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Crossbows - Everything about Building, Modding, and Using your Crossbow Gear

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3 posters

    horn inlay and veneer

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    stuckinthemud1
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    horn inlay and veneer Empty horn inlay and veneer

    Post by stuckinthemud1 Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:54 pm

    I have been pondering much recently about the antler and buffalo horn inlays the medieval stock makers used and in particular the seemingly complex shoulder pieces around the nut-block. Anyone out there have any insights as to how these were achieved and would I be right in thinking casein would have been their adhesive of choice?
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    horn inlay and veneer Empty Re: horn inlay and veneer

    Post by Geezer Tue Apr 03, 2018 5:41 pm

    Glue for bone inlay?  I know they used hide glue and fish glue for horn/sinew prods, but casein glue is certainly a strong possibility.  The hide/fish glue is probably more water proof. 
    As for the bone inlays themselves, Holger Richter's "Die Hornbogen Armbrust" has photos of an ancient stock with its bone inlays removed. The inlets appear to be about 1/8 in. deep, which incidentally is about as thick as I've been able to buy camel-bone plaques online.  I know bone topped stocks usually have the bone inlet in the stock, with a bit of wood showing around it.  Tne easiest way to achieve that is to do the bone tope FIRST, before anything else is done.  That way you're less likely to blow out a narrow edge of wood surrounding the inlay.
    For fancy decorative inlays ln the side or bottom of the stock, those seem to be pretty thin... simetimes even made of parchment... yeah, that thin where strength isn't an issue.  Geezer.
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    Post by stuckinthemud1 Wed Apr 04, 2018 3:27 am

    Found the image in 'Die Hornbogen Armbrust', thanks Geezer, it is very enlightening. Wow those veneers are thin. Regarding the inlays along the spine of the stock, are they always bone? I had thought to use antler.
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    Post by Geezer Wed Apr 04, 2018 5:18 am

    Antler should be fine.  Geezer.
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    horn inlay and veneer Empty Re: horn inlay and veneer

    Post by Geezer Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:21 am

    I have also seen cow-horn for the table (top inlay) Geezer.
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    horn inlay and veneer Empty Re: horn inlay and veneer

    Post by OrienM Sat May 12, 2018 8:59 am

    Horn can be 'stir-fried' and bent easily while hot; I was amazed how floppy the material becomes after a short time in hot oil! It was relatively easy to shape my double-curved cheek pieces by hand, wearing gloves of course. A carved jig would also work very well.

    Bone and antler are both quite a bit more wear resistant and low-friction than horn, IMO. I tried using horn inlays as wear-plates on the soles of some of the hand planes I make, and it wore out rather quickly.

     I generally glue all these materials with '2-ton' epoxy...not authentic, but strong.
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    horn inlay and veneer Empty Re: horn inlay and veneer

    Post by stuckinthemud1 Thu May 24, 2018 12:05 pm

    OrienM wrote:Horn can be 'stir-fried' and bent easily while hot; I was amazed how floppy the material becomes after a short time in hot oil! It was relatively easy to shape my double-curved cheek pieces by hand, wearing gloves of course. A carved jig would also work very well.

    This sounds interesting, and I will give it a go in the very near future; presumably the oil is not too hot?  Any idea what temperature to aim for?  Also, I guess we are talking about vegetable oil here, not mineral? One last question, what thickness of veneer were you using - something about 1/8"?
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    horn inlay and veneer Empty Re: horn inlay and veneer

    Post by OrienM Thu May 24, 2018 8:44 pm

    Yes, the horn panels were about 1/8", maybe a  little thicker. I used vegetable oil, a low temperature, and 'cooked' each piece for maybe 30-40 seconds. The hot horn was soft and flexible, easy to shape. If overcooked it gets brittle; I broke a panel on my first try, and had to cut another.

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