Thursday, November 11, 2010
11/11/10 Report - Cleaning Off Conglomerates, Artifacts, & Weekend Projections
Photo of Square Nail Found in Conglomerate.
I didn't post this item just to show a square nail. The reason I bothered to post it is to bring attention to items that are encrusted.
You can find a lot of items on the beach that are completely encrusted. Instead of simply discarding them, I would highly recommend looking into each and everyone of them. Coins and other valuables, as well as artifacts can be found in unidentifiable clumps.
Some people simply bust them open. I saw where a museum was doing that and I was shocked. Maybe they x-rayed the item first and already knew what was in it, but I don't think that busting a clump is a generally a good thing to do, at least not when you don't know what might be in it.
There are a variety of ways that you might treat an encrusted object. One of the first things I generally do is use a hose with a spray nozzle to wash off as much of the crust as will come off by simply spraying it.
After spraying the object, a little soaking might help. People use different things, like vinegar or other weak acid solutions. In any case, check the item frequently to make sure the desired effect is being achieved.
The nail in the photo above was completely encrusted. After spraying off the loose material, I used muriatic acid to remove more of the crust. It generally doesn't take long for muriatic acid to remove encrustation.
Don't put the item in muriatic acid and leave it unattended for very long or you might end up damaging the object. Again, check it frequently. It doesn't take long.
You can see that most of the crust was removed from the nail, but there is still some remaining. I wanted to see what was in there. Now that enough has been removed for me to identify the object, I can better decide what I want to do next.
Always be very careful with muriatic acid. It is powerful and can hurt you or almost anything it makes contact with. Keep it away from children, pets, etc. It can also give off very noxious fumes.
Muriatic acid can be used for cleaning silver objects such as coins. See Bill's coin cleaning instructions in my reference link list.
Here is a great web site that presents a large selection of photos of shipwreck artifacts. The first group is from the El Gran Griffon. Click on the arrow at the top of the display to page through the photos.
It is a really good idea to become familiar with a large variety of artifacts. You'll find a lot of different kinds of things and it helps to be able to identify items when you find them.
A good part of analyzing a detecting spot comes from the information you derive from your finds.
The more you know about a wide variety of artifacts the better off you will be.
Forecast and Conditions.
Well,the surf web sites are not backing off on the weekend predictions. They are holding at 7.5 feet for Friday and 8 feet for Saturday. And the wind has shifted a bit, now coming more from the northeast than the northwest. It seems to be setting up for something good. At least I hope so. If the seas are that high and the winds are right, things should get good for later in the weekend and early next week.
For today, I am rating beach conditions as poor. That should change soon.
It will take some good action to move the sand that was dragged down and deposited at the front of the beach on most beaches.
I'm hoping for strong north/northeast winds and a wave angle that slices at the beach.
Happy Veteran's Day,