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OUT OF THIS WORLD W.I.P.

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HHH Knives

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Hello everyone!! Were about to embark on a epic adventure here at HHH Knives. And I want to bring you guys along with us..

Were going to be forging some Meteorite damascus! Yep that is the "out of this world" reference. I just received a 4 lb. piece of Meteorite and with a little luck at the end of the process we will have a couple of extra amazing and beautiful billets of SPACE STEEL!
Theres a really amazing and cool story as to how I came across the piece of Meteorite.. But Ill just say this..... God is GOOD! and it never ceases to amaze me how he orchestrates stuff!

This is something Jr and I have not tried yet. But thats the awesome part of this great adventure I call knife making. Trying new stuff and working with new materials. As well as meeting new friends and learning new tricks. Then sharing in each others successes as well as our set backs and straight up flops!

The PLAN.. We will start the process to forge this space rock into something resembling a bar of steel.. Then turn that into a billet of damascus! And followed up by making it into a sweet kitchen cutter!

Also wanted to add a Thanks you to Mr. Delbert Ealy, who took a few minutes of his busy day to talk to Jr and I about the forging process giving us a better chance of this working out.. right out of the gate. Thanks Del!!

First a few quick facts, This piece of Meteorite we have is called a Campo del Cielo. This stuff has been used as tools and weapons as far back as history records. Here is a little info from Wikipedia " In 1576, the governor of a province in Northern Argentina commissioned the military to search for a huge mass of iron, which he had heard that Indians used for their weapons. The Indians claimed that the mass had fallen from the sky in a place they called Piguem Nonralta which the Spanish translated as Campo del Cielo ("Field of the Sky")."
They estimate that it fell to earth in the year 2,700 BC..
The average composition of the Campo del Cielo meteorites is 6.67% Ni, 0.43% Co, 0.25% P, 87 ppm Ga, 407 ppm Ge, and 3.6 ppm Ir, with the rest being iron..

This is gona be a AMAZING, AWESOME, and PHENOMENAL experience for us, Which I hope you will enjoy watching.

Enough talking, Lets get to the action!

The slice came off a 55lb piece and is 4+ lbs. Slicing a 55 lb chunk is no small task. Heres a quick video of the first slice coming off. This stuff is TOUGH! and was hell on band saw blades!
[video=youtube;QgbChbJzTQQ]http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=QgbChbJzTQQ[/video]

Here is the piece we are working with Its about 1/2 inch thick and roughly 10 inches wide.


DAY 1 Today was the day.. I have been waiting for what seemed like forever to start this. Randy Jr. and I both were brimming with excitement this morning as we headed into the shop, Meteorite in hand! First we had to cut the slab into pieces. The plan was to cut it into 3 fairly equal pieces.


So far so good!! :)
Next Jr. Stacked the 3 piece on top of one another And spot welded them. Then added a handle.

 

tk59

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Nice pics! There's no carbon in it? What percentage of that stuff are you putting into the mix?
 

kalaeb

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Thanks for getting a wip, I have been anticipating this.
 

HHH Knives

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The mood in the shop was well? Magical. not 2 weeks ago, We have never even thought about using meteorite on a project! Let alone thought we would be cutting one up and starting this amazing process! So.. we did what ever guy would do.. Sat back and talked about it! lol Admiring Jr's handywork with the saw and the weld job. Smoked a cigarette and talked about the what if's and how to's and how awesome this is gona be!!!
:pirate1:

We are past the point of no return! Its do or die.. (figuratively speaking!) So lets DO IT!!!! :thumbsup:



Fluxed and into the forge! :cool2:


When it reached temp. It was the moment of truth, time to see if this was going to work. Jr. pulled it out of the forge and straight to the press!


So far so good. till it fell of the handle and hit the floor!!! LOL At which time it broke into two pieces! :scared4:


Yep it BROKE! like a piece of concrete it hit the floor and broke!

All in all. The first weld went better then we could of hoped for. From what Del told us that "COULD" happen compared to what did happen we felt pretty good about it! :EDance2:
 

HHH Knives

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Nice pics! There's no carbon in it? What percentage of that stuff are you putting into the mix?
tk59, Thats a good question and observation. Ill try and explain a little better. We started adding carbon to it from the very first heat. As we weld this and refine the meteorite. we will continue to add carbon. This is a slow process and will take many days of forging. Then we will combine it with High Carbon steel, slowly adding more and more Carbon to the mix till we reach our desired layer count/pattern/percentage of carbon to meteorite . I estimate that the final carbon content of the damascus billet will be around .85 to .95 and the meteorite will have taken all the carbon it can gain from the refining and forging process.. This is our first time doing this. and by no means do I want you or anyone to think were metallurgists. we are learning as we go. But I will say this, Randy Jr. is a Steel Wizard and the finished damascus will be awesome!!! :) Im very thankful to have Delbert's guidance and wisdom to help guide us throughout this process.
 

