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Irene S

Bones That Had Been Cleaned All Cracked

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I'm so frustrated. I did this to another bone and it came out fine (given it was a good month or so ago). I'm in the Las Vegas heat but after cleaning the bones of most of their issues I placed them in the garage to dry(15 hours maybe) (smell was not so awesome so they weren't coming in the house till I was done). Lucky me, they all cracked and split. What do I do? Can they be saved? I have a store wanted two more carvings... now I'll have to buy bone instead of being able to use the deer bone I have.

I'm also now petrified to clean anymore bone till I get this straightened out.

 

Any suggestions? Can they still be carved or fixed? It's splits going the long way. I don't know what to do. :(

 

Thanks,

 

Irene

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frist of all when bone is drying there is no smell all so you might have bouiled them too long i dont use deer bone also it just might be the way the bone was it happens try to use the split as part of the art like a cut line etc other than that i dont what to sugest you might see if you can use some of the other bone that not split. may sugest using a scalple and then boiling it in just water with a little salt and checking it every 10 mintutes and giveing it another scrap if needed then hanging on a cloths line .

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This deer bone has been smelly lol. Most of the smell has gone away, but while they were wet... it was unpleasant. I pulled this deer skeleton out of a creek about a year ago.

I started carving on it, it's holding up fine, one tiny little splinter came up.. but that's it. I was talking to my father, trying to figure out a way to band the bone. He suggested using cold weld bonding, has anyone tried that? I thought if I made a brace (plus it would just be a texture/change) that it would brace it even more.

 

Thank you for your suggestion!!! I very much appreciate it!

 

Here's the bone, I think you might be able to see the splint in the picture. I sketch a Gaboon viper inspired snake on it (though I've made many changes since this picture lol)

 

So you think that even with the split (especially if I can bind it) it'll still be okay!!! :)

post-3632-0-25307800-1369019433.png

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Deer bone is far more prone to split than any other I worked with.

How do you clean the bone, in the first place? There are a few discussions on cleaning techniques on this forum, have a look at them.

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Are we seeing the intact, whole bone rather than one that has had its marrow area cleaned? If it is the former, intact with its marrow still inside, two things come to mind: 1) the marrow will retain moisture if you have wetted it for cleaning, and upon drying, would set up a good chance for cracking I would imagine. Matter tends to shrink when drying and the first to dry does so around the moist area which when it shrinks last could cause stresses, and cracks possibly. 2) The marrow, if remaining in a sealed, intact bone, when wet would awaken the rotted material within and offer up its own smells and even if the bone has been cleaned, there may never be a way to remove the smell of decay from the entirety of the material.

 

Perhaps when hunting season commences in your area, you may have set up a network of requests from a hunting association or of friends who hunt deer. They may be willing to prepare their meat in such a way that preserves the bones that you would like to work with instead of cutting them along with their portions. Ask to have the saved bones frozen right away, and then you can prepare the carving material in the manners described on this forum in earlier topics.

 

I believe most bone carvers hollow out the bones in some fashion to remove as much of the tissues, fats and marrow as possible as they prepare the material for carving.

 

Janel

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Are we seeing the intact, whole bone rather than one that has had its marrow area cleaned? If it is the former, intact with its marrow still inside, two things come to mind: 1) the marrow will retain moisture if you have wetted it for cleaning, and upon drying, would set up a good chance for cracking I would imagine. Matter tends to shrink when drying and the first to dry does so around the moist area which when it shrinks last could cause stresses, and cracks possibly. 2) The marrow, if remaining in a sealed, intact bone, when wet would awaken the rotted material within and offer up its own smells and even if the bone has been cleaned, there may never be a way to remove the smell of decay from the entirety of the material.

 

Perhaps when hunting season commences in your area, you may have set up a network of requests from a hunting association or of friends who hunt deer. They may be willing to prepare their meat in such a way that preserves the bones that you would like to work with instead of cutting them along with their portions. Ask to have the saved bones frozen right away, and then you can prepare the carving material in the manners described on this forum in earlier topics.

 

I believe most bone carvers hollow out the bones in some fashion to remove as much of the tissues, fats and marrow as possible as they prepare the material for carving.

