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  1. Bronzviking

    Florida Mystery Finds??

    Hi Fossil Hunters, These finds are quite the mystery to me. I found them on a Tampa Bay Beach, Florida, at different times but they look alike. One side looks like wood grain. The flip side looks smooth and shiny. The edges appear milky pearly white and jagged. All 3 are slightly curved. At first glance I thought they were a stingray barb, then some type of worked seashell. Ruled them out. Are they a man-made tool or natural? What is the material? Petrified wood? Possibly mammoth bark or is this wishful thinking, lol. Please help. Thanks!
  2. So, in speaking to @digit, I was convinced to make a wooden sifter to replace my current PVC pipe one, and in doing so, make a guide on how! So first things first - I followed Ken’a tips and his post here from years ago: So the materials: - 4 pieces of 1”x3”x20” lumber. I went with pine, cause it was cheap and on sale and very straight. - Wood glue - Screws. I used 12 #8 round headed screws. - Drill for the screws - Heavy Duty staple gun + staples - Hammer - Wire Cutter - 1/4” Mesh, enough to cover about 20 squared inches - Zip/Cable/Wire ties - at least 12, probably going to want long ones, I picked up a pack of 36” ones. - Pool noodles - enough to fit around 4 sides of the sifter. So, I have currently ordered, a 4” thick, completely solid pool noodle on its way to me, but since it’ll most likely be here after Sunday when I plan on using my sifter next, I’m using normal pool noodles for now. We’ll see if they manage to keep the sifter up for now. So to start, I got my wood: Took 2 pieces, drilled 3 holes within the top inch of the board going right through. I then lined this up with the side of the other piece, and used a pen to mark off where the holes were. I then drilled about a half inch into the other piece of wood. Next I smeared wood glue onto the area of the wood that would be touching, and then drilled the screws into all 3 holes: So it looked like this: I repeated that for the other sides, forming a box: Next, I grabbed the stapler and the wire mesh, and stapled along the frame to secure the mesh: Hammering the staples down to keep them in place and make sure the edges are smoother: Once the mesh was completely on: I then used the wire cutters to trim the excess mesh: Next, I cut the pool noodles to size around the frame, realizing I didn’t have quite enough pool noodle, and then zip tied them with my smaller zip ties that barely fit: I then used parachute cord and a carabiner to finish it off. The reason for using smaller pool noodles and zip ties is, as I mentioned, that I have the 4” thick, solid pool noodle coming. Being 4” thick, it’ll require the 36” zip ties I bought. It’s also 72” long, which means I can either do 18”/side of pool noodle, or I can do 20”, 20”, and then take another 20” section, cut it in half length-wise, and use each half-pipe shape on the 2 other sides, which is what I currently plan on doing. This’ll give me a good amount of buoyancy while also providing me handles. I’ll update this post when I’ve got the bigger pool noodle, and then again once I’ve tested it out! Hope everyone’s enjoyed this, and hopefully it’s clear enough to guide people through making their own. Feel free to leave questions if anyone has any!
  3. Hi, from what I can glean from the topics it appears to get the best use from my Dremel 290 engraver I'd need to get the Zoic paleo bits. My wife purchased a package of bits Dremel bits for me and rather than use and ruin them for unintended purposes I'm waiting to see if anyone knows the following If one is in the USA, is ordering from Zoic the only way to get the 3 pack of paleo bits? Here's the multi-pack my wife purchased. None of these seem that much like the Zoic bits in appearance.
  4. FossilFamily_24

    Suspected Crab Concretion

    Hello. We are beginners, and have a large concretion (suspected crab). What is recommended for removing the excess rock to expose what’s inside it? We want to minimize damage to it. It sounds as if breaking and freeze/thaw aren’t ideal for opening it. I’ve been trying to learn, but still not certain and feel safest asking. Money is tight this week, but would like to get something to begin on it and upgrade in a couple weeks. Any suggestions? Thank you. (I was thinking a 290 dremel w/fossil bits and later an air tool…uncertain which is best. Actually, I see that is a UK model.)
  5. Tayylxxrrr

