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Jacob L

Best gear to look for fossils in sand

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Jacob L

Hello, I am completely new and inexperienced in the amateur palaeontology world. I am planning some trips to search for fossils on the beaches in The Netherlands. What are the things I really need to have? I can think of a sieve and a shovel. But what are the best things to wrap found objects in? And what sizes of sieve should I buy and where from? Basically, throw everything at me you know, I'll take it in (eventually)

 

 

Happy Hunting!

 

-Jacob

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WhodamanHD

If you want to go all the way, I’d use the stackable kind of sieve, they filter it into different sizes. If not, it depends what your looking for. If you want to make sure you get all the teeth, a few mm should catch all or most of the small teeth. If your simply going for big ones a centimeter should do. I prefer to surface hunt, which is beach combing. Sieves are surprisingly expensive, it takes some searching for a good deal. Good luck!

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Fossildude19

It is good to start off inexpensively at first. A simple pasta strainer can be used in a pinch. 

Or you can make your own screen from hardware cloth and scrap wood or pvc pipe. 

Newspaper, foil or paper towels can be used to wrap your finds.

You may want to have a fanny sack, or back pack to lug your finds around. 

I find that a nail apron is good for storing small finds in while you hunt. :)

Good luck, Jacob. 

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caldigger

And do show us if you do find some goodies!

 

I will try to remember to take a few pics if my sifter set when I get home tonight.

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Jacob L
1 hour ago, Fossildude19 said:

It is good to start off inexpensively at first. A simple pasta strainer can be used in a pinch. 

Or you can make your own screen from hardware cloth and scrap wood or pvc pipe. 

Newspaper, foil or paper towels can be used to wrap your finds.

You may want to have a fanny sack, or back pack to lug your finds around. 

I find that a nail apron is good for storing small finds in while you hunt. :)

Good luck, Jacob. 

Thanks! I’ll look around what I got at home!

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Jacob L
51 minutes ago, caldigger said:

And do show us if you do find some goodies!

 

I will try to remember to take a few pics if my sifter set when I get home tonight.

Off course! Sharing is caring is what I always say ;)

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caldigger

Sorry, I forgot the pics the other night and then couldn't find what thread this subject was in.

Here are my sifters:

Commercial bought stacking shifters come in 2 mesh (1/2") to 400 mesh (powder size!). These fit nicely on top of a 5 gallon bucket. They stack so you can classify down to different sizes at the same time.

20180726_180727.jpg

 

This one I made for about two shovel full of material. It is approximately 22" x 22".

20180726_180834.jpg

I have a larger version of this one 30" x 30", that hangs from a 10 foot tripod for sifting a bucket full at a time.

Both shifters shown are standard 4 mesh ( 1/4" screen).

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Jacob L
1 hour ago, caldigger said:

Sorry, I forgot the pics the other night and then couldn't find what thread this subject was in.

Here are my sifters:

Commercial bought stacking shifters come in 2 mesh (1/2") to 400 mesh (powder size!). These fit nicely on top of a 5 gallon bucket. They stack so you can classify down to different sizes at the same time.

20180726_180727.jpg

 

This one I made for about two shovel full of material. It is approximately 22" x 22".

20180726_180834.jpg

I have a larger version of this one 30" x 30", that hangs from a 10 foot tripod for sifting a bucket full at a time.

Both shifters shown are standard 4 mesh ( 1/4" screen).

Awesome thanks! I'll see what I can do with a normal kitchen sieve and when I am back in The Netherlands I'll pay a visit to my local hardware store to get myself some items to make me my own.

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MeargleSchmeargl

Concerning shark teeth, you can sieve, but for me it's more fun (and productive, for me) to surface hunt, as it naturally gets me exploring places, rather than simply sitting in the same spot sifting dirt all day.

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CharlotteG

I’m not really familiar with hunting on the beach in the Netherlands... but as far as I understand it isn’t interesting to dig and sieve there... Most people surface hunt since the teeth and other fossils are washed ashore from layers exposed in the North sea (please correct me if I’m wrong ;)). In Antwerp we use sieves on a tripod like @caldigger showed in his previous post. But since a good sieve is an investment, you could also start with a small handheld sieve. Our local hardware store for example sells them for about 10 euro. I also wouldn’t go biggest than 0,5 cm, otherwise all the pretty small fossils will go right through it. (And really big teeth aren’t that common either) 

D7A72F83-A927-463F-B537-A046AA93B1BE.jpeg

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Jacob L
18 minutes ago, CharlotteG said:

I’m not really familiar with hunting on the beach in the Netherlands... but as far as I understand it isn’t interesting to dig and sieve there... Most people surface hunt since the teeth and other fossils are washed ashore from layers exposed in the North sea (please correct me if I’m wrong ;)). In Antwerp we use sieves on a tripod like @caldigger showed in his previous post. But since a good sieve is an investment, you could also start with a small handheld sieve. Our local hardware store for example sells them for about 10 euro. I also wouldn’t go biggest than 0,5 cm, otherwise all the pretty small fossils will go right through it. (And really big teeth aren’t that common either) 

D7A72F83-A927-463F-B537-A046AA93B1BE.jpeg

I never before went fossil hunting in The Netherlands but I think I’ll try both, do some surface hunting and sieve the top layer as well. 

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