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  1. I was recently out vacationing in Wyoming and spent Saturday morning (7/24/21) hunting in the badlands. As I sat down to rest for a moment, I looked down and saw what I thought were a radius/ulna pair from a small mammal. Upon closer inspection, it was a pair of lower jaws freshly exposed on the edge of a nodule and on the backside, a small skull. Needless to say, I was ecstatic. I spent a bit of time making sure the specimen was consolidated (Paleobond Penetrant, wish I had brought some 4417) and packed it up for the trip home. I was thinking it woul
  2. I'm starting to get into mechanical prep seeing as with the quarantine I have extra time on my hand. My equipment arrived before my projects did so I've been practicing on this invert I had on hand. I believe this is a gastropod? Or is it a bivalve? I can never keep them straight in my head. Anyways, I forgot to take a before picture so I apologize for this awful photo as it was the only one I had: And this is it currently: Obviously not done yet, needs some more work and then some serious clean up to make it look nice but I'm thinking to put it aside for a
  3. PetrosTrilobite

    Mazon Creek Preparation

    I have some questions about Mazon Creek fossils preparation. 1. How we can know that the "egg" contain a fossil? 2. How we can cut the "egg" in the correct point, without to damage the fossil? 3. When we see pos/neg specimes, how the "egg" has been cuted so accurate?
  4. Kane

    Kane's Bug Preps

    UPDATE: Consolidated all my loose preparation threads into one topic. Four hours so far into this big bug, and maybe another two to go. Found at Penn Dixie this past weekend, the visible area measures 6 cm. With the pygidium, it likely measured about 8+ cm. Judging by its size and pustular sculpture, this was likely a long-lived specimen prior to burial. This is how it looked fresh in the field:
  5. Daniel Fischer

    My first fossil preparation

    Hello, two days ago I made my first fossil preparation and I figured I should share it here. I know I probably made a ton of mistakes but I am happy with the result. It took me around about 2 hours and I would love to hear from you everything I have done wrong. here are before and after pictures, I did not write on the pictures what is before and what is after but I think you can figure it out, I know it's my first try but how bad can it be.
  6. I recently completed my first fossil prep. Woohoo! As a novice, I did a lot of reading and research; trying to piece together exactly what I was supposed to do. How exactly I was supposed to "prep" the fossil and what that process entailed. While I found a wealth of information here on TFF, and other avenues, that information took a while for me to uncover and assemble into something useful. Not that the information itself wasn't useful, but uncovering a bit of info would often cause even more questions to arise. Consequently, it sometimes felt like taking 1 step forward but 3 steps back at th
  7. 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
  8. Hello everyone! I am interested in purchasing a microscope to try out fossil prep under one as well as just observing smaller fossils under it. I have begun doing some research and have come up with some good options but I wanted to ask here as well in case anyone had any suggestions. I am looking for a stereo microscope that would be pretty simple and fairly inexpensive, if anyone has suggestions for one like this I would love to hear them, Thank you, Misha
  9. Thomas.Dodson

    DIY Dust Collection System

    I've received a couple requests for more information/instructions on how my DIY dust collection system works so I decided to write this guide. First, a crude diagram to help understand how it works. The idea is for water to act as a filter before dust even gets to the shop vac filter. It keeps the filter almost entirely clean and prevents dust from prematurely killing the motor. It's also a lot easier to clean up as you just dump the dirty water. The setup is simple and as long as the general process goes like this it is fine but I'll walk through how I built my current system. I u
  10. Crusty_Crab

