :P

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BentonlWalters
2 hours ago, connorp said:

Before consolidating you should put it under a heat lamp or in the oven for a bit. There might be residual moisture left in the rock which you don't want to trap inside.

Thank you for the idea. I collected it June last year and it's been living inside since then but i'll make sure to give it a gentle heat just in case. 

 

Thank you,

Benton Walters

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LiamL

Very nice print buddy. I collected one at whitby a week ago too. 

 

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