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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got some non collectable American coins that went underwater last Oct.
Got them out, sprayed with WD40 and put in storage since then.
Coins were in metal cans and some rusted pretty bad. I want to tumble them but in which media?
I had some white rice and gave that a try but it's not very effective.
Any suggestions?
I should add that I don't hand load and bought a cheap tumbler to clean the coins, hence no case cleaning media laying about to experiment with.
 

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A couple questions out of curiosity.

When you say that some rusted, it implies that they are iron based coins. Is that correct? Are they all the same material?

When you say tumbler, do you mean a vibrating style bowl cleaner? I assume so since you mentioned trying rice.

If it were me, I'd go to the local pet store and buy a bag of bird cage litter which is normally walnut shells (verify on the bag before you buy). This will be somewhat aggressive in it's cleaning action but I don't know how effective it will be on tough rust.

Next "more aggressive" suggestion would be to go to a Harbor Freight and buy one of their cheap "rotary tumblers" and get some stainless pins from a net supplier and have at it. I'm fairly certain that would do the job for you. This would degrade or ruin any collectability of course.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Modern us coins (all types) soaked in stage III blackwater/floodwater, face value only.
Rust/corrosion is from the metal coffee cans where the coins were touching the cans but there's cement like dried silt too.
I soaked them in strong soap and then soaked them in rust removal chemical but none of the above did much to clean them.
There's also some pre-1964 silver coins (that were saved for the silver content but which are not collectable per-se), that look the same as the post 64 versions, damage wise.
Vibratory bowl type case cleaner, will check bird cage filler, good tip, thanks!
 

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If the coins are rusty. Try soaking in Evapo-Rust or one of the knock-offs to remove the rust without damaging the coins.

If the coins are rust stained go to the local pet shop and get a bag of ground corncob bedding and then buy a bottle of Nu-Shine car polish. Tumble the coins in the corncob media with a few healthy shots of Nu-Shine added.

The crushed walnut shell may be too aggressive for the softer metal of the coins.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Rust stained but badly so. I washed them in industrial strength soap and water mix followed by fresh water rinse THEN in Evapo-rust for a few days and they still look terrible.
I hit one with a stainless steel toothbrush (which was pretty effective) but there are too many to clean one at a time.
These are face value and/or melt value coins so surface damage is fine with me as long as the flood damage/metal can contact staining is gone.
The flood water was contaminated with some nasty stuff along with fine silt which seems to resist cleaning better than one would expect.
Good news is that my ammo which also went under water, seems to have survived with no damage.
It was mixed with buckets of dry white rice since Oct 31 and as of this afternoon's knock down and powder inspections show no signs of water intrusion in any of the calibers including some hard to find 22 WinAuto and 32 rimfire along with 9mm, 38 special, milsurp 54r, 30 carbine, 22lr and 12 gauge.
I was fearing the worst and getting ready to trash a lot of ammo.
 

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I would worry about media being abrasive and making the coins further worn. Not that I have experience with this, what what about ultrasonic cleaning with dish soap and some citric acid?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I was sorely tempted to use this as an excuse to finally spring for a sonic cleaner but I'm going to clean some flood stained ammo too so liquids are out..
 

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I've been toying with the ultrasonic thing too. Eventually I'll spring for a Harbor Freight one!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ended up going with walnut/rouge followed by straight corn cob.
Had to vibrate for six hours but 99% came out clean and polished to heck..
Doing same to water stained ammo now...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
No before pics and the after look like clean new coins (and ammo now too).
Frankly we're trying to move past getting flooded out of house and home and are too busy with the new house and all the new replacement furnishings, cars, etc... to fuss with pics of yet more flood damaged bits.
I have about a hundred pics of the house and cars and furniture, clothes, beds, TV's, computers, kitchen stuff, etc..all soaked in black mud and filthy water and we plan on holding a flood-picture deleting party to celebrate, once we get back on an even keel.
Been five months now and we are still PTSD'ed pretty bad, the wife still has some pretty hairy nightmares, while mine are almost gone.
Trying to look forward these days, hard as it is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Got wiped out in the Oct 31 Onion Creek flooding in Austin.
Lost pretty much everything we owned, and what we did not lose outright was drowned in stage III blackwater (considered same as sewage).
I got my long guns up on a high dresser when the water started coming in so they were the only thing that got saved intact.
Spent two months in a hotel (NOT recommended by the way) and moved into a new house Jan 6 to try to start putting our lives back together.
We were pretty well entrenched in the old place, lived there 33 years and owned it free and clear..
Never thought I'd say it, but thank God for FEMA flood insurance.
Don't miss the Mausers, the money they brought allowed me (and the Tigerman) to do three badass 91/30 sniper resto's, two PE's and one PEM, which were the best shooting rifles I've ever shot.
Heck, I sold them too (and made money) and until last Thursday were the last milsurp rifles I owned.
But thursday I snagged an SVT 38! (So I guess it begins again).
 

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Never say die! Best of luck to you and yours!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks, finding that SVT may just signal good things to come (that and the new house, new cars, new appliances, computers, TV's, beds, clothing, kitchen gear and all the rest are pretty sweet too). Although finding the ammo that got wet is still good was a joyous moment too.
 

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Got wiped out in the Oct 31 Onion Creek flooding in Austin.
Lost pretty much everything we owned, and what we did not lose outright was drowned in stage III blackwater (considered same as sewage).
I got my long guns up on a high dresser when the water started coming in so they were the only thing that got saved intact.
Spent two months in a hotel (NOT recommended by the way) and moved into a new house Jan 6 to try to start putting our lives back together.
We were pretty well entrenched in the old place, lived there 33 years and owned it free and clear..
Never thought I'd say it, but thank God for FEMA flood insurance.
Don't miss the Mausers, the money they brought allowed me (and the Tigerman) to do three badass 91/30 sniper resto's, two PE's and one PEM, which were the best shooting rifles I've ever shot.
Heck, I sold them too (and made money) and until last Thursday were the last milsurp rifles I owned.
But thursday I snagged an SVT 38! (So I guess it begins again).
onion creek...is that in bude? outside of manachaca ?
if so, i used to live in ashford park....like to know if my old house got flooded faircrest dr? behind the new cabala's
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
South Austin off William Cannon east of I35.
 
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