Jump to content

How Do You Search Inside Buildings?


Recommended Posts

For a long time I've wondered what is a good way to search inside buildings for metal valuables hidden in walls, floors, masonry (such as fireplaces), etc.  Given most wooden structures are riddled with nails, it seems like a tough task even compared to nail infested soil.  Is discrimination key?  Has a manufacturer ever made a detector specifically for this task?  Is anyone aware of mods that can be made to standard detectors to make them easier to use in these conditions (particularly mounting of coil and control unit to be more manageable in tight locations)?

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Years ago I detected a 2 step stair up to a room.  It was closed off around the stair. The  Detector sounded off  LOUD.  One of the steps was loose & we moved it up.  In it was a 1 gallon bucket with a push in lid.  Shucks, something was in it, probably had hog lard in it...  The owner said *hj*h3*2*k1kl  or something like that

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When you say "valuable objects hidden within walls" , I assume you're talking about larger sized objects, right ?  (caches, and things like box and jar sized stuff).  Right ?  Not individual coins, right ?

 

Then if you're talking about cache hunting in walls, then ironically, the less sensitive the machine is, THE BETTER.  Doh !  So for example,  and old school 77b auto or 94b auto, would be perfect.   They do not see individual nails.   And are wimpy (depthwise) on coin sized targets. 

 

Or simply get a 2-box machine (although that would be difficult to man-handle sideways on walls and ceilings).   A 2-box machine will simply not hear anything smaller than a soda can.  Thus the perfect discriminator for nails, single coins, wires-in-walls, chicken screen (for reinforced plaster/lathe walls), etc...

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In one of the books I have written by Charles Garrett & Rot Lagal, they recommend low sensitivity, small coil and just enough Discrimination to eliminate SMALL nails. Remember that money caches were often placed in tobacco tins or similar containers. You would also need very good coil control to be thorough & to be able to trace out pipes or wiring.

Searching old structures used to be more common in the past. Most are gone now.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Tom_in_CA said:

So for example,  and old school 77b auto or 94b auto, would be perfect.

Sufficiently old enough that I'm not familiar with the devices you refer to.  Would you please elaborate?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If the house has no fireblocks in the walls why not run an endoscope down from the attic and just look?

I think wires, pipes and nails would be too much to try to listen past.

  • Like 2
  • Oh my! 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Grandfather and I used his Tracker IV with some good luck on a friends old farm house before they tore it down.

We had the sense at half way up, all metal mode, and kept the coil off the floor and walls a few inches.

Finally found the stash that they were looking for, and about 20 different electrical lines.

Just keep the sense down and take your time is what we had done.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 hours ago, GB_Amateur said:

Sufficiently old enough that I'm not familiar with the devices you refer to.  Would you please elaborate?

 

Do a google images search for "Compass 77b" and "Compass 94b"  

 

These are circa 1972 to 1975 -ish, all-metal TR machines.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Similar Content

    • By Againstmywill
      Was out today to a local park and came across a strong 32-38 signal on the Equinox. I raised the coil and it still was loud. I thought it was going to be deep junk, but there were a couple 32s that showed consistently on the screen. I was not aware that 1967 was still 40% silver. 
      Equinox, 15" coil, Park 1, 23 sensitivity, 4 Recovery speed, All metal





    • By rled2005
      Trusting His Gut, a Metal Detector Enthusiast Makes a Discovery That Dreams are Made of | Page 33 of 34 | Housecoast | Page 33
       
    • By Dan(NM)
      My sister-in-law was coming into town today so my wife gave me the green light to go do some metal detecting for a couple of days. I decided to go try a couple of new spots. First one was about 45 minutes from the house the second one was about an hour and a half. Neither one panned out so I decided to drive another hour and a half to a place that had produced some silver last month. It was 1:00 when I finally got to do some serious hunting. I kept having a gut feeling to hunt a certain area so that's where I began. Within 3 hours I had five silvers and a couple of Wheaties. I hit a nice spill that had four coins in the same hole, a merk, a silver Washington quarter, a 1940 nickel and a 1936 Buffalo nickel. My little honey hole played out so I decided to do a little roaming around. I went to another section of the park, started off with a couple of Wheaties ended up scoring three more silver dimes. My goal for the year was to hit 100 silver coins today put me over the top at 103. I'm going back tomorrow to spend about 5 or 6 hours and see if I can find a couple of more hot spots.



