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RE: Salaices,Mexico

Hello Michael & List,

Some of the commercial oils are actually de-scented mineral spirits (paint
thinner).  I use this more than cutting oil or water.  Mineral spirits is
highly aromatic and evaporates over time (most of the scent gone in 2-3 days
and totally gone in 2-3 weeks).  Pure water does not lubricate as well as
mineral spirits or oils - so there is greater risk of blade heating and
warping (and a bad slice) if one does not baby sit the cut.  I almost never
use oil at anymore (which replaced kerosene about 25 years ago).  When I do
use water, it is with a cutting coolant additive.  If the specimen is going
to be probed (TEM, EMP, SEM, etc.), then I use pure de-ionized water, damp
dry with a lint-free clean cloth or hard paper towel, air dry and finally a
rubbing alcohol bath to sop up any remaining water with another air drying.
When using pure water, I control the entire cut by hand (no mechanical feed
or gravity feed) to prevent overheating.


Steven Excell
1100 Olive Way, Suite 300
Seattle, WA 98101-1839
Phone: 206-621-1300
Fax:     206-621-1158
E-Mail: excell@concentric.net

-----Original Message-----
From:	Michael Blood [mailto:mblood@access1.net]
Sent:	Tuesday, July 14, 1998 12:34 AM
To:	meteorite-list@meteoritecentral.com
Cc:	mark jackson
Subject:	Re: Salaices,Mexico

Dear Mark & List,
	Forgive me for not DIRECTLY responding to your specific question, but
this brings up a VERY interesting debate. It seems there is STRONG
dissagreement between people who have been cutting for years.
1) I believe the vast majority of cutters of stone meteorites cut them
with water coolent. (When I use water, I then immediately dry them in an
oven, usually swishing them in alchohole (which has a VERY high
vescosity for water, then evaporates slmost instantly, pulling off the
water with it) Adherents to this approach, maintain oil could NEVER be
completely removed & would alter the meteorite in completely
unexceptable ways.
2) AT LEAST ONE major dealer cust ONLY with oil, then "cures" the slices
in UNTREATED kitty litter made exclusively of chips of hardened mud.
This "pulls" the oil out, supposedly leaving the material completely
free of oil. He claims the kitty litter leaching method is 100%
efective, leaving no sign, whatsoever, of the material ever having come
into contact with oil. (He is clear one must use kitty litter free of
any chemical aditives - chemicals used to control oder or cause
"clumping" can also be very causitive of rusting)
	This person considers almost ALL rusting of stoney meteorites to be due
to the use of water in their cutting - even if this shows up months
later. He also considers all "water cutters" to be either ignorant,
stubborn and/or lazy ( as the "curing time" is 3 to 6 weeks when oil is
every cutter I have spoken to about this seems married to his
perspective, never having used the other method and compared the
	I have been reluctant to use oil, because it will be VERY hard to
completely clean my saw, should I find it ill advized. I have cut all
super precious material DRY - For super expensive material, I use an
ultra thin 4" diamond saw blade & they only cost $25 & are easily
	In any case, if anyone has long standing experience with both the water
& oil methods, I would certainly be most interested. So far, I have
relied on alcohol & immediate "baking" off of moisture & SEAM to have
had exceptable results. However, it would obviously be benificial to
utilize whatever method is least distructive and/or disruptive to the
material. (Also, sounds like the Monahans material will need to be cut
dry or broken to preserve any water soluble crystals).
	So, Mark, not only did I NOT answer your specific question, I have
added an aditional twist, concerning all stony meteorites. As for your
Salaices, certainly if the cutter let slices just lie around to "dry"
this would certainly contribute to future rusting problems.
	Best wishes, Michael
mark jackson wrote:
> 	 Hi, I have only one specimen that shows rusting it is :Salaices,
> Chihuahua Mexico It is a Olivine-bronzite chondrite  (H4). Has
>anyone had problems with this or is it maybe the way it was
> prepared?
	Would also like to know any info. on it.
> Good Health     mark j.

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