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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. 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
  3. I found these both in an area where a couple of arrowheads and a some broken pieces have been found but these two rocks along with one more that looks just like them I found on a different day a couple hundred yards away look all to similar to make me think that they are possibly tools or something used by an ancient people, but I don't know I'm not to good at identifying stuff like this. Also the pictures just aren't as good as seeing them. Any help would be great please and thanks.
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. Udderly Abducted

    Beginner tools help!

    Hi everyone, I’m a beginner, and I need some help buying some tools. I have settled on Estwing since I have always been a fan of their hammers and it seems that you all are fans too. I need help on deciding if I should get a hammer with a pick or chisel end. I think I’m leaning towards the 22oz pick ended one. I noticed that Estwing makes this hammer in two lengths. Should I get the 13” or 16”? What about their pick ax? Do I need this right now? I also need help choosing some chisels. I don’t know what sizes I should get. Also, what s
  7. This has come up a bit around the forums lately, and with the shopping holidays just around the corner, I figure it is a good time to open up this can of worms! Well that and I am buying up equipment for my new earth sciences students to use, so might as well dig two trilobites with one hammer... But first, a few disclaimers: I will use brand names for some items. This is not an endorsement, but a statement on quality/price/durability, etc. With tools, not all manufacturers are the same. Why buy junk ten times, when you can buy the pro-grade once the first time?
  8. Castle Rock

    Using a GPS to mark finds?

    I am considering the purchase of a handheld GPS unit to mark the location of my finds in the field. Is this something that any of you are doing? Your thoughts and recommendations are invited!! THANKS! Dave
  9. LabRatKing

    Sumake ST-909 air scribe

    So, I just got a "open box" Sumake ST-909 air scribe for 70% off from one of my vendors. It's shipping container and plastic storage box were crushed in transit, and the air line was damaged, but easily replaced. Was curious if any of you are familiar with this this one. I have never heard of them and a quick gander at the Warrior Woman site shows it to be one of the less expensive models on the market. A bit of web stalking and it looks to be a China-based firm that works with Lacme out of France and Shanghai for their pneumatics and compressors. (Odd, I seem to rememb
  10. LabRatKing

    Cold Weather Handwear

    Hello Gang, I'm in the market for some serious cold weather overgloves. I wear Arc'teryx Merino wool 'gothic" liners which I wear under standard Mechanix for a general chill or while hammering and digging. I also have some Oakley Trigger 2 hybrid over shells and some Outdoor Research Southback over mitts that I use for the hikes to work and between sites. However the Oakleys are useless on windy days below 0C, and the Southbacks are only good down to about -10C. Neither is very water resistant. I'm in need of some overgloves or mittens that are water
  11. I came across this .pdf guide for the proper and improper use of tools. I thought others may find it useful. We don’t use all these tools in fossil collecting, but some sections seem pertinent, specifically the section on hammers. There is also advice about crowbars, chisels, screwdrivers, and punches, which find their way into my collecting gear from time to time. This is one companies take on how to properly use their tools (and keep them out of trouble), so your mileage may vary, but it seems a good general document on the dos and don’ts of tool use. https://www.ampcosafetytools.c
  12. Well gang, a month or so and 1500$ USD later, I have upgraded/replaced, and modernized my prep lab. (pictures to follow once the new flooring and dust collector is delivered and installed) Between all the prep I need to do for my hobbies, my job, my degree, and many many vintage VW parts, plus an overall need for new toys when the budget allows... Well, that and my dissertation is coming up next year and I have to get my display ready for that... I managed to finagle some really good deals on scratch and dent, factory returns, and industrial auctions so I got about 5+ grand worth o
  13. Looking for some assistance and guidance. I have spent countless hours reading posts about fossil preparation and specifically about fish prep. The knowledge shared here is humbling to say the least. So here goes: If your end goal is to be able to do all the things necessary for 18" layer Green River material, split fish Green River material, Hell Creek material; how big of a compressor should I start thinking is overkill? The smallest capacity I've considered is 20 gallons, the largest 80. I'm just wondering what people are using in terms of capacity and if I'm better off going bigger f
  14. Doctor Mud