 

Janel

Okay, see, I have so much to learn! Nobody suggested that :) I went through and found a couple more small bones. So, if I drill a small hole that I can run a pipe cleaner or the like through it should have less of a chance of cracking.

 

I think with the other bone, I let it dry in the house and shaking the bone the water inside came out fast though the spongy end. I didn't do that this time around, the really bad smell I think came from one that didn't have a spongy end (it did have a yellow gunk pouring out through a natural hole.

 

From what I read last night and here, deer bone is just kind of fussy.

Thank you so much for your help!!!

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Deer bone is far more prone to split than any other I worked with.

How do you clean the bone, in the first place? There are a few discussions on cleaning techniques on this forum, have a look at them.

 

I was given instructions from a lady who works with bone to soak them in Dawn dish soap(hot water) for a few hours and scrub them, oh and oxyclean. That's the only thing I forgot to do with these, but they had only soaked for a few hours before they cracked (while drying in the garage).

 

At this point, I'm just practicing carving on them. At least it's still fine for practice lol.

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Irene,

 

An important thing to note is that most bone carvers (I believe) open the bones and remove the marrow, fat and tissues prior to soaking in the soap, or what ever cleaning method each applies to the material. If not removed, the fats will likely soak into and through the dense but porous bone, causing uneven blotching or discoloration, something that you may not appreciate in your overall vision for the finished piece.

 

Inside the found bones bones is organic material that has rotted and I don't want to think about that just now. Others who know about working with and preparing bone, what might you have to say about leaving the marrow in bone for carving?

 

Well okay, I'll think out loud about it. If the opening that wept yellow gunk is an entrance exit hole from the marrow area, then bugs can and will, or maybe, find their way in to the nutritious resource and do their thing. Imagine what the recipient of the carved marrow containing bones will go through trying to comprehend the addition of such critters in their houses.

 

Now for a bit of fantasy ala CSI (crime scene investigators) type television programs (which I don't watch)... there are insects that are deliberately used to consume and remove tissue from bones over a period of time ... is that a possible approach to cleaning bones of their marrow, fat and tissues prior to carving?

 

Janel

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lol janel your half right if the bones are buried in the ground the bug clean then as for in the sub and above ground not sure as for clean bone frist chop the ends off the pusgh a bottle brush down the center to clean them of like me i buy my beef bones already split down the middle and the ends removed for easy cleaning its up to you my i sugest reading the two bone carving books one by jim timmings the other by stpehn myhare or look on you tube on bone carvinng ther are a couple of video that show bone cleaning

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Irene,

 

An important thing to note is that most bone carvers (I believe) open the bones and remove the marrow, fat and tissues prior to soaking in the soap, or what ever cleaning method each applies to the material. If not removed, the fats will likely soak into and through the dense but porous bone, causing uneven blotching or discoloration, something that you may not appreciate in your overall vision for the finished piece.

 

Inside the found bones bones is organic material that has rotted and I don't want to think about that just now. Others who know about working with and preparing bone, what might you have to say about leaving the marrow in bone for carving?

 

Well okay, I'll think out loud about it. If the opening that wept yellow gunk is an entrance exit hole from the marrow area, then bugs can and will, or maybe, find their way in to the nutritious resource and do their thing. Imagine what the recipient of the carved marrow containing bones will go through trying to comprehend the addition of such critters in their houses.

 

Now for a bit of fantasy ala CSI (crime scene investigators) type television programs (which I don't watch)... there are insects that are deliberately used to consume and remove tissue from bones over a period of time ... is that a possible approach to cleaning bones of their marrow, fat and tissues prior to carving?

 

Janel

I really hate cutting the bones open (maybe a small hole on the one that had been perfectly sealed that I mentioned)

 

This is what was suggested to me by a lady who works with bones regarding the deer bones I had collected.:"Since there isn't much flesh left, I would just use cold water maceration. Basically just soak it in water to rehydrate and loosen the flesh. Then it can be rinsed off. You can throw some cheap enzyme laundry detergent in the water to help things along.-The detergent I use is the dollar store version of OxyClean. You don't want to use actual bleach to whiten the bones, because it damages the bone material. If you want to bleach it, get some hydrogen peroxide. You can buy stronger concentrations of H2O2 at beauty supply stores, or online. The stuff for cleaning wounds is only 3%, so it would take a lot of it to get any results."

personally, I love working with the marrow, if it's cleaned it it wonderful to paint and highlight (that's what I do with the human bone, it's extremely attractive and has a fantastic organic pattern)

 

It's also been mentioned to me here that deer bone is prone to splitting... hopefully I go to prepared bone (hoping to get some camel bone soon), less work and more carving time lol.

