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Offline ksightlerTopic starter
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« on: August 07, 2009, 05:11:31 pm »
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MD in a tot park for the first time... any pointers? I see a lot of finds in the tot parks... the one I am hitting tomorrow is only about 15-20 years old... I am looking for any pointers.. where to look... how to look... or any trial and error info...

Thanks,
Keith

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Offline metal_inspector
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« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2009, 05:47:27 pm »
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The playpens with the shredded tire chips are great places.  You can find anything from modern to old coins(sometimes), jewelery.  Just stay in the pit of the tire chips.  There will be modern junk, go figure. Grin Most of the times I just go there, and listen to what my detector tells me, and dig what I think/know is a good signal.  There really isn't any 'special' techniques to it.  Just MD like you would everywhere else, with some exceptions. 



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Offline GoldDigger1950
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« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2009, 05:56:12 pm »
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I do a grid search starting with a corner and going around the outside edge very slowly in the all metal mode. After one pass, I move over one coil swing in width and begin again. As I approach the equipment area, I obviously have to move around it and between it to search. I find the higher count of coins and jewelry to be found along the edges, under the swings, under the ladder bars and on both sides of the slide. As you dig, clean up every piece of metal and try again. I mean that. Every ring I have found, and I do mean every one, in a tot lot has been very close to other metal - never alone.

You will find excessive amounts of construction debris, bottle caps, screw caps, pop tops, pull tops, silverware, scraps of iron, knives, sparkler wires, fence staples, bits of wire, nuts, bolts and goodies. The more you hunt them, the more likely it will be that you encounter a parent with their children. I always walk up and explain that I am doing a dangerous material assessment on the play area and show them some of the nasty finds. They are always shocked and grateful that I am cleaning up the sand pit. I also tell them that it is all right for the kids to play and sometimes I even let one of the older ones have a quick go without the headphones. Boys and girls alike are somteimes fascinated by the process.

Naturally, the goodies go into a special pocket and unless asked, I do not mention them.

The metal poles of the play equipment can be a problem for most coil types except the coplanar coils. Here is my technique for that. As I approach the poles, I slow down to a really slow search pattern and listen for any tiny changes in the obviously huge sounding return. There is a huge area of return around the poles so they do mask all but the biggest targets. Those are usually coins and jewelry near to the surface.

Always remember to kick the sand over your scoop excavation hole to preserve the look of the play area. I know that kids often make huge trenches there but do be a kinder soul and not leave unsightly evidence of your passing by.

I will add that I photograph and bag all trash and goodies keeping the trash for two weeks, sometimes longer. The reason? I report all of it by e-mail to the local council and groundskeepers to show them what is in their playgrounds. I have been doing this for years and keeping records of the playgrounds I visit. The records serve two purposes. One is to be able to point out to any law enforcement people who trouble me that I am doing this as a community service and show them my pocket city map with my dates and times recorded. I show them the sharp and dangerous objects I find, some of which are always in my phone on the memory card, the normal line up of metal toys on the brickwork surrounds and a few of the coins. A quick call to the station - should they decide to do it - always gets a positive reply as they look me up and find that I have turned in weapons and jewelry whenever I find any. The second reason for record keeping is to remind me when it is time to look at a sand pit again. Two years is enough time to "recharge" them and second visits often yield far less trash.

The councils have sometimes taken my photos and bags of metal debris (tagged and dated) to school board meetings who actually ring me to ask if I would be so kind as to search their kids playground areas. How many times have you driven past tall, barbed wired, locked fences and wished you could hunt there? Imagine doing it by invitation, with a key and getting paid for it. Yes, I charge them a small fee to do it and they reason that the fee is a bit of extra insurance against the kids being injured. It is win-win for the school and for me. It will probably work for you.

Now, an anecdote for those who have patiently read this post. In February 2008, I hunted a playground and found a throwing knife - one used in martial arts. It looked as if the edge was rusty but the knife was made of high grade stainless steel. Looking closer, it was blood, not rust. I rang the police and they showed up to collect the bloody knife which I had only held with gloved hands. Turns out the knife had been used in a crime at an adjacent home where the charges had to be dropped for lack of evidence. Hoo, boy! The forensics people showed up and asked me to grid search around the area where I found the knife and I did. They took everything I found that day including $20.00 in modern coin and some junk jewelry. All bagged and tagged. The charge of "Causing Grievous Bodily Harm" was reinstated and evidence found by yours truly helped to convict.

