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    cutting bone and working with it.

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    phuphuphnik
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    Workshop SavvyDid you see my tool collection?

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    cutting bone and working with it.

    Post by phuphuphnik on Thu Dec 10, 2015 4:23 pm

    I was given some horde femurs and scapula for covering a stock with, but before I charge in, are there any tips and tricks for cutting scales? I know the issues with dust and health, this is more of a best way to work it question. I want to cover a bow and do scrimshaw as seen on some Finnish bows. I don't have a lot of bone and I don't want to waste it.
    cheers,
    chriso

    c sitas
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    Re: cutting bone and working with it.

    Post by c sitas on Thu Dec 10, 2015 4:36 pm

    phuphupnik; I do know the slower you sand or grind it ,the less it smells. Put a piece on a power grinder and you'll catch what I mean.

    phuphuphnik
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    Re: cutting bone and working with it.

    Post by phuphuphnik on Thu Dec 10, 2015 5:21 pm

    I have worked premade scales before. I am starting with a leg bone, and need advice making the scales. I suspect cut the ends off, and slice it. I'm wondering if there are any tricks to it. I don't want to ruin poor Sancho's leg bone if I don't have to. bastard<----Sancho

    rolynd
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    Re: cutting bone and working with it.

    Post by rolynd on Sat Dec 12, 2015 12:14 pm

    Sone Time ago I was  heavily involved with bone carving, I have now moved to other hobbies but  some experience remains...
    I worked mostly with cow/oxen bones. Its like cutting flat plates from a tube, so not very efficient and wastes a lot of material. I never had to make large plates since I adapted the pendants to the curvature of the bone but from my experience the best bone for getting the largest flat plates from would be the shinbone, either front or back leg. only the front surface (thats the flat one) can be used for plates. this is at last one surface that is fairly flat and wide. All other leg bones are somewhat more curved and round, limiting  the size of obtainable flat plates greatly. With shinbones (No, 8, 14) I think 4cm,x0,5cmx15-17cm plates are possible. With all these bones the  thickness of material is greates in the center and ther gradually tapering  towards the end. . Most massive parts thickness is about 15-16mm you can get ,with 10mm on most bones as an average, then tapering to the ends.  Femur bones (No.11 ,hind leg) are the largest and have  the most consisten thickness throughout, frontal bone No18 is fairly useless for  obtaining plates since its convolutet in everywhich way and thickness tapers  fast towards the ends.  Once the spongy growth of interior bone material sets in the wall thickness falls quickly. Best to cut those ends off and discard them since its also a pita to get rid of the marrow trapped inside the sprongy material.  It will retain some and tha fatty content will seep out into the bone after processing.


    I obtained the bones from the local butcher for a small sum. These were fresh from slaughtering and to process them I did the following. first sawing off the ends with a hacksaw, preserving ontly te middle section. Then the marrow was removed using a long screwdriver. Scraping off residual sinew and flesh on the outside, does not have to be  100% clean, small traces will be removed on boiling. Steep them in cold water overnight. Important step, because it will leach out residual blood, if you boil them straight away blood will congeal and make spotty grey discoloration in some spots. The day after I boil all the bones in a large pot  for 1,5-2,5 hours  with a half cup of washing machine powder added.  This will at the same time  both degrease and bleach the bone. any residual sinew or flesh can be easily scraped off during/after the boil. dont overdo on the powder because too much will attack the  calcuim part of the bone. But doing it this way I never encountered any difficulties in terms of stability of the bone for carving afterwards.

    Here is some pictures :










    Most of My pendants are either sold or given as gifts but a few remain, from others I only have the conceptual drawings left. Well, I dont do this stuff anymore but it sure was fun in its days. Very Happy



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    kenh
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    Re: cutting bone and working with it.

    Post by kenh on Sat Dec 12, 2015 4:53 pm

    Nice tutorial, and GREAT work Rolynd!  I particularly like the Thor's Hammer pendant to the right of the lighter!

    c sitas
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    Re: cutting bone and working with it.

    Post by c sitas on Sun Dec 13, 2015 10:29 am

    Beautiful work Rolynd, you have a rare talent indeed.
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    OrienM
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    Re: cutting bone and working with it.

    Post by OrienM on Sat Dec 19, 2015 8:33 am

    Those are amazing! Love the triple-spiral pendant, especially...

    I used to work bone pretty frequently as a guitar repairman, and often cut my material from shinbones as described above. Not much I can add about working it, except a couple little tips: avoid letting the bone slabs overheat while grinding - excess heat weakens the material. If you find your material has lots of grease/oil in it (from the marrow being left inside during curing...it will be darker colored, grind poorly, and possibly smell funky), it can be soaked in white gas for a month or so to clean it.

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    Re: cutting bone and working with it.

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