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Thread: Tumbled Finds From 2018

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  1. #1
    ca
    Detect everyday like it's the last day of the season!

    Apr 2010
    Upper Canada (Southern Ontario)
    XP Deus 4.1 Lesche - Piranha 35 Shovel 'Garrett Carrot' AT - Pointer
    6,940
    5367 times
    Relic Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)
    Honorable Mentions (1)

    Tumbled Finds From 2018


    Last week I decided to tumble some of my more interesting non-ferrous finds from 2018.
    This week I’m hoping to start tumbling some of my more interesting iron relics.
    I think its part of the responsibility we have as detectorists to either reuse, re-purpose or recycle the items we find!


    I start by tumbling the items in ¾” aquarium gravel, a ½ cup of beach sand and liquid dish soap. I let this tumble for 24 — 36hrs, I then rinse it out, refill the tumbler with the same mixture and let it tumble for another 2 days. After a couple of days, I’ll then empty the tumbler, rinse off the items and re-tumble for another 2 — 3 days with just the gravel and the dish soap. There’s no need to seal the metal, as brass will start to ‘dull down’ again after just a couple of days exposure to the air. Sometimes I’ll brush on a light coat of mineral oil and bees wax, which can be washed off later with soap & water if desired. I started tumbling in 2012 with a small Loretone Model 45C tumbler, but I soon realized that I needed a larger capacity tumbler. In 2016 I bought a Loretone QT12, which allows me to tumbler larger items and more items at once. I quickly found that the more I detected, the more I found and want to keep.

    Relic Tumbling
    •Next time you go to the beach, gather some small ¾” – 1” pebbles and sand.
    •Put your relics in the tumbler, add the pebbles, and about 2 tablespoons of the sand to make the tumbler about 3/4 full. Fill with water (to a little below the top of the pebbles) and add a touch of liquid detergent. Put the lid on and shake it to distribute the relics and pebbles evenly.
    •Let it tumble for about 2 - 4 hours. Open it up and drain off the dirty water. Refill with clean water, add a touch of liquid detergent more sand if desired and tumble for another couple of hours or overnight.
    •Open it up and pour into a strainer or screen that has holes large enough to let your pebbles and sand fall through, but not your coins. Rinse the relics well then spread them out on newspaper or on a towel to dry. I tumble brass and copper things that have corrosion on them too, like buckles and buttons and keys, etc. I prefer to separate the copper, brass, iron and silver items when they tumble. I have tried it both ways, and if you decide to tumble them together or let them tumble too long, your brass & copper will turn a brown colour. This is easily removed with another tumbling with more sand and gravel.

    DO NOT MIX THE DIFFERENT METAL GROUPS!
    •In a tumbler barrel, (remember not to mix the metal groups), then add aquarium gravel to a little less than ⅔ to ¾ full. Cover the mixture with water (do NOT over fill); add 1 SMALL squirt of liquid dish soap.
    •After 1 - 2 of tumbling, pour out the tumbler of relics and gravel into a strainer. Rinse it all well while 'stirring' or turning it over so that beach sand washes out leaving only the aquarium gravel. Once all the aquarium gravel has been separated from the metal, rinse the metal with hot water. This helps increase the drying time.
    •Pour the rinsed relics onto a towel on a counter top and allow them to dry. Continue with the next batch of metal to be tumbled. Once all relics are completely dry, they can be stored or put on display.

    Thanks very much for looking,
    Dave
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    “I won't be wronged. I won't be insulted. I won't be laid a-hand on. I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them.”
    “Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
    “Life's hard. It's even harder when you're stupid.”
    ― John Wayne

  2. #2

    Feb 2015
    Victor, CO...City of Mines
    Minelab EQ800, Ex2
    1,365
    2401 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    I like the information about the mineral oil and beeswax keeping the items shiny. I have had trouble with the brown or reddish color. Thanks for the information it’s very helpful. I use a vibrasonic vibrating tumbler which is fast! I sure like the way things turn out.
    ANTIQUARIAN likes this.

  3. #3
    ca
    Detect everyday like it's the last day of the season!

    Apr 2010
    Upper Canada (Southern Ontario)
    XP Deus 4.1 Lesche - Piranha 35 Shovel 'Garrett Carrot' AT - Pointer
    6,940
    5367 times
    Relic Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)
    Honorable Mentions (1)
    Quote Originally Posted by diggingthe1 View Post

    I like the information about the mineral oil and beeswax keeping the items shiny. I have had trouble with the brown or reddish color. Thanks for the information it’s very helpful. I use a vibrasonic vibrating tumbler which is fast! I sure like the way things turn out.
    Thanks very much for your post and for your suggestions my friend!
    The mineral oil and beeswax actually evens out the color on the surface and depends the final result.
    Not all brass comes out looking shiny, I'll sometimes rub some Brasso on the piece after it's cleaned of the heavier corrosion.

    I'll have to look into vibrasonic vibrating tumbler, I'm only aware of small units that jewelers use to clean small pieces of jewelry.

    Dave
    Blak bart and diggingthe1 like this.
    “I won't be wronged. I won't be insulted. I won't be laid a-hand on. I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them.”
    “Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
    “Life's hard. It's even harder when you're stupid.”
    ― John Wayne

  4. #4

    Feb 2015
    Victor, CO...City of Mines
    Minelab EQ800, Ex2
    1,365
    2401 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Thanks for even more great information. I am sure I will have better results now. I have not tried sand or pebbles, that will help. The vibrasonic tumblers are expensive, I found one in a garage clean out free!! They cut the time in half, but I don’t think it would be worth it. It doesn’t take that long. I tumble in a cold garage and just add some antifreeze. Here is a picture of one of those tumblers. Cliff Click image for larger version. 

