Aug 03, 2012, 10:31 AM
Effects of wildfires in the past...?
Hi everyone... I'd like to retroactively thank you all for creating a wealth of info at this site; I've been lurking intently for a couple weeks now and trying to get the hang of stuff. I just got my very first MD as an early birthday present. It's a lifelong dream and when hubby gave me that weird look at the glee I oozed, I could only explain that it's like other normal little girls finally getting their pony.
I settled on a BH Lone Star b/c of the relative good ratio of price:features and the fact that it was a gift really didn't allow much upgrading. I've not had a great lot of luck so far but am only 3 days in without a lot of time to really devote at sites yet, and I'm quickly learning the options that I'll definitely have as priority in a future purchase--depth indication for one! I'll also be getting at least a low-price pin pointer. I've thus far spent MUCH more time in trying to learn how to pinpoint with just the coil as well as differentiate with some finesse. I'm following the concept of digging up everything, including pull tabs/trash, but it's still difficult to really narrow the areas.
Last night I was attempting to find likely spots in a local area to maybe find more than a pull tab or bullet, and was around a wooded area that surrounded somewhat cleared areas that were a result of failed attempts of farming unsuitable land. Near a tree and large stones that seemed set up a little bit more carefully in circles than ones piled from clearing fields, I got a hit and dug down till I found a rather heavy and obviously melted piece of metal. I'm still trying to ID just the metal type and will post a pic in a few to see if anyone can help based on the appearance. I really figured it was some sort of weird slag or weld glob, but since it was at least heavier than aluminum I felt somewhat satisfied for finally finding something other than usual trash.
However, after cleaning some of the corrosion/rust (I'm sure there's a difference and much more technical terms to describe the surfaces but don't know them yet), I felt that I started seeing some shapes and etchings and now believe that it was originally something purposefully ornate. The fact that it was melted, however, was still throwing me off since I figure most "real" things would not be intentionally melted halfway and then thrown out and the area was not an obviously good place for a typical camp fire etc.
I have learned today that there were large wildfires in the area in the 1970's tho, and now I'm wondering if there is a possibility of a relic being melted in such a situation? I know that it would depend on the metal type and all, but I'd hoped to hear of any experiences of finding object that may have been through wildfires and how they were affected.
Going to take some hopefully clear photos and will post in a minute... Thanks in advance!!!
Aug 03, 2012 10:31 AM
Aug 03, 2012, 10:40 AM
Most likely a melted can tossed into a camp fire.
Aug 03, 2012, 10:42 AM
I would think the melting was not from a wildfire but from a more intense heat like a campfire or trashpit.
Aug 03, 2012, 10:57 AM
Around here, wild fires were never even hot enough to melt glass, let alone metal. The only melted glass I have found is where a building burned down. Iron was never affected in these hot fires.
Aug 03, 2012, 10:59 AM
I also figured it would turn out to be some kind of melted trash like a can, but at least a larger can. It's a heavy piece... I don't really have a way to weigh it, unfortunately, b/c the only real scale I have right now is a bathroom scale.
I'm about to go outside for the sunlight in the photos, so will be posting the image with a background scale ruler to give dimensions.
There is at least one area that I'm almost positive is an etched duck/bird. I sculpt a lot and the eye that is visible in the bird's head is immediately obvious to me for the line properties (sorry, I realize that statement probably doesn't make sense and again am probably not using proper technical terms to describe).
BRB with photos...
PS: Please don't think I'm arguing with the can idea, because I can completely see myself making a mountain treasure out of a mole's turd, and would find the determination of "can" to be an educational experience since I'm trying to learn discrimination along all steps of the process, from the MD mechanical parts to my own eye/opinion. If it helps, the metal reads at far end of the LCD as "silver" on the Lone Star, at discrimination settings of all sensitivities and all the way to the right/highest discrimination.
Ok, since I know NONE of this is valid till I put the pics up, going to get them and brb. Thanks!
Aug 03, 2012, 12:50 PM
The "messy" melted side. There are some holes that I think I broke open with the digging/scrubbing when I figured it was just crap. Inside those holes, I picked out some sort of material that looked like wood or perhaps tobacco... By then it had been exposed to the cleaner (used Lime Away), and so I couldn't smell it to gather any other info on it. I am a smoker and it did make me think tobacco right away but then again this was in the woods right under a tree root, so could just be material that settled into it.
The smooth side. This has a slight curve, as tho the object were laying on something when it was melted, and the top was all messy with this side smoothing out against the ground.
