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PrehistoricWonders

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. 

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22 minutes ago, Familyroadtrip said:

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. 

18 inch or split fish layer?  As a basic, the Aro type tools are pretty versatile.  You will need the tool and compressor, yes, and an air drier and regulator.  Most compressors do not come with connectors, so will need those as well.  

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fossilhunter21
Posted (edited)

 

41 minutes ago, Familyroadtrip said:

Air scribes you’ve found are good for fossil prep.

The "Fossil Shack Air Scribe" is supposed to be good for fish.

 

Edited by fossilhunter21
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PrehistoricWonders
17 minutes ago, jpc said:

18 inch or split fish layer?  

For the most part, 18” layer, but I may prep Split Fish layer at some point. I prefer 18” layer. 
 

 

19 minutes ago, jpc said:

As a basic, the Aro type tools are pretty versatile.  You will need the tool and compressor, yes, and an air drier and regulator.  Most compressors do not come with connectors, so will need those as well.  

Awesome, thank you! 

7 minutes ago, fossilhunter21 said:

The "Fossil Shack Air Scribe" is supposed to be good for fish.

 

 

The "Fossil Shack Air Scribe" is supposed to be good for fish.

 

Yup, that’s the one I plan to get, but wanted to see what people would recommend first. I don’t know much about scribes, so this is pretty new to me.

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Thomas.Dodson

Some additional notes on what Jpc mentioned.

 

You need a sizable air compressor with good power to run most scribes. I'd look at 30 gallon tanks and up from there. Compressor oil will be needed since it's a good idea to change the oil it comes with right after the break-in run. It flushes all the metal shavings from the initial break in that would otherwise shorten air compressor life.

 

If you're even a little handy you can make your own air driers. I made mine out of some sections of black pipe and filled with rechargeable silica desiccant. It lasts several prep rounds before I have to recharge the silica gel in the oven, simple enough. I also use a coalescing filter before the driers to remove the bulk of moisture.

 

Extra hoses and connectors are handy to facilitate hook-ups through driers and coalescing filters. It's nice to have a length of hose so you don't have to run the compressor right next to you.

 

This might be obvious for a tool with moving parts but oil is needed. Light oils are good for scribes. I use sewing machine oil.

 

If you prep a lot it's good to have extra O-rings on hand, they're always the first part to wear out.

 

No experience with the Fossil Shack Air scribe but it looks like an Aro type scribe. Like Jpc mentioned they're pretty versatile. I've not prepared any Green River Fish myself but from what I know of them I suspect you can get everything done with an Aro. More matrix removal and harder matrix may necessitate different scribes but an Aro type gets most work done. You can always add more scribes later (and you will).

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hadrosauridae

Be prepared to spend time on amazon building your system.  You need a lot more parts than you will realize.  I'm still buying new/more parts as I add and change components.  You wont find most of what you need at your local hardware, and stay away from bargain-basement hoses like harbor-freight's stuff.  When it comes to driers/filters bigger is better, but bigger is more $$$ and require more adapters and planning.  

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cngodles
Posted (edited)

I have started with an 8 gallon California Air Tools 8010 (Very quiet), and the Chicago Pneumatic CP 9361 (very loud). I bought them both two years ago, and they are still working fine. I don't prep often, perhaps once every two weeks or so for an hour or two.

 

I haven't added an air dryer yet, and I'm 100% sure I'll pay for that eventually. I do use tool oil before I start. I use granite CV capable metal grinding wheels to remove large matrix, and I don't have a solution for delicate work.

 

N95 mask and eyewear while prepping.

 

I haven't experimented with other scribes, but I'd like to get into one for more delicate work one day.

Edited by cngodles
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1 hour ago, cngodles said:

 the Chicago Pneumatic CP 9361 (very loud). 

a fine tool, but too big for GR fishes.   I am not criticizing, just educating our OP.

 

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PrehistoricWonders
2 hours ago, Thomas.Dodson said:

Some additional notes on what Jpc mentioned.

 

You need a sizable air compressor with good power to run most scribes. I'd look at 30 gallon tanks and up from there. Compressor oil will be needed since it's a good idea to change the oil it comes with right after the break-in run. It flushes all the metal shavings from the initial break in that would otherwise shorten air compressor life.

 

If you're even a little handy you can make your own air driers. I made mine out of some sections of black pipe and filled with rechargeable silica desiccant. It lasts several prep rounds before I have to recharge the silica gel in the oven, simple enough. I also use a coalescing filter before the driers to remove the bulk of moisture.

