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Ronbo

Preserving Fossils

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Ronbo

I was wondering what do you put on different fossils to preserve them, would you use the same stuff on sharks teeth as you would vretabrae or bone?

Thanks

Ron

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tracer

all i've done with shark teeth found in salt water is put them in fresh water a while to get the salt out.

shark teeth found on older sites on land or in rivers, i haven't done anything to them.

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tracer

oops, only answered half the question. with bone, many would use a thin solution of vinac, butvar, or duco cement in acetone.

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mommabetts

I agree with tracer, if it is stable I don't use anything on them. I know there are some that likes to treat everything but to me it takes away from the beauty of the fossil, I like them natural. If they are unstable then I would do as Tracer suggest to stablize them.

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Guest Nicholas

I don't touch stable fossils at all, those which need a little TLC I usually use watered down Elmers. Although there are those who would say that is a bad move. Oh and if possible always wash in fresh water.

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lawooten

I like using butvar but I would not use it on the enamel of teeth just the roots.

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Ronbo
(Ahem!) I understand the reluctance to mess with the consolidant, but it is mis-guided.

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 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, so, if you're going to keep the bone, 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 to open a drawer and to find a prize specimen tooth split in two.

Trust the decades of museum experience.

That what I was thinkig I hate to watch them start splitting or breaking,

WTH is butvar? where ya get it?

How ya impregnate with plastic?

Could someone kinda point me in the direction where I can see the process in the making?

Thanks for yalls replies,I get busy and forget where I am some times,LOL

Kids have a tendency to kinda derail your train of thought..LOL

Ron

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lawooten

I had gone on line and found a supplier at a good price. I have some things I have to do but will get back on it. A friend of George Phillips is the head of the Paleontology dept of the Mississippi Natural Science Museum and recommended butvar. George has been a great help to us with all fossil care info.

Edited by lawooten

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mommabetts

Thanks for the info, Harry.

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Guest solius symbiosus
Putting polyurethane on a fossil is usually a bad idea.

I'll second that. I have never used it, but was told many years ago that since it is an organic alkane, microbes will eventually infiltrate the piece searching for a meal, and eventually, deteriorate the bond.

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Ronbo

Cool info I may have to look into this stuff a little more, I know artifacts some folks soaks them in mineral oil and get the colors to show and make the piece look new, I have done a couple but dont much care for it,in fact most of the things I have still the dirt on them..

I may try a fossil or two when La finds out what shes gonna find out,

Again thanks much and thanks for all the typing it takes to answer,

Thanks again ya`ll

Ron

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lawooten

Harry,

What would you use to protect the enamel of teeth? <_<

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Boesse

I personally use Vinac, which is apparently fairly similar to butvar. You can buy solid vinac (in bead form) from paleobond - 20 bucks for a quart or so of beads; just a spoonful of vinac beads will work well for a cup of acetone.

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Guest Nicholas

Just for reference Duco, is the same as Duco cement?

post-163-1226551743_thumb.jpg

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R_Case

Paleo-Bond

This site may help.

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kauffy

wow i hadnt thought about this until now... Harry should i be preserving the micro bones? i definantly dont want them splitting or being damaged.... is it nessasary with these specimins? if so what would you suggest be the best method?

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lawooten

Wow a world of information here that I really appreciate very much. Thanks to all! We uncovered a bone bed and now I need to get down to doing the treatments need to preserve them before storing them. We are converting our two car garage to a work area and storage area just for fossils. LOL it is almost one third full with the larger specimens. When we sort through all of them we have picked some museums and colleges we would like to donate to in the future but for now collecting and treating them is high priority. At least till it gets too cold to go out which seems to be in the far future since the weather has been so great to us. You know I am still growing peppers in my garden not to mention a full winter crop of greens and salads. Again thanks to each and everyone of you for your help.

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tracer

one consideration that remains for scientifically valuable specimens is the reversibility of consolidation, which rules out unknown/proprietary formulations of chemicals or those which crosslink into irreversibility over time. although a semi-standard polymer may be present in a favored commercial product referenced here, the additional presence of nitrocellulose and possibly other additives gives me pause to ponder. thoughts?

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Auspex
wow i hadnt thought about this until now... Harry should i be preserving the micro bones? i definantly dont want them splitting or being damaged.... is it nessasary with these specimins? if so what would you suggest be the best method?

I think you should, and Harry's diluted Duco soak sounds appropriate and fairly simple for micro bones.

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tracer

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