The services we offer at MML are tailored to the material composition of each customer's sample taking into account several factors to ensure the cutting process goes smoothly and the resulting preparations meet expectations. Most of our services culminate in a fully prepared, polished, etched, preserved and mounted sample, however we also offer services of splitting thick meteorite slices, whether iron, stony-iron or stone.
In certain rare scenarios due to shock hardened metals and embedded diamonds straight cuts are not always guaranteed. Marlin works hard to maintain perfectly straight cuts and reports a 99% success rate.
The maximum size of a specimen that can be properly sliced by the Montana Meteorite Laboratory must have a surface to be cut no larger than 11 inches by 18 inches (27.9cm x 45.7cm). The length of the specimen is unlimited.
Pricing is based on several factors cut time being the most prevalent, but material costs are also taken into account. Meteorites, especially the irons, vary widely in their hardness and amount of inclusions. Therefore, the costs of preparation must take into account the type of saw blades used, the type and quantity of sandpaper and the additional chemicals for etching and stabilizing each slice. All our jobs require a certain knowledge of the material involved before we know how to approach costing, but we have done this enough we have a pretty good (and well tested) system to produce a cost estimate once we know what we are dealing with.
A Simple Pricing Guide
To figure a simple cost estimate calculate the cutting cost @ $35 per hour and assume 5% overhead for material costs, with a minimum charge of $50.00 for services.