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Subject: Displaying iron cannon

Displaying iron cannon

From: Donny L. Hamilton <dlhamilton>
Date: Thursday, October 3, 2002
Jason M. Burns <oldcitymaritime [at] yahoo__com> writes

>What is the preferred method of displaying iron cannon outdoors
>today?  I have been asked to look at a few cannons here locally
>displayed.  Concrete plugs installed in the barrels of two 18th
>Century iron cannons are obviously not working and allowing water to
>get into the barrels.  What materials are being used to seal the
>barrels for display?

Of course is it is best not to conserve iron cannons outdoors.
However, when we conserve cannons that are to be displayed outdoors,
we simply stand the cannon upright, plug the touch hole and fill the
bore completely with melted microcrystalline wax.  After the wax
sets, we concave the surface at the bore to give the impression of a
concavity and it is done.  The wax forms an impervious seal that is
easily removed by placing in vat of water and melting it out or it
can be drilled out. It eliminates the bore from holding water and
acting as a repository for cigarette butts and apple cores. It is
simple, fool proof, effective, and easily reversible

For that matter the technique can be applied to cannon in place on a
display stand outdoors.  Just pour the wax in the bore in a series
of pours and complete the last bit in small pours with the bore
partially blocked to fill to the top of the bore.

Donny L. Hamilton
President, Institute of Nautical Archaeology
Professor and Head
Nautical Archaeology Program
Director, Conservation Research Laboratory
Texas A&M University

                  Conservation DistList Instance 16:26
                Distributed: Wednesday, October 9, 2002
                       Message Id: cdl-16-26-006
Received on Thursday, 3 October, 2002

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