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Sh0n

Fossil Prep, Without Air Tools

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Sh0n

I've been watching some really great videos on prepping fossils using micro media blasting air pens and air scribes.

The equipment needed for this seems quite expensive and not something I'm willing to invest in, just yet.

What are some tools and techniques one can use to clean up, let's say, a small trilobite, that doesn't require air power?

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Fossildude19

Pocket Scribers, Dental picks, electronic engravers, pin vises, rotary tools. wire brushes. Small chisels and a small ball peen or tacking hammer. Used tooth brushes, and vinegar.

These are all tools you can get fairly inexpensively, sometimes at tag sales or flea markets.

Hope this helps.

Regards,

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Sh0n

Thank you, that's a good place to start. Know of any instructional videos or articles on doing this way?

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Auspex

Pin vise, hand scribe, old dental picks...inexpensive electric engravers can lighten the labor without draining the bank, too.

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obsessed1

What you need will really depend on where your fossil is from. For instance when I found trilobites at U-Dig in Utah the fellow there told me to use an electric dremel rotory toll with a soft wire brush and it worked wonderfully. While at the same time I have some trilobites from West Virginia that are way too fragile for that prep method.

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Sh0n

I have a rotary dremel, are there some wheels I could get for that that wouldn't damage the fossil much?

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Sh0n

These would be from western New York

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Fossildude19

So much of this depends on the matrix surrounding the fossil.

I have had good luck with a scriber and a small tack hammer.

If you have pieces to practice on, you will get a feel for what needs to be done to safely uncover a fossil.

Experience has really been my best teacher in this aspect of fossil collecting.

Oh, don't forget patience. That is a hard one, but you need that as much as you need the sharpened tools.

Regards,

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obsessed1

I am not familiar with fossils from that area, but there are several members from that area that will be able to give you good advise on fossils from there. I'm sure they will chime in soon. But as Tim said use plenty of patience and start with partial fossils as practice pieces and work up to your better specimens.

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Sh0n

I'm a very patient person, so I'm good in that regard. I haven't collected any, yet, but planning on a trip there sometime this summer

Edited by Sh0n

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smokeriderdon

As Fossildude mentioned, be sure to get some practice material. Whenever you collect in a new area, grab some junk pieces to try different methods on. Different matrix is going to require different approaches. The preservation of the fossil itself also makes a difference.

All the tools listed are good to have. Out of them the ones I use the most are my Dremel and dental tools.

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