Friday, May 23, 2008

My New "Green" Solar Hot Plate

Should one dry one’s coins after zapping? The answer is yes and I have a very simple solution for drying your coins. I have created what I call my “Solar Hot Plate”. I will call it the “SHP”. Now just what is the SHP and why do I need it? The SHP is an area of metal or plastic painted with glossy black paint and is used to dry coins.
Locate a piece of metal or plastic such as a large lid one finds on a gallon-size container. The bottom side of an empty margarine tub will work really well also. Buy a can of WalMart’s .99-cent glossy black spray paint and paint the surface of your metal or plastic really well with the paint. A couple of coats should cover well and allow the unit to dry for a day or so.
You have now “built” my new fangled SHP! Not rocket science but you will love the way the unit dries your coins. I left my plate on the back deck and the surface temp rose to 120 degrees and higher. You can place the unit on a windowsill or on your deck.
The concept of the SHP is to dry your coins so place your coin(s) on the unit’s surface and allow the coins to dry for an hour or so. Be sure and leave at least 50% of the unit’s area open to the sun. In other words, do not cover the entire area of the SHP with coins. You want the sun to reach at least 50% of the SHP’s surface area.
A quick note. After zapping, place your coins in white vinegar for a few minutes and allow the vinegar to neutralize the sodium carbonate we use in our solution. Next, wash your coins thoroughly with a soft brush, water and a mild dishwashing detergent. Dry with a paper towel and you are now ready to enjoy our new “green” SHP! I think simple things such as the SHP makes this hobby much more enjoyable. I hope you agree.
I bet many will readers will create units much more clever than mine. For example, one could create an SHP oven! Please share with us.. God Bless.. Jerry..

Friday, May 2, 2008

Zapping A "Concrete Crusty" Coin

Hannah, one of our CoinZapper members, asked if I would make an effort to clean the coin you see pictured above. I agreed and as soon as I saw the coin I realized it had a terribly hard crust. There is no way to recover this kind of coin and maintain any imagery without zapping.

Please look at the bottom two images and you will see the condition of the coin upon arrival. I tested the crust and I rarely find coin with crusts as hard as was on Hanna’s coin. I zapped the coin most of the afternoon using my large zapper and my now well-known Bamboo Tools to help prod the crust loose.

From experience I knew the coin would most likely have pitting and as you can see it does. However, the beauty of the obverse especially strikes me. The coin reminds me of a piece of renaissance art. I am reminded of a piece from a frieze that has been exposed to the elements for an extended period of time. I love the character of the coin and I hope Hannah enjoys it. I am particularly open to critiques of my photographs. I enjoy receiving constructive criticism.

I would prefer the cleaned coin images had less of a brassy look but that is the result of having to leave the coin in the zapper for an extended period of time. If you enjoy my blog, please bookmark. God Bless.. Jerry..