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Gary Mulkey

Meteorite Damascus

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I've had this chunk of meteorite laying in my shop for some time and decided it's time to use it.  I've made two blades from this chunk already.  I'm not sure just what type of  blade I will make from it but  that's still a long way off.

 

There are two things that you must keep in mind when working a meteorite.  One is that they have no carbon content so you must weld them to steel that has too much carbon in order to sacrifice some of it through migration in order to end up  with a billet that will harden then way that you want.  For this one I'm welding it to two pieces of W1 steel which has 1.05 C.

 

Also you must remember that most meteorites are very "red short".  This means that you must do most of the forging to the blade after welding it between two pieces  of steel so that it can't crumble & flake off.

 

This is a chunk of "Campo de Cielo" meteorite.  It is 92% iron & 8% nickel.

 

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Oh I'm excited for this one!

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Popcorn and soda time again  !!...................B)

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First and first mostly, I love that you casually have a chunk of meteorite laying around in your shop!

I cant wait to watch this come to fruition.

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That's cool!!

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I suspect there a re a number of us subscribed to this thread.

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Oooo space rock knife this otta be good

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Cool stuff Gary. 

Did you tack weld the lump of meteorite to the W2 paddle before flattening it out?  (I think that is what I am seeing in the pics)

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38 minutes ago, Brian Dougherty said:

Cool stuff Gary. 

Did you tack weld the lump of meteorite to the W2 paddle before flattening it out?  (I think that is what I am seeing in the pics)

Exactly.  Once flattened that way I added the second piece of carbon steel (W1) and tack welded again before doing the weld.  This is primarily to get around the meteorite being "hot short".  That way it can't flake off or crumble and I don't waste any of it.  

It sounds like it would be risky doing a weld  without grinding off the natural scale, however I'm counting on an extended soak @ welding temp to convert the scale back to iron again.  I've found that a 30 minute soak @ welding temp in a reducing atmosphere will usually convert any rust or scale back to iron(steel)   by removing the oxides.  This I will do before doing any further welds.  Wish me luck.;)

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Posted (edited)

I've been designing & engineering a pattern for this one while relaxing on the couch and finally decided on one.  Considering the time of year now with both spring & Easter coming on, this is going  be my inspiration for this meteorite billet:

 

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Not having attempted anything like this before so I have no idea of how close that I can come to it but it's a good starting point.  It may turn out looking more like some other flower (or maybe not a flower at all) before I'm done with it but it will be fun trying.  This design will require some tricky forging as well as incorporating a canoe for the final weld.  

 

Should be fun!

 

Edited by Gary Mulkey
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That's pretty darned ambitious, but if anyone can do it, it's you!  I have a tiny piece of Campo I'm saving for the right project, and some rusty Nantan that will go in a smelt one of these days.

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4 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

That's pretty darned ambitious, but if anyone can do it, it's you!  I have a tiny piece of Campo I'm saving for the right project, and some rusty Nantan that will go in a smelt one of these days.

I've not worked with any Nantan but have been told that it's terrible to weld.  Maybe a smelt is the way to go with it.

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Day two:

 

3 layer cut & stack--

 

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Adding more carbon steel to  one side:

 

 

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Welded:

 

 

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Grinding one side for effect:

 

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Forged flat:

 

 

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Forged into a triangle for 4-way welding (on the bias)

 

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You'll need more imagination than me to see a dogwood petal in this but after  all I put it through today I'm not surprised that I got some distortion.   After a 4-way weld though it should still make an interesting pattern.

 

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That's going to be awesome. I always wondered how you would go about forging a meteorite.

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Just googled the surname Mulkey and it is not “wizard of steel” as I had initially suspected.

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Somebody with a small piece of meteorite asked me about this a while ago........I'm watching with more attention than usual......

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12 hours ago, Gary Mulkey said:

Forged into a triangle for 4-way welding (on the bias)

Whoa!  I never thought of doing that...

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Campo de Cielo is a nice nickel-iron meteorite that welds well, if a bit hot-short.  Nantan is more of a pure iron, and it rusts back to oxide quickly.  I saw the original hunk mine came from in 2006 (it was that big 10-lb lump Larry Harley had), and at that time it was very solid.  By 2016 it had decomposed to what looks like plain old iron ore.  The owner put some in iron in the hat at Bowie's hammerin that year.

Campo makes a great high-contrast layer, though!  

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Here's a pre-weld look at the flower pattern in this one and the billet welded & drawn out to 1" x 1".  Even after I was satisfied that I had a good weld on the 4-way, just to be on the safe side I did all of the forging or drawing @ welding temp just to be sure.

In order to same material I've got the billet in the annealing oven so I can cut the tiles with a band saw and not the chop saw in order to save material.  This billet looks pretty small but it will only be used as an inlay into a blade of 1084 so it should make a sufficient sized billet when done.

 

The flower pattern of this one will get an inlaid pistil in the center of each tile made of multiple pieces of 416 round rod & powdered 1084.  The outside of each petal will get machined a  little to enhance the pattern.

 

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WOW  !!!!...............................:blink:

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Nicely done sir! 

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