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Drying Bone

Peter H

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I read a lot of things about preparing and carving bones but I don't have much info on the drying process.

How long should I dry em? Can I speed up the process ? Will my bone carvings crack if I carve em wet and then let them dry after? ( I use cow bone I get from a butcher)

any experience? Thanks!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Peter,


Thank you for your post. What did you do to prepare the bone from the butcher?


Not adding heat while drying makes sense.


I agree, the forum community appears to be almost non-existent. I remain hopeful for improvements.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Peter,

A bone carver wannabe from Argentina here adding a few comments.

First, Remove all the blood, tissues and fat from the bones ( in my personal experience I rather use fresh bones, otherwise the blood when dries will leave a dark stain and if some fat is left it will, eventually, be absorbed and spread inside the bone making a "transparent" look alike stain)

As you and Janel very well said, do not apply heat to dry it (or it may crack!!!) (((I am not sure how the bone structure is changed but I can confirm that after years of barbecuing experience after heat the bones become brittle...))).

As regards as carving it "fresh" I can assure you that cow bone will not "crack" after being carved, shaped and polished.

What I usually do is to leave the bones dry in a cool place for a couple of days and then start carving, I don´t particularly let the bones "age" to be completely dried and I never had a problem with all the carving that I did so far over the past years.

Hope this helps and that my comments are clear. ;)



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Hey, thanks for the feedback. both of you. it helps :)

I just got some more bones today, yay :)

For preparation: I put them in simmering water to soften all the tissues and remove everything I can manually, ( I cook the stuff I scrape off and give it to my dog :P)

then I put the bones back into the warm water with some degreaser. the same stuff I use to wash the dishes. I change the water a few times if its oily.

then dry em for a few days and then I start carving.


Ive been carving but Im still just figuring stuff out but maybe Ill post some pics later...

Peace :)

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