    ME-9100 lost power

    Hi everyone, Hi have an ME-9100 and I’ve had years with no problems. Yesterday I took off the sleeve and cleaned everything and the only difference to my routine was that I directly put oil in where the piston is. now I can get it to start, but there’s no power, seems like the stroke length is almost zero and the stylus is barely vibrating. I took it all apart, including taking the tool off the hose and removing the pin and checking the piston, but it back together. Had slightly more power for a few seconds. But now the same problem. Any ideas?
  15. So I’m just in a bit of a quandary about which scribe to get, as many have been before me. I’ve worked in the local vert. Paleontology lab at the museum as a lab tech and have mainly been using the chicago pneumatic scribes(CP9361-1) as a general tool for removing matrix. However when it comes to working from home I was wondering if perhaps there was something more out there. I have looked up both the Zoicpalaeotech ( ZPT-TR) and the Hardy Winkler (HR-65&HR70). Both look like great tools. I especially like the fact that the ZPT-TR has both course and fine stylus. Would like to know if a
  16. Aloha! Planning a short trip to California before I move further away, I was always fascinated by fossils. Are there any dig sites in California that rent out tools? I would love to find a trilobite or ammonite! Any tips would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks!
  17. Lee Taylor

    Fossil hunting tools

    I am always interested in hearing about (and seeing photos of) tools used for fossil hunting. I have used all sorts and I currently received a new device for underwater viewing. It is called a Bathyscope.
  18. Any suggestions on used stereo microscopes? Lens power? Depth of field? Lighting? Cost? Boom assembly? DIY? Thanks
  19. Jwfossils

    Possible tool marks?

    Found on a sandbar with other bison bones in the Kansas river. my question is are these tool marks, they don’t look like normal fractures or fracture points for this bone.
  20. Can anyone confirm if it is fine to use the hammer end of my Estwing Geological pick for striking a small cold chisel when fossil hunting - or is it just for striking rocks/ It actually stipulates that the pick end is for prying only (which is fine) but the that hammer end is only for wooden stakes! Is this an overkill by Estwing to manage their H&S liability or is it common knowledge that you canuse the hammer on cold chisels? Any advice gratefully appreciated! Cheers - Rick
  21. Where do you guys buy your prep supplies? I've looked on line and have mixed feelings about some of the places that do offer this kind of stuff. I'm sure people here have their favorite sellers who won't rip a rookie like me off. Thanks!!!!
  22. Hollie Bird

    Prep intro for a beginner

    Ive always enjoyed fossil hunting in local areas however I've never done any prep. work at all to specimes I've brought home. I've two practice pieces singled out to experiment with. (If it goes horribly wrong nothing lost) One a random chunk of lias clay with some bivalves and the other one a little ammonite just peaking out of another lump of jurassic lias clay. The matrix isn't particularly soft or hard with either. I have no appropriate tools in my possession however I'm willing to buy some basic things which are necessary. Any advice would be appreciated.
  23. Brian-miller

    Carbide tips for Chicago 9361

    Hey just a quick question so I've been hunting around and it seems like an air scribe is the way to go I found a brand new Chicago 9361 used and picked it up it has lots of carbide chisels and engraving tips but it has nothing with a really sharp tip. Where do you find tips for these? That are more geared for fossil prep? I typically dont grab a tool before I know how to use it but it was 75$ from somone clearing out a shop and it had never been used. Also I'm in Canada if that makes much of a difference for retailers?
  24. Nimravis

    Christmas Gifts

    Here are a couple things that I received from my wife and son for Christmas. A couple nice heavy duty packs- one from 5.11 and the other one from Milwaukee brand. A pair of Blackhawk knee pads. And a few nice new Estwing tools.
  25. Fishkeeper

    Whiskey Bridge tools?

    What should I bring for optimal fossil-hunting? I'd love to find a pocket with some shark teeth, and I'm hoping for (though not expecting) a concretion with something fun inside. I'd like to do a little sifting as well, I think. I'm going to have 2 brothers with me who I suspect would just like to dig for interesting things. I have some of those gold panning sifters, which I plan to bring. I'm also going to bring a couple of trowels, a bucket to put tempting chunks of matrix in for later, and a hammer and small chisel. Add in my tiny crowbar (it's about a foot long, but sturdy), and some
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