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  • Cutting a meteorite?

    One of my Guild regulars wants to section up a small meteorite into smaller cubes, as an art/jewelry sort of thing. The meteorite he got has a lot of inclusions, it's not a smooth lump of nickel-iron.

    Obviously the idea is to keep it cool, polish the edges and etch them to reveal the pattern, then presumably clearcoat.

    His original plan was a cheap Home Depot bandsaw, but we suggested that had much too high a blade speed for metals. They do make diamond-edge bandsaw bands (no idea if a size to fit that cheap saw was available) but we strongly suggested that water cooling was all but a requirement.

    Instead he picked up a cheap Home Depot wet tile saw, and an apparently decent quality 0.020" diamond wheel. I tend to think that would be the best bet for him, but have been asking around for more info. Has anyone done something like this, and if so, what's the generally accepted method used to section up a chunk of meteorite. He dosn't need to "mill" or shape the pieces, just slices and small blocks is sufficient. Easy stuff for a sort of "table saw"

    Any info welcomed- but keep in mind we're on a budget. He's not going to run out and buy a thousand-dollar lapidary saw for a one-off project.

    Doc.
    Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)

  • #2
    A well known Youtuber fairly recently made a video about machining jewelry, rings from a meteorite. Apparently the stuff machines just fine! I don't remember who it was so can't offer a link. Just search Youtube. Been done many times.

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    • #3
      Ah, I found it!
       

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      • #4
        Diamond or carborundum wheels are used for this sort of sample. Some meteorites don't do well with water cooling and so kerosene is used instead. Some meteorites need to be stabilized in a matrix so they don't break apart under the force of cutting.

        ....

        (Say the following joke out loud)

        Why are shooting stars tastier than normal rocks?
        Because they are a little meteor.

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        • #5
          I buy some stuff on ebay so I often have 30 searches active. One that caught my eye was diamond saws. Expensive looking and single purpose. Turns out they wre slicing saws for the electronic chip manufactures. Apparently they come up at one cent to the buck sometimes.

          Slicing a Precious mteririal like that takes a tool. And dont breath that chit!!! You never know.

          Diamond saw for rent?? JR
          My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

          https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...port_mill/info

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          • #6
            Y'all are describing something clearly different than the video I posted, his iron meteorite cut just fine on the lathe.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by RB211 View Post
              Y'all are describing something clearly different than the video I posted, his iron meteorite cut just fine on the lathe.
              -Well, two things there- first the fellow is looking to make cubes and bars, not rods and round features. And, as noted, this particular meteor has a great deal of inclusions, I'd worry, myself, about it's resistance to shattering if machined on a mill or lathe.

              Third, the surfaces are intended to be polished and etched to bring out the crystalline structure- it's assumed that a fine diamond wheel will produce finer surface finishes, and thus require less sanding, lapping or polishing.

              Doc.
              Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)

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              • #8
                If you have a Do-All bandsaw with the classic dial speed chart, there is a suggestion for meteorite.

                Courtesy of Dr. Clyde

                Click image for larger version

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                Last edited by The Metal Butcher; 12-01-2019, 01:40 AM.
                21" Royersford Excelsior CamelBack Drillpress Restoration

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                • #9
                  Hrmm, nickel and iron? Much like Inconel then... I asked the old-timer at work what he preferred for Incoloy 7xx, he said HSS was fine long as you were paying attention. I was surprised by that. (We go through ~8 tons of inconel/year).

                  I also know that it can be cut with the bandsaw with a fresh blade, and good feed, don't let it rub and work-harden. I usually just used the plasma cutter. Our used Incoloy was filthy, being full of holes and slag inclusions from the furnaces in which it operates.

                  Our welding supplier recommended these special grinding wheels that were meant for stainless, evidently the binder glue takes the heat better.

                  The way it was explained to me is that you can treat it like a very high alloy of stainless.
                  Last edited by nickel-city-fab; 12-01-2019, 10:01 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Since it seems to have lots of inclusions, and there is already concern with it shattering when it's cut...
                    and presumably he wants the jewelry to look like it was made from a meteorite...
                    then why cut it at all and give it artificially flat surfaces?

                    Why not put it into a bag and smack it with a hammer until it breaks into randomly-shaped, jewelry-sized chunks of "art"?

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                    • #11
                      MB that's really amazing ! guess that's why them call them a DoAll

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                      • #12
                        Pretty cool idea. I would love to see what it looks like when it's all done.
                        Just just out of curiosity... Where did you get the meteorite from and how big is it?
                        Did it come crashing through your roof and living room ceiling?
                        Usually most of these don't make it to Earth, they burn up entering the atmosphere and most aren't any bigger than a grain of sand.... So they say.
                        If a meteor of any size does make it through the atmosphere and hits the ground I'm sure the scientists in NASA are all over it before any average person can chip a piece off of it.

                        ​​​​​​​JL.....

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                        • #13
                          Why not put it into a bag and smack it with a hammer until it breaks into randomly-shaped, jewelry-sized chunks of "art"?
                          -He's after specific sizes and shapes.

                          Just just out of curiosity... Where did you get the meteorite from and how big is it?
                          -Ebay, of course.

                          If a meteor of any size does make it through the atmosphere and hits the ground I'm sure the scientists in NASA are all over it before any average person can chip a piece off of it.
                          -Hardly. While I'm sure NASA would be interested in any "freshly fallen" meteorite of fair size, the fact is, meteorites in general are surprisingly common. Check eBay for "meteorite"- right now, there's some 17,000 listings, ranging from freshly picked up to cut, sliced and polished, and all relatively inexpensive.

                          Keep in mind that meteorites have been raining down on the planet since literally the beginning of time- we recently discovered that a dagger buried with King Tutankhamen had been forged from meteoric iron, over three thousand years ago.

                          Doc.
                          Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)

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                          • #14
                            As metal butcher points out the “do all” certainly had a meteorite setting, be warned that they had a special blade, it wasn’t a 6 tpi bimetallic, I seem to remember it was toothless!, we had to cut loads of slices in college, then hand polish on an inclined waterfall table, etch etc to show the quite beautiful “ widmanstatten” structures (pls excuse spelling, doesn’t look right but you get the idea), sharp accular needle like structures amazing when you see them yourself, later we used a metarlugical sample slicer that had a 7” or so thin grinding disk like a surface grinder slitting disk, Kemet was on the things, flood coolant the whole exercise was quite fascinating, including the etching holding the thing was the hardest but it was quite big, small bits were buried in epoxy so you had a flat face
                            mark

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                            • #15
                              https://nuggetshooter.ipbhost.com/to...on-meteorites/

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