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Had a mega trip to Dorset this weekend, finally found a couple of fairly complete nautilus, how would you prep this? Not done much, have an electric scribe and elbow grease..

 

 

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If your tools are limited, you could probably get a great start with a hammer and a well-placed chisel (or various sixes of chisels).  Various sizes of both and gentle taps, you'd not be trying to kill it as it is already dead.  

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Thanks, I have a few, a bit nervous about breaking the shell by hitting the wrong spot, but they both have a fair bit I could trim off. I recon you're right about the being dead!

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Up until recently i did all of my prep with an electric scribe. (Dremel engraver)

with what you have, a few extra tips, some time, and elbow grease you should do fine! Dont forget a dust mask…

i’m jealous! Those look like they should be a fun prep!

Edited by Randyw
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Thanks! I have the dremel (290 I think??), haven't actually used it yet, the matrix looks soft so hopefully it's not to sticky. What would you use directly on the shell to get the best out of it? Some sort of acid? I've got a couple of really big ammonites to do from the same fall so these are the test subjects..

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Topic moved to FOSSIL PREPARATION.

 

In terms of any improvements to the shell itself, some form of air abrasion would likely be the better option than risking the use of acids. If the fossils are, in fact, steinkerns, any acid treatment that dissolves the matrix will also dissolve the steinkern. 

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  Wow!  Go big or go home for sure. 

 

RB

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2 hours ago, Kane said:

Topic moved to FOSSIL PREPARATION.

 

In terms of any improvements to the shell itself, some form of air abrasion would likely be the better option than risking the use of acids. If the fossils are, in fact, steinkerns, any acid treatment that dissolves the matrix will also dissolve the steinkern. 

Thanks, I'm not that well equipped unfortunately. The chemistry of it bewilders me a bit but I've had ok results with vinegar on similar things. It's an inferior oolite, any idea on a good chemical approach?

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1 hour ago, RJB said:

  Wow!  Go big or go home for sure. 

 

RB

Thank you, we found a few partials in illminster this year and wanted a whole one, the first looks really promising, the second is more detailed but incomplete, it's got some nice other bits in the slab so should be cool when it's done.

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26 minutes ago, CWS said:

Thanks, I'm not that well equipped unfortunately. The chemistry of it bewilders me a bit but I've had ok results with vinegar on similar things. It's an inferior oolite, any idea on a good chemical approach?

Apart from some minor work with KOH in the past, I don't meddle with chemicals and prefer the use of air tools exclusively. There are, however, a number of helpful topics in this subforum on chemical prep (including the very important discussion on safety!). 

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1 hour ago, Kane said:

Apart from some minor work with KOH in the past, I don't meddle with chemicals and prefer the use of air tools exclusively. There are, however, a number of helpful topics in this subforum on chemical prep (including the very important discussion on safety!). 

 

I'll take a look, for sure an air pen would probably be ideal. Thanks.

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On 11/27/2022 at 1:48 PM, CWS said:

Had a mega trip to Dorset this weekend, finally found a couple of fairly complete nautilus, how would you prep this? Not done much, have an electric scribe and elbow grease..

 

The nautilus have a nice look the way they are, the weathering as done a nice job. If  your not well equipped , I wouldn't risk to damage them further. I'm not well equipped my self , only have a Dremel and chemical, and it is usually not a good idea on such specimen. With limited tools it is difficult to improve on something that already look good  (at least for me ;)

Edited by Denis Arcand
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13 minutes ago, Denis Arcand said:

 

The nautilus have a nice look the way they are, the weathering as done a nice job. If  you not well equipped , I wouldn't risk to damage them further. I'm not well equipped my self , only have a Dremel and chemical, and it is usually not a good idea on such specimen. With limited tools it is difficult to improve on something that already look good  (at least for me ;)

I have to agree with this.

 

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9 hours ago, CWS said:

have the dremel (290 I think??)

That's the one I used and still use mostly. I wouldn't touch it to the shell at all. Only remove the matrix itself....

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I’d highly consider getting these professionally prepared. If you don’t have much experience, that’s the best way to go. You don’t want to accidentally ruin one of your faves. And a big no no on acid. That will destroy them terribly. 

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pachy-pleuro-whatnot-odon
6 minutes ago, DanJeavs said:

I’d highly consider getting these professionally prepared. If you don’t have much experience, that’s the best way to go. You don’t want to accidentally ruin one of your faves. And a big no no on acid. That will destroy them terribly. 

 

As I understand it, nautilus fossils are rare, and it would therefore indeed pay to have these impressive specimens professionally prepared, if you don't know how to deal with this type of matrix yet. Always experiment with new and unknown matrix on pieces of little importance to you, as this will allow you to make mistakes and learn how to deal with that matrix.

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Thanks for all the advice, I'll certainly go easy with them. The matrix is very soft, I crumbled some away while washing them. I'll try dental tools to start and see how it comes up!

 

Couple more pics after washing, infront of the nautilus in first pic is a snail i think?? Amazing markings, sham only half of it was there

 

And the middle pic ammonite nearly got left behind but now I think could be amazing, the patterns are extremely pronounced, shame I split it but the rock was huge (20kg+) and we were a mile from the car..

 

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Does anyone have a picture of a similar specimen they wouldn't mind sharing? I'm struggling to find much online and it would help as I get closer to the shell. Thanks!

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8 hours ago, CWS said:

Does anyone have a picture of a similar specimen they wouldn't mind sharing? I'm struggling to find much online and it would help as I get closer to the shell. Thanks!

Here are a few samples from my collection. Just don't be disappointed if some of the inner whorls are missing on your piece, since this does occur occasionally.

 

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33 minutes ago, Ludwigia said:

Here are a few samples from my collection. Just don't be disappointed if some of the inner whorls are missing on your piece, since this does occur occasionally.

 

N7.1.thumb.jpg.ac01238c867f44eeacd468c1c4d96302.jpg

 

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Thats great, thank you. Mine is split at the back so not sure how much will be at the center. The front looks like it could be quite complete, fingers crossed!

 

Any idea why mine seems to have a single large unbroken segment at the front while yours are divided right up to the opening?

 

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Edited by CWS
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1 hour ago, CWS said:

Any idea why mine seems to have a single large unbroken segment at the front while yours are divided right up to the opening?

2 of the septa on yours are broken off in the middle. That's why it looks that way....or am I understanding what you are describing correctly? All 3 of mine are just samples with the phragmocone, whereas yours appears to have at least part of the living chamber at the end, which is not segmented. Is that what you meant? Here's another one of mine complete with the living chamber for comparison. ø is 22cm. The little one next to it is just the inner whorls of the phragmocone and ø 4cm.

 

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18 hours ago, Ludwigia said:

2 of the septa on yours are broken off in the middle. That's why it looks that way....or am I understanding what you are describing correctly? All 3 of mine are just samples with the phragmocone, whereas yours appears to have at least part of the living chamber at the end, which is not segmented. Is that what you meant? Here's another one of mine complete with the living chamber for comparison. ø is 22cm. The little one next to it is just the inner whorls of the phragmocone and ø 4cm.

 

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Ah ok, yes it's the living chamber I was referring to. That's a big help, did a little more and it's getting very close to the shell now, hard to know how far I can go..  ill try and follw the inner whirl as far as i can i guess, so far it looks like it might be there. There are very few images online. You have some lovely ones!

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Looks like you're getting closer. Keep up the good work!

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17 hours ago, Ludwigia said:

Looks like you're getting closer. Keep up the good work!

Almost there.. sore fingers from the dental tools. Center looks like it should be there but that stone in the middle is very hard. Also a small ammonite on the front..

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