    Prep tools

    Hi, can someone recommend me some good fossil prepping tools on Amazon for under 200 even if it’s an air scribe with a compressor, total under 200. Please attach pictures if you can thank you:))))
  6. 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 found in your home . We will need some matrix to work on. All pieces of matrix in the bucket have a hint of a fossil showing. From experience, I have found that removing most of the matrix out on a hunt results in disaster. Improper tools, hasty removal, pieces fly and drop onto the rocks below, no glue. Trim pieces down to a reasonable size but do the finesse work at home. VICE: I knew the vice would make some of you scream NO!!!! I heard @Malcolmt for sure!!! The vice is usually used for breaking off larger chunks of matrix . Always begin AWAY from the fossil and as matrix is removed, move towards it. Microfractures will occur in the matrix as one progresses closer to the fossil. Something that you can "feel". At this point the heavy duty equipment can be put away and use more delicate utensils. When applying pressure to the matrix, do so SLOWLY. Often you will feel the rock break BEFORE cracks are seen. Stop and assess the situation before proceeding. Look at the pieces of matrix removed as they can reveal unseen fossils that are worthy of collection. If an unforeseen fracture occurs through the fossil, CAREFULLY remove the pieces from the vice. This is why superglue is pictured in the tools needed for preparation. HAMMER: It is used with a chisel or a drywall screw but can be utilized alone. If such is the case, I have had the best luck tapping the matrix on the backside. Give gentile taps over the surface of the matrix trying to find weaknesses in the rock. As with the vice, you often feel the weakness before the break. This allows inspection of the fossil, making sure the matrix doesn't split through the fossil. On layered matrix, Tap on the sides of the specimen, not on the top or bottom. This will allow splitting of the sample in a bedding plane, as seen below. CHISEL: Chisels seem to be most effective in very hard matrix or softer layered stone. Place the chisel on a bedding plane NEXT TO the fossil. If the chisel touches a fossil, a imperfection will likely be produced. Unfortunately, sometimes this can't be helped. As with the vice and hammer, start with gentle taps, slowly increasing in force until success is had.
  7. Hello everyone, I would like to start with fossil preparation using airscribe/pen, I have a few tricky fossils that need that kind of cleaning method. However, I’d rather spent my money on fossils than tools so I am looking for cheapest possible set up available. Saw an example of Paleotech tools, is that the only thing available for this? Any ideas anyone?
  8. Newbie_1971

    Where to purchase a zoic kit?