 

Extra hoses and connectors are handy to facilitate hook-ups through driers and coalescing filters. It's nice to have a length of hose so you don't have to run the compressor right next to you.

 

This might be obvious for a tool with moving parts but oil is needed. Light oils are good for scribes. I use sewing machine oil.

 

If you prep a lot it's good to have extra O-rings on hand, they're always the first part to wear out.

 

No experience with the Fossil Shack Air scribe but it looks like an Aro type scribe. Like Jpc mentioned they're pretty versatile. I've not prepared any Green River Fish myself but from what I know of them I suspect you can get everything done with an Aro. More matrix removal and harder matrix may necessitate different scribes but an Aro type gets most work done. You can always add more scribes later (and you will).

Thank you! And yeah, it’s Aro type. That’s the one I plan on getting, just wanted to see if there were any that would be better for GRF fish. 

1 hour ago, cngodles said:

I have started with an 8 gallon California Air Tools 8010 (Very quiet), and the Chicago Pneumatic CP 9361 (very loud). I bought them both two years ago, and they are still working fine. I don't prep often, perhaps once every two weeks or so for an hour or two.

 

I haven't added an air dryer yet, and I'm 100% sure I'll pay for that eventually. I do use tool oil before I start. I use granite CV capable metal grinding wheels to remove large matrix, and I don't have a solution for delicate work.

 

N95 mask and eyewear while prepping.

 

I haven't experimented with other scribes, but I'd like to get into one for more delicate work one day.

Cool, thank you! I'll definitely check those out. The first one sounds better for me, probably looking for a quieter one anyway. Do both of those work with Aro type?

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PrehistoricWonders
21 minutes ago, jpc said:

a fine tool, but too big for GR fishes.   I am not criticizing, just educating our OP.

 

Thanks for the advice! I’m not looking for anything to loud anyway ;)

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Thomas.Dodson
32 minutes ago, Familyroadtrip said:

Cool, thank you! I'll definitely check those out. The first one sounds better for me, probably looking for a quieter one anyway. Do both of those work with Aro type?

To be clear the first one (California Air tools) is a compressor and the CP 9361 is a scribe. The CP is a workhorse if you get a good one (newer ones seem to be hit or miss compared to old US made models) but is better for more rough matrix removal and hard matrix types. Definitely not for Green River fish as Jpc mentioned.

 

The mentioned compressor is pretty small and has a low CFM. It won't keep up with most scribes. The Fossil Shack scribe is listed as 2.5 CFM consumption at an operating pressure of 55-65 psi. That compressor is rated at 3.00 CFM at 40 PSI and 2.20 CFM at 90 so it would have to be running basically nonstop to keep up; not good for the life of a compressor. It might seem counterintuitive but larger is often quieter in the long run; it will run a lot less. Keep in mind that compressors can be loud but so can scribes so it doesn't really do anything to find a compressor quieter than a scribe. You can also move compressors into a different room/behind walls. You can't do that with a scribe. For these reason I'd highly recommend choosing a compressor based on functionality.

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cngodles
Posted (edited)

Yeah, the 8 gallon compressor was a compromise for mobility. It kicks on every couple minutes if I'm running it at half power, and a bit longer if I'm on low.

 

Ideally I'd have a much larger compressor, in the basement, piped in with an air filter. It is slightly annoying to pull it in and out of the house. I used to prep in a closed room, but it creates too much dust, so it's all outdoors for me now.

 

The CP is a good macro scribe. I've cleaned a few larger specimens with it, but it's not great for detail work. I can turn it down low, be patient, use a magnifying lens headset, and I'll still break some things. I prepped this large Solenochilus with it, but I also used a grinder to remove larger portions of matrix.

 

CG-0100-solenochilus-003-scaled.jpg

 

 

Edited by cngodles
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Ptychodus04

Chiming in with my $.02 worth of advice.

 

Throw out any thoughts of this being a quiet process. Compressors and scribes are loud, no matter how you look at them. It's just part of the process. I have my compressor in the garage and pipe the air into my lab to eliminate the noise and heat from the compressor in the lab itself. I do most of my GRF scribe work with my Aro and/or my Micro Jack 4. If there's a ton of rock to remove, I use the ME9100 to get the bulk off. I use a 21 gallon compressor so it cycles every 10-15 minutes.

 

Scribes and compressors only get you so far. Here's what else you're going to need to do first rate fish prep...

