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The "Brass Asp" Meteorite Cane!


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During the cold days of winter I did several little crafts projects. This one turned out to be a really sweet idea!

I found an old painter’s pole at the dump that was checked pretty badly but as sound and hard as a rock. I sanded it and put an oil finish on it. I then fitted a 1” copper coupling over the end of the pole and inserted a 1”X 1” cylindrical neo magnet inside the coupling on the other end. The magnet came with a 3/16 hole through the center so I could run a screw through the whole mess to secure it to the pole. And the brass “hoe” on the end is made from a .338 Lapua Mag. Cartridge (Garimpo just made a post about the longest sniper shot in history. That's the cartridge I used).

I thought the head looked sort of reptilian, and I thought about calling it “The Copperhead”. But then I whittled and painted the handle to made it look like a Western Diamondback. So I am calling my little meteorite cane the “Brass Asp”.

I love the action of the brass blade. You can pick up a little rock even if it is not magnetic. A twist of the wrist and it will snatch a pebble right up out of the hardpan. You can simply turn the blade over and see if it sticks to the magnet. And cleaning it is as easy as swatting it across your boot heel. The pole is long enough to have some weight behind your hand so it balances well while carrying it. And the magnet will grab and hold with amazing force. The copper and brass protect the magnet from chipping. If the pole breaks you can easily remove your magnet and fit a new pole inside the copper sleeve.

I thought it was a pretty neat idea and I bet that a lot of meteorite hunters will create their own variation on the theme.

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Yes you may post this on your site Johnno! Absolutely!

I saw a couple of people so far in Holbrook that had some sort of "claw" or "digger" connected to the magnet cane to loosen pebbles. I thought that it was a vast improvement over poking a specimen into the dirt with a blunt magnet to dislodge it. And you know we all are guilty of "poking" at black rocks stuck in the dried mud. This way you have a thin blade of soft metal getting under an edge and "flicking" it out of its hardpan nest gently to avoid damage and also preserving the impression for photographs if needed.

I swear after a few hours of using this cane you can reach out and pick someone's pocket with it and they would never know it! You can develop quite a bit of dexterity with that little brass blade and a twist of the wrist.

Also, I have been looking for small specks in an area as an indicator of the possibility of larger specimens. I noticed in Holbrook that there were literally thousands of pieces of fusion crust in the sands of the strewnfield. You could find this material stuck to your magnet almost immediately where it took a couple of hours or so to find an actual specimen. I have been applying this to "cold" areas by sampling the blowouts for magnetic particles of broken fusion crust. It has payed off. And in ant hills and those little "rips" where the wind concentrate the surface sands the little "hoe" just plows right through it. So the "Brass Asp" is being used to sample surface alluvium for meteoritic fragments that may indicate the presence of a strewn field.

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