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    ANTIQUARIAN likes this.

  5. #5
    ca
    Detect everyday like it's the last day of the season!

    Apr 2010
    Upper Canada (Southern Ontario)
    XP Deus 4.1 Lesche - Piranha 35 Shovel 'Garrett Carrot' AT - Pointer
    6,940
    5367 times
    Relic Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)
    Honorable Mentions (1)
    Quote Originally Posted by diggingthe1 View Post

    Thanks for even more great information. I am sure I will have better results now. I have not tried sand or pebbles, that will help. The vibrasonic tumblers are expensive, I found one in a garage clean out free!! They cut the time in half, but I don’t think it would be worth it. It doesn’t take that long. I tumble in a cold garage and just add some antifreeze. Here is a picture of one of those tumblers. Cliff
    I do all of my tumbling in my basement workshop, the only drawback of the tumbling process is the noise.
    It irritates my wife to no end... which is actually a bonus!

    Thanks again for your post and best of luck to you Sir!
    Dave
    A2coins and diggingthe1 like this.
    “I won't be wronged. I won't be insulted. I won't be laid a-hand on. I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them.”
    “Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
    “Life's hard. It's even harder when you're stupid.”
    ― John Wayne

  6. #6
    Charter Member
    us
    Tommy

    Dec 2015
    Ann Arbor
    Equinox 800
    19,593
    23969 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Honorable Mentions (2)
    Those turned out great I have some spoons I'll try in my tumbler I'm not much into electrolysis
    ANTIQUARIAN likes this.
    Still Available ​Approved TreasureNet Stickers
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  7. #7
    ca
    Detect everyday like it's the last day of the season!

    Apr 2010
    Upper Canada (Southern Ontario)
    XP Deus 4.1 Lesche - Piranha 35 Shovel 'Garrett Carrot' AT - Pointer
    6,940
    5367 times
    Relic Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)
    Honorable Mentions (1)
    Quote Originally Posted by A2coins View Post

    Those turned out great I have some spoons I'll try in my tumbler I'm not much into electrolysis
    Thanks Tommy.
    I realize these pieces have little to no value, but at least now they're presentable.
    Dave
    “I won't be wronged. I won't be insulted. I won't be laid a-hand on. I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them.”
    “Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
    “Life's hard. It's even harder when you're stupid.”
    ― John Wayne

  8. #8

    Aug 2017
    Whites V3i & DFX
    230
    339 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Dave, thanks for the detailed instructions and great "after" pictures. Will consider tumbling as an option. Property owners have a hard time believing me when I tell them that the field work (i.e. finding artifacts) is the easy part. Cleaning, preserving, identifying and estimating the age is more time consuming. But if I get results like yours, it is worth it, especially since most artifacts are donated to local history societies for educational purposes.
    ANTIQUARIAN likes this.

  9. #9
    ca
    Detect everyday like it's the last day of the season!

    Apr 2010
    Upper Canada (Southern Ontario)
    XP Deus 4.1 Lesche - Piranha 35 Shovel 'Garrett Carrot' AT - Pointer
    6,940
    5367 times
    Relic Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)
    Honorable Mentions (1)
    Quote Originally Posted by invent4hir View Post

    Dave, thanks for the detailed instructions and great "after" pictures. Will consider tumbling as an option. Property owners have a hard time believing me when I tell them that the field work (i.e. finding artifacts) is the easy part. Cleaning, preserving, identifying and estimating the age is more time consuming. But if I get results like yours, it is worth it, especially since most artifacts are donated to local history societies for educational purposes.
    Thanks for your post and for sharing your thoughts invent4hir.
    You're exactly right, recovering these items is the fun part of detecting, but then what do we do with the items.

    I find that tumbling the more interesting items, keeps them from ending up in the scrap metal pail to go to the recycler.
    The thing is... I have boxes and boxes of these relics, now what do I do with them?

    Dave
    invent4hir likes this.
    “I won't be wronged. I won't be insulted. I won't be laid a-hand on. I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them.”
    “Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
    “Life's hard. It's even harder when you're stupid.”
    ― John Wayne

  10. #10

    Aug 2017
    Whites V3i & DFX
    230
    339 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by ANTIQUARIAN View Post
    Thanks for your post and for sharing your thoughts invent4hir.
    You're exactly right, recovering these items is the fun part of detecting, but then what do we do with the items.

    I find that tumbling the more interesting items, keeps them from ending up in the scrap metal pail to go to the recycler.
    The thing is... I have boxes and boxes of these relics, now what do I do with them?

    Dave
    Dave, a lot of people, not just metal detectorists, are in your position - having boxes and boxes of "stuff". The idea of donating artifacts to historical societies is one way to resolve. If you foster a good relationship with the organization, they may have some members with property that you can detect in the future. If historical societies are not an option for you or they don't want the artifacts, take a small percentage of the best artifacts, and make a few display cases for yourself. Currently I have 8 that I rotate in any 4 at a given time in a curio cabinet. Then take 3 empty boxes (label "keep", "Goodwill" and "Scrap to sell", respectively) and a garbage can begin sorting through what is left. Depending on your choices, this may reduce the number of boxes you keep considerably. You'll probably need to do this every few months in the beginning to really narrow down what you want to keep and prevent the "keep" boxes from becoming overwhelmed with this season's finds. Good luck!

 

 

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