Monday, January 19, 2015

- Caution: Road hazard ahead

I have recently taken up a potentially hazardous activity: metal detecting. But not with a metal detector ... I just walk around looking for stuff on the ground.

For instance, on our recent road trip to St Louis I decided to find one piece of metal at each of our hourly stretch-stops ... conveniently forgetting that it would likely be cold and windy, which did shorten the time I spent searching, but I still found a few things (with some help from Don).

Anyway, here's where the hazardous part comes in: when one is looking intently at the ground in a parking lot, one is far less likely to pay attention to cars and trucks that happen to be rolling by. And the drivers of said vehicles are for sure not expecting one to make a pedestrian 180 in pursuit of the perfect souvenir.

Still, hazardous or not, I'm hooked. And have since begun turning the treasure gleaned from road trips and Junkology jaunts, into the ultimate science experiment ...

Rusted metal objects after 24 hours
in contact with vinegar-soaked muslin

Round one consisted of placing multiple layers of dry cotton cloth on a metal-top table, on top of which I put one layer of vinegar-soaked cotton muslin, topped it with a variety of metal objects, then covered the objects with another layer of vinegar-soaked muslin. 

At which point I realized the vinegar-soaked muslin wasn't wet enough to stick to the metal ... so I did some fast thinking and spritzed like crazy with a water bottle. After which I crossed my fingers and weighted everything down with some old boards.

Impatient as I am, I peeked (of course I did) within 24 hours. And when I saw not only the expected rust color, but turquoise, I downright squealed.

"eeeeeeeeee" (to quote Grace).

Here are a few more shots ...

What I saw just before the big "reveal" ... eeeeeeeee

Close up of  a rusted door knob (left), tiny metal candy cutters (right)
and a round metal something-or-other (bottom)

Who knew cheese graters could be so cool?

All as yet unwashed ... which is to say, as intense as they are likely to get. But no matter ... I've already planned the next round, which will include wet padding above and below, under and overlaid by plastic trash bags to retain moisture.

The question is, can I wait more than 24 hours before peeking? Don't hold your breath ... and for sure be on the lookout for absent-minded pedestrians if you happen to be in my neck of the woods.