Tried to show the edges here. You can also see a tube like structure, tho obviously it could just be a typical distortion from melting. Most of it was solid, but there were some bubbles or hollows as mentioned above; not sure if they were created from bubbling in melting or if they were the remains of a true hollow in the original before melting.
This photo most clearly shows what I thought was a duck. The bill starts just at the top of the hole on top, with the eye hopefully clear and the body extending under the ring looking thing.
And finally, this is where I scraped further down to see the metal below the dullness. This is hopefully helpful to identify at least the metal type?
Thanks for looking, and thanks for sharing so much info! I find personal help so invaluable in "training" myself because I can read descriptions over and over, and even see photo examples, but I seem to have a hard head against anything other than the ability to be touchy feely with the stuff.
Aug 03, 2012, 01:32 PM
Looks like lead, scrape with a knife, if shiny silver it's lead. If copper colored it's brass or some form of copper tubing.
Aug 03, 2012, 01:44 PM
Thanks! It must be lead then; the scraping made a really shiny metallic sparkle. The rust/corrosion was more of a reddish color. Some of that was left on there, but not sure if it's showing well on the photos. The main surface between the sparkle and the rusty is a dull gray color.
Originally Posted by lastleg
Thanks for this tip, I've been gaining a headache trying to figure out how to ID metals more particularly if they're not obvious. This object just simply pinged far left side of my LCD on the Lone Star with sensitivity turned all down and the discrimination all up to 100%, with "high" tones. Now I'll be able to make a reference of that for the future.
Aug 08, 2012, 07:46 PM
Just want to welcome another woman to metal detecting and the world of TNet!
Detect (v): to discover the existence of something
Treasure (n): wealth, riches or valuable things
....Get out there and Detect that Treasure!
Aug 09, 2012, 08:05 PM
Thanks Anita! I'm happy to be finally hunting--definitely for me it's the pony that most other little girls always wanted... lol
Originally Posted by AC1955
Aug 10, 2012, 12:24 AM
OK, first of all quit smoking. You are much too pretty to die before your time. Next, you have a really good mind and seem incredibly artistic. You remind me of the mystical hippie chicks I grew up with(that's a compliment). You found something cool after sorting through some not cool things. Is it heavy? Then indeed, it may be lead. I like the round tube that comes out of it. I would agree about a melted can except for that. If it's light, maybe it is a can, but I kind of doubt that. It took a lot of heat to melt that object. Check out there for some more stuff and have confidence in yourself. We may never know what this object is, but finding it paves the way for other discoveries. And finally, I've never been to Wisconsin, but I've been to Lubbock, Texas. Flat sucks, wherever you are. People used to tell me to enjoy the "wide open spaces". Yeah, right. But endure because it could always be worse and have fun with your detector. What a thoughtful person your husband is to buy that for you. I once asked my wife what she wanted for HER birthday. She replied, "a divorce". I told her I wasn't planning on spending THAT much...
Aug 10, 2012, 01:27 AM
lol! I'd totally take "mystical hippie chick" as a compliment, as well as agreeing about the need to quit smoking. I hate to admit that it'll probably be the social pressure to quit before any personal drive (and isn't that strange that peer pressure for cigs has swung almost totally around from pressuring to start to pressuring to end?). I'm one of the "polite" smokers and don't even smoke inside my own house because even *I* don't like the smell of smoking. The smell of natural tobacco as it's drying is a lovely scent IMO, but unfortunately they haven't made a Yankee Candle called "Tobacco Barn."
Originally Posted by austin
I definitely want to see/experience TX some time, at the very least as the required part of my planned eventual Lonesome Dove reenactment of the cattle drive. I've read that book through at least 2 copies, and it is an annual comfort reread for me still. However, I'd have to say I'd already figured that the areas like you say Lubbock is are going to be just a token check-off on my list, because I'd be impatient to get to the dramatic vistas and environments that I've read/heard of throughout the rest of the state. I've definitely decided no matter what that chaotic landscapes are a requirement for me; growing up in KY gave me a deep-seated love of the unexpected that is hidden in a dozen places all around you; I didn't even realize how homesick I was for the land until I finally find the glacial edge areas around here that are much more like that land.
As for the thingamabob, it IS definitely heavy. I should do some basic research on the properties of common metals like the melting points, because it would help to know the general amounts of heat for any future found melted objects. I've also got to get a small-weight scale b/c the real weight would be helpful for this and other stuff. Too bad it's not just crushed, because then at least I'd be able to pull it back into possible past shapes... but oh well--you're right that it's interesting and there is enough detail that could be intentional or could just be a melt fold, so it gives me something to chew on.
Aug 10, 2012, 03:43 AM
Don't worry, you'll know when to quit.
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