Graffiti in Lava Tubes

Cave conservation issues, techniques, questions. Also visit the NSS Cave Conservation and Management Section.

Moderator: Moderators

Graffiti in Lava Tubes

Postby baa43003 » Sep 2, 2009 1:23 pm

Hi all,
Does anyone have experience removing spray paint from lava tubes? We tried a wire brush but it smeared the paint even worse on the very damp surfaces of the cave. Sandblasting will not be an option due to a tight constriction in the cave and the extremely textured surfaces. The cave's managers are concerned about the use of solvents. Any other ideas?
-Bonny
Nothing's as precious as a hole in the ground.
-Midnight Oil

"Alright, who let Bonny on Cavechat? Is there a manager I can speak with?" -- that Bartlett guy
User avatar
baa43003
Frequent Poster
 
Posts: 69
Joined: Mar 26, 2007 9:35 pm
Location: Among the moose and spruce
Name: Bonny Armstrong
NSS #: 43003RL
Primary Grotto Affiliation: American Caving Accidents editor NSS Membership Committee
  

Re: Graffiti in Lava Tubes

Postby Scott McCrea » Sep 2, 2009 1:27 pm

Cover it up.... with more lava!!!! :goodjob:
Scott McCrea
SWAYGO
User avatar
Scott McCrea
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 3198
Joined: Sep 5, 2005 3:07 pm
Location: Asheville, NC USA
NSS #: 40839RL
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Flittermouse Grotto
  

Re: Graffiti in Lava Tubes

Postby NZcaver » Sep 2, 2009 4:53 pm

baa43003 wrote:Hi all,
Does anyone have experience removing spray paint from lava tubes? We tried a wire brush but it smeared the paint even worse on the very damp surfaces of the cave. Sandblasting will not be an option due to a tight constriction in the cave and the extremely textured surfaces. The cave's managers are concerned about the use of solvents. Any other ideas?
-Bonny

Hi Bonny,

Try contacting Shasta Area Grotto in northern California. They have experience working with graffiti removal and cover-up techniques in lava tubes.
User avatar
NZcaver
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 6316
Joined: Sep 7, 2005 2:05 am
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Name: Jansen
NSS #: 50665RL
Primary Grotto Affiliation: CCG
  

Re: Graffiti in Lava Tubes

Postby John Lovaas » Aug 16, 2010 12:51 pm

Bonny- does it seems like the paint is adhering well? From your wire brush results, it doesn't sound like it. I was wondering if something with higher tack than the paint/lava interface could pull the paint off. The highly textured surface is a challenge. Could this be another use for duct tape? ;-)

If you could get a portable drill/polisher in there, one of 3M's 'Stripe-Off' wheels might be tacky enough to pull the paint without pushing it around- or damaging the surface underneath. I used one with an air tool for making short work of removing automotive decals without harming the paint finish. You'd need something small, electric, and capable of about 2000rpm to effectively run the wheel.

A set of magnifying glasses, dental picks and a boatload of patience and time is my other idea ;-)
imbecile sheepherder.
User avatar
John Lovaas
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 590
Joined: Sep 6, 2005 9:10 am
Location: Woodstock, Illinois
  

Re: Graffiti in Lava Tubes

Postby JD » Aug 19, 2010 12:34 pm

Generally removing grafitti does more harm than good, and it should not be removed. We have too many experiences with well-meaning "conservationists" physically marring the wall, or putting exotic materials in the environment, and worse, destroying other cultural resources. Like historic material, prehistoric art,and so on.

Read Jim and Val's book. Report the grafitti. Try to stop future marring, but generally leave the walls alone.

Never use chemicals or wire brushes. Never remove anything until a qualified historian or archaeologists (one with experience i cave resource protection) assesses the site. Record it i notes and photos. But leave it alone.

Generally we do not want cavers to decide which life forms should remain in the environment. The same is true of cultural resources.

I can not believe after Jan and Aan's article about the destruction of prehistoric cave art by grafitti removal anyone in the organization is even considering ever doing such acticvity again. Look at the NSS News article and weep for what they have done, in the name of "cleaning up" the cave.
JD
Frequent Poster
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Dec 7, 2005 2:57 pm
Location: Gallatin, Tennessee
  

Re: Graffiti in Lava Tubes

Postby NZcaver » Aug 19, 2010 2:23 pm

FYI - this topic is almost a year old, and was only rekindled because of a recent spam post (now removed). I'm not sure, but I'd assume Bonny is now done with what she was asking about.

Naturally people have differing opinions about the merits of graffiti removal - just like with digging projects, gating projects, and any number of other "controversial" caving topics. :shrug:
User avatar
NZcaver
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 6316
Joined: Sep 7, 2005 2:05 am
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Name: Jansen
NSS #: 50665RL
Primary Grotto Affiliation: CCG
  

Re: Graffiti in Lava Tubes

Postby Chads93GT » Aug 19, 2010 3:53 pm

today's grafitti is tomorrow's history.
User avatar
Chads93GT
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 2293
Joined: Jun 24, 2008 1:27 pm
Location: Missouri
  

Re: Graffiti in Lava Tubes

Postby NZcaver » Aug 19, 2010 5:51 pm

...or tomorrow's cleanup project.
User avatar
NZcaver
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 6316
Joined: Sep 7, 2005 2:05 am
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Name: Jansen
NSS #: 50665RL
Primary Grotto Affiliation: CCG
  

Re: Graffiti in Lava Tubes

Postby Chads93GT » Aug 19, 2010 6:36 pm

Or a future deliquant.
User avatar
Chads93GT
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 2293
Joined: Jun 24, 2008 1:27 pm
Location: Missouri
  

Re: Graffiti in Lava Tubes

Postby Anonymous_Coward » Aug 23, 2010 11:26 am

JD,

I would like to comment because I was involved with Bonny's project. We were asked by NPS cave management to look at the graffiti and recommend ways to remove it. We were asked this because we have experience with cave restoration and work as cave managers ourselves. It was not "cavers deciding what life forms to remain" or any such nonsense. We were asked to do a job, and we did it. The managers of this cave work closely with archaeologists and biologists. I know they took all of their resources into account. If the graffiti removal project goes ahead, you can be sure all resources will be looked at in even more detail before work begins.

