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Hello,

I see all the great trilobite preps that people have done on specimens found at Penn Dixie and I was just wondering whether anyone puts the same amount of effort on any of the brachiopods or corals (or other things for that matter) that come out of that site.  Specifically, I am curious whether you can use the same air abrasion techniques or if the fossil left behind from these brachiopods and corals is not as dense as the trilobites and therefore just gets destroyed by the use of air abrasion.  If anyone has used a similar technique on brachiopods or corals I would be interested in hearing these sucess stories and seeing some of the finished products.  I have been using manual tools (picks, needles, etc.) thus far with decent results but always looking to up my game.

Thanks,

Microtooth

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Staying with your technique, a short soak in vinegar usually softens the matrix but take caution not to soak too long as it will also eat detail from the fossil. Heavily rinse!

You might experiment on fossils you don't mind ruining to get a timing idea.

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7 hours ago, Bullsnake said:

Staying with your technique, a short soak in vinegar usually softens the matrix but take caution not to soak too long as it will also eat detail from the fossil. Heavily rinse!

You might experiment on fossils you don't mind ruining to get a timing idea.

Thanks for the tip.  Have you tried using an air brush or air pencil on them as well or are they just too delicate?

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I have always used vinegar for my mineralized brachiopods. It softens the limestone, and dipping scraping tools in vinegar helps quite a bit. I’ve also heard of people using very low molar hydrochloric acid. As far as matrixes/hash plates go, I pour a little vinegar on top of them and rub with my finger. You don’t want to leave brachs in vinegar for too long though. Just remember to wash them off thoroughly afterwards. I usually add a little baking soda to neutralize what vinegar is left when I wash mine off. This won’t make your specimens museum quality, but it will remove a lot of the limestone/limestone dust around and on them.  

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  • 1 month later...

The fossilized brachiopods from Penn Dixie are definitely much thinner and more fragile than the trilobite shells. Be careful! 

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