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Meteorite in a wedding band


#1

I have a client that wants me to inlay Meteorite into his wedding
band. I have not work with Meteorite before and I have no idea where
to get it or work with it.

I know it is iron and that is about it.

Do I cut it like stone?

Do I form it like steel?

Can I solder with it in place?

If anyone has used it and has suggestions I would love the help.

Thank you
Lauren


#2
I have a client that wants me to inlay Meteorite into his wedding
band. I have not work with Meteorite before and I have no idea
where to get it or work with it. 

To start, find Bill Gangi’s web site.
http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/1wj

He’s usually got meteoritic iron pieces in stock at reasonable
prices. Or at least, he did the last time I saw him… (last year’s
SNAG convention…)

The stuff is Nickel/Iron, sometimes with inclusions of olivine or a
few other things. That makes it fascinating as a material is the
unique and characteristic crystal structure it shows. So in using it,
you want to both show this structure, and not do anything to it that
would destroy or hide this structure. It’s possible to solder the
stuff in place, but you have to use low enough grades of solder that
the crystal structure never starts to anneal or temper, etc. Safer is
simply to treat it as a gem material. Grind or file it to shape as
you might any piece of steel. If there are mineral inclusions, these
might be rough on a file, so use some care. As it is steel, you
could, if you wish, heat it and forge it to other shapes. But doing
this would destroy or damage the unique crystal structure.

When you buy it, it may already have been etched to show off the
structure properly. You’ll want to wax or otherwise protect the
"stone" from rusting, or at least advise your client to keep it waxed
or oiled in some way.

If you need to re-etch it because you had to shape or polish the
surface, concentrated Nitric acid, a small portion, added to
denatured alcohol ( as with adding water to acid, add the acid to the
alcohol, with stirring, not the other way around), will etch it. Do
this fairly quickly, then dilute that acid (after removing the
meteoritic material) with water, then neutralize and discard. The
reason is that the acid and alcohol mix is not stable. Dilute it for
safety. Do the etching outside, with proper safety gear. If you are
starting with a nice smooth surface (fine abrasive paper, such as 600
grit, should be enough. You don’t need to fully polish it before
etching), the pattern shows up very quickly. After etching, soak on
baking soda solution to neutralize any acid, then soak the steel in
only denatured alcohol. Anhydrous alcohol would be better, but
ordinary hardware store grade will do it. The idea is to make sure
all traces of water or acid are removed, to avoid rusting. Then dry,
and wax or oil. Set it the same as you’d do with any other stone. If
you get the stuff from Bill Gangi, ask him for details on how to etch
it, in case my memory of how (described above) is missing anything
important. Same thing if you get it from anywhere else.

Peter


#3

Your client should supply the metorite. dont get involved in
supplying it. If its not to his/her liking your stuck with it. some
jobs are best turned away.


#4
I know it is iron and that is about it. 

Not necessarily, some are iron with a high nickel content, some are
just rocks… froooooom… spaaaaaaace :slight_smile: It depends on the impact
site.

Do I cut it like stone? 

Can’t help with this, in general they have a tendency to fragment.

Do I form it like steel? 

Well you can, but metallic meteorites tend to be very red short.

Can I solder with it in place? 

Never soldered them, attempted to pattern weld one and ruined it,
others have had success.

I was trying to get large pieces for knife accents within the blade,
but for some reason when I mention I’m going to destroy alter the
specimen I don’t get a reply :frowning:

Regards Charles A.


#5

Lauren hope this helps.
http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/1wp


#6

To add to the description of an etchant, the solution is called NITAL
and is 2% conc nitric in alcohol. Do not store you etchant for any
length of time or allow the alcohol to evaporate otherwise it becomes
an expolsive mix and will detonate in the heat of bright sunshine.
The alcohol should be bought as absolute alcohol or ethanol, not any
of the others.

If you want a list of metallographic etchants go to the Buehler
website.

Nick Royall


#7

If it is a stone or glassy meteorite they tend to have residual
stresses and thus often break on cutting. Work with the aim of using
smaller pieces than you actually have to avoid the disappointment of
bits spalling when you work them (as I have found out on more than 1
occasion- and if you think that is bad try keeping your nerve cutting
moon rock at $20,000 a gram!)

Nick Royall