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Meteoritic iron

  Janet,  Very interesting idea!  But where does one get pieces of
meteorites?  Do you treat them like stones and set them or can you
solder them on to pieces.  I've got a couple of 'spacey' but
lovable friends that would really appreciate such a gift.   I'd like
to hear more.  

While I’ve not got the contact number right at hand for the fellow
I’ve bought these from (material from the Gibbion strewn field in
Africa, is wonderful nickle iron, and often available in fairly
largish chunks. Check through Lapidary Journal ads. I think I saw
the dealer advertising there), here’s some info on working it. The
stuff is fairly hard. While you can saw it on a bandsaw similar to
what you’d use with mild steel, it tends to dull blades, perhaps due
to various inclusions. I saw it with lapidary diamond saw blades. Oil
as a lubricant, not water, to prevent rusting. Saws slowly this way,
but it works. I shape it with grinders, files, lapidary equipment, or
whatever is handy. works easily enough. It’s iron, after all.
Polish. You CAN solder it to things using ordinary solder. Or just
bezel set it like a stone. If soldering, use an easy solder and try
not to get it too hot, as you don’t want any recrystalization going
on. The existing crystal structure is what’s so unique and beautiful
about the stuff. After any soldering and repolishing, make up a 10
percent nitric acid solution. Here’s the key. You mix 10% reagent
grade (highly pure. yes, that grade is needed here) with 90%
denatured alcohol. NOT water. Water used like this penetrates, and
then the piece rusts later. Alcohol keeps that from happening. A
quick dip in this acid will almost instantly etch the iron surface
bringing up the wonderful decorative crystal structure. Rinse well in
clean alcohol, then dry. Protect the surface with any good wax, like
Renaissance wax or a carnuba wax based floor wax or whatever else you
wish. Once I used a layer of clear ceramit baked on over the iron.
worked nicely, looked rather cool… Mostly, I prefer just the waxed
surface, though.

Peter Rowe


Peter, Have you or anyone tryed gold plating them after etching they
look awsome I saw some at the Denver show one year that looked great I
dont know how or what plating process they used though.
Best J Morley Coyote Ridge Studio