    Chemical Preparation

    I am writing a short manual on preparation methods for our club and I am including a short section on chemical preparation. This is most commonly done with acids on carbonate rocks. For many newbies, chemical preparation is attractive since all you need is a weak acid that everyone has in their kitchen (vinegar or lemon juice) and don't have to buy expensive equipment. I try to avoid it if at all possible since it works on a very narrow class of matrices, you have relatively little control over it, you may dissolve the fossil itself if it hasn't been silicified and its irreversible. Consequent
  11. Hi, I am looking to buy a good MicroBlasting unit and need some expert advises. I know the prices of a good unit can go way over 5000$ and want some advises before spending that much. The main fossils I am working on are Trilobites and Echinoderms. Here is the 3 best units I have looked at so far: Crystal Mark: Swamblaster MV-2 Comco: Microblaster Comco: Accuflo Any Other Quality Micro Blasting Unit suggestion? Anyone out there using one of those unit and who can tell me how it goes? Thank you to all p
  12. Back during an April trip to the Widder Formation (Mid-Devonian), I came upon a rather sizeable placoderm. It is very likely the arthrodire, Protitanichthys sp., although it is a bit of wastebasket taxon, but new research is underway. It was pretty much stuck in this rock, and it was only going to come out the hard way. I collected every little bit I could find from that dirty, messy bench, including the impression. Here is the in situ photo:
  13. Hello everyone, first of all I want to say how I love this forum and how many great people are here, I couldn't find a better community. Back on topic I'm pretty much a novice when it comes to fossil preparation, I only prepped some echinoderms, bivalve and some isolated Ictitherium teeth. But after reading and reading topic on this forum I decided to begin a bigger project. I bought an oreodont skull, as you can see from the photos it seems in really good conditions and the matrix seems really soft to work on. At the same time I see that there are many fracture on the
  14. I have several fossils that have crystallized shells. I would like any advice on preparing the fossil without having the crystallized structure disintegrated. See example photo and the crystals structures around the edges of the spiral. Thanks. .
  15. 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.
  16. Hello all. Does anybody know the best way to preserve a 'Tully monster' specimen. I recall once reading that the surface often needs to be coated with a preservative against oxidizing, etc. One of my specimens has a tiny bit of red on the one eye, which I don't recall being there last year. Please see photos; advice deeply appreciated.
  17. Hello, I am an amateur fossil hunter whos level of knowledge is pretty limited. I love going out and hunting but my ability to identify and prep what I find is quite limited. I found this cephalopod fossil near Cincinnati Ohio a couple of years ago and it is by far my best find ever. I'm typically fine picking at or grinding away with a Dremel trying to prep my finds as they are usually small bits. Nothing I'm worried about ruining. This is something different and I'm pretty apprehensive about working on it. I read there isn't much harm in gluing it back together and I attempter this. It looks
  18. Hello community, A friend of mine recently gifted me this keichousaurus. But as you can see the Preperation is not the cleanest/nicest. Can I as an amateur fix this by myself or make it look cleaner and nicer? I also had the Idea that I maybe could work from the other side with Acid layer by layer. Then I could also be able to see the upper side of the specimen rather than its belly. Or would that not work/ be to risky? Isbthe rock maybe to thin? Can i as an amateur who never worked on a fossil with acid before make that or is it generally not possible?
  19. Hello everyone! I recently received this cool fossil from the Devonian in Scotland, it is a Palaeospondylus gunni: I have seen fossils of this enigmatic organism prepared in really wonderful ways to expose more of the animal and I was wondering: would this be possible to do here? I am not exactly sure of the process used on the others, possibly just really fine air abrasion? The fossil seems to be rather thin against the rock but it isn't completely flat, here are some pictures I took under the digital microscope, hopefully they might show it a bit better.
  20. I know that a trilobite in limestone is found by breaking the rock, seeing its cross section in the pieces, and noting where it is. Then it is prepared by gluing the rocks back together and using jacks and air abrasion tools to remove the rock. My question: What sort of glue is used when gluing the rock back together? What set time does it have?
  21. Hello friends! I am experimenting this period with my new Haufwerk W224 air scribe. It is recommended as ideal for beginners and rated for medium to fine preparation. My first lab rat turned out above my expectation. First attempt was done without press. regulator and without filter, since I did not know I needed these. Lab rate Prior preparation and After. Soft limestone for your reference. After having finished the above and onwards I work with pressure regulator (never above 5bar~70psi) and water separating filter to ensure I am using dry air.
  22. ParkerPaleo

    Acid Prep

    This could possibly be a random incoherent thought bubble, but here goes anyway. I was reading another thread which mentioned acid prep as the way to go for a particular item and then was proceeded by a bunch of professional preparators (that I repsect) being scared of the prospect of attempting it themselves. This really bothered me. I know I have a wealth of experience preparing far surpassing what a normal fossil aficionado would have, and I have always thought of acid as a tool in my bag and not something to be scared of. I am not a professional preparator, though
  23. Cifelli, R., Madsen, S.K. and Larson, M.E., 1996. Techniques for recovery and preparation of microvertebrate fossils (No. 4). Oklahoma Geological Survey. http://preparation.paleo.amnh.org/assets/Madsen1996Microvertebratepreparation.pdf https://www.researchgate.net/publication/259022020_Techniques_for_Recovery_and_Preparation_of_Microvertebrate_Fossils https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Richard_Cifelli/research Hibbard, C.W., 1949. Techniques of collecting microvertebrate fossils. Contributions of the Museum of Paleontology, University of Michigan 3 (
  24. Hi guys, I'm looking for a little advice on preparing a big block of matrix containing at least two trimerorhachis skulls and other bone material. I'm completely new to fossil preparation and I've never attempted anything like this before, but I purchased this a number of years ago and it's been sitting in a box ever since - the idea of starting it has been too daunting until now. I really have no idea where to begin, so I was hoping for some tips on how to go about this. It's a very sold block of matrix, and I doubt I'd get very far with simple hand tools such as a scalpel. I'v
  25. I had an issue with my Paasche AECR remote canister where the flow of abrasive (bicarb) was very inconsistent. I had to shake the canister manually every minute or so, and the flow was much more abrasive right after I shook the van because more bicarb was floating in the air, decreasing abrasive ness until I would have to shake it again a minute later. This led to very inconsistent prep results. I decided I needed to take some sort of vibrating device and attach it to the canister containing the abrasive so that it would constantly shake bicarb into the air to be run through the air abrasive s
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