How to remove Fossils from Shale

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How to remove Fossils from Shale

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Sedimentary rocks like shale are rich fossil sources because organisms became trapped in the muddy areas that eventually became shale. As the mud dried over time, the fossils were created.


Step One

Stabilise the fossil by applying a very fine high-strength glue like Superglue to all cracks using the tip of a pin. Dip the pin into the glue and carefully touch each crack with the pin point. The glue will fill each crack. These cracks appear because minute amounts of water evaporate from the fossil and the encasing shale when their surface area is exposed to sunlight after extraction from the original site.


Step Two

Use the pneumatic hammer, working under a microscope, to carefully chip away fragments of the shale without touching the fossil. Small steel picks can also be used to chip away at the shale, though this method is more time-consuming.


Step Three

Use the microsandblaster to blast away all the remaining shale from the fossil, again working under a microscope. The correct air pressure and powder flow depends on the strength of the shale and stability of the fossil. To determine the correct power setting, blast a separate fragment of shale as a test. The less powerful the setting, the better.


Step Four

Use a grinder to remove the chisel marks made by the hammers.


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