Depth of finds

Midden-marauder

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Dec 10, 2023
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What is the average depth of the finds you folks make with your detectors? I'm having to dial back sensitivity on my new rig to avoid digging 12"+ on the plumbing in our yard, I've located at least 3 pipes now and I'm getting sick of digging that deep, the VDI on those rusty ass pipes rings in like silver which confuses things (most rusty iron is high numbers/tones, I'm beginning to doubt all high and low tones).
I'm sure there's special exceptions but what would you say your typical depth is? I'm trying to learn this thing and where to set things. I need perspective
 

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robertk

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Average depth seems like it would vary depending on where and what you're searching.

Pipes and wires should be identifiable without digging -- if you can get the same signal in a straight line for several feet, there's a really good chance it's a pipe or wire.
 

Bucket Lister

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What is the average depth of the finds you folks make with your detectors? I'm having to dial back sensitivity on my new rig to avoid digging 12"+ on the plumbing in our yard, I've located at least 3 pipes now and I'm getting sick of digging that deep, the VDI on those rusty ass pipes rings in like silver which confuses things (most rusty iron is high numbers/tones, I'm beginning to doubt all high and low tones).
I'm sure there's special exceptions but what would you say your typical depth is? I'm trying to learn this thing and where to set things. I need perspective
Too many variables. What's average for a park may be different than the average for a field, beach, or woods. Logically, the older an object, the deeper it should be, but that doesn't always hold either.

I'm trying to learn this thing and where to set things. I need perspective
Might help if you added your machine to your profile, so we can see what you're swinging.
We also don't know what size coil you're using; a smaller coil may (or not) run shallower.
 

cudamark

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Find a known pipe and then reduce the sensitivity until it isn't sensed.
 

bottlecap4u

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Jan 15, 2024
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Pipes and wires should be identifiable without digging -- if you can get the same signal in a straight line for several feet, there's a really good chance it's a pipe or wire
generally good advice, followed old sewage, culverts, electrical lines this way. Sometimes though, the ground depth can change so you can only detect the pipe, line, or in the pic I show below, a small gauge rail, in one spot. If you can't determine if its a line, etc., I dig it anyway. pic of the small gauge rail I found on a home permission, strange to find it there, but there it was, dug it as I could only get the signal in one spot, the ground was sloping downward.
 

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bottlecap4u

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That's awesome, accidental or not. :icon_thumright:
Thanks Robertk, Finding it led me to talk with a local historian who let me know that a public seed drying barn was there in the 1800s. Found old horse tack near the road and rail might have connected the road area to the old barn (long since gone), where farmers pulled up and used the rail to cart seed stock to the barn and vis-versa. Though I never got a relic from the dig, still pieced together a nifty piece of local history from digging it.
 

robertk

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I wounder how deep would you guys be willing to dig?
That depends on what's down there. I've got a four foot pit going in my front yard excavating an old cellar hole, if that's any indication.
 

pepperj

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Too many variables. What's average for a park may be different than the average for a field, beach, or woods. Logically, the older an object, the deeper it should be, but that doesn't always hold either.


Might help if you added your machine to your profile, so we can see what you're swinging.
We also don't know what size coil you're using; a smaller coil may (or not) run shallower.
I think this is what machine the OP is using.
It might be a simple case of increasing the discrimination level of the machine.
 

pepperj

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No, not entirely. But you can often have some idea (general kind of metal, rough idea of size, etc).
So many believe that the VDI states a range that falls into the silver range-but it turns out to be a big iron pipe/or similar target recovery.
Simple rule if one lifts the coil-1-2 ft off the ground and the size of the target is bigger than a bread box it's probably not a coin.

Though I'm thinking of selling all these high end machines and getting one of those Harbour Freight ones.
Digging a BB @ 5" is impressive depths.
 

bottlecap4u

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Jan 15, 2024
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I wounder how deep would you guys be willing to dig?
depends how tired I am, lol, type of signal I'm getting, what I discover initially, that rail was a 30-minute dig. If initially its pipes or large iron junk, move on. But if its potentially something cool, It's game on! Won't get off it til I get it out, pulled a 1916 full license plate over a foot deep in a hard driveway and big brass 1800s decorative clock pendulum deep under roots. Plate took me better part of an hour to pull it.... gently out, it was way down and had to go through about 6 inches of packed driveway rock to softer layer below it. If its late in the day, I'm tired, might come back another day.
 