HHH Knives

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Next we cut the large piece in half.



This stuff is like nothing we have forged B4. Its WILD! Soft yet so hard! fragile yet so tough! Heres a shot of the end of the stack after the first weld!



Jr. cleaned the scale off the pieces and re stacked them. welded them together and welded the handle back on to them! :p



About that time a buddy dropped by and dropped off a special treat.. Its a BURL!


OK Back to the forging. :D



Thats it for tonight. Thanks for taking a minute and checking out the thread! Were just getting started! Please feel free to ask any questions. and let me know what ya think of the WIP so far!

God Bless and good night.
 

JohnnyChance

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Cool stuff. Nice photos. Usually I save my powdered sugar for fried dough or pierogies, but if it works for your meteorite, by all means, enjoy!
 

HHH Knives

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Last night I got a call from Jr. he was like do ya see it!!?!?! After a few seconds he told me to go outside and look UP ^^. Which I did. All I can say is WOW. the sky was lit up red with white is blueish streaks! The entire sky was glowing and swirling.. The best light show I have EVER seen! My youngest son Hunter and I really enjoyed seeing it and stayed outside watching till it went away! :D Good times!

Back to our regularly scheduled programming!!
 

Eamon Burke

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Last night I got a call from Jr. he was like do ya see it!!?!?! After a few seconds he told me to go outside and look UP ^^. Which I did. All I can say is WOW. the sky was lit up red with white is blueish streaks! The entire sky was glowing and swirling.. The best light show I have EVER seen! My youngest son Hunter and I really enjoyed seeing it and stayed outside watching till it went away! :D Good times!

Back to our regularly scheduled programming!!
You know what they say, red sky at night...GET BACK TO WORK!!


Just kidding. The initial failure makes this all the better. This is going to be very interesting.
 

Randy Jr

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Thats awesome salty, it looked very similar to that. It was nice to finally see it for the first time.
 

Salty dog

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I've only seen it once in my life. I'll never forget it.
 

HHH Knives

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Thats how Hunter and I were feeling and Im sure We will never forget that night the sky went RED!! :) Thanks for sharing the pic Salty..

I cant help but wonder if its a sign from above that were on the right track.. As we looked out last night. I seen a large shooting star with a small trailing piece behind it! Looked like a meteorite more then a shooting star. Too cool!
 

JohnnyChance

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Clearly, the gods are upset you are cutting up one of their rocks.
 

Customfan

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Thank you for sharing those pictures Randy! :biggrin:
 

HHH Knives

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Are we having fun yet? We left off yesterday 3 weld heats into the process. With this crazy looking chunk of meteorite on a handle!! lol
Today its really alot of repetition. Heating the piece and slowly forging it into a bar. All the while adding trace elements of carbon and slagging off the impurity's in the meteorite! By the end of the day its a 12 inch bar, approximately 1 1/2" wide X 1" thick martian steel!


Looking good so far!! The forge is humming like a jet engine and the press is smashing this Meteorite steel to smithereens! As it should.. After many hours, lots of forging. Its starting to resemble something that looks like a billet!! By the end of the day we are only 4 weld heats into the process.. Randy Jr. is starting to look and feel more confident. The bar is moving under the press more normally. and were set up and ready to start tomorrow of strong!

The best part of it all is Jr and I are still smiling and having a blast forging this massive meteorite together!

Thanks for looking, comments and questions are welcomed. After many hours, lots of forging. Its starting to resemble something that looks like a billet!! By the end of the day we are only 4 weld heats into the process.. Randy Jr. is starting to look and feel more confident. The bar is moving under the press more normally. and were set up and ready to start tomorrow of strong!



Randy Jr, checking out the progress!





Back into the forge!




Smashing steel!




Starting to look more like what Im use to seeing!





Many hours of forging to get to this point! Go Jr. GO!!!!






Looks like Jr. has it under control..






Cutting the rough ends off then splitting the bar in half, prepping it for the next re stack!
 

