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Australian WWII - Far North Queensland Metal detecting and recovery

Article about: Hi Blokes ~ I am posting this as an going blog for interested parties that have been following my fossicking of (extensive) WWII ~ Far North Qld Australia . This area has been described in r

  1. #201

  2. #202


    Further developments on the village after one of the team members did some research and seems at it's peak in the 1890s the town had FOUR pubs ~ (hotel/ bars) , a court house but NO church!!

    1892 census found some 484 people in residence ~

    By 1900 the town was on a "down hill" slide ~

    (Thanks for the details , Paul !)

  3. #203


    Well what a difference a few days make ~

    I figured I would check the dam levels and turns out the water has dropped about 4% , so that might juts be a good chance to visit my preferred hunting ground/s ~

    Sure enough the water levels has dropped noticeably ~

    The problem if considered is that the Christmas break creates a Mecca for the holiday makers and boat numbers increase significantly and that will remain the same for the next 7-10 days over the New Year, despite the water being in my opinion far less than appealing ~ In fact the local water authority rates the Blue Green algae levels as “Moderate”!

    Anyway I took along the wading gear ~ again bathers and boaters must chuckle when they see me armed with gum boots. But if they watch carefully they will see me churning over the bottom and that is not real “flash” ~ BTW I am no where near the bathers and offer no threat to their water integrity ~

    This time the MD echoes were off and running the instant I entered the water ! Straight up I pulled a Brass 303 barrel cleaning weight. Nice start I figure ~ And the echoes kept coming ~

    But then sadly the majority were ~or echoed typically of the hordes of 303 Blanks which frequent the area in mass! I eventually ignore the echo ~ as in typical fashion the rounds are in fact rolling around the stony bottom sections and are a real pain to be chasing blindly across the bottom ~

    A standard brass uniform button and then a section of (modern) watch band section~ (WHERE is the rest of the watch! Typically water skiers and Jet skiers tend to lose their ornaments ` and even the yachties lose watches etc!)

    So pressing on I scored a small but mixed bag in the 2/32 Batt camp site ~

    I also scooped up the remains of a cigarette lighter ~

    An intriguing bottle head protruded from the first of the mud sections ~ (which should have been a warning of what was about to come!) But what I thought was a modern twist top beer bottle turned into a classic “PMU” Sauce bottle with raised embossed print! (The company is still in business but now all their bottles are clear glass and have been for many many decades ~)

    So an excellent WWII period bottle yet again!

    Plus a razor top and several lead sinkers ~

    Additionally I picked a half piece and a full Australia shoulder badge ~

    Then Disaster!!

    I was wading approximately 1- 1.5 M from the water edge when I struck “quick sand” bottom! The bottom threatened to ‘devour’ me totally and I escaped by lunging to the water edge but still found myself sinking to the top of the gum boots and to the left knee ~ Scary moment!

    So I pressed on along the water edge and when it appeared secure I edged in again only to sink again !! So that was enough ~ I continued along the water line for several tens of metres before I saw several swimmers in a pool area ahead. So I called it a day and turned about until I returned ot the solid stony bottom area ~ Again I returned t the water ~

    But this effectively halves the area I have been sweeping to date! Sure I can return as the water drops but wading obviously gives me a potential advantage !

    So a review of plans is in order based on water levels once again ~ and another area ~ plus the team members are keen to go Bush yet again ~

    So no shortage of targets, It is all about weather and temperatures.

  4. #204


    While organising my relics I was inspired to trial using heat to remove crustations from relics and coins and badges. As i had nothing to lose really as many are totally seemingly irretrievable or illegible coins and relics So why not try a MAP torch!

    These items have been flamed but not cleaned up ~

    Note badly corroded encrusted AMF button

    Simply heat to cherry red .. and essentially allow to cool naturally ~ maybe a quick spray with CRC ~ (???) not totally sure after all it is about displacing molecular structures here ~ and break 'their' hold on the item !

    And ` Pls don't touch or try to pick up ~ No~ I did not do that either !

    More Buttons prior to flaming ~ some are already reasonable ~ some not too flash~

    Check the buttons..After~

    Result.. STUNNING ~

    Not all items are going to be salvageable ~ Okay !