    Are there any dealers in the United States that carry Zoic tips?
  9. jcorradino

    so I was wondering 2 things

    So, what do I do to separate a fossil from the sediment? Like a coral fossil as example. Do I use acid? I heard you can also use vinegar but I don't know. Also, what is probably the best prepping starter kit online, or in hardware stores? I want to get a full set of stuff but don't know where to find a good bang for your buck. I really want to get into that type of work soon.
  10. Hello gang. I am looking for advice from more experienced folks about sifting for fossils. I have a wide range of appropriate tools available to me, but as one that has never really done this sort of fossil hunting, I have some questions before my excursion this weekend. I always have a canvas bag/tube type I normally use for forest floor detritus to find various insects and the like. It has also proven useful in streams and creeks. Very handy as it folds flat and doesn't use up much pack space. However it is in the sieve range of #3-4 (about 5mm +/-). I don't know if I should be dragging it up the slopes due to its limited size. I own a number of full sieve sets, from the fancy brass and steel mining types, to the lighter plastic "student sieve sets" (U.S. Bureau of Standard mesh sizes 5, 10, 35, 60, 120, 230, and a few extras in the micron range) However these tend to be pretty unwieldy to haul around and they are on the small side, being around 200mm in diameter. I also have a set of the large wooden "archaeology" sifters- wooden frames with handles about 45cm by 90cm. The rocker frame is missing, but they were a steal at 5 bucks at an auction. 4 different mesh sizes from about 10mm down to around 2.5mm. Anyway, I was just curious as to what you "pro" shark tooth sifters use, if anything, while out in the field. This comes up as I got to see some very promising photos of some stuff found by other campers at the sites. I'm thinking I should take them all, since base camp is just a few dozen meters from the prospecting sites. and I can easily hike back and forth if I stumble on the dental detritus motherlode or something... I should add that it is going to be a very wet day on friday, and I doubt if things will dry out much by saturday, however the proximity to the "river" makes me think my 5 gallon bucket might be handy to do wet sieving.
  11. Hello all- A friend of mine had a bunch of fossils stolen from his family's house on the outskirts of Cheyenne, Wyoming this past week. These were fossils collected 20 years ago when he started collecting and include petrified wood, Miocene mammal bones and teeth, and others. The wood was a six foot long trunk that was in about 6 one-foot long sections that all fit together. It is almost a foot in diameter and faded to orange-ish in color. A police report has been filed. I will see if my friend can send me more info on the fossils. Please help out as much as you can... if anyone out there sees any fossils show up online that fit these descriptions, please let me or the Cheyenne Police know. And for folks in Wyoming, Nebraska and especially the Front Range, let the cops know if you see anything like these in a local pawn shop. https://www.cheyennepd.org/Home
  12. So, I recently received an Estwing geo/paleo pickaxe for Christmas. After its first use I learned that there are many more uses for the tool than tearing up sedimentary exposures. 1. Perfect climbing pick. Ever seen someone climb a sheer cliff in a movie? Well, you can use the paleo pick to climb steep slopes. (Just never cliffs, ALWAYS climb with a rope or don’t climb at all.) 2. Awesome wall mount. Display it on your wall and pretend you’re a gold prospector! Go ahead and share your alternate uses for the Estwing geo/paleo pick.
  13. Going for my first fossil hunt at some point this year to a small quarry. I believe it’s mainly small sea life and some shark teeth. What tools would you recommend I take? Thanks
  14. Rikache

    Favorite magnifying tools?

    Hi there everyone! I hope everyone’s having a fantastic day! I just wanted to get on here and ask y’all about your favorite/preferred magnifying tool. I recently acquired some burmite with some beautiful inclusions but my standard magnifying glasses aren’t really cutting it in order to really appreciate the specimens. I’d love to hear about your guy’s favorite magnifying tools that y’all use to appreciate your fossils and your overall recommendations. Thank you all so much!
  15. Lish

    Fossil identification

    Hello I’ve had this for a while now I acquired it from my grandfather when he passed. Would love to find out more about it or if it’s even a fossil… thanks
  16. cngodles

    Some Rock Hammers & Tools

    A while back, I wrote this article/page because I was fascinated with all the different rock hammers, especially Estwing. I had some experience using them, and I liked them more than others. https://fossil.15656.com/resources/geological-hammers-and-tools/ Surprisingly on a website where I write about many paleontological topics, this page has been the most visited by people using Google. I hope it's useful for anyone seeking out a hammer.
  17. fossilhunter21

    Nice way to hang up air scribes

    Hey everyone! Just thought I would share this thing I made to organize my air scribes and parts, but also to have a way to keep them off the dirty bench when not using them. I have been working at the Village Barn (a small company that repairs and sells, boots, saddles, shaps, bridles, ropes, whips, knives, etc.) as an apprentice for about a month or two, and finally decided to try to make something to store my scribes. I think it turned out pretty good, but if I were to make it for someone else I would have made it nicer. Thanks for looking! Cheers and Shalom, -Micah
  18. Hello Everyone, I am brand new to fossil preparation and just ordered a Zoic Paleotech Velociraptor II to get started. I have an older DeWalt portable oilless compressor that is more than capable of driving the unit. My understanding is that the Velociraptor II shipped with an inline filter, is this enough or should I be adding an air filter and dessicant? If I need an additional air filter, what micron level should I filter down too? Any recommendations on filters/dessicants? I will eventually be getting a 2 stage 80 gallon oiled compressor but not for a while. Cheers, Andrew
  19. I’m planning my return trip to Lake Texoma and I was wondering if y’all had any suggestions for tools to bring. Preferably batter-powered (no generator) and powerful enough to excavate large ammonites from hard limestone. Explosives, battery acid, and hydrochloric acid are out of the question. I’d settle for gas-powered tools, but only as a last resort.
  20. GreatHoatzin

