Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Cutting, carving, and filing meteorite


#1

I have a long time friend who is finally ready to pop the question to
his sweetheart. They are an out of this world couple. so of course he
wants therings made from meteorite he purchased. He sent me a nice
chunk of primarily iron with 7% zinc. IAB quality from a South
American site. I’ve read a few barely informative posts in my google
searches but can’t find any straight forward "this is what you need"
I’m hoping to squeeze all 3 bands out ofthis chunk so I don’t have a
lot of room for trial and error. Any suggestions as to drill bits,
file grades, saw blades, and plating/sealing options (it is iron so
rust city if I do nothing to protect it. Thinking of platingthe
inside and clear coating the outside to show off the crystal pattern,
which reminds me, anyone know the best etching solution to make that
patterning pop?)

Thanks in advance,
Aaron

P. S. If you guys do well with this question I’ll start throwing all
of my unanswered smithing related google queries this way. be
warned.


#2

Hi Aaron

please forgive me if i am covering things that you already know

It has been my experience that meteoritic iron acts the same as
other iron. it rusts, it corrodes it dissolves.

with the small bit of zinc in it, it also could cause skin
irritation.

I have used meteorite in jewellery a few times and have treated it
like cutting a cab and polishing stone. it can be heated and forged
but it usually has some very cool patterning and crystallisation
that is visually fantastic that you would loose if you heat and
hammer.

Drilling it is not hard. sharp high speed drills or tungsten tip
drills will do the job if you take your time and lubricate
continuously. test your bit of iron with a jewellery saw. You might
just be amazed at how well you can cut through the metal if you take
your time.

When making rings out of this material i have usually made a fine
silver or fine gold ring that is around.5mm thick and 3 to 4 mm
wider than my intended finished ring. slab the iron file and polish
a hole in it that the silver or gold ring fits into snuggly and
allows the fine metal ring to stick out 1.5 to 2mm on either side.
first use 2 doming punches above and below to flange out the metal
like a hollow rivet. then move to a flat anvil and flat planishing
hammer to finish the job compressing the fine metal into the sides
of the iron.

In this way you create an insert that will keep the iron from
contacting with bare skin and causing discolouration as well as
lengthen the life of the ring.

your other option if you have a limited supply is to cut shapes and
polish like a stone then set in bezels or use as inlays.

you can use ferric chloride to etch the final product and accent the
textures but watch it closely as it can sometimes get away on you.

I am sure others will have other ideas and i hope my comments might
be valuable and give you something to think on.

Les