preserving metal relics, how to?


Full Member
May 26, 2009
SE Iowa
I found all of theses by walking creeks while arrowhead hunting, not metal detecting. But this seems like the more apropriate forum. Amazing how many steel axe heads I have found compared to the few stone axes. I want to preserve them the way they are all rusty. What is the best way to do this. i know I could clean them up and paint with rust converter/primer or oil them to protect them, but I'd rather keep them looking just like the day I found them if possible. My favorite is the double bit axe, I found it while kayaking my local creek right at the water line from the kayak.
metal things.jpg

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On my rusty relics I spray them with Deft Clear Wood Finish in Satin. They also make a Gloss & Simi-Gloss but they are to glossy for my taste. It's a clear lacquer finish that drys in 1 or 2 minutes and leaves a smooth almost waxie feel. Iron objects end up with a nice patina look without leaving orange rust all over your hands. I'm also in the antique business and have been using it for years to protect iron pieces (arrested decay). Available at almost any hardware store, Lowe's, Home Depot, Ace, etc.

Nice collection ATV and nice tips Tom-thank you both for sharing.

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