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I am going to use Acetone to remove a coating

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#1 Kent10

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 10:06 PM

Hi All:

I bought a nice etched Santa Rosa but like a Taza I bought earlier it came with a very reflective coating on it. I spoke with Marlin at the Montana Meteorite Lab and he suggested that I could soak the irons in acetone for one hour and then place them in a fresh bath of acetone. There might be some blue on them and I could remove that with a soft cloth dipped in acetone. I trust what Marlin has to say because he has a very good reputation as one of the best in the business. So I am just wondering if anyone has had complications or any advice for me before I go ahead and try it. I want to leave these outside because I know the acetone is not healthy to breathe. I really like this Santa Rosa etch but it is difficult to enjoy with the reflective coating on it. So I would like to risk taking it off. And then maybe I can finally enjoy this Taza too. I bought another because I couldn't enjoy the one with the coating and the one without is so nice.

Thanks, Kent

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#2 lee14

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 08:21 AM

Acetone is the solvent of choice here. I don't think an hour long soak is necessarily indicated unless the coating is unusually hard though. Fresh coatings often require little more than a couple of minutes along with a soft cloth to remove the partially dissolved coating. The longer a piece is exposed to a solvent, the more opportunity there is for other material to be released and cloud the surface. When you're sure all of the coating has been removed (probably rinsing a time or two with fresh acetone), dry the piece for a few minutes in a warm oven. (Indeed all the other steps should be done in the open air). If there's still any kind of film on the surface, gun oil should remove or minimize it, and provide protection as well.

Lee

#3 Kent10

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 08:39 AM

Thanks very much Lee. I am not sure if the coating is hard but it appears to be quite thick. I assume these soakings won't affect the etch at all. Will the gun oil change the look or color of the iron? Do you just rub it in after putting some on a cloth. And will any brand of gun oil do?

Thanks again, Kent

#4 lee14

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 11:26 AM

The acetone will work equally well on lacquer, polyurethane, or an oil based coating. The etch itself won't be affected, beyond that overall (possible) blue-gray mistiness left on the surface. If you've got a less than special piece that you'd want to de-coat to get a feel for the process, all the better. The gun oil may darken the surface slightly, or increase the contrast, but if you don't like the result, acetone will readily remove it as well. When I de-oil a piece to clean it before re-etching, I just hold it by the corners and pour a little solvent over it, then switch corners and repeat.

I put a few drops of oil on all of the surfaces, and spread it around with a fingertip. If you use a cloth, it tends to absorb the oil. I give it a chance to penetrate any microscopic fissures, a hour or so, and then remove the excess with a cloth. Oil soaked cloth can spontaneously combust, so proper disposal is indicated. I've only ever used G-96 because that's what Al Langheinrich recommended, and after 14 years never saw any reason to switch. Other brands may be as effective. What you want is a good penetrating property as well as rust inhibitors, and I'd imagine those ought to be common to the product in general. G-96 does have a nice smell to it though. I get mine online from J&M Hunting Supplies. It's only a few bucks for a small bottle that will last years. Get the 'original', not the 'synthetic', it's thinner and penetrates better.

Lee

#5 Kent10

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 12:15 PM

Very clear Lee. Thanks so much for the help. I feel confident this will work well. I may try on my Taza 1st and then the Santa Rosa which is more expensive :)

#6 lee14

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 03:34 PM

Sometimes, but not always, a coating can increase the contrast. The darker areas absorb more and can appear more 'saturated', to borrow an imaging term. The bright portions of the surface, more reflective already, can seem even brighter with a smooth coat. Let me hear how it turns out, with before and after pics if possible!

Lee

#7 Kent10

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 04:49 PM

I think increasing the contrast will be good on this etching. I think the pic above must have some sort of contrast change to highlight the etch.

One other question has crossed my mind. I think it wouldn't be good to use the acetone on just any meteorite, is that right? I don't have plans on putting any others in acetone right now but would I use it only on irons. If there is "crust" on it, is that OK and what about inclusions. You shouldn't ever use acetone on chondrites or stony irons, is that true?

I'll see if I can take before and after pics once I get this done. The pic above is really nice but you can't see the coating. It really depends on where the light is so without the coating it might not look too different in a picture but we'll see. I am excited to eventually try this and on the Taza too which I considered selling but I may like it once I bathe it.

#8 lee14

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 09:27 PM

I've used acetone to clean irons with crust, but have no experience with it on chondrites. It certainly could react with any hydrocarbons, so at the very least that rules out carbonaceous chondrites. Mike would be your best information source here.

I can't tell if there's been an adjustment to the above pic's contrast or not. The etch certainly appears highly contrasted, but the rest looks more or less natural. Light source type and the angle of incidence can produce major differences in an etch's appearance during imaging, which I'm sure you're familiar with by now; you have some beautiful pieces!