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Midden-marauder

Midden-marauder

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Sorry I never followed up guys lol. Got sidetracked and totally spaced this one out. The detector I have is indeed the harbor freight model but it's the better of the two they offer and based on what I read here and other places it's actually not a bad unit at all. The VDI and depth sensitivity are good, iron falsing happens at below 5-6" but as I've learned, digging below that level can be a real crap shoot and much work to boot. Most of my finds end up being in the 2-4" range, on average but then I'm also not jamming sensitivity like I did in the beginning, it's the best way to find the utilities and it finds them at depth, possibly as much as 2' on larger lines. Unless I know there's some goodies down there WORTH digging on I don't go that deep, even a foot is tedious and things like BBs at 5" is just plain ridiculous, too much work! Out there in the failing daylight digging down to God knows what, headlamp on, pinpointer out trying to track this invisible.....wait, what the, it's a BB?! Damn dude! This is part of the reason I tend to use a pinpointer in many settings and just leave the 9 1/2" at home, yes, the big guy is faster, or covers more area faster at any rate but if the sensitivity is up it's not actually that much faster as the time spent digging makes up for more area covered even cherry picking. That being said I found a good spot to take the big guy to and I'll mess with sensitivity in that setting to see if I don't find a buried refrigerator lol
 

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Midden-marauder

Midden-marauder

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All coins I've found are within the first 2", none deeper or not meaningfully so. All the very oldest coins were actually surface or near surface finds interestingly. Often the pinpointer is enough to locate them just by itself. What's deeper than that? Depends but it's usually rusty old what have you that wasn't worth my time to dig on. That really has been my experience as of yet
 

Bucket Lister

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Dec 20, 2023
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I wounder how deep would you guys be willing to dig?
Again, too many variables.
Dig for what?​
In what kind of substrate?​
With what implements?​
How wide?​
Potential value (some may care more/less than others)?​
Yesterday I went out to my permission to scout around... Got a really strong non-ferrous signal at 91. I chased that tone down deeper than my pinpointer (probably 10"-11"), and it was BIG--covered the whole bottom of the 12" dia. hole. I stopped there because I'd need a bigger shovel and I didn't want to freak out the property owner with a cubic yard pit or something... 😲

I might go back and dig further after a conversation with the owner. I'm pretty sure I located the privy site (some distance away), but I'm not really into that anymore...

So... out in the woods or some farmer's field, I'd probably go deeper than I would in a park or someone's lawn.
 

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Midden-marauder

Midden-marauder

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Dec 10, 2023
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Yesterday I went out to my permission to scout around... Got a really strong non-ferrous signal at 91. I chased that tone down deeper than my pinpointer (probably 10"-11"), and it was BIG--covered the whole bottom of the 12" dia. hole. I stopped there because I'd need a bigger shovel and I didn't want to freak out the property owner with a cubic yard pit or something... 😲

I might go back and dig further after a conversation with the owner. I'm pretty sure I located the privy site (some distance away), but I'm not really into that anymore...

So... out in the woods or some farmer's field, I'd probably go deeper than I would in a park or someone's lawn.
Sounds like my experience with locating what I think is an old well head in our yard. That I actually located with only my pinpointer but it's a large bit of metal, maybe 5ish inches down with the shaft extending down to hell below. The things I find at depth are often bigger the BB experience notwithstanding. Pipes, bits of pipe, plumbing, gas lines etc. I unearthed a large piece of sheet metal picked up with the pinpointer at about 6". No coins or other valuables located at those depths as of yet, just big ol iron. I keep my 9 1/2" dialed in at lower to mid sensitivity, at least on our property. Elsewhere things may be different but thus far going past 5" is likely to disappoint, no coinage at that depth anywhere I've been to date. I'm sure there are exceptions but I've not encountered them
 

robertk

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Elsewhere things may be different but thus far going past 5" is likely to disappoint, no coinage at that depth anywhere I've been to date. I'm sure there are exceptions but I've not encountered them
I'd say things are definitely different other places. I've dug plenty of coins at 6" or better. I remember one particular wheat penny I found standing on edge 8" down. (I remember it because I was really surprised I got a signal on it at all.)
 

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