    Finally came in the mail today!

    Can’t wait to put these to some use!
  21. I need to get one for a trip Im going on this month. Any help appreciated!
  22. Hi Found this large rock In middle Georgia. It has Holes in it that dont look natural to me but I could possibly be wrong. Just wondering if anyone has seen anything like this. Sorry the photos arent better. Where it was found a lot of artifacts are found because had Indians living here for 12,000 Years.
  23. Today was a memorable outing, and our net results were the best I've ever had for a single day without driving 2 hours. This morning started quickly. My step brother, Christian, was already knocking on my door at 9:30 - yes, that may be late in the morning for everyone else, but it's a full hour before I'm usually fully awake. I guess that's the trade off for late nights! Yesterday we made plans to spend our day today hunting a spot that I was used to scouring but had not visited in a while. That was not the only motivation for choosing this particular spot though. When I originally discovered this area, there were lots of associated large bones in the creek. After finding one of those water stained vertebrae, I decided "wow, that's huge! Not fossilized though.Looks bovid. Must be cow...eh " *toss* Looking back at it, I was (and am) kicking myself hard enough to break a toe. I never even thought to look for a skull, to just be sure, and the more I think about it, the more the odds fall in favor that the bones were bison, and I completely disregarded a very interesting Pleistocene skeleton. So, this was going to be an attempt at redemption - I had observed many bones downstream during successive returns (still met with more, "eh, must be cow"), but this time we were going to do something about it. The locality is cretaceous, so we'd hunt cretaceous material on the way up, keeping a look out for those "cow bones", until arriving to the site where the bulk of the skeleton used to be. At least, that was the plan... After parking by a small business (which hasn't towed me a single time- shout out to them), we made our way on foot over to a bridge, which we then started descending. The creek is on public land, but there's no parking or easily accessible points down to it. Once down at the creek, we wasted no time and took a turn left - the direction I've always gone. Christian was immediately impressed by the enormous size of the Exogyra oysters, which are abundant here. He's not an ardent fossil hunter, meaning he's never had the intent to go do it on his own, for example, but he is impressed by fossils and has a wickedly perceptive eye. We worked our way up the usual spots - it was his first time here, but probably my sixth or seventh. I pointed out to him where I made my best finds - the mosasaur tooth, the plesiosaur caudal rib, a bison tooth, etc, but in the end we didn't find much there. The "bison" skeleton was nowhere to be seen anymore, and while we found other cool fragments of definitive Pleistocene bone, none were identifiable further. One find of note however, was an echinoid that Christian spotted. I don't know how the dude does it, but he finds echinoids everywhere, it's like a superpower of his. No matter where we go or what we're doing, if it's outside, he'll spot an echinoid somehow. (Below - an interesting mushroom, which I believe to be Ganoderma sessile ) The real party started once we made it back to the bridge where we began. Our plan was to scout the left side of the creek, the part I've never hunted before. We rounded the corner, and upon seeing the steep banks, it was clear that we had to walk across some deep creek crossings. I took point, and seeing that the water came almost to my stomach, Christian decided to settle for what he had found and instead poke around under the bridge again while he waits for me to finish scouting. Immediately after finishing my first deep crossing, and as Christian was starting to walk away, I found my first proper arrow head, ever. Previously, this creek had produced some rudimentary stone tools, one of which we even found earlier on this excursion. But they were nothing like what I had stumbled across here, sitting proud and jet black under a centimetre of water. I yelled back for Christian to come check it out - if there was any motivation for him to cross the creek and continue to scout with me, it would be this. Apparently, he was probably a cat in his past