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Having a chat with Tony earlier today reminded me that I've got to get on with some constructive things. So, as I've got a couple of these to clean up, I made a start.

This one, I've always known to have a crack in it. Covered in rock hard mud, a thick layer of chalk and rust - it came from near the Lochnagar Crater, or rather the Glory Hole, as the area is being cleared for visitors (along with a newly discovered tunnel that I had a look down last month).

I've always assumed that it had been hit by a plough, or some farming machine, and that I'd have to clean and then weld up to keep it in one piece. 

After a few hours of cleaning and getting the 'gate/hatch' to operate, here is how it looks:  

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The crack is fairly obvious running from the top middle down to the 'stop' bolt for the hatch.

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However, it may not have been some heavy farming machinery that caused this thick steel plate to crack after all:

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Now, I'm no ballistic expert. But would you say that this is a bullet strike while this plate was in place? I can't ever remember seeing a bullet hit on a quarter inch steel plate (I've seen larger rounds on tank armour in the Tank Museum and they sort of make a gouge or a hole rather than just a dent.)

So, I'm figuring that if this is likely to be a bullet hit from Tommy chancing his arm then I should leave the crack alone and not weld it up as it's part of it's story. Or am I making something up here? Any steel plate hitting experience out there?  

Edited by Spasm

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Bullet or shrapnel ball strike. 

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18 hours ago, Spasm said:

So, I'm figuring that if this is likely to be a bullet hit from Tommy chancing his arm then I should leave the crack alone and not weld it up as it's part of it's story. Or am I making something up here? Any steel plate hitting experience out there?  

I'd say leave it as is too.

A mate had one of these with what he thought was bullet damage, the dent was a few mm deep, no cracks and nicely rounded but not being there at the time means you can only guess at what hit it. I bet whatever it was, it made the bloke behind the plate jump for a second.

 

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My personal opinion, Certainly leave it as it currently is. Just preserve it to avoid any further deterioration. It is a very nice piece, you are lucky to have it. 

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11 hours ago, Tony said:

I'd say leave it as is too.

A mate had one of these with what he thought was bullet damage, the dent was a few mm deep, no cracks and nicely rounded but not being there at the time means you can only guess at what hit it. I bet whatever it was, it made the bloke behind the plate jump for a second.

 

Whatever hit it was travelling at a high rate of speed.  Note the spalling on the back.  That metal would have flown off and could potentially injure someone.

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Yes, I think it was a definite hit during conflict rather than damage under a farmer's implement. And I agree, best left alone to tell it's own story in the history of things. Preserve and make a nice stand for it I think.

Thanks Gents :beer:

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