The past few weeks, team Monitor has been working in the tank farm, on some of the objects we keep stored in large outdoor tanks; including hull plating, stanchions, and supports for the engine, and a spreader plate, control arm and gun-slide reinforcements from the turret.
These objects had been cleaned with hand tools before, but had not yet been cleaned with dry ice blasting. This made for a very satisfying cleaning experience for us, the objects looked so much cleaner after dry ice blasting! It also allowed us to give our new archaeological conservator, Erik, some first hand experience with dry ice blasting.
In addition to dry ice blasting, we also used some good old fashioned hand tools to clean the more delicate parts of the turret control arm. The control arm has wrought iron, wood, and copper alloy components, and each of those materials needs to be separated and conserved using different techniques. We used hand tools to remove the copper alloy chain.
And a combination of hand tools and dry ice blasting to remove the large wood component.
The wood was held in place by iron nuts and bolts, so by cleaning the corrosion from around the bolts we were able to remove the nuts and slide the wood off the main iron object!
As exciting as cleaning these wonderful objects is, the most remarkable part might be the toad that tried to make a home underneath one of the bulk heads. We laid the bulkhead on a pallet before returning it to the tank, and continually sprayed it with water to keep it wet. Apparently this made the perfect toad home and he was very unhappy when we took his new home away! Sorry Toad!
Now that all of the objects have been cleaned and disassembled, we have returned them to their tanks to continue desalination (removal of salts). Team Monitor is done in the tank farm for now, but we have more big projects on the horizon!