View Full Version : Gibeon meteorite?

04-17-2005, 10:47 AM
Does anyone know if it is safe for me to anneal gibeon meteorite without losing the "Widmanstatten" pattern. I don't have any hardness testers yet, but I know it is some pretty hard stuff. It can be ground, but for me that leads to much waste material (at $1 to $2 per gram!!!)
I have searched the threads for weeks, and have come up only one dagger that the meteorite was used in damascus, but no indication if it keeps the pattern.

04-17-2005, 11:04 AM
Yes you will completely loose the patern. If I am correct you have to grind slowly. Gibeon is hard but it is also brittle. Be very carefull when working it. I have thought about using it just for bolsters, or a handle inlay.

Chris Nilluka

04-17-2005, 12:11 PM
That's right - don't anneal it .I've seen knives with meteorite bolsters ,they look very nice !

04-17-2005, 12:59 PM
Thanks guys! That is a big help.
I picked up a nice slab that will yield 2 blades, folder & fixed, both 4+", and have enough separate bolster material for 3 knives.
Well, the a lapidary saw & diamond bandsaw are on my list for new tools (originally for my jade & dino bone, should work for the gibeon)

04-17-2005, 02:20 PM
Seanhai, are you going to make the blade from your meteorite material?

04-17-2005, 04:20 PM
Yeah, Robert. Jumping in head first. LOL.
Looks like I will have to TIG the tang to the blade. I would rather use other means, but this will have the least effect on the etch pattern.

05-08-2005, 07:51 PM
The work you do to reshape the nickel-iron into a blade, bolster
or inlay will usually distroy all of your Widmanstatten lines, but
re-etching the piece is not too difficult.

Etching is done with a 5% solution of nitric acid. Normally,
you would dilute the acid with water, but any water on the
meteorite will quickly cause an oxide (rust) to form, so the
dilution is done with ethanol. This greatly minimizes the
chance of any visible rust formation.

This meteorite etching procedure comes from the book
(Rocks from Space, Richard Norton, 1994, page 417)
It specifies use of 95% pure ethanol. This can be a little
hard to get. You may be able to use a less expensive, but
still high purity, alcohol like methyl or isopropyl.

Take precautions when using concentrated nitric acid to make up the
5% solution. Rubber gloves, rubber apron and a full face shield are
in order. And work outside. Better yet, find a friend in a chemistry
lab to help you make up the solution.

Etching the meteorite is much less dangerous because the solution is
quite dilute, but it's still best to work outside.

- Brad

05-09-2005, 03:22 PM
No doubt nitric acid will work but as stated, is quite dangerous. Remember, even though it's not from this planet, it is still mostly iron and nickel. I've had excellent results etching Gibeon using plain old Ferric Chloride & distilled water. Just be sure to neutralize quickly with something like baking soda.
Good luck

05-10-2005, 05:37 PM
Thanks guys! I got the blank put together last weekend and did a test etch with ferric chloride that I picked up from Radio Shack (circuit board etching). Looks just like the ones that I bought already etched with nitric acid. I am still practicing my grinds so I can get good lines before chewing on the gibeon blade.