 

Dust collector with a 1 or 2 micron bag (trust me, you don't want to breath in rock dust)

Abrasive blaster

blast cabinet (easily homemade)

Microscope

lights for blast cabinet

NIOSH P100 respirator and safety glasses (for when you prep outside of the cabinet)

hearing protection

 

You also need a room where your spouse won't murder you for making a huge mess and tons of noise. This is why I have a stand alone lab in the backyard.

 

 

 

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Thomas.Dodson

Ptychodus brings up some other excellent points. Don't be intimidated by the addition of abrasive blasters and scopes to the list. Like additional scribes these can always be added later when funds become available. A prep lab is never complete. DO make sure you have the dust issue under control from the start though.

 

Where are you planning on doing prep work? A respirator and eyewear might cut it outside but doing it inside requires more planning. I do almost all my scribe work within a homemade blast cabinet for dust control and easy clean-up. Dust collectors cost an arm and a leg but I built my own out of tiered 5 gallon buckets filled with water and a shop vac. The shop vac is loud; louder than both the compressor and the scribe. Still, with noise-cancelling headphones that you should wear anyway for the other stuff it is perfectly fine.

 

 

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ClearLake
3 hours ago, Thomas.Dodson said:

built my own out of tiered 5 gallon buckets filled with water and a shop vac

Very interesting, I’d love to see that or a more detailed description of it if you wouldn’t mind. I just use my shop vac (and yes, it probably is the loudest piece of equipment) into the back of my blast cabinet, but I have often wondered about some sort of water filtering system. 

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Thomas.Dodson
56 minutes ago, ClearLake said:

Very interesting, I’d love to see that or a more detailed description of it if you wouldn’t mind. I just use my shop vac (and yes, it probably is the loudest piece of equipment) into the back of my blast cabinet, but I have often wondered about some sort of water filtering system. 

Sure. The basic concept is pretty simple. A fitting hose connects the blast cabinet to the filter pipe which goes straight down and under the water level in the bottom bucket, catching all the dust. The hose connecting to the shop vac simply connects to the top to provide suction.

 

Originally I used a single bucket system but the replacement shop vac I bought was so powerful compared to the old one it sucked up all the water necessary for the filter so I added more height and that simple filter you see attached. Now dust collects in the tank without the water ending up in the shop vac. The blasting cabinet has 100% containment and the actual shop vac filter stays clean and there's no dust to kill the motor.

 

A picture is worth a thousand words: The elbow pipe connection connects to the blast box and the other one goes to the vac. I had the previous one labeled to make sure they weren't reversed but now I don't confuse them.

IMG_8163.thumb.JPG.d840b7e2e59a2c38bfa71be24559dcbf.JPG

Blast box connection.

IMG_8168.thumb.JPG.2be42cb27e6621b94e269d48854a4303.JPG

Note that the intake pipe goes below the water level and there is no pipe for the outtake. I haven't cleaned it out yet so there's probably a 1/4 inch of sediment on the bottom of that water. Notice that there is one bucket stacked and adhered to one of those sealing buckets. I drilled holes in the lid of the sealing lid to accommodate the pipe and air flow back up.

IMG_8164.thumb.JPG.21f0a2d33b8136c722f3451e61e9c88a.JPG

Simple tight fitting attachments.

IMG_8166.thumb.JPG.365c29e98dc969e3d000e4cdf042def2.JPG

The empty space in the top bucket to allow for water not to travel all the way up.

IMG_8167.thumb.JPG.314ec2c1137a5de2b51238df87c54050.JPG

 

I hope that explains things well enough. If people are interested I can write up some assembly instructions. It's actually quite simple to make and works excellent. I ran my last shop vac for 3-4 years off this setup before it died and I did quite a bit of prep work.

 

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Ptychodus04
20 hours ago, Thomas.Dodson said:

Ptychodus brings up some other excellent points. Don't be intimidated by the addition of abrasive blasters and scopes to the list. Like additional scribes these can always be added later when funds become available. A prep lab is never complete. DO make sure you have the dust issue under control from the start though.

I agree that the abrasive can be added later (I prepped for a decade before I dipped my toes into the realm of abrasives. I disagree that magnification can wait. At the very minimum, a magnifying lamp is needed. These can be had for under $100 and I've seen enough fossils ruined by prepping without magnification to adamantly say that magnification is a requisite part of prepping (unless you're ok with tool marks all over your fossils). These are great for larger specimens or pieces with varying heights since stopping to adjust microscope focus often is a real pain. Adding a quality microscope can be done for under $300 if you look hard enough.

 

A P100 respirator catches 99.97% of all particulates down to something like .3 microns. It's used for asbestos abatement. As long as you fit the mask properly, you're perfectly safe prepping indoors with it on.

