Here are a few fossils which I have been working on both from my own collection and prep work for others.
Difficulties with a few of my core prep tools and the heat wave we have had recently in the UK have made my work a little slower than I had hoped but there is still plenty of summer prep time before hunting season begins once again!
1. Androgynoceras sp from Charmouth.
This was found recently by a friend and I prepared it - it is unusually large and fills the nodule nicely, as examples of androgynoceras go this is a pretty perfect specimen.
2. Polished pyrite ammonites from Charmouth.
One day when temperatures got well over 35° in my prep shed I decided to dig out my flat lap machine and grind and polish a few ammonites I had collected over the winter. The process uses a lot of water which is good in the heat as you usually end up covered in it too! I polished up a Oxynoticeras, Tragophylloceras and a Gleviceras to expose their calcite buoyancy chambers within. I did not have much success last year when I tried this but I thought it was worth another go. This time I had dop sticks and wax which increased the working time for each ammonite (because of only being able to do one side at a time) but this meant that I had much more control over all giving me pretty much no visible scratches on the finished pieces.
3. Androgynoceras sp, Charmouth
Another androgynoceras completed! These ammonites are among the most common to be found in nodules at Stonebarrow (I find and prepare a lot of these!) This one was special though as I found it during the summer when conditions are not fantastic for any fossils really. The ammonite itself was very crushed in places and had some nasty calcite but over all it turned out nicely.
4. Apoderoceras, Charmouth
I thought I would include this in progress photo as it may take some time for me to finish this one (they need a lot of air abrasive and at the moment my machine is not working properly) Found by a friend this is more spiny than many other apoderoceras. To start prep on one of these is a little more complicated than most. I first find the mouth - or in this case create a new one. Because part of the body chamber had detached from the main ammonite the preservation meant that it was un preparable. Then I follow the whorls round allowing for the spines to be cased within the rock I leave behind. After finding the centre I will work my way out uncovering the spines as I go.
5. Lots of Androgynoceras!
While trying to clear out my shed I came across a few ammonites in nodules which I had put to the side to finish at a later time. They were put to the side mainly because when I found them within their nodules they were awkwardly positioned. Once again with the heat wave we were going through it was a good excuse to work with water so I got the table saw up and running! I always usually try to keep my ammonites in the natural nodule but with these (one did escape the saw!) With these sawing was really the only option.
6. Eucyclus subimbricatus and Beaniceras
These two were found by 2 different customers but I thought it worthwhile to prep them both at the same time due to them both being found within the Belemnite stone at Charmouth. It was also nice to work on something which was not an ammonite for a change! The preservation of fossils within this stone is brilliant and makes a change from working on some of the more beaten up things in the great shed clear out! The Beaniceras had to be removed from the matrix in it's entirety as the reverse was so close to the outside of the rock.