    • By GB_Amateur
      We've had nice weather here in the Midwest the past week or so and after getting out Wednesday I was doubling up on Thursday afternoon.  The curve ball mentioned in the thread title was breaking an ML Equinox 11" coil ear when loading the car, which I described in the appropriate thread.  Fortunately I have both the 6" and 12"x15" coils (but not the Coiltek 5"x10" yet).  I'm detecting a park with not too much iron or aluminum trash so I figured the large coil would be OK, as long as it didn't mess up my elbow swinging a heavy coil through the deep grass.  (Wet and warm early autumn hasn't met with the Parks Department's mowing budget....)
      First target was showing low 20's (typically an aluminum screw cap) and out popped a clad dime.  Hmmm, that should have been 25-26.  Was the larger coil giving different dTID's.  Going back over the hole answered the question -- 20-21 and out comes a Zincoln.  I don't think the two coins were touching but they were super close to each other leading to the anomalous dTID initially.
      15 minutes into the hunt I get a Wheatie, not too deep (3-4 inches).  That's the age coin I'm looking for.
      Maybe an hour later after the typical occasional can slaw, a couple rusty nails, and a few modern coins I got a nice sounding but inconsistent tone & dTID.  From one direction as I swept close to the target location left-right I was getting hi-lo-hi-lo... tones (14-19 = pulltab zone is set for a medium tone whereas 20 and up are high tones; the tone was alternating between these two).  This is not typical of coins in my experience by any means so I'm thinking a flattened, non-symmetric aluminum screw cap.  I don't remember the exact strength indicator value but I'm sure it was at least 5, maybe mostly 6, possibly occassional 7.  I also don't remember the dTID at a 90 degree compass change angle of approach but I'm sure it was at least high 20's (large, elongated can slaw?).  The tone volume told me it wasn't a near-surface coin-sized object.  Definitely good enough to dig.
      Weak(er) signal strength means take a good sized plug so about 7"-8" diameter and 5" deep was my start.  The Garrett Carrot (set at max gain = 3) said I was in the right spot and switching to the fine tuning White's TRX told me I had a localized (coin-like size) target which was between 1" and 2" deeper than the current hole depth.  I carefully cut about a tennis ball sized chunk of dirt centered on the TRX signal's centroid and upon removal was told the target was in that glob.  Breaking it up with my fingers I saw a coin but it wasn't immediately obvious if modern clad or silver.  Again, careful not to scratch I picked off a clod of dirt and saw the familiar (from dimes I've found 🙂 Barber Head.  See middle coin in photo:

      Only my 3rd silver quarter ever and 1st Barber Quarter, others being Washingtons.  (Guess I'm going to skip the Standing Liberties.  )  Even better than being 19th Century date was the -S mintmark.  Left coin in the photo is actually a 1919-S which I found the previous day probably less than 10 m away from where I found the quarter.  So -S mint oldies in consecutive days, and neither is particularly common although neither is a semi-key.  On the right is a 1941 Merc which I found last week, so three consecutive hunts with non-penny old coins.  That's very good for me in my current public sites.
      Why the anomalous dTID from one direction?  I wonder if the coin was oriented on-edge.
      So what's the big 'A'?  Some of you recognize this as the Atlanta Braves initial.  For those who don't follow our North American professional baseball, they just won the annual championship (not so modestly called 'World Series') for their first time in a quarter century.  They were underdogs vs. at least their last two playoff opponents.  But there is a detecting connection.  I sometimes hunt in rural areas during Autumn and that is prime (gun) hunting season.  I have other bright (orange) garb but I wanted a baseball cap (easier to accomodate headphones) and I saw this hat at a flea market for $5 a few years back.  I wonder if I can sell it now for a profit.  Anyone interested? 
    • By Againstmywill
      After getting a new coil for the Equinox under warranty, it had its maiden voyage today at the local football field that has been hammered by the other 15"! The dime gave a 31 signal with some iron sounds mixed in; it was down the length of the Garrett carrot. The coil works like the other one, possibly with a bit less EMI. The dime is nothing spectacular, but the conditions were good for detecting and I'll take silver any day.


    • By Againstmywill
      Detected for a little over an hour today at a local basketball court with the 5x10 Coiltek on the Equinox 800. There were 29 dimes pulled from the ground with more left there, as my legs were feeling the up-down blues. I was going for coins and ring signals in the 5-15 range. Found one wheat penny, but nothing else spectacular. The 5x10 is like using a laser in the trash-littered grass surrounding the court. Even around a trashcan, the coins were still findable among the pull tabs and foil that miss the can.
      The 5 yen coin was found yesterday at a park; it is worth a whole 4 cents! Takers?
      Park 1, all metal, 7 recovery, 50 tones, 20 sensitivity





×
×
  • Create New...