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I was recently given an Oreodont skull that someone had started but he gave up on it after breaking it into 5 pieces. One of my relatives who knows him was talking about how I’m into fossils and the guy just gives it to him so he gave it to me! So it’s my next project. Even though it’s not in the best shape I’m still excited to get it! I love prepping fossils even though I can only do it on my days off.

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Here is my old Forum account of an Oreodont prep. It gives a pretty detailed narrative of the adventure and misadventure. You are in for a fun experience and your post seemed especially relevant to me, as I just pulled a skull/lower out of storage that is in several pieces. I hope it to be my Summer project. Good luck and have fun.

 

 

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  Im with Ptychodus on this.  Nice gift!  have fun

 

RB

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steelhead9

This is a very nice leptauchenia. Very rare to have the incisors and canines. I hope you have air abrasive as these are quite delicate and it would be a shame to lose them. Good luck with it.

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That’s what I thought it was too. Unfortunately I don’t have an air abrasive (although I plan on one soon. so I plan to leave that part alone for now it’s mostly cleared anyway.

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I just wish he hadn’t of broken it so badly. There’s a lot missing right at the breaks

but I’m definitely not complaining. According to the story I got he was trying to break off some of the overburden with a hammer and it shattered.

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13 hours ago, snolly50 said:

Here is my old Forum account of an Oreodont prep. It gives a pretty detailed narrative of the adventure and misadventure. You are in for a fun experience and your post seemed especially relevant to me, as I just pulled a skull/lower out of storage that is in several pieces. I hope it to be my Summer project. Good luck and have fun.

 

 

I saw this post and you did a really great job on her!

 

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I saw in your post you had some breakage wich you glued together. Would you recommend gluing this together before or after prepping? I was planning on afterwards so I’m working with smaller easier sized chunks but then I worry about the broken edges flaking easier. Any suggestions? 

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6 hours ago, Randyw said:

According to the story I got he was trying to break off some of the overburden with a hammer and it shattered.

Wow!  That just makes me cringe to no end!   Its up to you, but I like to glue together and then prep.  Sometimes the matrix itself can help to allign it.  Then I would fill in the missing parts with a two part putty.  Good luck

 

RB

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2 hours ago, RJB said:

Wow!  That just makes me cringe to no end!   Its up to you, but I like to glue together and then prep.  Sometimes the matrix itself can help to allign it.  Then I would fill in the missing parts with a two part putty.  Good luck

 

RB

I would agree. The original chunk may have had space between bone pieces at the cracks in the first place.  If you wait to glue after you fully prep it out, you may not get good alignment of the pieces.

Besides having some matrix within the finished piece helps stabilize it structurally.

If you look at most White River Formation fossils, pretty much all of them have matrix left on to help hold it together.

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10 hours ago, Randyw said:

was trying to break off some of the overburden with a hammer and it shattered

Yes, the "whack and hope" technique rarely yields desirable results. RJB and caldigger have provided sage advice - glue first. This adds a small difficulty to the prep, as you will have to cut through glued sections, which are a little tougher than pristine matrix. However, the achieved alignment makes this small extra effort worthwhile.

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steelhead9
11 hours ago, Randyw said:

I saw in your post you had some breakage wich you glued together. Would you recommend gluing this together before or after prepping? I was planning on afterwards so I’m working with smaller easier sized chunks but then I worry about the broken edges flaking easier. Any suggestions? 

Definitely glue then prep.

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Mark Kmiecik

I've put quite a few Mazon Creek 3D jigsaw puzzles together and I can attest to the improved alignment if matrix is used as an additional guide.

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Yes I’ve been thinking about it since my post last night and I think gluing it is the way to go.the matrix on this seems to be harder then the other Oreodonts I’ve worked on. So I’m thinking it may be a bit more of a challenge and none of my others were broken like this. It should be fun though! 

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Ptychodus04

Also, gluing helps to support the broken edges of the fossil. It is very easy to lose bone on the cracks during prep if the bone isn’t supported so leaving it in pieces just gives more of an opportunity for breakage.

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  What a team!!!   

 

RB

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I thought while this piece was drying I’d show you her brothers and sisters. As you can tell none of them are barn burners but I like them. 4 of them are still works in progress....

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well I haven’t been able to get back to this for a while. I had other home projects that had to be done first. I finally got to work on it a bit today. I’ve mainly been clearing of the overburden today. Here’s a couple pictures of it wet so you can see what I’m working with. The matrix reall has some toughness to it and it really wants to stick to the bone in the couple places I tested. This is gonna take some work I think

 

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