Archmd Mag Review by Dave Sadler
I’m not the greatest when it comes to actually getting around to penning a review after I’ve tested a product. But seeing as our recent guest on the BIG Detecting Show was the person who created the Composite cleaning pencil and Preserve IT wax – Graham Dempsey. I thought it important that I actually use the products before discussing them. And given the testing is fresh in my mind. It is a perfect opportunity to document my thoughts.
Well, this product took me right back to my Aerospace days. The pencil is similar to the engineering pencils used for marking out etc. Pressing the end gives extra composite, which can be easily re-sharpened using sandpaper or similar.
The set is supplied with 2 inserts. A Black composite is used for the harder cleaning of heavily encrusted coins or artefacts, while a White insert offers a general cleaning process. I decided to use a pair of Victorian nutcrackers and a selection of coins in the test. I was very impressed with the pencil, being used to similar, I was able to utilise the product to gradually pick away at some very fine detail. I’m sure at this point and the potential of smaller more intricate pieces, the Composite cleaning pencil will be a valuable instrument, especially under a magnifying tool.
The recent inclusion of 4 brass tool inserts gives the range added importance. Instead of the use of dental like tools, the inserts add to the pencils all-around purpose. A valuable addition to be sure. The pencil arrives in a hard tube to protect it during postage. And I’m sure I will find a use for that in the future.
The delivery of the items was efficient and well packaged. In-depth instructions were also enclosed and are both precise and simple to understand. I’ll be honest. I am a lazy cleaner and preserver of coins and artefacts that I have discovered. My to-do box is overflowing. Previously I have simply used a beeswax spray, but speaking to Graham Dempsey, he explained the PH risk with the product. The Preserve IT wax again is simple to use and the instructions mirror the ease of use of the Composite cleaning pencil.
I have not used other blends of wax available to those cleaning and preserving coins and artefacts, so I can not comment on an item versus item basis. I can say that again, using the enclosed instructions, I was able to make a set of Victorian nutcrackers and a selection of coins look absolutely stunning. I know that this isn’t the reason for the waxes used, but the patina that my items now show is a fantastic bi-product of knowing their future is also preserved. Applying with a cloth over the entire surface of the objects and leaving for several minutes for the wax to cure. I carefully buffed them and again left for a few moments. The results were fantastic. I can not stress how easy the whole cleaning and preserving process actually was; I also found it quite therapeutic. Graham has also added a powder that can be mixed with the wax, this gives the ability to clean more abrasively without damaging the artefact. The powder comes I’m its own packaging and given how much you use, it will last for some time.
So to summarise. Both the Composite Cleaning pencil and Preserve IT wax are easy to use throughout the entire process. Ingrained dirt is easily removed; I look forward to testing this on more intricate items under magnification as well as the Gladius product. I also love the final colour and texture of the wax and am happy with the knowledge that they will be preserved for a very long time. I hope this is only the beginning for Graham’s products and look forward to future items in the cleaning and preserving range.
Dave Sadler October 2020