How To Secure A Spiny Trilobite For Transport

Posted: 03/04/14 02:36 PM : By Matt Heaton : Comments

Shipping and transporting trilobites and other fossils with delicate free standing spines is a real challenge.  One of the most effective methods is to physically bolt the fossil to the inside of a container so that nothing but air is touching it during shipping.  This is how most of the spiny Moroccan trilobites gets shipped to me from my supplier.  

I've had some questions on how this is actually accomplished so after some experimenting here's some instructions.

Supplies:

  • Drill
  • 3/8” Concrete/Masonry Drill bit
  • J-B Weld (Steel Reinforced Epoxy)
  • ! - use the original formula, not the “kwik weld”
  • Phillips-head Screwdriver
  • Scissors
  • Q-Tips
  • Tape
  • Sturdy Tupperware Container
  • #8 - 32 x 3/8” Machine Screws & Nuts
  • 1/8” x 1” Fender Washers

Procedure:

1. Drill holes into base of rock slightly deeper than the thickness of (2) nuts. Make sure hole is clean and dust free with air-duster/q-tips.

2. Mix equal parts J-B Weld steel & hardener on a disposable surface (can use a cut off q-tip to mix).

3. Fill hole about half full with JB-Weld.

4. Align (2)* nuts on a screw and put tiny piece of tape over the bottom nut to cover the hole (prevents epoxy from getting on the screw).

5. Insert screw/nut assembly into hole and smooth epoxy over the top of the nut. Apply extra if needed. Be sure to avoid getting any epoxy on the screw/nut threading.


6.Allow to cure for at least 24 hours. Hardened epoxy can then be sanded down if needed.

7.Attach to base of sturdy tupperware container with 1” fender washers.

* Do not remove screw until epoxy has hardened or nuts may become misaligned.

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