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How do I preserve my fossil rhino tooth? It’s started to crack.


prehistoricpeasant

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hadrosauridae

Best way to protect it is to make a solution of either Butvar B76, or PVA B72, or Paraloid in acetone.  dissolve the plastic at about 2% into the acetone.  Id submerge the tooth in it for a few seconds, take it out and let it dry on something like a piece of cardboard.  And excess consolidate can be wiped off with a cloth and some acetone.

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Harry Pristis

This seems like an appropriate thread to post this:

 

  If you value a vertebrate fossil (I exclude shark teeth here) -- and you want it to last -- consolidate it with a plastic.

  You cannot reliably judge by eye what will happen to the bone or tooth after 2 years, or 5 years, or 15 years in your drawer. Bones with which you could drive nails when first collected may split after years in your drawer. Teeth, when thoroughly dry, may split. These splits cannot be repaired to the original condition because of distortion to the bone or dentin or cementum.

  This may happen to any bone or tooth, so, if you're going to keep the specimen, play the probabilities. Consolidate! Impregnation with plastic will prevent many later headaches (I'm not telling you to soak your head in consolidant). I am saying that there is nothing more disheartening than to open a drawer and to find a prize specimen tooth split in two.

  Trust the decades of museum experience.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/6/2022 at 8:43 AM, Harry Pristis said:

This seems like an appropriate thread to post this:

 

  If you value a vertebrate fossil (I exclude shark teeth here) -- and you want it to last -- consolidate it with a plastic.

  You cannot reliably judge by eye what will happen to the bone or tooth after 2 years, or 5 years, or 15 years in your drawer. Bones with which you could drive nails when first collected may split after years in your drawer. Teeth, when thoroughly dry, may split. These splits cannot be repaired to the original condition because of distortion to the bone or dentin or cementum.

  This may happen to any bone or tooth, so, if you're going to keep the specimen, play the probabilities. Consolidate! Impregnation with plastic will prevent many later headaches (I'm not telling you to soak your head in consolidant). I am saying that there is nothing more disheartening than to open a drawer and to find a prize specimen tooth split in two.

  Trust the decades of museum experience.

Hi if I may ask, Ive actually always wondered in the back of my head as I believe a lot of fossil shark teeth that are found in water do not need consolidation? Would it have to do with the structure and composition of shark teeth themselves that make them more durable? Thanks~

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Harry Pristis
6 hours ago, carch_23 said:

Hi if I may ask, Ive actually always wondered in the back of my head as I believe a lot of fossil shark teeth that are found in water do not need consolidation? Would it have to do with the structure and composition of shark teeth themselves that make them more durable? Thanks~

I don't have a scientific answer to your question.  My exclusion is based on experience -- mine and that of many other collectors and collections.  Why orthodentine and osteodentine encased in enameloid resists dry cracking and distortion is amazing when closely considered.  It may have to do with how the dentine is laid down during tooth development.  Anyone have an idea here?

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