Lee

#9 Kent10

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 09:40 AM

Thanks Lee. Yes the etches seen in pics can be quite different in real life. I have some that are very bright and sparkle and change a lot as you change the angle in the light and others that don't do so much. I think the Santa Rosa will look better without the coating. I always wonder if something has been done to the images of a meteorite like HDR.

#10 rfinney

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 02:41 PM

I think it is fine to remove the coating with acetone - it only take me a minute or two to remove a coating using that method.

But personally I don't leave certain irons uncoated these days because of rusting issues. I usually do a yearly check and maintenance of irons because even the coated specimens will sometimes develop rust.

I know there is lots of advice for coating meteorites - but I have been using this product with good success:

12 oz. VCI 286 Clear Coating Aerosol

Best Regards,

- RF

#11 Kent10

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 02:49 PM

Thanks RF. Is the VCI 286 very reflective of light?

#12 rfinney

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 02:59 PM


I think it is much less reflective than some of the Krylon coatings that some people use. Many pallasite specimens are coated with similar products.

The VpCI in the product is also rust inhibitor.

In addition I like that the coating can be quickly removed in a few seconds for treatment - and then you can reapply it when finished to reseal it.

- RF

#13 Kent10

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 03:01 PM

Sounds good. Do you remove it with acetone? Thanks again.

#14 Kent10

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 03:56 PM

Hi All:

An update in case you are interested. I just finished removing coatings with acetone on 3 meteorites. I did take some pics to compare but you can't really see the difference. Different light etc. But I'll include a couple pics anyway. Here is a Seymchan before and after.

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#15 Kent10

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 03:57 PM

After
I think there is more detail to see.

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#16 Kent10

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 04:00 PM

Here is the Santa Rosa shown in the original post.

Before

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#17 Kent10

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 04:00 PM

After

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#18 Kent10

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 04:03 PM

On the left side of the Santa Rosa you can see a blue stain. I could not get this out. I soaked in the acetone for over an hour, in 3 different rinses and then I scrubbed with acetone on a cloth. The stain may have been there before perhaps as part of the etch. I didn't notice it with the bright coating though.

#19 Kent10

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 04:06 PM

BTW, my addiction has gotten worse. I am buying more expensive meteorites now. I am finding it very difficult to say no to ones I like.

Oh yea I do have some gun oil, Lee, so I may have to try to see if it brings out the etch more. Once again, thanks for your assistance. I think I like the Seymchan as it is now so I may leave it. I don't know. I guess it can't hurt to try it since I can always remove it. But the Santa Rosa could use more contrast.

#20 Glassthrower

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 06:46 PM

Nice job and keep and eyeball on them now as time progresses. It will be interesting to see how they hold up in the long term. By removing that coating, you have helped restore the meteorite one step closer to it's natural state. That's a fundamental part of conservation and curation. :)

Now that the coating is removed, several things could potentially happen. Keep us posted. :waytogo:

#21 Kent10

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 06:54 PM

Thanks Mike. I hope they don't rust. But I just did not enjoy looking at them with the coating on so for me it was worth the gamble. I almost returned this etched Seymchan because I did not like it with the coating. But I liked the etch and saw the potential so I thought I would try removing the coating and I really like it now.

#22 lee14

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 12:11 PM

The inclusion on the Seymchan definitely looks better with the coating removed. It's hard to identify the differences by just the images though, the viewing angle isn't precisely the same so there have been some contrast swaps with some portions of the pattern. The fine detail looks better on the uncoated version though. I'm not sure about the faint blue stain on the Santa Rosa. Sometimes something similar can occur if the piece heats excessively during finishing. Can't hurt to try the gun oil, it literally washes off with the acetone without any rubbing necessary at all.

Lee

#23 Kent10

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 12:29 PM

Hi Lee:

What a coincidence. I was just thinking about you and reading your oiling instructions and I did in fact oil my Santa Rosa this morning. The oil is still sitting on it and the bluish stain is gone but I will check when I remove the excessive oil.

You were right that the oil smells nice. I was about to let my daughter smell it until I read the instructions not to breathe the fumes. My son told me I should read the instructions first :)

Thanks for all your help with this. I am really enjoying this. Too much financially. I have spent way more than I ever expected but I think it is worth it. Educational and beautiful. Each piece is like a little art work to me and it makes me feel great to hold and look at them.

#24 Kent10

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 12:34 PM

I should add that the Seymchan is way better without the coating. I look at it often and see lots of detail that was not visible with the coating. It is a really nice piece. I don't feel a need to oil it but I do wonder what it would be like with the oil and it may protect it though Seymchan is not known as a ruster so maybe I am OK.

If the oil brings out more contrast in the Santa Rosa, I will be happy. I am not sure about the Taza. I think the etch on that one is just not that good. The criss cross design is not very strong compared to 2 others I have. Still at least without the coating I can now see that.

#25 Kent10

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 02:17 PM

I just removed the excessive oil and yes! the blue stain is gone. How very nice. The Santa Rosa looks beautiful. Now I want another, a bigger one. Wait... I shouldn't buy any more.






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