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I’ve been slightly obsessed for a long time now with finding a Whitby cannonball nodule good enough to put the hours of prep work into. I have given up while trying to split many, I have split a lot of empty ones, I have chipped a load while trying to split them. I do have a nice eliganticeras nodule that could potentially polish up but the shape just doesn’t lend itself.

 I found this at the weekend at Runswick Bay and while it would have been nice to have a split nodule with the positive and negative, I could see the potential in this. The actual ammonite is just a crushed up pyritey mess, but there’s a lovely shiny impression lurking below.

So far I have uncovered around half of the impression on top and polished up a very small patch on the side, but it’s slow going.

 

I’m trying to avoid using any power tools for the polishing (because dust) and have a decent selection of wet and dry paper (down to 600 grit). I was wondering if anyone with experience of these cannonballs could tell me how fine you need to go with the wet and dry to get a really nice shine, or if there’s something beyond that I should use?

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I’ve heard of these cannon balls. They look so cool. I really need to visit the UK. It’s looking great

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11 minutes ago, Top Trilo said:

I’ve heard of these cannon balls. They look so cool. I really need to visit the UK. It’s looking great

Only found on the Jurassic stretch of Yorkshire coast apparently. They’re easy to find but a nightmare to split cleanly. Usually when I get a nice split they’re totally empty. Had another at the weekend that I’m pretty sure was full of coprolite, but it was a mess when I got into it so I just left it

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These are absolutely beautiful once done.  Good luck

 

RB

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Got most of the eliganticeras impression cleared now, plus the outer coating of matrix sanded off. Still a bit of finer prep on top and a heck of a lot of elbow grease needed 

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2 hours ago, michele 1937 said:

I seem to see trauma

Do you mean the area to the left of centre in the first of my recent pictures?

 I was a little surprised when the whorls didn’t go where I was expecting them to as I prepped away the pyrite. Any thoughts on the possible reason for this?

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I think I see what Michele means, but I don't believe what he's suggesting, since this is a negative where a bit of matrix is missing at the edge. The positive would probably have been complete if it wasn't so eroded. Too bad you couldn't save it.

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Quite lovely indeed!   Nice job. 

 

RB

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Hi bud. You need to start out with 80 grit wet and dry, and work up in grades to 3000. Always wear a mask while doing so, the pyrite can get into your lungs, I can be REALLY bad later down the line. Just a little warning, if you’ve picked this straight off the beach, there’s a high chance it will succumb to rot at some point, snd the polish you have achieved will fade in time, that being Said, if you’ve found it in a fresh shale slab from a fall, it’ll be fine, all depends if the sea has touched it. If you need any advice, feel free to message me. 
dan

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On 06/12/2020 at 5:47 PM, DanJeavs said:

Hi bud. You need to start out with 80 grit wet and dry, and work up in grades to 3000. Always wear a mask while doing so, the pyrite can get into your lungs, I can be REALLY bad later down the line. Just a little warning, if you’ve picked this straight off the beach, there’s a high chance it will succumb to rot at some point, snd the polish you have achieved will fade in time, that being Said, if you’ve found it in a fresh shale slab from a fall, it’ll be fine, all depends if the sea has touched it. If you need any advice, feel free to message me. 
dan

Thanks Dan, some great advice there. I’ve got it to this point with 2000 grit, I’m now waiting for a pack of papers up to 7000 to arrive to see if I can get any more shine to it. 
Although I didn’t pull it directly from the cliff, I’m pretty sure it was freshly fallen, so fingers crossed it keeps its shine!

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Not sure what the products are on that side of the pond, but you are at the stage us old sailors call "spit shining the brightwork". To be blunt, no abrasive type no matter how fine will get it any further.

 

Over here we have a product called Nevr Dull. It has a few different formulations, but the one for brass will put a mirror finish on this pyrite.

 

It will take some time and elbow grease, but I assure you it will do the trick. A quick glance shows me it is available in the UK via the warrior woman.

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39 minutes ago, LabRatKing said:Over here we have a product called Nevr Dull. It has a few different formulations, but the one for brass will put a mirror finish on this pyrite.

It will take some time and elbow grease, but I assure you it will do the trick. A quick glance shows me it is available in the UK via the warrior woman.

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I use Nevr-Dull from a can with a label date of 1941; it still works for metal.

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1 hour ago, DPS Ammonite said:

I use Nevr-Dull from a can with a label date of 1941; it still works for metal.

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I swear to you we used the same cans the same age on ships in the early 90s. Stuff lasts for ever. There are off color jokes about polish and torpedoes, but a quick Google will show you the hundreds of WW2 dummy and decommissioned torpedoes on display. Mirror bright thanks to Nervr Dull and hungover enlisted.

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Used a ton of that stuff when in the Coast Guard lol Just seeing the can brings back the smell (and the feel of burnt finger tips!)

 

That stuff Will polish anything!

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FranzBernhard

Its a matter of taste. It has already a very nice, but not complete mirror polish. Sometimes, its is more appealing the way it already is than with a real mirror finish. Especially if there is no detail on the polished surface to be seen. Well, go for the finer paper or the "magic can", and see, if you like the result. You can always go back to a less glossy state in nearly zero time.

 

There will be some tarnishing of the pyrite during time; you can repolish the specimen like other household stuff, so no big deal.

Important is, that it does not develop pyrite disease, d.h. white blooming and final spalling/disintegration. That would be a nightmare!

 

Good luck, lovely specimen!
Franz Bernhard

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Thanks all. Does anyone know if the UK equivalent of Nevr Dull would be Brasso? I did wonder if that would work.

 

I’m a butcher by trade and part of my knife sharpening routine involves diamond slurry on a leather strop. I tried a bit of that but on a cloth, it just dulled it slightly.

 

I’m keen to get this one as shiny as I possibly can as I hope at some point to find more of these, perhaps with better fossils in them. So this is hopefully a practice run

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Brasso is also available in the U.S. Never dull comes with a fabric built in whereas Brasso is liquid you put on your own fabric (at least was when I last use both lol) Both great for polishing 

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6 hours ago, Sjfriend said:

Brasso is also available in the U.S. Never dull comes with a fabric built in whereas Brasso is liquid you put on your own fabric (at least was when I last use both lol) Both great for polishing 

Brasso will work too, but as I’m sure @Sjfriend will attest, it tends to require reapplication weekly- it leaves a bit of a film that attracts dust. Plus these days it’s a cream and can messy to apply.

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  • 2 months later...

I didn’t take the first example on this thread much further in terms of shine, but I saw this online with a 99p start price at the weekend. Sadly about 8 other bidders must’ve had the same idea as I ended up paying many many times more, (my bid was the highest of 26) 
Well worth it though, as it looks like I’ll be able to sand out any holes and blemishes to leave a beautiful shiny cannonball. 
It arrived yesterday and I couldn’t resist getting started straight away, roughing all the worst bits out and then going finer on one little patch to see it start to shine.

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Bob Saunders
On 12/13/2020 at 9:13 PM, LabRatKing said:

I swear to you we used the same cans the same age on ships in the early 90s. Stuff lasts for ever. There are off color jokes about polish and torpedoes, but a quick Google will show you the hundreds of WW2 dummy and decommissioned torpedoes on display. Mirror bright thanks to Nervr Dull and hungover enlisted.

I have a can of dried out Never-Dull and found out it has been banned due to toxic chemicals. Here in U S A. I am keeping the can for a decoration. 

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