life, because even this, found 5 minutes into this scouting run, was not convincing enough. Besides, it had started raining, so he still decided to poke around under the bridge. From this point on, I decided to make haste. I wasn't a fan of being in the rain either, but it certainly wasn't enough to stop me. I made my way down, crossing through water a few more times to avoid climbing the steep banks, and eventually came to some great looking exposures with many small, tight bends in the creek that accumulated lots of gravel.By this time, the little cloud burst had cleared, and things were nice and cooled off. I took a video to show him for when I got back, but before that video I accidentally took a picture of the beginning of the exposures: On the walk back, I found a palm sized piece of chunkasaurus, and the mother of all Exogyra, with both parts of the shell still present, I imagine it's Exogyra ponderosa, but I know that there are some other big local Exogyra species as well, so I could be off. Scouting was successful, so I continued walking back in earnest. When I got back to the bridge, I quickly showed Christian the tid-bits I was returning with, and asked if he had any success. "Oh, you have no idea..." he replied. He then held out his hand, and we both just crumpled into another dimension. The hype was unreal. In his hand, and as the product of just thirty minutes, were two Ptychodus mortoni teeth, another echinoid, a piece of Enchodus(?) tooth, and what looks to be a Cretoxyrhina mantelli tooth - a first for both of us.They were small, but none of us cared - this was LOCAL! Three shark teeth in 30 minutes is absolutely bonkers! Furthermore, Neither of us had ever found a fish tooth. This was an exciting hall for so short of a time. He was as stunned as I was. This was the same bridge gravel I gave minimal attention to all 6 times I've been here, and we both walked past it or spent time there already, before he really started looking as he sat around waiting for me in sheer boredom. Apparently, all he had done was assign himself to small (as in a few square feet) patch of gravel at a time, giving the smallest rocks the most undivided attention, picking up anything darkly colored. Needless to say, we both had new drive to stick around longer, now using this technique to hunt, but funnily enough (I guess I'm bad luck, lol) we both couldn't find anything else for about 40 minutes. That was until Christian then decided to uncover the next crazy trip maker of the day, a small Ptychodus sp. still in matrix!! At this point I was reduced to a blubbering fool, and had to explain to Christian the gravity of his find. Now more than ever I had a fire under me to at least pull one shark tooth from this spot today. After another 10 minutes, my hard work was rewarded! ......with one of the tiniest shark teeth I've ever seen Some seconds after taking this picture, I noticed an echinoid just to my right, and plop! There went the tooth. I couldn't find the tiny tooth again, but it was alright, because it's sacrifice made for a sweet consolation prize Some minutes later, while I was standing up, I saw yet another echinoid, but this one was different to the others... and what a great little sea urchin it ended up being. It still had some texture on it, and despite probably being too water rolled to suite the taste of an echinoid aficionado, it was more than enough for me, as this was the first echinoid I've ever found with it's little bumps preserved. (spot the echinoid) My last find here I almost missed - it was an ammonite chunk of a species I didn't recognize. The chunk is incredibly water rolled, but still note worthy because of those distinct suture lines and a color that I'm not used to seeing. So, while we walked away with no bison material, we at least had new perspective on on old spots, and I'm sure this place will produce many more fossils and memories in the future.
  24. MaritLage

    Best Tool for Cleaning Mud ?

    The best tools for cleaning dust and rock from artifacts are Chisels and Brushes , and what to do when the conditions are wet ?
  25. So how do you "capture the UM size fossils and place them on another slide"? I am thinking of micro fossils less than 1mm. I would like isolate and move to another slide specific specimens. Dental tools are way too big. Do you make your own out of extremly fine wire or what? Sources?
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