Eamon Burke

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You guys have serious stones to take a weird material like this and straightaway make some dammy with it.

That picture of the sky is insane.
 

hoop

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Incredible thread and a treat to get to watch this process unfold!

What was the steel you were sandwiching (not sure if there's a more correct term?!?!?) between the meteorite slabs in this photo:



-ah
 

99Limited

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You guys have serious stones to take a weird material like this and straightaway make some dammy with it.
I was wonder about that. Is a meteorite just plain ole iron or is it one of those "it depends" kind of things.
 

HHH Knives

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hoop, Its great to here you are enjoying the WIP.

The thin layers we are adding at this point are carbon steel. Its serves 2 purposes. 1st it aids in the refining process as were forging.. And second it starts adding carbon to the meteorite.

Eamon, It was EPIC! Im still amazed at how bright and how much of the sky at my house was lit up!

My mentor has always told me to think outside of the box in regards to my knife making. Using meteorite is about as far outside the box as I think we have ever actually gone!!

Thanks guy for the encouragement.
 

HHH Knives

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This is great! I really am enjoying all the posts and excitement about this. That's what Im talking about! This is by far, one of the greatest adventures I have ever embarked on, this crazy thing we call Knife Making.. The people I meet along this journey are often greater then the final destination. I really am blessed to be able to share these experiences with you knife nuts!!

It is a Iron, and from Iron we make STEEL!!! The process we have chosen to work with this meteorite material is to refine it into Space Steel! Then add it to a stack of High carbon steel and turn that into our "Out of this world Damascus" Jr. is also thinking of doing at least 1 laminated, or san mai billet for me to play with! :)

The pattern that most associate with a meteorite, will all but disappear. Its sort of a trade off.. To make it usable as a knife it must be refined. So with each time its put into the forge. The material is being refined. By that I mean that we are using intense heat and massive amounts of force to remove impurity's and at the same time we are adding carbon and making it more pure and stronger and more durability. Sort of HHH Tamehagane billet.

The composition of the material has already changed from the composition chart I put in the beginning of the thread. And its still changing..Getting better and better!! Pretty cool..
 

sachem allison

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i was wondering if you were going to do some san mai. wooohhhhooooo!!! another challenge
 

HHH Knives

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Yea buddy! I keep pushing Jr. to stretch his skill set! And he delivers again and again! Im VERY proud of my boy!! :) I mean young man!

I have a feeling this wont be the last time we work with this far out material!! I already have a BOX of Rocks heading this way for the next round of OUT OF THIS WOLD DAMASCUS!!! Again Its a Wild story thats almost to good to be true. God just keeps blessing us and the work of our hands!!

Talked to Clay today, were trying to set up a day for him to come over to our shop and watch some of the progress. Maybe he can bring his Vid camera and get some live footage! :)
 

HHH Knives

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Another great day in the shop! Things are really coming together and this is looking like its gona work!! This was our first time working with this space stuff. Based off what I had heard, there is a HIGH risk of catastrophic failure!! lol So having it work out as well as it has to this point is a real blessing! I have a feeling this wont be the last time we use meteorite on our knives!

Today was only a half day in the shop. And we will be taking the rest of the week to move Randy Jr and his Girl.. Seems I am going to have new neighbors! Yep, Jr. and his girlfriend are moving in to the house right next door! Im very excited for him and proud that he is able to get his first house!! And that with his garage being almost the same size as mine, HHH Knives just doubled in shop space! Time to look at the CnC mill and a a roller mill and, and, and... lolol Ill add pic of his new house and you can see the red forge cart in front of the garage door.. that's my house! Welcome new neighbor! But along with everything else good, there's the dreaded move. So the rest of the week will be spent doing the moving shuffle!

Back to the far out rock from outer space! Jr managed to get two more welds. today.

first he welded the 2 pieces together then added a re-bar handle. I love these welding pics.. There so, electric! and awesome!!!!



First weld of the morning.. You can see the flux squirting out as he apply's 24 tons to the aprox. 2200* F billet the 2 pieces become one!!



adding flux to the billet this help stop the steel from oxidizing between the layers. which would cause a bad weld. Often times the problem wont be seen durring the forging process and will rear its ugly head later when your grinding the blade.. or during Heat treating..



Back into the forge! and draw the steel to repeat this process again for the next weld. :)




Jr grinds off the scale from forging and cut the billet again in half. and re stacked then forge welds them back together again. :) This is refining the material and making it better suited for out needs.. A awesome damascus blade!!!

 
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