Tools and Techniques for Cutting and Finishing Meteorites

Well,  I am taking a month off from my article so that I can finish a book with the working title above. There was a recent discussion on the internet suggesting it would be great if there was a how to manual on cutting meteorites. It was mentioned that I had written articles in several different publication over the last ten years on the topic. So, I got the idea to put all that and more together in a short book with lots of pictures of equipment, tools, and specimens. This month I am focused on that. As this is being typed I have most of the text finished and am starting to take those pictures. This is not really a very big project and should be done in a couple weeks. It will be rather comprehensive though  It is already over 8,000 words and I have thought of a couple more topics to add. It will cover mostly the lapidary part of preparation. It will deal with stone meteorites almost exclusively. Irons and stony-irons require equipment or labor really beyond what the collector probably wants to invest. I am focusing on making cutting and finishing, fun and successful for the meteorite enthusiast. Not a laborious, painful, and expensive process.

Even though I do hundreds of cuts a year and finish those hundreds of slices as well. Lapidary work has been for over forty years one of the most enjoyable hobbies I have take up. I will be sharing some secrets that I have learned, and showing all the best practices that you would be taught if rec. centers still had rock saws (and old guys to teach). That sounds like a good idea too. Maybe something else I can do if I survive to retirement age. No I think Paul and our business will have plenty of cutting and lapping for years to come

The book will have some kind of coil binding so it will lie flat and stay open. That’s always pretty nice with instruction manuals.  And in black and white printing with large pages it should not be very expensive to buy. I’ll probably put it in my CafePress store along with the Meteor Crater book. Maybe, I can get some to Tucson in a dealer’s room for those going to the show.

As always if you have any comments you can email me at jim@meteorite.com

Have  a great Christmas and Happy New Year.

About the Author

James Tobin
The Meteorite Exchange, Inc. was born in 1996 with meteorite.com and Meteorite Times Magazine in 2002. Still enthusiastic about meteorites and all things related to them, we hunt, collect, cut and prepare specimens. We travel to gem shows and enjoy meteorites as much now as in the beginning. Please feel free to share any comments you have on this or any of our other sites.
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