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billheim

My Fossil Replicas (Casts In Plaster And Resin)

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billheim

I've started to put together an entry for the "Paleo Re-creations" forum but it will take some time to get all the info entered in and ready to post. My first step has been to create a gallery. I've begun to garnish it with information regarding each plaster or resin cast.
Currently, I have the album loaded to the gallery titled "My fossil replicas (casts in plaster and resin)." My Isotelus replica has comments attached now. I'll provide information about each image via comments.
Upon completion of that task, I'll write a short article posted here on "Paleo Re-creations" describing my successes and failures so that we can have discussions regarding making fossil replicas as amateurs. I am looking forward to learning a great deal from each of you on this subject. What I know I will happy share with all of you.
Bill Heimbrock - billheim@cinci.rr.com

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Fossil Claw

Sounds interesting. Look forward to seeing the write up.you should give a talk on this at one of the meetings later this year. I bet a lot of us have fossils that you could cast to bring in funds for the club.

On a side note. I have been bored this summer with the field trips wrapped up for the spring so I have been going back through old dry dredger field trip records to plan some solo trips.

Found this cephalopod at the west chester creek from past field trips.

Doing a staycation next week and plan to do a couple field trips.

Dom

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billheim

Great idea, "Fossil Claw". I think a beginner's class is the easiest to plan. I'm no expert on mold making yet and I think a talk at general meeting is best suited for one of the professionals who do it.

Sounds like you are a Dry Dredgers member. Send me a PM sometime with your name so I can put a face with the posts.
Thanks.
Bill

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billheim

Fossil Claw - that creek has been amazingly productive. Creeks usually aren't the best places in Greater Cincinnati to find good fossils.
Bill

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billheim

I'm done adding rather lengthy descriptions to the photos of my replicas in the gallery titled "My Fossil Replicas (Casts In Plaster And Resin)".

In these descriptions I'm asking people to post their questions to the Paleo Re-creations forum. So this is the place to ask questions.

I'll make another post that I'm hoping will be an informative description of my mold making and cast making attempts. My aim is that others will save time by not having to replicate my errors.

Bill

Edited by billheim

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billheim

I've been planning a series of articles on how I make molds and casts. My wife, Pam, has more experience with forums than I do. She suggests I make a blog for these articles and leave the "Paleo Re-creations" forum for short discussions and question/answer.

So I guess you should be looking for a blog on thefossilforum.com from me regarding this topic.
Continue to ask your questions about casting and molding here. I'm no expert but am gaining in experience.
Bill

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JohnJ

Bill, a forum blog might get a little more 'traction' than your gallery images; but, posting the images in a topic narrative (such as you've started here) will likely get you the most viewership and commentary. For instance, a new topic, in Paleo Re-creations, for each different casting method (illustrated with photos in the topic) would be your best bet. Also, bear in mind that most members scan "New Content", so the sub-forum where a topic is located doesn't really impact its viewership. ;)

I'm curious as to the "measured" level of detail you have been able to duplicate...because cheap, detailed 3-D printing hasn't quite arrived. :)

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ZiggieCie

I think people might find this interesting. On "how it's made", over the weekend they had a piece on how museums mold and cast Fossils. This seams like the right place to post it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2wqz5fb738

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Malcolmt

Very interesting video.... thanks

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billheim

JohnJ, thanks for the forum tips. My impression was that forum topics have a limited retention as they age off, while blogs seem to be more of a chronology with longer retention.
Informative "how to" articles would need to be pinned in a sub-forum to remain for reference purposes. Is all that right?

Having more readers is important, though, because if I spend a lot of time preparing these articles, I don't want my efforts to short-lived.
Thanks! You are welcome to PM me if you want to talk more in this.
Bill

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billheim

ZiggieCie, thanks for finding that video. I did not know how museums mold and cast those large dinos. I think I heard them say the cast was polyester and water. Hmm.
I had considered paint-on rubber for my molds, but I'm molding tiny things and wanted the highest resolution.
On the subject of resolution, I use a two-part RTV (Room Temperature Vulcanization) Silicone rubber. I use the 1:1 parts A/B from http://www.aeromarineproducts.com/. It's product AM 125. It's not their longest lasting RTV rubber, but it's good for trial and error.

I make a box from cardboard for the original and rubber cement the original to the bottom to keep it from sliding when I pour in the viscous rubber. Yes, I and finding now that if I don't get ALL of the rubber cement off of the fossil specimen right afterwards, it hardens in the pores of the specimen :-(

More on all this later. I appreciate the info on how others do it. I'm learning from experimentation mostly.

Bill

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JohnJ

JohnJ, thanks for the forum tips. My impression was that forum topics have a limited retention as they age off, while blogs seem to be more of a chronology with longer retention.

Informative "how to" articles would need to be pinned in a sub-forum to remain for reference purposes. Is all that right?

Having more readers is important, though, because if I spend a lot of time preparing these articles, I don't want my efforts to short-lived.

Thanks! You are welcome to PM me if you want to talk more in this.

Bill

Highly informative topics, with continuing application, are what we look for when Pinning. ;) Updates (new experiments) will also renew interest in a topic.

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ZiggieCie

Bill, I just saw the video this weekend and you had the perfect place to share it.

Here is a supplier that you can compare prices with. I just bought a 1lb bag of B72 and had it in 2 days from Cal to Ohio.

http://www.conservationsupportsystems.com/main

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billheim

Bill, I just saw the video this weekend and you had the perfect place to share it.

Here is a supplier that you can compare prices with. I just bought a 1lb bag of B72 and had it in 2 days from Cal to Ohio.

http://www.conservationsupportsystems.com/main

Thanks for the link Ziggie. I've started to look at it and I wish they had the actual prices online to see. I'll put together items for a quote and see what they say. I bill the Dry Dredgers for these materials so I could save them significant money by shopping around.

I'd also like to find something more rock-like than plaster of Paris and Hydrocal to cast with. The resins I've tried do not look like rock. :-)

Bill

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ZiggieCie

Another source for casting supplies are taxidermy supply co's. You would know if these are comparable products and prices.

http://www.vandykestaxidermy.com/Casting-C204.aspx?s=OrderBy%20ASC&p=0

In a previous life I did taxidermy for 20 yrs.

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13 Lb Florida Bass

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Edited by ZiggieCie

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billheim

Ziggie, thanks for the Van dyke's Reference.
Bill

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ZiggieCie

I just noticed that Van dykes has a couple of casting products that would be much improved over plaster of paris. Their smooth-cast 300 and 320 http://www.vandykestaxidermy.com/SC320Q-P4051C204.aspx looks like they would be excelent products for fossil casts, teeth, bones etc.

Just throwing ideas at the wall.

Ziggie

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billheim

I just noticed that Van dykes has a couple of casting products that would be much improved over plaster of paris. Their smooth-cast 300 and 320 http://www.vandykestaxidermy.com/SC320Q-P4051C204.aspx looks like they would be excelent products for fossil casts, teeth, bones etc.

Cool! Thanks!

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ZiggieCie

Bill, Which silicone mold making material do you use?? I have a 4 inch shark spine mold/negative and want to make a positive from it.

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billheim

Bill, Which silicone mold making material do you use?? I have a 4 inch shark spine mold/negative and want to make a positive from it.

I use the 1:1 parts A/B from http://www.aeromarineproducts.com/. It's product AM 125. It's not their longest lasting RTV rubber, but it's easy to use. It does leave a bit of oily residue on the original surface, though.

Bill

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