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Starting from raw ivory


Mark

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Hi everyone. Sorry for the long absence, but it was due to illness. But as they say, I'm baaaaaack!!!Can anyone please guide me a bit on starting a new project in ivory? Specifically Making the first cuts to get the basic shape, what kind of saw/blade do you use to remove large amounts of material? I don't mean a step by step guide but just the type of tool used. Thanks to all.

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Hi Mark,

 

I carve mammoth ivory now and then, and use hand tools for the initial cuts. I don't have power tools so I don't know if a band saw would work too hot for such cutting.

 

I use a good and sharp, short (because I have that length in the studio) hand saw to cut the large piece from the tusk. The tusk is held in a bench vice, with wood pieces to protect it from the tight squeeze. The chunk is then placed in the vice... and cut to the next size. More intricate cuts are done with coping saws whose blades can cut in an arc when needed.

 

A hack saw may work, I have one but have not had occasion to cut the tusk again. Has anyone used a band saw or scroll saw for cutting ivory?

 

Janel

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Bandsaws work fine - except for hippo teeth with the enamel still on them - dulls the blade instantly, even throws sparks. Remove the enamel first. Obviously you want to be extremely careful with holding smaller ivory chunks to keep you fingers away from the blade. Also, note that a round piece will want to roll when it contacts the blade (don't ask me how I know this, duh!), so clamping in a wooden woodworking clamp can help, or gluing the ivory to a wood waste block with flat bottom. Plan ahead...

 

Scrollsaws work fine for thinner pieces already cut with a bandsaw (or handsaw).

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[quote name='tsterling' date='Apr 25 2008, 05:16 AM' post='12376']

Bandsaws work fine - except for hippo teeth with the enamel still on them - dulls the blade instantly, even throws sparks. Remove the enamel first. Obviously you want to be extremely careful with holding smaller ivory chunks to keep you fingers away from the blade. Also, note that a round piece will want to roll when it contacts the blade (don't ask me how I know this, duh!), so clamping in a wooden woodworking clamp can help, or gluing the ivory to a wood waste block with flat bottom. Plan ahead...

 

Completely agree here.....round objects and bandsaws are not a good combination .....loss of finger is just around the corner................I have the same problem at the moment, got an old bowls ball made of Lignum so may have to put a flat on one side before using the saw........

 

Used my bandsaw on a few occasions for ivory, not sure of the TPI but it's a fairly course blade , may be a very fine one would clog, dont know..........I also made the mistake of trying hippo on the saw.......head up.....

 

....good luck...........

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Hello Mark!

You can use bandsaw, but it can be used only for the bottom of sculpture, Yiu must always control the temperature of a mammoth piece, or You can burn it andget deep and dark brown color.

Then You can use big graver machine for the very rough shape, then take a middle graver machine for less rough work, always control the mark point (the highest places of sculpture). You great problem is to feel mammoth tusk and control the pressure of your tools! :unsure:

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