 

I think it would definitely be worth the attempt at letting nature clean the bone, leave it on an ant trail (my only worry now is the giant rat I saw in my yard yesterday... not cool lol) I think that's an excellent idea. Then using the oxyclean followed by injecting some high percentage peroxide into the marrow and soaking that for good 24 hours maybe. I saw a video of a taxidermist soaking bone in borax (cooking) for about three hours followed by several days of peroxide for whiting. Crap... that's what I didn't do, I didn't use the borax this time!!! Last time I had no smell or issues. I think that's what I did wrong. I forgot all about borax it till just now!

 

 

lol janel your half right if the bones are buried in the ground the bug clean then as for in the sub and above ground not sure as for clean bone frist chop the ends off the pusgh a bottle brush down the center to clean them of like me i buy my beef bones already split down the middle and the ends removed for easy cleaning its up to you my i sugest reading the two bone carving books one by jim timmings the other by stpehn myhare or look on you tube on bone carvinng ther are a couple of video that show bone cleaning

 

this is the video I followed with my other bones, ugh, wish I had remembered lol. https://www.youtube....95w1QhH&index=3

oh, he talks about working with the bone at the very end of the video.

 

 

Thank you all so much for taking the time to respond. I totally forgot about that video above, and forgot to use borax (which worked wonders on getting the unpleasant smell...) I think I'll write down a check list of steps for cleaning bone, that way I don't go through this again. I definitely like getting prepped bone so much nicer!

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I just found an article by a wildlife biologist on dealing with marrow. He said to inject it with peroxide for 30-60 minutes and let it sit in the sun for up to two days (for UV rays to kill any viruses). Sounds good to me :)

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Hi Irene,

 

Thank you for adding to your information on the process of whole bone preparation. I was unfamiliar with the term "cold water maceration" and when used as an internet search term various web sites that discuss such a practice appeared. Very interesting reading. I am glad that you are answering your own questions with more recollection and searching. I hope that you will keep us updated when you have successes with the processes.

 

Janel

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Hello Irene, well I have faced this problem of bones cracking aswell, very frustrating indeed!

i think that what causes bones to crack is soaking them too long, stressing them while cleaning, boling and freezing, remember these are natural products and not normally put through these efforts of cleaning,( no animal ever freezes or boils) indeed if we tried these techniques on any thing there would be problems.

What I do is cut the ends of of the bones as soon as I get them in my hands.

We get -40 below weather here and that is far colder tan your average deep freeze, so a really hard freeze causes them to crack like water in a jar, given that drop one into a pot of boiling water and you should hear the effects.

Next tak thenm out of the water and apply a that hard surface scraping and all in all you'll end up with what you might be getting.

The best thing to do for me is as little stress on the bones as possible, that means no boiling short soak times no extreme shifts in temperature and little stress during scraping.

I have placed cleaned bones in dry soap powder to take out excess odor and grease, but grease (the marrow) is my main objective to remove, after that I try and get rid of any arteries that drun through the bone into the marrow and the remove the pourous bone on the inside of the bone. I use a wire bottle type brush to get inside of the bone and clean it out, the excess tissues will crap away fairiny easy and when I have to slow down the process, because time is at a premium I place all THE BONES INTO THE FRIDGE TO SLOWW THE CLEANING OR STORAGE PROCESS DOWN.

AFTER I AND SATISFIED WITH THE FININSHED BONE I PUT IT BACK INTO COLD STORAGE AND TEHRE THEY STAY UNTIL I AM READY TO START CUTTING THEM . I decide the best way to cut them after I have decided on a design or project, several wekks or months in cold storage should slowly dry them and you can take them out and store them at room temps.

I hope this helps.

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