Cleaning tarnished, corroded, or just plane nasty metals

Discussion in 'Metal Detecting' started by Bobpaul, Nov 1, 2006.

  1. Bobpaul

    Bobpaul New Member

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    Most of what I find on the saltwater beaches is usaully messed up by the salt.

    For knocking the crud off of coins, I just use a tumbler and some aquarium gravel, but for the better objects like silver that's turned black, I found this article on electrolysis cleaning. It's an easy, do it yourself, at home system.

    I used a 12V, 10 amp battery charger. Got 4 alligator clips and made jumper wires from the charger clips to the stainless spoon and one to the object to be cleaned. Positive clip to the spoon and negative clip to the object to be cleaned. Plug in the charger and watch it fizz.

    Use a big enough glass so the spoon and object clips can't touch. It sure makes some pretty sparks if you don't:crazy:

    Here's the link. Read it yourself.

    http://gometaldetecting.com/electrolysis_cleaning.htm
     
  2. BIG GEORGE

    BIG GEORGE New Member

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    10,362
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    JOISY
    Good info. Thanx! I'm gonna see if it works on dirty cats.:wink:
     

  3. ka_c4_boom

    ka_c4_boom New Member

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    thats cool , if i ever find anything worth cleaning i ha ve to remember this
     
  4. buddah

    buddah New Member

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    Wow, Thats pretty cool! I'm a Mr.Wizard/Bill Nye kinda guy so I'll have to put that on my favorites list and hope the Wife don't see it! Looks a little dangerous though...LOL :big_smile:
     
  5. Bobpaul

    Bobpaul New Member

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    Nah it's not the least dangerous. I saw a guy with a patch on his eye and only three fingers on his left hand do it.:wink:

    If you want dangerous, try mixing a browning solution using nitric acid, sulphuric acid, distilled water, and a pound of shiny finishing nails. After seeing the red cloud of toxic gas come out of that beaker, then you know what dangerous is. The next day, everything in the basement that could rust, was rusty:big_smile:

    Browning is what was done to guns before they perfected bluing.
     
  6. laidbck111

    laidbck111 New Member

    Very good info.
     
  7. Bubbakat

    Bubbakat New Member

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    Now bob that was very interesting, to say the least.
     
  8. ShilohRed

    ShilohRed New Member

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    West Tn
    Bobpaul I will have to try that.
    I use about the same thing but use a batter charger. And Borax to clean big parts . You can take a junk piece of scrap metal and use it as the spoon.
    I have a big plastic tub that I clean hand saws, Or big pieces with. And it sure works.
    But the piece of scrap metal will sure turn into a piece of junk when done..
    Pete
     
  9. buzzgator

    buzzgator New Member

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    South Carolina
    I soak most of my civil war era relics in olive oil and clean with a tooth brush... Got lots of buttons and bullets from the Charleston SC area my cuz has found 2 slave tags and a couple of 40 quart coolers full of buttons and such...
     
  10. buddah

    buddah New Member

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    1,622
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    Pennsylvania Wi
    he oughtta give some of them to the local historical society.:roll_eyes:
     
  11. buzzgator

    buzzgator New Member

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    65
    State:
    South Carolina
    the historical society in Chas is over loaded with that kinda stuff dont get me wrong he has donated a few things to different groups... But its mostly just a private collection that would have all been lost to time if he hadnt invested as much time into it as he has... The guy never sells any of it his best stuff is in display cases and he has one of the best collections I have ever seen I have never seen anything on the net to even compare it to.
     
  12. Bobpaul

    Bobpaul New Member

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    I'm not saying donations shouldn't be made from time to time, or to loan a collection to be viewed by the public is also cool, with a strict binding contract so you can get it back, but from what i've seen of historical societies an state employed archeologists, they're just too damned lazy to get out and research and find this stuff.

    They're so jealous of other people having it, that they get laws passed to make it a criminal offense to relic hunt, so it can now just rot away in the ground.

    The laws in Al have been changed to again allow relic hunting in state water ways, but your going to jail if you try it in the fresh water rivers of Fl.

    If you want to see some nice collections, go to the homes of some of these historical society members or archiologists
     
  13. Bobpaul

    Bobpaul New Member

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    You've got to be more careful cleaning old relics.

    I've got a couple of silver rings in the solution, cooking now. I found them on Writesville Beach today.

    I'll put up some pica after they get cleaned up some. The salt water puts a dull plum colored tarnish on silver. If silver's in the salt water long enough, the tarnish is pre black and polishes up black too.
     
  14. Bobpaul

    Bobpaul New Member

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    I found another way of cleaning metals in small quantity.

    Add some kosher salt to vinegar, then put in the metal. i did this with a few coins found on the beach yesterday and the cleaned up nice.

    What happens is about the same as using a battery charger, electrolisys. You've created a battery by putting metal into a salt/acid solution. A meter that could measure milivolts would show you a reading from the container.
     
  15. catgetter1

    catgetter1 New Member

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    1,162
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    Thankx for the info, this is most definetly a good thing ta know....