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chg057

Prepping Soft Chalk Fossils

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chg057

Hello everyone,

 

In anticipation for my trip to Kansas next week, I wanted to see how ya'll would recommend prepping specimens in a chalk matrix. 

 

I'm hoping to find some fish bones, vertebrae, and teeth if I'm lucky. I previously was able to scrape and scratch matrix off some stuff I found the last time I went with a carbide-tipped scratcher and I also used my water gun to blow matrix off of the fossils. I found some neat pyrite concretions too and was able to use dilute HCl to nicely dissolve the matrix away but wanted to avoid doing this on fossil specimens since I didn't know if the fossils would also be dissolved away. 

 

I was recommended using dental picks to remove material from the fossils since the matrix is so soft. Is there a better way to do this since I don't have pneumatic or electronic prep equipment?

 

Thanks for your help!

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sdsnl

The water gun sounds like a good idea when you don't have electronic equipment, I'd have to try it some time with soft matrix :trex:

 

Apart from dental picks you could also try other small picks or brass brush. If the matrix is very soft you could use a toothbrush.

 

But don't use water or acid on pyrite as pyrite could react and decompose into powder. Search pyrite disease for more information.

 

 

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JohnBrewer
7 hours ago, Taogan said:

I use electric toothbrushes on the chalk fossils from England and Germany, it takes a while sometimes, but you get good results

 

Nice idea!

 

I'll wait for my wife to go out first though....

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chg057

Thanks for the ideas! I definitely think the toothbrush will work just fine for the Nio. It's really soft. 

 

I've got a Waterpik water flosser that works really well at removing much of the matrix. Have to wear goggles if you use it though. It'll blow pieces into your eyes (don't be stupid like me).

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