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Beware the bleach


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I have discovered that bleach can eat into the bone like acid

I personally prefer the natural oils in the bone because it differentiates it from resin and corian and also saves buying bleach

to get it white without bleach some people boil the bones 3 or 4 times.

I myself remove the marrow then boil once let it dry then carve

this is a combat knife I carved in bone if you look closely you can pik up the random patina of the natural oils.

In Stephen Myres book a skillbase of bonecarving (one of the most helpful books Ive ever read and one I highly reccomend) he mentions his preference of a clean bleached white bone to soak up the essence of body oils from whoevers wearing it I personally found I prefered to keep the natural oils of the animal because

it cant be man made , it pays homage to the life force of the animal from which it came and it can take years to regain the patina of oils which for me the impatient carver is to long lolz. ps this is only my personal opinion



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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi all


sorry for the late reply !


I used to cut my shapes with a hand held coping saw on a horizontal peice of ply with a chaael and a large hole drilled in it but now I use an electric scroll other tools I use are a rotary tool or dremel (you need the right dremel end pieces) a hand held orbital sander with grinding wheel and a sanding wheel

when I cut the cannon bones into slabs I prefer to use a high powered band saw but the orbital sander with a thin grinding disc or diamond blade also works. for polishing I use wet and dry sandpaper 200,400,600,800,1200 then I also have a bench grinder with a grinding wheel on 1 side and a buffing wheel on the otehr side the buffing wheel has to be white and I use that in conjunction with a white cake of polishing compound I will try to get some photos


As for the smell the odour comes from the flesh of the bone and not the bone itself once smoothed and polished the bone has no scent even if oils are still present after The smoothing and polishing compound has ben applied they seem to seal the pores and almost acts as a laquer protecting it from stains and scratches and odour


Kia ora



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Hey Maha. Sounds like you're getting a nice collection of tools there. There are a couple I use ALL the time that I noticed you never listed. Gravers and scrappers are an integral part of a carver's kit, as well as a collection of needle files. I also have a selection of miniature files for those tight spots. You can learn more about gravers in Stephen Myhre's book, but when you learn to use them, you will wonder how you carved without them. I also use a 120 grit paper which is good for shaping.


Take care bro



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Hey Maha.


I bought my first set of gravers from Ian in Whitianga. He can make you a set of three for around $120:




And i also got two nice gravers from Owen Mapp in Paraparaumu for I think $50 each:




I had a crack at making my own but drilling a cobolt steel drill bit, the width I wanted, into a handle. Glued the bit in the hole I drilled, then sharpened the steel to the shape I wanted. Have a read of Stephen Myhre's technique and maybe have a crack.


Good luck bro



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