I eventually got the goodies back - after the trial, and get the occasional phone call to assist with a search. Yep. In (month withheld on purpose) of (year withheld) I helped find some expended bullet casings in a pine forest up north where some biker was killed as he rode past a wooded area. No witnesses. That made it impossible for them to determine what had happened exactly. It was a huge area and to be honest, I found them without the detector but my grid search afterwards turned up more evidence of the still unknown person who did it.

All in all, tot lots can be great fun in so many ways. Enjoy your first one.

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« Last Edit: August 07, 2009, 06:02:28 pm by GoldDigger1950 »
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Offline ksightlerTopic starter
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« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2009, 07:14:39 pm »
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Wow sounds like I have an adventure ahead of me... This tot park has quite a bit of sand and no recycled rubber or tires.. There is a very large jungle-gym in the center with what looks like steel pilings. I will remember the info above for a park that does... No worries the only evidence of my presents will be my footprints... I will be there early in the morning and my not see anyone there... The bonus is this is in a upper middle class area.... so hopefully I can find some jelwry and some coins... I will remember to bring some gloves in case I find a muder scene..LoL.. well that could happen I guess... Thanks for the pointers and I will show my findings tomorrow...

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Offline GoldDigger1950
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« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2009, 07:27:50 pm »
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Quote:Posted by ksightler
Wow sounds like I have an adventure ahead of me... This tot park has quite a bit of sand and no recycled rubber or tires.. There is a very large jungle-gym in the center with what looks like steel pilings. I will remember the info above for a park that does... No worries the only evidence of my presents will be my footprints... I will be there early in the morning and my not see anyone there... The bonus is this is in a upper middle class area.... so hopefully I can find some jelwry and some coins... I will remember to bring some gloves in case I find a muder scene..LoL.. well that could happen I guess... Thanks for the pointers and I will show my findings tomorrow...


Another good reason for gloves is that the playgrounds for tots by day are often used by druggies at night. Be warned. Surprisingly, a hypodermic needle gives off a huge signal and condom wrappers are thick foil. It is a sick world out there, my friend, and not everyone is as healthy as they should be. Presuming that you are using a sand scoop, the bad stuff will lay there for you. Get a large magnet for the base of your scoop to get the nails and hairpins that slip through but sound like great targets. When you cannot seem to locate a target for some reason, sweep the magnet over the sand and they will pop out and reveal themselves to you.

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It's all about that moment when metal that hasn't seen the light of day for generations frees itself from the soil and presents itself to me.
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« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2009, 07:32:37 pm »
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Great idea about the magnet.... I don't have a scoop yet.. I have been watching a few on e-bay.. I have some garden tools that usualy work alright... but definatly need a scoop... I have been looking at a plastic one and a stainless steel scoop... I have been looking for pros and cons about each of them...

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« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2009, 07:37:25 pm »
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GoldDigger1950 has most of the tips down, I just wanted to add my amatuer 2cents. If you've read any of the books out there, I can say they are right on! Textbook classic findings, as for me, have been at the ends of slides, around any "monkeybar" type stuff, and the best place has been the swings! Start at the swing itself and work slowly outward, picturing how they try and get higher...and jump! I've found "nests" of coins out away from the swings. Teens frequent the tot-lots after dark and drop alot of stuff. I love the woodchips, but the older lots have sand or pea-rock. A pinpointer helps in the recovery, speeds it up considerabley! Hope to see some of your finds. Good luck! Smiley Detecting

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« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2009, 08:59:38 pm »
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Good advise.

Basically, just dig everything. It is easy.
I can pull 300 targets an hour in sand.

The goodies sometimes just bearly sound
off.

Clear it out. Other wise you will get a bunch
of modern clad and not much else.

HH,

Tabdog

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« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2009, 09:10:58 pm »
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Thanks guys...
 And Tabdog.. I saw your news article..... Nice.. LoL.. Looks like we never get to old to play in the sand boxes..... I expect I will probably be so psyched that I will probably dig up everything.... and of course put the earth back....


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« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2011, 10:40:15 pm »
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Thanks GoldDigger1950, That is a great story.  And excellent info.    I am definitely going to volunteer for park clean up in my area. I am always surprised at what i find in playgrounds.

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toonies      3 
loonies      8 
quarters     13
nickels       9
dimes        8
pennies     126

pull tabs  39

saving all clad for Etrac !

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