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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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?
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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?
  10. 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
  11. 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?
  12. 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.
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. I found another Ensiferites brandenburgi sponge that is now currently the largest ever found at 7 cm x 7.5 cm across. Part of the top displays lots of 1 mm spicules. Unfortunately the top of the calcareous sponge is mostly covered with caliche and possibly the limestone matrix. Is there any hope to prep this to expose all the spicules on the top? How? This could become a near museum piece thus I don’t want to practice my prepping skills in it. Help @Ptychodus04.
  17. MrBones

    Echinoid in rough shape

    Hello, I found this echinoid the other day, and I was hoping to clean it up. Unfortunately, it's in bad shape. This is the only one I have of this type, so I would like to make it presentable. I found it on Jebel Hafeet, Al Ain, UAE (United Arab Emirates). The fossil appears to be covered in calcite, plus the rock there is mainly made up of limestone. I heard that the "vinegar bath" isn't such a good idea, what else can I do?
  18. minnbuckeye

    Prep Room Ventilation

    It has been 9 months since I began planning a room to "seriously" prep fossils in. All of the equipment has been purchased. The blasting box constructed.I am just finishing the wall in my basement. Excitement is growing!!!! My only area of confusion left concerns the general air in the prep room. What do preppers use to keep the room air fresh. I am venting the blasting box outside. I am open to all suggestions. The room is 144 square feet. No windows exist. Does anyone have issues drawing air out of the room and causing the pilot light on the furnace and water heater to go out?
  19. So i got some fossils i need to prep mostly hard limestone. But i use hand tools. Any tips on how to make it easier? Is there a way to soften the limestone?
  20. I probably should have started this thread years ago but better late than never. Ive got a bunch of fossil fish im going to prep out this summer. Im going to start with a Priscara serata that my sons friend found just last week. This serata has another right on top of it but missing some of itself so its going by by. This fish is from the bottom cap of the 18 inch layer and is in some very dense and very hard rock. The stuff I really like!!! A lot harder to prep than the split fish but nicer fish to say the least. Much harder bone too and can stand up against even pure dolomite! My
  21. These are two of my favourites, which I have been working on with my dremel to remove matrix. Parts of both show a fantastic golden pyrite. Sorry the pics don’t show it too well. I suspect the gold is fading however. A few questions: 1. Can I do anything to bring out the gold? Would polishing with a wire dremel head help? 2. What can I do to preserve the gold? Should I coat/seal them? Thanks in advance!


    I've got a few Green River fish to prep and am having difficulty with the fins. I've prepped invertebrates before but haven't hit on the technique for these fish yet. I have a Paleo-Aro airscribe and an abrasive blaster, sodium bicarb and dolomite. The Paleo-aro seems too robust for the delicate fin rays and tends to damage a lot of them. I'm thinking of getting a micro jack but not sure of which # would be appropriate. I almost have my air-blaster up and running again. Is using sodium bicarb at a low pressure the answer? I know a couple of people who only use manual picks and have amazing res
  23. Nothing too spectacular here, but am getting better using the new air scribes and media blaster. Having the stereoscope on a swing arm reall helps! these are all common or low quality fossils I collected or kept around just for practice.
  24. I have 1kg of rough Burmese amber stones ready to polish but I'm a little stumped as to where to start. I've polished Dominican pieces before using a dremel and wet sandpaper with success, but this stuff is older and much harder. In addition to the thin rough skin on these pieces, a lot have rock (or some combination of amber/earth) running through them making it difficult to figure out the plan of attack in regard to finding inclusions and getting a nice shine. Anyone here have experience with this?

    Proboscidean Ulna

    Since the Peace River, FL has been running deep and fast for the last few weeks I decided to spend some time prepping and making a display for several proboscidean bones found in the spring. After posting the bones for id here when they were found and doing a bit of research on my own I believe what I have are pieces of an ulna from either a Mammoth or Mastodon. There is the possibility of Gomph, but Dr. Hulbert has informed me a couple of times that Gomph specimens have not yet been found in the Peace River. So first up is a photo of the four ulna sections along with the other
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