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lildragon

Need help prepping flattened shale ammonite (whitby)

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lildragon

Hello everyone,

 

I've recently been put in charge of emptying a fossil collectors secondary collection (the non-prepped fossils he collected himself in the sixties and seventies).

I found several plates hidden underneath a built-in aquarium inside a wall, see pictures attached. They seem to be flattened shale ammonites from Whitby, and they seem to be flaking. I guess because they were being used as a crutch to keep the aquarium in place.

 

Is there any emergency prepping, maybe a coating of somesort I can do to keep these plates from flaking any further? Or maybe some tips to safely transport them? I've already moved crates full of smaller plates, but these are very large and unstable.

 

I'm a hobbiest fossil hunter and I've never prepped a plate like this, so any help is welcome.

I only have 6 days left to move and secure these plates in one piece. If not moved by then, they will be dumped in a thrash container :(. 

 

Thank you in advance!

 

 

 

 

 

416817.jpg

416819.jpg

417014.jpg

416836.jpg

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caldigger

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Ludwigia

Mix Ponal Holzleim(wood glue) and water and saturate the pieces with it. Then let dry and hope for the best. That's a simple and cheap German solution. They're in pretty bad shape.

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lildragon
55 minutes ago, Ludwigia said:

Mix Ponal Holzleim(wood glue) and water and saturate the pieces with it. Then let dry and hope for the best. That's a simple and cheap German solution. They're in pretty bad shape.

 

Most of what I find is deteriorating... it's sad to see, but most finds are about 40-50 years old, and have never been stored properly. And the quantity is simply staggering. I've found dozens of crates filled with similar ammonites, and I'm in way over my head here. And the collection is very varied, from finds all over the world. I do believe we even found a dinosaur egg and wonderfull petrified wood... I have a hard time deciding what is worth saving and what isn't, or what can be saved through decent preparation and what can't. One thing is certain: If I do not manage to save this collection it will be discarded. 

 

Most pieces are perfect for practicing preparation techniques, so I do intend to learn all I can about preparation, but right now I'm in a race against the clock to secure this collection. 

 

If I saturate the blocks with this glue and water mixture, will I be able to prep and restore these plates to a better shape later on, or do these plates simply seem a lost cause to you? These are the largest blocks I have found...

 

 

Edited by lildragon

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Ludwigia

They don't look so great to me, but it's up to you what you do with them. You won't be able to prep them any more after you've soaked them.

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Ptychodus04

I would say to wrap them up in blankets or set them on foam to transport as is and pray for the best (or just leave the really bad ones to their fate in the landfill). If you soak them in an irreversible glue, they will still be worthless.

 

If there’s as much in the collection as it sounds, I would definitely high grade and only take the stuff that you want or know you will prep.

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RJB

With only  a few days, i would do what Ptychodus offered.  Higrade the best ones and hope for the best until you can get to them with some prep. 

 

RB

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Ludwigia
24 minutes ago, RJB said:

With only  a few days, i would do what Ptychodus offered.  Higrade the best ones and hope for the best until you can get to them with some prep. 

 

RB

ditto

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lildragon

Roger that! I will be working there all week, repacking and moving fossils and minerals, and will update with more pictures soon.

 

As for the pieces discussed here, luckily I got plenty of blankets and foam to wrap these plates up. Fingers crossed they survive the 1,5 hour drive.

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smt126

Is there a stick of dynamite mixed in with those fossils? Tell me it's real lol

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JohnBrewer
14 hours ago, smt126 said:

Is there a stick of dynamite mixed in with those fossils? Tell me it's real lol

I was thinking that!

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JohnBrewer

Re the fossils the ones in bad shape do as @Ludwigia has said with the glue and give them to a school, better than slinging them. The better ones carefully transport and repost her when you have more time for advice on prep. :)

 

Oh, be careful with the dynamite..... ;) 

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Ptychodus04

FCCECF10-EDB0-40A0-943C-948FE67C9A00.gif.3acaa775e24e56f16d3419504506808c.gif

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smt126

How did the move of the fossils go?

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Ptychodus04
21 hours ago, lildragon said:

@Ptychodus04 @JohnBrewer @smt126 @Ludwigia

 

5a81c5ba50458_2018-02-1217_34_08-2018-02-1215_06_51.jpg-IrfanView(Zoom_974x722).jpg.83abaf58454c85cc53f9425f711fe503.jpg

 

Mystery solved! 

 

(It's a match stick box).

 

That’s not nearly as exciting. :P

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caldigger

It's the quickest way to remove all that excess matrix.

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lildragon
19 hours ago, smt126 said:

How did the move of the fossils go?

These plates haven't been moved yet. We did just prepare a wooden crate full of foam and blankets to transport them, possibly tomorrow or the day after. 

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Aurelius
On 2/4/2018 at 8:35 AM, lildragon said:

 

416819.jpg

417014.jpg

416836.jpg


These ones interest me. Is it possible that they have the original shell in place? If so, they might just need a bit of careful prep or abrading to reveal it. They definitely need to be kept safe, I would say.

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Tidgy's Dad

No. 

In my opinion these are just moulds of the original. 

There is no shell there. 

Any removal of matrix would just destroy the fossil. 

i'd leave them as they are. 

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Aurelius
1 hour ago, Tidgy's Dad said:

No. 

In my opinion these are just moulds of the original. 

There is no shell there. 

Any removal of matrix would just destroy the fossil. 

i'd leave them as they are. 

 

Are you certain? That middle one looks really tantalising. I see similar ones at Somerset, but I've never been to Whitby. If they're just impressions or flat moulds, then I wouldn't be that bothered.

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lildragon
7 hours ago, Aurelius said:

 

Are you certain? That middle one looks really tantalising. I see similar ones at Somerset, but I've never been to Whitby. If they're just impressions or flat moulds, then I wouldn't be that bothered.

None of them are moulds, the bumps of the ammonite all rise up. Especially the pink one. I've found moulds too, and those look entirely different.

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Aurelius
9 hours ago, lildragon said:

None of them are moulds, the bumps of the ammonite all rise up. Especially the pink one. I've found moulds too, and those look entirely different.

 

Are there any signs of the shell when you look up close?

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lildragon
On 2/14/2018 at 5:33 PM, Aurelius said:

 

Are there any signs of the shell when you look up close?

We wrapped most of the large plates up for transport yesterday, using industrial bubble wrap gifted to us by the head of the clean up crew, who is also a fossil collector focusing on the Devonian.

He showed me that the largest plate (the one with the teaspoon) still had many darkened shell fragments left.

 

We will be affixing that particular plate to a wooden board to stabilize it as per his suggestion, since none of the transport crates were big enough. The plate measures around 100cm x 100cm, so it's quite large. The fossil collector sir will aid us with it, so it is in good hands now.

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