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El_Hueso

My first attempt at matrix removal

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El_Hueso

I’ve browsed a few topics here and the work some of you guys do for fossil prep is very impressing. 

 

Its encouraged me to try my hand at some very basic matrix removal off a shell from the McKinney Falls area (very common).

 

Im only about 5 hours in but I have to say I have a whole new level of respect for you guys. This takes so much more patience than I realized. 

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8B9BB840-6EFB-4D34-834E-449008C798A5.jpeg

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JamieLynn

oi vey....that's exactly why I haven't attempted it on any of mine, even though I have a couple of ammonites I'd like to get that limestone matrix off of....I think I'll just leave them as is.

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snolly50

With a little experience and the correct tools, it can be a most enjoyable experience. I find it engenders a state of alert relaxation, similar to some types of meditation. The best I can describe it - you are aware and focused; but the task is so repetitive that the mind can soar or simply skate. Anyway, I hope you will continue and find it rewarding.

 

One thing...don't wreck your hands! The repetitive fine motion coupled with the (it is hoped) relaxed state can easily lead to strain on the muscles, connective components and skin of your hands.  Also, guard your lungs. I can't tell from the photos how much dust you are throwing, but don't hesitate to mask up, if needed. Good luck, have fun.

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El_Hueso

Thanks for the encouragement snolly. You are right about the hands! I've found that I get so "in the zone" that before I know it I'm hunched over in an awkward position and suffering from a hand cramp. I'll try to stay more aware of my posture and taking breaks. The facial mask is a good idea too. I have a Dremel tool here but I have yet to use it just yet. I was thinking of attempting it in a moment but I'm already tired and I don't want to try to push on while fatigue and ruin any of my progress. So far I have just used a series of different sized dental picks to lightly scrape the limestone off.

 

I can see myself doing this more often, but boy howdy takes it take time :)

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RJB

Hey El Hueso, 29 years ago I started prepping with one of my wife's steak knifes.  Now I have all the tools I need to do just about any kind of prep.  The thing is, prepping can be a ton of fun and you learn alot too.   Finding the fossils is the treasure hunt and prepping the fossils is the bonus.   The best thing you can do is take your time.  It can be theraputic too.  Sorry for the bad spelliing.

 

RB

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snolly50
1 minute ago, RJB said:

Sorry for the bad spelliing.

Great advice from long experience beats out bad spelling every time.

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Mark Kmiecik

The bending over in an awkward position will also put your neck and back into pain and possible spasm. Bring the work up to your face if possible. Get one of those ergonomic chairs that you half-sit half-kneel on. Take a 10-minute break every 20 minutes and get up and away from the workbench. Use a timer so you don't go over 20 minutes. The more breaks you take the less problems you'll have with discovering new muscles you never knew you had.

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Ludwigia

Well I usually take a break after an hour or so and my back is still intact :P, even though I've been prepping for about 20 years. Don't put your work too close to your face without eye protection. You're doing a good job by the looks of things anyway. Please show us that when you're done.

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Randyw

Looking good!

yes I agree there is something kind of meditative about prepping. (When you’re not working in small places or fine bones...) and I can tell you’re already getting the thrill of seeing it emerge from its millenniums of hiding and being the first person to ever see what was hidden under the stone

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RJB
9 hours ago, El_Hueso said:

Here’s an update, the spiral of the shell is really starting to stand out now

There are a lot of folks from Texas here and this is the first ive seen this fossil?   Very well preserved too!

 

RB

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RJB
9 hours ago, El_Hueso said:

Here’s an update, the spiral of the shell is really starting to stand out now

There are a lot of folks from Texas here and this is the first ive seen this fossil?   Very well preserved too!

 

RB

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will stevenson

It’s an exogyra right, nice prep btw:)

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JohnBrewer

Excellent work!

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Bobby Rico

Nice specimen and great prep work. :dinothumb:

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Mark Kmiecik

Looks very good. Well done.

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FossilNerd

That’s coming out nicely! Good work! 

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