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MSirmon

Eutrichiurides prep

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MSirmon

Recently acquired this piece of rock with some jaw segments, vertebra and teeth in it along with a squalicorax tooth. What is the best way to prep it for display? Should I just leave it alone? 

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Got Bones?

I would not expose too much, just the very top layer of rock to give it a cleaner, sharper look.

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LordTrilobite

It's definitely possible to make it look prettier. But be careful, Moroccan stuff like this is very soft. Here's what you do...

 

You'll need: good dental pick, a fairly soft brush, a microscope and super glue (cyanoacrylate).

 

Stuff like this is very fragile and under a microscope you can more easily see what's what. Pretty much just start scraping away individual grains of sand to begin with.When you have an area cleaned nicely, apply the glue onto it. But be careful as not to glue any of the matrix you still want to remove as it becomes very hard. And this type of glue is not reversible. The bones that you've glued will become a lot more sturdy though. Especially the vertebrae have lots of nooks in them and become very fragile when you expose them. With a little bit of patience this can become a really nice looking piece with a lot more bones visible. When brushing away matrix that you've loosened be very careful as not to damage the bones. Even a brush can break off the more fragile parts. Sometimes just blowing the dust away is the best option.

 

If you don't have a microscope or aren't in the position to get one. I would say that at the very least you need some good magnification. Without any magnification I wouldn't prep something as delicate as this.

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MSirmon
2 hours ago, LordTrilobite said:

It's definitely possible to make it look prettier. But be careful, Moroccan stuff like this is very soft. Here's what you do...

 

You'll need: good dental pick, a fairly soft brush, a microscope and super glue (cyanoacrylate).

 

Stuff like this is very fragile and under a microscope you can more easily see what's what. Pretty much just start scraping away individual grains of sand to begin with.When you have an area cleaned nicely, apply the glue onto it. But be careful as not to glue any of the matrix you still want to remove as it becomes very hard. And this type of glue is not reversible. The bones that you've glued will become a lot more sturdy though. Especially the vertebrae have lots of nooks in them and become very fragile when you expose them. With a little bit of patience this can become a really nice looking piece with a lot more bones visible. When brushing away matrix that you've loosened be very careful as not to damage the bones. Even a brush can break off the more fragile parts. Sometimes just blowing the dust away is the best option.

 

If you don't have a microscope or aren't in the position to get one. I would say that at the very least you need some good magnification. Without any magnification I wouldn't prep something as delicate as this.

Thank you for the help on this. Do not have a microscope but see one coming into the family in the very near future. I honestly would not have even thought about the glue so that is a piece saver in itself. At this  point I guess I just need to decide if I'm up to the challenge and willing to bear the risk. 

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LordTrilobite

If you wanted you could probably get a similar cheaper piece to practice on.

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MSirmon
8 hours ago, LordTrilobite said:

If you wanted you could probably get a similar cheaper piece to practice on.

I was thinking the same thing earlier and will start looking around. On a separate train of thought, it would be interesting if a person could get their hands on unprocessed material from that area. That would be great practice material.

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