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Pterygotus

What do you use to extract fossils from shale?

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Pterygotus

Hi, just wondering what you guys use to extract fossils from shale thanks. 

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TqB

Depends on the shale and the fossil. Air pen and abrader are usually appropriate. Chemically, potassium hydroxide flakes or pellets placed on the matrix to deliquesce can be useful but proceed with caution, I've seen crinoids completely dismantled with it!

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DeepTimeIsotopes

If you’re poor like me a set of dental picks, a wire brush, and time.

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Pterygotus
1 hour ago, TqB said:

Depends on the shale and the fossil. Air pen and abrader are usually appropriate. Chemically, potassium hydroxide flakes or pellets placed on the matrix to deliquesce can be useful but proceed with caution, I've seen crinoids completely dismantled with it!

 

2 minutes ago, DeepTimeIsotopes said:

If you’re poor like me a set of dental picks, a wire brush, and time.

Thanks guys :). Sorry, I was referring  to In-field extraction :P.

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TqB
55 minutes ago, Pterygotus said:

 

Thanks guys :). Sorry, I was referring  to In-field extraction :P.

Again, depends how hard it is but hammer and chisel (wide, thin one or thin bolster are useful). For some friable shales, I use a sharpened wallpaper scraper. That's for going with the bedding. Smaller chisels are useful for cutting around a fossil perpendicular to the bedding. My favourite chisel for going around belemnites in shale (my most often collected fossil :) ) is only 6mm wide.

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Pterygotus
22 minutes ago, TqB said:

Again, depends how hard it is but hammer and chisel (wide, thin one or thin bolster are useful). For some friable shales, I use a sharpened wallpaper scraper. That's for going with the bedding. Smaller chisels are useful for cutting around a fossil perpendicular to the bedding. My favourite chisel for going around belemnites in shale (my most often collected fossil :) ) is only 6mm wide.

Thanks :).

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FossilDAWG

Generally with shale the following tools are useful:

Good eyes to observe cracks and anticipate how your fossil will split into pieces if you apply your hammer and chisel to the wrong place.

Lots of patience.

A strong back/legs/arms to carry your finds in large chunks of shale so you don't have to trim them too much in the field.

Sharp chisels or paint scrapers to make precise splits of the shale.

Lots of glue to keep bits together.  Make sure you can remove it later.

A good geological hammer.

Lots of aluminum foil to hold everything more or less in place.

Don

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Pterygotus
25 minutes ago, FossilDAWG said:

Generally with shale the following tools are useful:

Good eyes to observe cracks and anticipate how your fossil will split into pieces if you apply your hammer and chisel to the wrong place.

Lots of patience.

A strong back/legs/arms to carry your finds in large chunks of shale so you don't have to trim them too much in the field.

Sharp chisels or paint scrapers to make precise splits of the shale.

Lots of glue to keep bits together.  Make sure you can remove it later.

A good geological hammer.

Lots of aluminum foil to hold everything more or less in place.

Don

Thank you :).

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