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Pterygotus

Which air scribe to choose?

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Pterygotus

I’m looking to buy an air scribe but there are so many types i’m not sure which to choose. I will mainly use it to prep Aust, charmouth, Lyme Regis or Isle of Wight fossils (all in the UK). Does anyone have any recommendations? Also, am I right to say that I would also need to buy a air compressor? Thanks in advance.

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steelhead9

In the UK, Ken Mannion has a wide selection of good prep tools. Yes, you will need a compressor(there are many threads discussing this in detail here on the Fossil Forum). The best scribes I have used are manufactured by hand in Germany and are sold at The Stone Company in the US. 

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Kosmoceras

+1 for Ken Mannion - the Model TT pen is a good choice. You're right, you will need an air compressor in addition to the air pen. 

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Mark Kmiecik

You can also check with a museum in your area. If anyone knows what to use on the fossils found in your area it would be those doing the prep for museums.

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Ptychodus04

I'm a fan of Paleo Tools products.

 

As for the "right" scribe to get... There's no such thing. Different preps require different tools. I use 4 diferent scribes and really could use a 5th at times. Also, you'll need a compressor lrger than most people would think. Scribes use an inordinate amount of air as they run nonstop. A compressor that will drive a pneumatic nailer all day would never keep up with a scribe.

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Pterygotus

Which air scribe is best for beginner/ inexperienced air scribe preparation?

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jpc

I am like Kris.. I have 5 air scribes plugged in at all times and three or four more in the on deck circle.  And I will second his comments on the size of the compressor.  Bigger is better.  I did use a portable unit once that had two tanks on the sides that look like SCUBA tanks.  It ran all the time to run my air scribes.  This is NOT how a compressor should work.  You will buy a new one very quickly if your compressor runs all the time.  

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Ptychodus04
27 minutes ago, Pterygotus said:

Which air scribe is best for beginner/ inexperienced air scribe preparation?

 

You could start with an Aro clone. I've seen them to be had for around $100 it's not optimal but if you're just getting started, you probably don't want to spend $800 of a high quality scribe. the Aro is a good middle of the road scribe.

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Kane

+1 for an Aro clone. That should be pretty sufficient for entry-level prep. You'll love the results... until you prep a lot more (with more challenging specimens) and begin to see the necessity of tooling up. The more you prep, the more you may come to dislike your first preps. :D Expect to make a few mistakes, too, as those are the best teachers. 

 

But I think Kris' suggestion is best for now rather than spending big bucks on the finer tools like Ken Mannion or PT, Pferd, Krantz, etc. You need to first determine if you'll enjoy preparation -- it's not for everyone, and it can be very time consuming, occasionally frustrating, disappointing, and even tedious. Prep can be very slow, but the costs can escalate in a hurry!

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Ptychodus04
1 minute ago, Kane said:

+1 for an Aro clone. That should be pretty sufficient for entry-level prep. You'll love the results... until you prep a lot more (with more challenging specimens) and begin to see the necessity of tooling up. The more you prep, the more you may come to dislike your first preps. :D Expect to make a few mistakes, too, as those are the best teachers. 

 

But I think Kris' suggestion is best for now rather than spending big bucks on the finer tools like Ken Mannion or PT, Pferd, Krantz, etc. You need to first determine if you'll enjoy preparation -- it's not for everyone, and it can be very time consuming, occasionally frustrating, disappointing, and even tedious. Prep can be very slow, but the costs can escalate in a hurry!

 

*Suggested edit*

it's not for everyone, and it can be is very time consuming, occasionally regularly frustrating, disappointing, and even always tedious. Prep can be is very slow, but the costs can will escalate in a hurry! :P :default_rofl: I say this yet wouldn't stop prepping if I had to.

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Randyw
2 hours ago, Ptychodus04 said:

 

*Suggested edit*

it's not for everyone, and it can be is very time consuming, occasionally regularly frustrating, disappointing, and even always tedious. Prep can be is very slow, but the costs can will escalate in a hurry! :P :default_rofl: I say this yet wouldn't stop prepping if I had to.

+1! Slow, maddening, frustrating, dirty, expensive, and yet I still love it so! (I blame it on too many blows to the head when I was young.)

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RJB
On 6/11/2019 at 11:46 AM, Ptychodus04 said:

As for the "right" scribe to get... There's no such thing. Different preps require different tools. I use 4 diferent scribes and really could use a 5th at times. Also, you'll need a compressor lrger than most people would think. Scribes use an inordinate amount of air as they run nonstop. A compressor that will drive a pneumatic nailer all day would never keep up with a scribe.

Those German tools use half the air but are twice as expensive.  Its a give and take.   Im also a Paleo Tools guy.

 

RB

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steelhead9
1 hour ago, RJB said:

Those German tools use half the air but are twice as expensive.  Its a give and take.   Im also a Paleo Tools guy.

 

RB

I have 3 German tools and in 5 years they have never stalled once. When I used Paleo Tools scribes I was constantly dealing with stalling issues, especially with my aro. They are very nice when they work and half the money of the German tools, and RJB is exactly correct, they use half the air. I agree that plopping down $800 for a scribe when you are starting out is not the best idea, but don't go too cheap or your frustrations may turn you off prep work. Also, keep checking online. They often have very nice used tools at a great price. Paypal will cover you if they don't work. Good Luck.

