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  1. I threw together a guide to manual prep tools for one of my students who is interested in trying her hand at some peck and scratch work on fossils. Figure I'd share a version of it with yinze. (mildly edited to comply with forum regs) Manual Prep Tools- Earth Sciences Basic "starter tools" You probably have some stuff around your home already that will work for basic prep- large sewing needles, various nails and screws, and even old drill bits. Basically, if it is sharp and pointy, you can probably remove some rock! Hardened nails, like blued fin
  2. So this is the first prep I've attempted with my new Dremel (with specialised tips for fossils/rocks). The ammonite is from Saltwick Bay in Yorkshire. I chose this as my first practice piece as I thought that it was going to be pretty bashed up inside so would be a good one to say 'oh well' if/when I make mistakes. Sadly I now think it could have been quite nice had I saved it for when I have more experience! Anyway, to my inexperienced touch the matrix felt very sticky, with practically none of the matrix popping off nicely. I felt like I was having to carve out the ammonite and t
  3. Fossil Fen

    Lobster Prep Advice

    Hello All, I came across this fossil at a local rock and gem store and I'm having a go at preparing it. Apparently it is from Indonesia and I believe is a Thalassina, although with the spindle like legs I haven't seen anything that looks like an exact match. Here's my question; the fossil is covered with a sticky coarse sandstone, and I'm wondering how much of the matrix I should leave between joints in the tail and between the legs on the main body. I'm not sure if removing too much matrix will just cause the fossil to fall apart, but I suspect it might. Has anyone had
  4. Ill be working on a pretty big fossil and wanted to know any differences between paraloid b - 72 and paleo bond stabilizer . I've used paranoid on a few things but have no experience with paleobond stabilizer. Are they used the same ? Does paleo bond need any mixing ?
  5. I had a bit of spare time today so I thought I'd prep a trilobite or two from my trip around the Confusion and House Ranges of Utah. (See trip report here) I had found this guy in someone else's throwaway pile probably after it came out chipped and subsequently scraped. I didn't think it was worth leaving out in the elements so I brought it home. Here's a before picture. After 4 hours of swapping between dental picks, wire brushes, toothpicks, and various Dremel attachments here is my final product. It's not perfect at all bu
  6. I have a few really nice fossils from the White River Formation of northeastern Colorado that I need to prep, and given I am a beginner at fossil prep I would really like to gain some advice and guidance from people with experience do I don’t accidentally damage the fossils. The first fossil is an Oreodont skull. The skull is mostly intact, and I was able to extract it from the field without using any glue or stabilizer or consolidant or anything like that, so this fossil is in its “natural state.” The zygomatic arch and upper tooth row are crumbling, but
  7. fossilhunter21

    Fossilhunters fish prep

    I am not great at fossil prepping but I thought I might keep you guys updated on how my prep is going. This one is a challenge, the matrix is so hard it broke the tip off of my xacto knife. I have been working on this for 6-7 hours.
  8. Hello Fossil Forum, Thank you all for the fantastic information I've already been able to find on prep tools and overall prep lab requirements. I'm in the investigation phase right now and am poised to purchase my first air scribes as an upgrade to the electric engraver I've been using so far. My question is this; for any of the Canadian experts out there, do you have any suggestions on where to look for tools and supplies that can be delivered easily within Canada? There are a lot of great retailers out there, but they all seem to be located in the USA or UK, are there any Canadia
  9. Fish aren’t the only things I can prep (although recent posts may appear that way). I just wrapped up these trilobites for a fellow TFF member. All in, they took 5.5 hours. The larger one required significant consolidation as it was horribly cracked.
  10. PrehistoricWonders

    Air Scribes

    Hi all, I was wondering if anyone could give me advice on 1. air scribes you’ve found are good for fossil prep, and 2. All the parts needed for Scribes. I’m not quite sure all the parts needed for a scribe, I know you need the scribe itself and an air compressor, but I don’t know beyond that. P.s; the fossils I’ll be working on will be Green River fish, for the most part.
  11. Ptychodus04

    Crab Prep

    I took a break from working in contract preps last night and spent an hour with the Super Jack attacking the crab that I got from @Doctor Mud. This far, the crab doesn’t appear to be sticky or covered in calcite.
  12. Its fossil Friday, so share a pic of your latest fossil acquisition, or prep. This is my latest prep project, a large Mioplosus from the Green River fm of Wyoming. Its not 100% finished but getting very close. Sadly it had already lost 1/2 to 2/3 of the tail before I found it, it has some damage to the rear dorsal fin, and the original break/exposure was through the head so it will take extra work to remove the glue used for an improvised field repair. I did learn a good lesson and will be bring proper consolidates and glues when I go fishing this year.
  13. Jurassicz

