pecopteris

Freeze/thaw?!? Anyone Know How This Works?

14 posts in this topic

Just got a few mazon creek nodules. Ive heard that the "freeze/thaw" method works the best, but does anyone know any specifics on the process (amounts of time)?

Thanks,

Peco

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I've had pretty good success with a couple hundred nodules. Some apparently will never open via freeze/thaw, but when they do it is so much better than the "whack and hope" technique.

I use a plastic tray of sufficient depth. Let nodules soak,then pop in freezer. Allow to freeze - solid. Remove and let thaw, some will, it is hoped, open exactly on the plane containing the fossil. Repeat as needed. Important note: use spare 'fridge in garage to avoid domestic conflict!

Have fun.

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I have also used a microwave to heat up Britton formation nodules after soaking. This can open tough nodules as well.

One thing: BUY A CHEAP MICROWAVE! Sometimes nodules explode. Learn from my mistake!

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I've had pretty good success with a couple hundred nodules. Some apparently will never open via freeze/thaw, but when they do it is so much better than the "whack and hope" technique.

I use a plastic tray of sufficient depth. Let nodules soak,then pop in freezer. Allow to freeze - solid. Remove and let thaw, some will, it is hoped, open exactly on the plane containing the fossil. Repeat as needed. Important note: use spare 'fridge in garage to avoid domestic conflict!

Have fun.

All good points! I would suggest a metal tray for faster freezing and durability though. Cracks developed in my first two plastic trays within two months of heavy freeze thawing. Metal cake pans work great!

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Pecopteris,

Found a pertinent PDF online.

Linking to it didn't work, but I've attached it here.

how-to-open-nodule.pdf

Hope this is specific enough.

Regards,

EDIT: MORE LINKS.

Edited by Fossildude19

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Instead of allowing for a gradual thaw, I wonder if anyone has tried a rapid thaw by putting the frozen nodule(s) into a pot of boiling water?

Daryl.

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Instead of allowing for a gradual thaw, I wonder if anyone has tried a rapid thaw by putting the frozen nodule(s) into a pot of boiling water?

Daryl.

I have, for me it did not produce any positive result. I tried it with "stubborn" nodules which had not opened previously - no luck.

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Instead of allowing for a gradual thaw, I wonder if anyone has tried a rapid thaw by putting the frozen nodule(s) into a pot of boiling water?

Daryl.

Thermal shock will make gravel; it is the slow wedging of water expanding as it freezes that stands the best chance of desirable results.

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Thermal shock will make gravel; it is the slow wedging of water expanding as it freezes that stands the best chance of desirable results.

Exactly! Time, not energy is the most important input to splitting nodules cleanly.

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Thermal shock will make gravel; it is the slow wedging of water expanding as it freezes that stands the best chance of desirable results.

Exactly! Time, not energy is the most important input to splitting nodules cleanly.

I just scolded Tracer's cat for recommending the pot of boiling water method. :)

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:popcorn::rofl:

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I did try the microwave with disasterous results, and Ive never had any successs with boiling water. its time consuming and often frustrating but freeze thaw is the way to go

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Thermal shock will make gravel; it is the slow wedging of water expanding as it freezes that stands the best chance of desirable results.

I learned to stay away from the microwave the hard way. Many years ago i collected a relatively complete Tully Monster and was able to get it to split using a freeze thaw technique. Unfortunately when the fossil split, the area where the claw was preserved did not open (this is fairly common). I proceeded to freeze thaw the concretion several dozen times using various techniques in an attempt to expose the claw. I finally gave up and decided to place the frozen concretion into the microwave and see if that might work. Within ten seconds the claw exploded into a dozen tiny pieces.

Someday i will try and piece them together. Definately keep the concretions out of the microwave

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Well reassembly at least sounds feasible for a dozen pieces. I've got a more difficult jigsaw puzzle on my table right now! I hope you will show us that Tully when it is together.

Edited by Wrangellian

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