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Prepping a Fern Glen rugose (Triplophyllites cliffordanus)

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First I will say that the number and size of the photos makes it so that uploading directly to the forum more of a job than I'm ready for at this time. Actually I had to divide the prep photos into two different links because there were too many to upload on one album. 


Secondly and more importantly big thank you to @piranha for linking me to the identification of my rugose coral. From the PDF linked I have came to the conclusion that the rugose coral is a Zaphrentis cliffordana. It's truly the only real match of the corals listed.


Now the prep.


I started with a Dremel engraver with a very small tip (I forgot the size I've had it for years). I took matrix away and away and away. After several hours I started to hit it lightly with a metal pick (think of a straight dental pick). I also took the Dremel engraver and started to work away my prep channels/lines as best I could making the stone around the coral smooth to the touch. Doing this also allowed for some of the natural stone and other fossils in the matrix to show up.


Next comes something I've never tried and maybe others haven't either. I started to scrape, cut, and whittle away at the smooth matrix with a pocket knife (a sharp one) this made it really smooth to the touch and the stone was fairly easy to do this to. Doing this really made the stone and what makes it up stand out (sort of like polishing it without the shine).


After all that I hit the fossil with the an air blast to get rid of all the loose dust and matrix. I then gave it a good soak in peroxide and hit it with a nylon brush and a tooth brush. 


After everything was dry I coated the fossil side of the matrix with a matte finish clear coat. This gives the matrix and fossil a slightly wet appearance making it stand out way more than the normal dry stone. 


Here is part one of the prep. The first photo was taken after just a few strokes of the Dremel engraver.




Here is the second part when I started to smooth the matrix around the fossil.




Sorry I didn't do step by step photo upload but I'm not that good at editing photos and my phone which I used this round took too large of photos and there were way too many (around 60 photos nearly). I at the very least was hoping to get the before and after photos uploaded but they were too big too.

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Zaphrentis cliffordana was reclassified by Easton 1944: Triplophyllites cliffordanus



Easton, W.H. 1944

Corals from the Chouteau and related formations of the Mississippi Valley region.

Illinois State Geological Survey Report of Investigations, 97:1-93  PDF LINK

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  • Raistlin changed the title to Prepping a Fern Glen rugose (Triplophyllites cliffordanus)

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