Wednesday, February 16, 2011

2/16/11 Report - Spikes Recently Found on Treasure Coast Beaches

Dug Encrusted Object Recently Found by Metal Detector on a Treasure Coast Shipwreck Beach

This was found two or three days ago. I didn't know what it was so I started cleaning it. The small part that wasn't crusted over (middle of the object in the photo) led me to believe that it was probably something other than a spike.

I wasn't really expecting to find anything identifiable under all of that rust, but decided to clean it anyway.

Below you will see a photo of the same item after it was cleaned.

The first thing I did was to knock off as much of the sand/shell concretion as I could while being very careful to not damage the item.

After that I used a combination of muriatic acid and electrolysis.

This is the same item I showed yesterday in the photo labeled Rust Soup.

Now that the item is cleaned, it can easily be identified. Notice the piece of wood adhering to the spike. I tried to make sure that I didn't knock that off. That is a nice detail but one that totally fooled me before the spike was cleaned.

Same Object After Cleaning.

The sand and shell crust would create a barrier to treatment by muriatic acid or electrolysis. I think it is generally a good idea to carefully remove crusts like this mechanically before using other cleaning methods, but utmost care should be exercised to prevent scratching or damaging the object. In this case a scratch is no big deal, but you sometimes don't know how important that will be until you have it cleaned enough to know what you are dealing with.

A wire brush, dental pic, water nozzle, or tooth brush can all be useful. I like to use instruments that allow you to feel the amount of pressure being applied and how the crust is responding.

After the bulk of the crust is removed, you can then use acid or electrolysis or whatever method is most appropriate. Definitely consider the type of material and how fragile the object is.

Some items should probably not be cleaned - especially if you don't really know what you are doing. And some might make a better display in their original condition if they won't continue to deteriorate. Don't automatically assume that all dug items should be cleaned.

Another Similar Spike.

Here is another very similar spike that was found in about the same area around the same time. This spike is also broken but doesn't have the head. This one is in more fragile condition. It will take more care to clean. It also has some attached wood that I wouldn't want to knock off. Only some of the crust has been removed so far.

A sunken 19th Century ship was found in lake Erie. They are thinking of raising it and relocating it to an underwater aquarium where it could be viewed by the public. That would be different.

The cold fresh water kept the wreck in remarkable condition.

Here is the link to the entire story.

I always enjoyed detecting the lakes up north. The coins generally come out in very nice condition. The silver US coins would often have a nice blue patina.

Concerning the identity of the large wood object found at Juno Beach that I posted a few days ago, the majority opinion is mast.

The majority opinion on the small copper object I've been showing is lid for something like a jewelry box.

Conditions and Forecast.

Conditions remain the same - poor for finding cobs and other treasure coina, but as I've been showing, not impossible for finding some types of shipwreck artifacts.

The wind is now out of the southeast again. The surf web sites are now predicting that the seas will only reach about four feet later today and then decrease again over the next few days. That doesn't suggest much of a change.

I'm just hoping for a little well-placed erosion so I can remove some of those deeper objects that I haven't been able to dig out yet.

Happy hunting,