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Prepping a BIG Ammonite


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I recently recieved a large Ammonite from the Wutach Valley for preparation from a customer. It was a bit of a task since the thing is so huge with a diameter of 50cm. (1ft.7in.). First of all I had to remove the excess matrix with hammer & chisel. I didn't photograph it beforehand, but here is how it looked afterwards.

 

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As you can see, the living chamber was extracted in 2 extra pieces which still needed to be attached. The phragmocone alone has a diameter of over a foot and there is still a piece of living chamber missing at the end where the brown color can be seen at the top. I didn't glue them back on at first, but concentrated rather on stylus and abrader work on the phragmocome. The next photo shows it at that stage with the 2 living chamber pieces just placed next to it.

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I then abraded the living chamber pieces, removed the unseemly brown layer on the phragmocone and glued it all back together with a strong adhesive which then cured for 24 hours.

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The next step was to fill the gaps with modelling clay (I use a product called Apoxie Sculpt) and finish off with water color paints and a beeswax finish. I couldn't get the color quite right, so I left that last step to my customer's wife who did an excellent job. Here's the end product:

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That's quite the monster. :ammonite01:

Well done! The suture pattern covering it all is very neat. You must have a large blast box to reposition that during prep!

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FossilDAWG

Nice! :wub:. I really like the suture pattern and the way the whorls are preserved all the way to the middle.

 

Don

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  You do some dang good work Roger.  Always nice to see your work and the photo's with explination.  

 

RB

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1 hour ago, Kane said:

That's quite the monster. :ammonite01:

Well done! The suture pattern covering it all is very neat. You must have a large blast box to reposition that during prep!

Yes I do. 75x56cm., so it just fit in snugly.

 

1 hour ago, FossilDAWG said:

Nice! :wub:. I really like the suture pattern and the way the whorls are preserved all the way to the middle.

 

Don

We were quite happy with that too, particularly since it is often the case in this zone that the inner whorls are nonexistent.

 

51 minutes ago, RJB said:

  You do some dang good work Roger.  Always nice to see your work and the photo's with explination.  

 

RB

Thanks Ron :)

 

9 minutes ago, RuMert said:

Nice work! 50 cm= 50 kg weight?

More like 30. It took 17 hours to get the work done at any rate.

 

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Fossildude19

Amazing work, Roger.  :drool: 

Thanks for posting it. 

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3 minutes ago, Fossildude19 said:

Amazing work, Roger.  :drool: 

Thanks for posting it. 

Thanks Tim.

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Great work Roger! You filled in those cracks nicely.:dinothumb:

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FossilNerd

That’s a big (and beautiful) one! Love the suture pattern. Great work Roger! :wub:

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49 minutes ago, Darktooth said:

Great work Roger! You filled in those cracks nicely.:dinothumb:

 

29 minutes ago, FossilNerd said:

That’s a big (and beautiful) one! Love the suture pattern. Great work Roger! :wub:

Thanks guys :)

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The Amateur Paleontologist

Very nice prepwork Roger :)

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8 minutes ago, The Amateur Paleontologist said:

Very nice prepwork Roger :)

Thank you.

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14 minutes ago, hadrosauridae said:

Very nice work!  Looks great.

Thanks!

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4 hours ago, fossisle said:

Definately a keeper!!

You said it. Unfortunately for me however, it was the customer who kept it.

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1 hour ago, caterpillar said:

Good job Roger

:)

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15 minutes ago, Ptychodus04 said:

Well done sir!

Thanks, Kris.

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12 hours ago, Bobby Rico said:

Beautiful work and a great display piece 

Thanks Bobby.

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Wrangellian

I missed this topic somehow, but I saw it where you posted it in the galleries, as you know.

Well done. What kind of adhesive do you use? You may have mentioned before but I forget. Some kind of epoxy?

The flaw-disguising job was well done too - I was thinking I should look into that sculpting material to fill gaps in some of my fossils also. I did one already using plain old cement mixed with fine sand, and it seems to have worked but the light color is quite different from the dark shale! (as I knew it would be) My mother uses paints incl. watercolors so I might be able to talk her into doing that one for me. Just haven't gotten around to it.

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7 hours ago, Wrangellian said:

I missed this topic somehow, but I saw it where you posted it in the galleries, as you know.

Well done. What kind of adhesive do you use? You may have mentioned before but I forget. Some kind of epoxy?

The flaw-disguising job was well done too - I was thinking I should look into that sculpting material to fill gaps in some of my fossils also. I did one already using plain old cement mixed with fine sand, and it seems to have worked but the light color is quite different from the dark shale! (as I knew it would be) My mother uses paints incl. watercolors so I might be able to talk her into doing that one for me. Just haven't gotten around to it.

For heavy duty adhesion as here I use a product from UHU called Max Repair Universal. Dunno exactly what the ingredients are, but it sure does work well. You can get the Apoxie Sculpt in different colors according to your needs, but you usually have to color it in some way nevertheless to get it right, but if your mum's up to it....

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