You reference an NSS News article but you really don't properly reference it at all. If you would like us to read it, you should tell us the month and year so we can look it up. However, just because someone writes an NSS article does not turn their viewpoint into gospel. What applies for them, wherever they did it, might not apply in a different situation. So you really shouldn't be surprised that NSS members still want to remove graffiti from caves.

Thank you for stating your opinion but seriously, you should try not to have such a narrow view on the subject. Your post comes across as very authoritative and arrogant. Have you been to Arco Tunnel, Idaho, lately and seen the orange spraypaint? Are you familiar with the local cultural history and how it applies to local historical cave use? If not, you might want to give us the benefit of the doubt and assume that we know something about what we are doing. As you become more involved with cave restoration, you will see that there are usually no easy answers and many judgement calls that have to be made along the way. Cave restoration very rarely actually "restores" a cave to its natural state. But it is still worth doing, even with the compromises that have to be made along the way.

So far, none of the graffiti has been removed besides the few tests we did during the initial trip. I have heard of some tests in California that used a blowtorch to burn spraypaint off of lava cave walls. I'd like to see the results from that!
:bat sticker:
Andy Armstrong
American Carbide Council
User avatar
Anonymous_Coward
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 892
Joined: Feb 3, 2006 1:40 pm
Location: Inside the Beehive
NSS #: 45993RL FE
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Paha Sapa Grotto
  

Re: Graffiti in Lava Tubes

Postby Evan G » Aug 23, 2010 11:55 am

I was thinking of Arco when I saw this post. We tried doing some removal on it over 15 years ago, holey crap that lava is porous and hard! That spray paint has been in there for around 18-20 years. The only thing we thought of was instead of removal actually painting over it artistically thus creating the effect of the original lava.

There was an idea of running a portable generator to the entrance then running an extension cord inside, it is possible.

So far, none of the graffiti has been removed besides the few tests we did during the initial trip. I have heard of some tests in California that used a blowtorch to burn spraypaint off of lava cave walls. I'd like to see the results from that!


I like the idea of burning it off. I actually have a large propane heating torch (literally turn 1/4 sheet steel red hot in 10 secs) and can pick up a small 10 gallon bottle that will fit thru the tight area near the entrance.
Evan G
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 1128
Joined: Mar 12, 2006 2:52 pm
Location: Breckenridge, CO
Name: EEG
NSS #: 28685
Primary Grotto Affiliation: NRMG
  

Re: Graffiti in Lava Tubes

Postby Anonymous_Coward » Aug 23, 2010 1:03 pm

Sounds good Evan, maybe we could actually get together and do some caving! I will talk to the California folks. If they had good results, maybe we could propose this to the Craters folks. I think there has been more copycat orange spraypaint in the last 5 years or so. One compelling reason to remove graffiti is to discourage others from emulating it.
Andy Armstrong
American Carbide Council
User avatar
Anonymous_Coward
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 892
Joined: Feb 3, 2006 1:40 pm
Location: Inside the Beehive
NSS #: 45993RL FE
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Paha Sapa Grotto
  

Re: Graffiti in Lava Tubes

Postby Evan G » Aug 23, 2010 1:37 pm

You definitely will not hurt the "rock" by heating it :laughing: But there might be water that has infiltrated the lava and would cause popping which could be good as long as the popping doesn't get too big!

jaa45993 wrote:Sounds good Evan, maybe we could actually get together and do some caving! I will talk to the California folks. If they had good results, maybe we could propose this to the Craters folks.


Sweet! I have not been to Craters in a long time, personally I have always loved the lava areas in Idaho. Remember there are many types of lava, their lava might differ in many ways.

I think there has been more copycat orange spraypaint in the last 5 years or so.


If it is the semi-reflective bright orange paint that water droplets condense is it the same paint. A friend at Energy labs here in Casper analyzed it, it is mostly likely the same paint they use for temporary marking on Highways. This was back in 93, the Craters of the Moon drive around and parking lots where paved in 91 or 92 at least that is what I remember from the whole thing. The reason why Arco tunnel was gated was because of the orange paint vandalism . My dates maybe off, it was a loooongtime agoooo in a lava field in a distance state with a jackrabbit named "Chewy".
Evan G
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 1128
Joined: Mar 12, 2006 2:52 pm
Location: Breckenridge, CO
Name: EEG
NSS #: 28685
Primary Grotto Affiliation: NRMG
  

Re: Graffiti in Lava Tubes

Postby ArCaver » Aug 23, 2010 4:05 pm

Hmmm...burning graffiti sounds rewarding. It would be easier I think in a lava tube. In a solution cave you'd need to be careful where you aimed the torch so that you didn't direct it into a joint in the limestone. I know that no caver would want to risk burning a joint in a cave.
User avatar
ArCaver
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 567
Joined: Jul 31, 2006 12:42 pm
  

Re: Graffiti in Lava Tubes

Postby NZcaver » Aug 23, 2010 5:02 pm

ArCaver wrote:I know that no caver would want to risk burning a joint in a cave.

:rofl: :flammable:
User avatar
NZcaver
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 6316
Joined: Sep 7, 2005 2:05 am
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Name: Jansen
NSS #: 50665RL
Primary Grotto Affiliation: CCG
  

Next

Return to Conservation Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users

cron