TyrannosaurusRex

Priscacara Prep Process

30 posts in this topic

I bought a slab some time ago, and have finally gotten around to prepping it. (Note, I do not have an air scribe, so it takes quite a bit of time)

 

 

Current Progress:

(20 minutes)

IMG_2882.JPG

Only the vertebrae and a few ribs are visible here. I have noticed as I am going along, it is much more difficult than it appeared when I first purchased it. The skin is fairly intact, though there are some patches that are missing. Use a gum eraser to help clean away the dust because it is gentle, particularly on the fragile bones. All I am using is a small hand prepping tool, and though it is time consuming, it still works for me.

 

 

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Progress #2

Time:

(45 minutes)

IMG_2885.JPG

There are many more ribs visible here, and overall it is coming along nicely.

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Progress #3 (Current)

Time:

3 hours

IMG_3944.JPG

Lots more is visible. You can see the belly spines, along with a glimpse of a fin.

 

 

I will update as I go along.

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Looking great so far!

Keep up the good work!

Little by little with those hand tools, and you should have an amazing little specimen by the looks of it thus far.

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Looks Great so far!!!:tff:

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:popcorn:

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IMG_3947.JPG

I am doing cross-hatching, because it helps avoid making deep scratches that could damage the fish.

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:popcorn: this is a good watch :D

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:popcorn:

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Looking good. You can also try dampening the matrix. I have found when using needles, this helps to soften the matrix a bit. I prepped the Mioplosus below using this method many many years ago. All in, it took 24 hours with a needle.

fossil fish prep 4.JPG

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Always nice to watch a prep job.  You have patience so im sure you are going to end up with a great specimen. 

 

RB

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Coming along nicely. I sure admire your patience and precision! I know a guy who did some incredible work getting very rare ammonites by hand out of extremely hard matrix. It brought amazing results, but it sometimes took him literally hundreds of hours just to complete one specimen. It's also nice to see the finished results from Snolly and Kris. Thanks guys. :popcorn:

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Love the hand tool work...hats off to you. 

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@snolly50 is yours a split prisca or an 18inch?

I can't tell from the shine.

 

I know that mioplosis is from the split fish.

 

 

I believe @TyrannosaurusRex is working with an 18inch specimen.

 

All the more impressive! That rock can be very hard even with scribes!

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30 minutes ago, FossilDudeCO said:

 

@snolly50 is yours a split prisca or an 18inch?

I can't tell from the shine.

 

That prisy is a split fish. Honest, it doesn't really shine like that on display. I have a brand new ring light for my camera rig and I'm still into the learning curve with it. However, that excuse making aside; the acrylic does produce a shine that is noticeable if you are looking for it. 

 

When I took that fish out of the cabinet to photograph it I was reminded of the prep. The critter's gut had blown out with decomp and the ventral area was littered with a thin film extending far beyond the actual margin of the fish. This accounts for the odd outline of the matrix cut on the bottom. I opted to remove a portion of that carbon stain, attempting to make the shape more "fish like." I don't know how I would handle such a presentation today.

 

If TyrannosaurusRex is working on an "18 incher," she ought to give it a sniff. As I recall, the 18 inch layer matrix gives off a distinct petroleum smell when pulverized.

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As I recall that 18" layer is a bit darker grayish compared with the more pale yellowish of the split-fish layer. From what I could see in the photos above, it might be 18".

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

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13 minutes ago, digit said:

As I recall that 18" layer is a bit darker grayish compared with the more pale yellowish of the split-fish layer. From what I could see in the photos above, it might be 18".

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

 

Yes Ken, 18" does tend to have a gray vs a yellow tint to it.

 

Really the colour of the fossils is key as well. 18" is DARK brown almost black, and splits are light to medium brown generally. It depends on the quarry they come from and if the rock has weathered though.

 

@snolly50 I don't mind your acrylic, it just made it hard for me to see the texture, I was guessing split fish based solely on your repaired cracks there. You just don't see the 18" split like that.

 

You are also correct about your petroleum smell, the 18" layer does actually have some oil, the darker patches I have heard will even light fire, but I haven't tried yet.

 

The Prisky being prepped has that dark brown almost black colour I would expect from an 18" fossil, I really think that is what we are watching!

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And.....another update! I am working on the head, and it is certainly interesting and different from the rest of the fish.

IMG_3962.JPG

Its going to be really pretty I think.... as long as I don't do anything wrong. 

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And here is a photo of the tool I am using. Not exactly sure what it might be called.

IMG_3964.JPG

 

On 1/10/2017 at 11:53 AM, Minnesota Nice said:

Love the hand tool work...hats off to you. 

Thanks! :)

On 1/9/2017 at 7:28 PM, FossilDudeCO said:

Looking great so far!

Keep up the good work!

Little by little with those hand tools, and you should have an amazing little specimen by the looks of it thus far.

Thank you!

On 1/10/2017 at 5:49 PM, snolly50 said:

That prisy is a split fish. Honest, it doesn't really shine like that on display. I have a brand new ring light for my camera rig and I'm still into the learning curve with it. However, that excuse making aside; the acrylic does produce a shine that is noticeable if you are looking for it. 

 

When I took that fish out of the cabinet to photograph it I was reminded of the prep. The critter's gut had blown out with decomp and the ventral area was littered with a thin film extending far beyond the actual margin of the fish. This accounts for the odd outline of the matrix cut on the bottom. I opted to remove a portion of that carbon stain, attempting to make the shape more "fish like." I don't know how I would handle such a presentation today.

 

If TyrannosaurusRex is working on an "18 incher," she ought to give it a sniff. As I recall, the 18 inch layer matrix gives off a distinct petroleum smell when pulverized.

It DEFINITELY smells like petroleum.

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1 minute ago, TyrannosaurusRex said:

It DEFINITELY smells like petroleum.

Now the speculation of the critter's "origin" can be settled. It's from the famous "18 inch layer." This layer is noted for providing some of the best preserved Green River fish to be found. I am confident your finished product will be spectacular. Since you're going by hand, you may wish to invest a couple of dollars in a pin vise and some carbide needles with a variety of tips. Your pictured tool looks sturdy, but you might get a little more precision with the needles. Have fun.

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Looking good keep it up!

I like working on the head more than the tail, so you are headed in the right direction. :P

Thicker bones up there will give you a better feel by the time you go back for the tail.

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Im with FossilDude.  I like starting on the head and then I work along the backbone to the start of the tail.  This also gives me a really good idea of where the back and belly will be without seeing them.   Now im getting antsy to see how much more you've done. 

 

RB

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I apologize for the lack of updates, exams hit and I could barely keep my head above water. Will continue.

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No apologies needed TyrannosaurusRex, we are all busy.  Its called life, Just do what you can..  Oh, and hurry!!!  Ha!!!  Just kidding.  :)

 

RB

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