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Sometimes You Have To Whack It !!


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I have a lot of unopened Mazon Creek concretions and though I do put some out in the winter for the Freeze / Thaw process, the vast majority, especially the larger ones do not open. So to dwindle my concretions, I have no problem whacking them with a hammer, and that is what I was doing today. As we all know, this is not the best way to do it since it can damage a nice specimen, but I take my chances. 

 

I always picked up any concretion that looked promising and never passed up larger ones. This all depends on the are that you are collecting, concretions from Pit 11 are never super large, but Pit 4 always produced larger ones - see below. Though these are large, they are by no means my largest.

 

IMG_4230.jpg.bf384e8dc049e902db8e1bc080b48e49.jpg

 

The vast majority of the time there is nothing inside, like the one below.

 

IMG_4241.jpg.8192c24310364c96fd87b7c5e27e520d.jpg

 

 

Other ones produce something nice, like this Alethopteris that I cracked open today.

 

IMG_4243.jpg.310418d67d4d78a2867d5936ec9575bb.jpgIMG_4244.jpg.1d06307b36bc1807c2a6251e71a63dc3.jpg

 

Cleaned up_

 

IMG_4246.thumb.jpg.e3811b004f15d136aae8e09e83ec87b4.jpg

 

 

A couple of my other finds from today, nothing spectacular, but is nice to get rid of the dud ones.

 

Neuropteris

 

IMG_4233.jpg.97acdfb41338662abeff66f0f2534faf.jpg

 

Annularia

 

IMG_4237.jpg.20880138b04b68f3173662e0c8f9ede7.jpgIMG_4234.jpg.4144aba172700d59e17d744f08065fb0.jpg

 

Annularia, Neuropteris and Bark

 

IMG_4238.jpg.32e8334edafee14f2ab0a2f57e1021a1.jpg

 

Asterophyllites

 

IMG_4242.jpg.5c2fcf390a661a1a0be9a7d7d9a131a6.jpg

 

Bark

 

IMG_4240.jpg.4b098a3125dffcd08558da0cf45e0846.jpg

 

Essexella asherae Jellyfish

 

IMG_4245.jpg.91fd117c0b8c2943924b914461100532.jpg

 

 

 

 

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Wow, nice plant parts. I don't think I'll ever make it to this site so I'm a bit envious.

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WhodamanHD

Awesome finds! Even the did one looks kinda cool IMO. When you say “clean up”, do you mean with vinegar? I’d be so scared that I’d damage the fossil.

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4 minutes ago, WhodamanHD said:

Awesome finds! Even the did one looks kinda cool IMO. When you say “clean up”, do you mean with vinegar? I’d be so scared that I’d damage the fossil.

Yes, I have never had a problem using it with Flora, but I do not use it on any Fauna, with the exception of Essexella.

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Raggedy Man
21 minutes ago, Innocentx said:

Wow, nice plant parts. I don't think I'll ever make it to this site so I'm a bit envious.

Come on up! Im sure we can get a group together in the fall. Bring a small leaf rake! Lol

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Those really ARE nice!

 

-Joe

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Peat Burns

Mazon creek nodules remind me of the old tootsie roll tootsie pop commercial about how many licks it takes to get to the tootsie roll center.  Like the owl who only got in 3 licks before biting into the tootsie pop, my patience runs out after about the 3rd freeze-thaw cycle and then out comes the hammer!:hammer01::muahaha:

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7 minutes ago, Fruitbat said:

Those really ARE nice!

 

-Joe

Thanks Joe

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Wrangellian

I'm wondering if taking a hammer to them isn't the worst way to go, at least after a couple rounds of freeze-thaw. The one and only time I tried freeze-thawing a batch of Mazon nodules many of them lost their rinds long before splitting open. Of course I didn't find much of anything, but if I had found something, I would have been a little disappointed that their outer rinds were all flaked off, leaving only an ugly, angular fractured nodule surface. If hammering breaks one side into 2 or more pieces, gluing back together can't be the worst thing..?

Maybe a screw-operated chisel device should be developed for opening Mazon nodules more carefully than whacking with a hammer? Is there such a thing?

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I know that there is a chain type thing for geodes, but that would not work here. Hammering has always been the tried and true way to open them. I have had some that I freeze/thawed open 30 times that never opened. I always have superglue ready and I have messed up a number of fossils, but only one fish did not totally make it. I just have so many, the only way to go through them is to hammer them from time to time.

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Wrangellian

Not sure what you mean by 'chain type thing'... I'm thinking of something like a vise or a G-slamp fitted with a chisel tip on one or both sides, which you position on the nodule where you think it should split, and crank it slowly until it splits. Might be less messy or liable to shatter than a hammer swing. But if you say hammering is tried-and-true, I'll take your word for it.

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The problem with trying to position something like you describe, you don’t know where the Fossil might be in the concretion. Many times it is in the center, but other times it is not. 

 

The chain aim thing I mentioned is used like a vise, you tighten it and the geode cracks open. That type of thing in my opinion, would also not work.

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Wrangellian

I thought it might work if you had a good idea of where the fossil was, but if not, I guess not.

How do you know where to hammer them, just randomly?

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Tidgy's Dad

Very nice, just from bashing a few lumps you had lying around:D

I was looking at my stuff again the other day! 

Lovely :wub:

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When trying to get stone to split in a certain place, one can make shallow chisel pecks along a line (around the wide edge in this case).  Quite often the stone will then split at this line with the final hammer blow. 

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Bottom like you cannot leave an stone unturned or in your case wacked on.  Nice work, cool finds.

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5 hours ago, Wrangellian said:

I thought it might work if you had a good idea of where the fossil was, but if not, I guess not.

How do you know where to hammer them, just randomly?

I always hit them along the side.

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Bobby Rico

Great finds Ralph, some good whacking has taken place. :envy:

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Nice finds!

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Tidgy's Dad
1 hour ago, Troodon said:

Bottom like you 

?

Not very nice thing to say about Ralph.;)

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8 minutes ago, Tidgy's Dad said:

?

Not very nice thing to say about Ralph.;)

I think he means bottom line - lol 

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On 5/14/2018 at 1:47 AM, Wrangellian said:

Not sure what you mean by 'chain type thing'...

I believe it would be the Ratcheting Soil Pipe Cutter...

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Wrangellian

That sounds vaguely familiar.

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Nice finds and explanation of techniques. The title brought a smile. I remember having some smaller ones in the freezer for quite a while after the others popped open and cycling those stubborn leftovers I did for way way too long! Mother nature probably has the patience to watch nothing happen on a macro level but I didnt. As it turned out there wasnt anything in them anyways and they deserved their smashing demise. If they were larger nodules I'd probably still be cylcing/waiting and enduring the questions from the wife why I had rocks in the freezer. 

 

Regards, Chris  

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22 hours ago, Pilobolus said:

I believe it would be the Ratcheting Soil Pipe Cutter...

These can be rented at Home Depot. Still wondering if it would work correctly.

Soil-Pipe-Cutter.jpg

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