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Thread: USA Button cleaning - midpoint

  1. #1

    USA Button cleaning - midpoint

    I found a USA button about 3 years ago and frankly I was just too afraid to try and clean it. The last thing I wanted to do was destroy probably one of the coolest relics that I would ever find. But I practiced on some other buttons and decided to give it a go.

    First two pics are the original front and back. The last few nights I have been gingerly scraping away the dirt with tooth picks and a dental pick. I was afraid of what I might find under the dirt but I am getting more and more excited as it seems like it is a pretty solid surface. The edges look pretty scary in a few places though. I'm just going to continue to take my time and make sure I am removing dirt and not pewter. The button is shiny because I've been hitting it with the wife's hairspray to seal it and keep it from drying out and crumbling. It's worked well for 3 years.

    One of the coolest aspects of this button for me is if you look at that last picture at the tip of the toothpick. It is pointing to some threads still attached to the shank. And with a strong magnifier you can clearly see that it is blue thread !

    Wish me luck !
    Attached Images Attached Images     
    Oldest find: 5,000 year old copper spearhead
    Oldest coin: 1699 William III halfpenny
    Purdiest coin: 1832 Capped Bust quarter
    Coolest find: USA button with blue threads still on shank

    "He who would search for pearls must dive below."

  2. #2
    Administrator del's Avatar
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    very nice improvement Jeff , well done
    DFX ,TDI sl -

    Click here to view my finds album

  3. #3
    Elite Member Digger_O'Dell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    Very nice! Looks to be really improving a lot. Well done!
    Equipment:
    Minelab: CTX 3030, GPX 4800, X-Terra 705.
    Whites TDI SL.

    2017
    Silver 28 Bling 18
    Gold 2

    2018
    Silver 8 Bling 1
    Gold 1

    2019
    Silver 7
    Silver bling 2

    Best finds: 28 silver dime spill, 1800s Dutch customs seal.
    Oldest/best coin: 1837 Upper Canada large cent
    Oldest find: 1800 Sailors Luck token
    You Tube: Rediscovering America

  4. #4
    Awesome! Are you using anything other than hair spray?

  5. #5
    Thanks folks! It's slow work but I am pleased with what is showing so far. Dan I ordered one of those small Euro brushes. That might work well on some of the tough spots. Chief, all I used was the hairspray to seal it. It's water soluble so it comes off easy. In the cleaning process, just using water, no chemicals. When I am done, I think I will use a light coat of 50/50 white glue and water mix. Iron Patch and others have recommended that for pewter buttons. It dries clear.
    Oldest find: 5,000 year old copper spearhead
    Oldest coin: 1699 William III halfpenny
    Purdiest coin: 1832 Capped Bust quarter
    Coolest find: USA button with blue threads still on shank

    "He who would search for pearls must dive below."

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Lodge Scent View Post
    Thanks folks! It's slow work but I am pleased with what is showing so far. Dan I ordered one of those small Euro brushes. That might work well on some of the tough spots. Chief, all I used was the hairspray to seal it. It's water soluble so it comes off easy. In the cleaning process, just using water, no chemicals. When I am done, I think I will use a light coat of 50/50 white glue and water mix. Iron Patch and others have recommended that for pewter buttons. It dries clear.
    Gotcha I dont think I have that kind of patience. Nice job sir!

  7. #7
    Nice job . Not a pro but id leave that right where its at.

  8. #8
    Really like how that turned out. Thanks for the before and after photos and what you have done. It is great to be educated on proper cleaning or ways that have worked for others. Now I just need to find my own to see how patient I am. Great work!
    Garrett AT Pro, Garrett Waterproof Pinpointer, CTX3030 with 6,11,17" coils.

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