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Ptychodus04
2 hours ago, steelhead9 said:

I have 3 German tools and in 5 years they have never stalled once. When I used Paleo Tools scribes I was constantly dealing with stalling issues, especially with my aro. They are very nice when they work and half the money of the German tools, and RJB is exactly correct, they use half the air. I agree that plopping down $800 for a scribe when you are starting out is not the best idea, but don't go too cheap or your frustrations may turn you off prep work. Also, keep checking online. They often have very nice used tools at a great price. Paypal will cover you if they don't work. Good Luck.

I notice stalling issues with my PT scribes only when the o-rings get worn out. Replace the rings and the stalling stops. :D That being said, I've never used the German engineered ones so my experience is limited.

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Kane

Sadly, changing O-rings, spring, and oiling hasn’t resolved my Aro woes. Oddly enough, I think it fears fossils... Every time I get it working, it stalls when I’m an inch away from the rock!

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steelhead9
32 minutes ago, Ptychodus04 said:

I notice stalling issues with my PT scribes only when the o-rings get worn out. Replace the rings and the stalling stops. :D That being said, I've never used the German engineered ones so my experience is limited.

The problem with my aro was that it chewed up the O-rings as fast as I put them in. I had to keep them drenched in oil to keep it running. Then, of course, I always had oily fossils.

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Ptychodus04
28 minutes ago, steelhead9 said:

The problem with my aro was that it chewed up the O-rings as fast as I put them in. I had to keep them drenched in oil to keep it running. Then, of course, I always had oily fossils.

That doesn't sound good. I wonder if you had a burr on one of the contact points to cause it to eat up the rubber.

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jpc
1 hour ago, Kane said:

Sadly, changing O-rings, spring, and oiling hasn’t resolved my Aro woes. Oddly enough, I think it fears fossils... Every time I get it working, it stalls when I’m an inch away from the rock!

Kane- have you tried cleaning it?  take the front apart and dunk all the pieces in alcohol, scrub and dry and re-assemble with a wee dram of oil if any. 

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Kane
28 minutes ago, jpc said:

Kane- have you tried cleaning it?  take the front apart and dunk all the pieces in alcohol, scrub and dry and re-assemble with a wee dram of oil if any. 

I'll give that a shot (although it's still relatively new and has seen no more than 2 hours of service). If that doesn't work, I'll be going medieval on it with a very liberal use of oil in the hose! The ME-9100 runs perfectly, and I've had little choice as of late but to use it for even more delicate prep, which is a little like trying to use a two-handed sledgehammer to gently tap a finishing nail... Thank goodness I can dial down the BPM on it. :P 

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steelhead9
2 hours ago, Kane said:

Sadly, changing O-rings, spring, and oiling hasn’t resolved my Aro woes. Oddly enough, I think it fears fossils... Every time I get it working, it stalls when I’m an inch away from the rock!

With mine, gently tapping the tip on the wooden floor of my blast cabinet usually restarts it, but what a pain to have to do that every 30 or 40 seconds when you are working. I agree that a thorough cleaning will temporarily solve the problem, but I got sick of doing that too. I sent mine back to be checked and it was better for a while, but the O-ring problem never fully resolved. Eventually, the time lost fussing with the scribe reached the breakeven point and I coughed up the dough for one of Charlie's German tools. Best thing I ever did for prepping.

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Ptychodus04
9 minutes ago, Kane said:

I'll give that a shot (although it's still relatively new and has seen no more than 2 hours of service). If that doesn't work, I'll be going medieval on it with a very liberal use of oil in the hose! The ME-9100 runs perfectly, and I've had little choice as of late but to use it for even more delicate prep, which is a little like trying to use a two-handed sledgehammer to gently tap a finishing nail... Thank goodness I can dial down the BPM on it. :P 

Have you talked to Brook or Bill about it? 

 

My Aro used to do the same but that was after years of service. I disassembled the whole thing (front end and air valve) and cleaned all the parts then dumped a bunch of oil in the hose and hung it over a bucket for a week. After I came back to it, I’m guessing it decided not to push its luck with me and has worked well ever since.

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Kane
14 minutes ago, Ptychodus04 said:

Have you talked to Brook or Bill about it? 

 

My Aro used to do the same but that was after years of service. I disassembled the whole thing (front end and air valve) and cleaned all the parts then dumped a bunch of oil in the hose and hung it over a bucket for a week. After I came back to it, I’m guessing it decided not to push its luck with me and has worked well ever since.

I haven't since they sent me the replacement stylus that snapped inside the base. Before I send them a message, I'm going to try the cleaning and tons of oil route first. Tapping the housing doesn't get it started. The only thing that seems to get it going (for a few seconds) is pushing the stylus into the wood to activate the spring, which is not ideal. For a time, compressing the spring between my fingers and putting it back was making it work ok for a little while. If the cleaning/oiling doesn't work, I'm wondering if it is a mechanical issue with the type of spring they are using, or the base plate is just a bit off (and thus might need a thicker O-ring?). 

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Ptychodus04

That’s an odd one for sure. This is what mine was doing but that was after a pile of use. 

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Welsh Wizard

Hi

 

I would recommend a Ken Mannion TT Pen. Start with a needle tip then buy a chiesel tip as well.

 

A compressor with a 100 litre receiver is more than big enough for both pens and most grinders. If you are going to do a lot of prep, I’d get a compressor with a 200 litre receiver.

 

Keep the compressor in another room or soundproof it.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Regards

 

Nick

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RJB
3 hours ago, Kane said:

Sadly, changing O-rings, spring, and oiling hasn’t resolved my Aro woes. Oddly enough, I think it fears fossils... Every time I get it working, it stalls when I’m an inch away from the rock!

Ive had stalling problems with my aro's but very little.  How much pressure are you running?  I use 110 psi.

 

RB

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