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Thomas.Dodson
43 minutes ago, Ptychodus04 said:

A P100 respirator catches 99.97% of all particulates down to something like .3 microns. It's used for asbestos abatement. As long as you fit the mask properly, you're perfectly safe prepping indoors with it on.

I wasn't trying to say you couldn't prep indoors with a respirator but simply that you have to deal with the mess if you're not using containment.

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PrehistoricWonders
Posted (edited)

Thank you all for the advice and responses :blush:

I’ve decided that the Fossil shack scribe is the one I’m going to get, but haven’t bought it yet. I’ll have to read through the comments more thoroughly later, but thank you, definitely a ton of helpful advice! 
 if anyone has advice for that scribe specifically, I’d love to hear it! Definitely gonna have to do some research haha.
I’ll respond the comments specifically in a little bit.

Edited by Familyroadtrip
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PrehistoricWonders
Posted (edited)
On 6/3/2021 at 9:09 AM, Ptychodus04 said:

Dust collector with a 1 or 2 micron bag (trust me, you don't want to breath in rock dust)

snarge. Dust collectors aren’t cheap, are they. Would an N95 Mask work instead? I’m only 14, so I don’t have an insane amount of money. I sell fossils, so I do have some money, but it’s not the money of a full time job yet. 
 

Edited by Familyroadtrip
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ClearLake
12 minutes ago, Familyroadtrip said:

 

I’ve decided that the Fossil shack scribe is the one I’m going to get

I think it is a good choice for light to medium duty work. I’ve had one for a couple of years and been happy with it on things like OK Devonian fossils, Cincinnatian Ordovician, GRF matrix and other such things. With a little oil it has been running fine and the tips and o rings are easy to change if necessary. I don’t find it hard on my hands, but then I usually don’t prep all day long either. 

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PrehistoricWonders
1 minute ago, ClearLake said:

I think it is a good choice for light to medium duty work. I’ve had one for a couple of years and been happy with it on things like OK Devonian fossils, Cincinnatian Ordovician, GRF matrix and other such things. With a little oil it has been running fine and the tips and o rings are easy to change if necessary. I don’t find it hard on my hands, but then I usually don’t prep all day long either. 

Yup! And the only things I plan on prepping right now are GRF fossils and White River fossils. I don’t plan on prepping other stuff right now, but if that changes I’ll adjust and get another one if needed.

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PrehistoricWonders

 

On 6/3/2021 at 9:09 AM, Ptychodus04 said:

You also need a room where your spouse won't murder you for making a huge mess and tons of noise. This is why I have a stand alone lab in the backyard.

In my case it’s my parents that will murder me. Haha. Nonetheless, I’ll need a space like that. I’ll have to figure out something, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to have a room for myself like that. I’ll be in an apartment in Southern California, probably sharing a room with at least one of my siblings, so I’ll have to figure something out. 

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Ptychodus04
14 hours ago, Familyroadtrip said:

snarge. Dust collectors aren’t cheap, are they. Would an N95 Mask work instead? I’m only 14, so I don’t have an insane amount of money. I sell fossils, so I do have some money, but it’s not the money of a full time job yet. 
 

N95 masks are good if that’s what you can get. Make sure it is fitted well. A P100 mask with a set of cartridges will run you around $40 with replacement cartridges around $25. Over time, the respirator is the cheaper option. But, I understand availability of funds! :Confused05:

 

13 hours ago, Familyroadtrip said:

 

In my case it’s my parents that will murder me. Haha. Nonetheless, I’ll need a space like that. I’ll have to figure out something, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to have a room for myself like that. I’ll be in an apartment in Southern California, probably sharing a room with at least one of my siblings, so I’ll have to figure something out. 

if you’re in an apartment, a compressor and scribe are probably out of the picture due to noise. You will get complaints from the neighbors. 

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hadrosauridae
1 hour ago, Ptychodus04 said:

N95 masks are good if that’s what you can get. Make sure it is fitted well. A P100 mask with a set of cartridges will run you around $40 with replacement cartridges around $25. Over time, the respirator is the cheaper option. But, I understand availability of funds! :Confused05:

 

if you’re in an apartment, a compressor and scribe are probably out of the picture due to noise. You will get complaints from the neighbors. 

 

If youre in an apartment, they are definitely out.... If youre using a mask instead of dust collector system, you entire apartment will end up covered in dust very quickly.  Dust is fine when you working in a shed like I do.  If youre also a teenager, your parents will kill you for the mess, LOL.  

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