    Bad Trilobite split

    I split this trilo from a rock, Some shell got stuck on the negative. How do I fix this? Is the Trilobite destroyed? Should I glue the Trilobite back on the rock? How do i get the shell back on the trilo? Is it normal that shell can come off Trilobites? Trilobite head Negatives with shell stuck
  14. I have been trying my hand at prepping for a few months now. Started with some nice air scribes, then tried air abrasion. I bought a cheap badger airbrush and threw tons of media at fossils. To me, it seemed that no matter what the pressure or sand agent, I saw absolutely no results. So, I bought a AEC and had it overnighted, hoping I was just using the wrong tool. Well, absolutely I was using the wrong tool. The moment I got the AEC up and running, I finally understood why it's called an air eraser. Slowly, but surely, the tough dolemite matrix melted away, as if it was being miraculou
  15. Well, I’m finally getting to dig into my truckload of fossils from my Wyoming trip with @RJB so it’s my turn to open up a prep thread. I spent a couple hours today poking around to find the perfect fish to start with. The 18” layer never disappoints. This good sized Diplomystus has 2 Knightia on top of it. I’m going to try to save both but I’m concerned that the right hand one is covering most of the Diplo’s skull. If that’s the case, the little guy will have to go! This is after about 90 minutes of scribe work.
  16. Jurassicz

    Fossil prep and dust

    So i prep with hand tools. Mostly chalk and limestone. But i am worried about the dust coming off the rocks. I spray the rocks with water so dust wont come up. But im not sure if that works. Do i need a mask?
  17. So i got alot of trilobites that i would like to prep. But i only have a dremel and hand tools. But i dont think a dremel would be good for trilobites. Most of them are in limestone from sweden. Mostly kinnekulle. Im scared of doing damage to the trilobites with hand tools. As i cant get air tools. I have sharp nail vises and a exacto knife and a optivisor. Also the matrix can sometimes be soft and easy to prep and sometimes it can be super hard
  18. Big44g

    Question on Fish Prep

    I have a questions on how to properly prep Fish fossils. I collected the attached fish from the green river formation near Kimmerer WY a few years ago. I have not done anything to the sample, I collected it, returned home and displayed it. How does one properly look for other fish in the matrix? I can see very small parts of other fish in the sample, but do not want to do anything to the sample until I get a better understanding on how to prep fish fossils. Thanks for the help
  19. I have been looking into purchasing a quieter compressor. I hear great things about how quiet the California Air Tools units are but some have suggested that the compressors may not last that long. Has anyone here used any of these for fossil preparation? I will typically run a compressor 5-8 hours a day for fossil work. Im looking at the 8010spc but if im only gonna get a few years out of it, it might not be worth the extra cash. Nick
  20. I was lucky enough to find a crab concretion, and not knowing what it was, opened it with a hammer. I included images below for reference of what I am talking about. * Part of the leg and claw are in imprint. What is the best approach getting them out without damage? I'm thinking manual tools? * It looks like there might be another concretion connected to that piece. Would I be able to freeze-thaw to open it now that the other fossil is exposed or could this cause damage?
  21. Being a member of the forum for 7 great years now, I have seen plenty of questions from beginners asking how to prep their finds. And this was something I struggled with at the beginning myself. As a result, I have brought together some of MY techniques of basic fossil preparation in a picture heavy presentation. Each fossil shown required less than 4 minutes to prep. It works well for me with the type of rock that I pick up. My old techniques will probably make more advanced members cringe!!! But remember, we all have to start somewhere. So let us begin with items that are probably already f
  22. How do people prep trilobites in cross sections? Heres a picture i found. I really want to learn to prep trilobites in cross sections how do they know where the head and pygdium is?
  23. Hello, I have a bit of an odd piece, it's not a fossil, it's a scorpion! The scorpion was in its burrow in a dune when the dune collapsed, I would like to stabalize the sand, so that I can display it. This isn't a particularly important find, so I wouldn't mind if it broke in the process. Keep in mind, I have very limited materials.
  24. Jurassicz

    Trilobite found in kinnekulle

    Not sure if this is a good picture but i Found this trilobite in kinnekulle sweden. And im going to prep it but not sure what species it is. Anyone knows? The age is ordocvician
  25. Looking for some tips. I've been given an older CP 9361 but want to get a new stylus. Looking at getting it from Paleotools. What my question to you prep pros is what stylus would you recommend? I'm thinking the 1.5' or 2' pointed stylus? Will be mostly doing trilobites and plants in shale and mudstone. @Kane @piranha
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