    Total for the day

    Total for the day ~ Who would even known the brass button was actually modern and not WWII ~ and even has print ~ "Make your own"

  5. #205


    Post comment

    overheating with a blow torch is a new one to me.

    I think "Blow torch" is a harsh term and I for one woudl not be recommending a blow torch ~ The M.A.P. torch is a special mix gas and does get very hot ..

    FYI ~
    MAPP gas - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    MAPP gas - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I think the key is to heat to a red or ~ bloody hot ~ of course the original theory is that these items were/ are less than suitable for any sort of static display and nothing is lost by trying it anyway.

    The bottom line is I am theoretically "breaking " the molecular structure that is holding the " Crustacea " to the surface ! ~ nothing more ~

    Despite all we are not in it to melt the item ~ so a butane torch should be ideal ~ it simply that I have a MAP compact torch which I used when I was building Motorcycles and it has no other specific purpose now ~

    BUT ~ I have now moved onto more valuable items such as my single USA tunic service button and it too has come very nicely ~

    Of course it is also of concern that if :"you" were to endeavour to clean up lesser metal such as aluminium , pewter or low melting point that brass or copper ~

    This would immediately mean catastrophe for any such piece ~ it would not even make it to the brica brac bucket ~ So best to establish what one was about to heat of course ~

    As for the bottles ~ thats EASY ~

    Sodium Hypochlorite ~ or as most know it BLEACH ~

    Soak in diluted bleach .. say 1 part bleach to about 9 parts water ~ it will bring glass up to the best possible result that the item potentially has to be "restored" ~ including stains and odors ~

    All your house hold glasses , coffee cups , china will come up superbly ~

    OF course be careful if you have painted art work or logos on the item ~ and certainly NOT to be used with paper labels ~

    Best stick to straight forward unlabelled glass ~

  6. #206


    Has any else heard of CGI Network ?

    If you have watched a movie, a documentary on television or theatre ~ you HAVE experienced CGI

    They a computer graphics engineering group ~

    The CGI folks are about to release new movie ~ “Stalingrad’

    Here is a sweetner ~ prelude ~

    Making of Stalingrad
    Making of Stalingrad

    Hold the thought that 90% of the video is NOT real ~ as can seen the images are super imposed via 3 D onto real Volgagrad / Stalinggrad topography !

  7. #207


    Amazing how far they have come with CGI,I'm still happy with good old fashioned special effects as long as they get the facts right..watched "company of heroes"last night and should have seen the vast array of weapons the US soldiers were using,T-34's dressed up as I'm not sure what,bit disappointing when they don't even bother to get those bits right..

  8. #208


    Sean ~ Class ic example was "Pacific"

    We had a bloke working with us that was ex military and worked on the Guadualcanal set ( at Mossman ) not far from us ~ and pointed out that they had ONE Buffalo LVT and of course it the episode they had heaps ~

    BUT ~ more importantly they DID NOT have Buffalo/s at Guadalcanal ~ in fact I don;t think they appeared in numbers till 1944 (?)

    I am not sure they even had Higgins barges ~ Most were sent to Africa and Operation Torch campaign ~

    I thought after "Band of Brothers" Spielberg would have gotten "Pacific" right ~

    I guess they reckon average Drongo Joe Bloggers would know know better ~ and when they don't get it right it makes a farce of the entire scenario ~ and no excuse these days with CGI ~

    (I was hoping 'Sebastian' or his regional country men would give comment ~ )

    But as a post comment , I recall "The Naked and the Dead' , regarded as a classic novel and in the closing scenes they created a HUGE battle on a tiny Pacific island and the Japanese were using dozens of Shermans and the Americans were using M26 Pershings !

    I often thought about the fact that this film made in the 1950s with no special effects ~ what ever happened to ALL those tanks ~ LOL

  9. #209


    Oh ~ BTW Have you seen a Buffalo up close.. ?

    I was surprised at just how BIG they are ~ The owner was saying that you can fit a Toyota short wheel base Land cruiser in the back !

  10. #210


    I have seen a few on my travels but none in aus yet,there are 3 of different models for sale in Victoria though...
    Melbourne Tank Museum Auction – AFV Listing | Australian Military Modelling Society

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