Jump to content

Securing ivory


Rik Palm

Recommended Posts

Thought I'd pass this along, most probalby already knew this but I thought it worked really neat.

 

Last night I wanted to use a small piece of ivory for a knife and I didn't really want to have the pins showing so I drilled and tapped the ivory and it worked Great! I'm thinking it would work on delicate wood areas too!

 

I also recently bought some ivory from

David and was really pleased. He was able to cut me the size pieces I needed exactly. The link gives some tips on working with ivory.

 

 

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!! Can't wait for xmas to come for my mom, I made her a carved damascus cross necklace! (nope, I forgot to get a photo....darn)

 

 

Rik

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I ordered some ivory 'scrap' from him last year and was not disappointed by the service or range of useable pieces in the grab-bag.

The recent ginko nut ojime was from that order of ivory.

 

He also sent a certificate of origin for the ivory which comes in handy to give to purchasers of my work

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Rik,

 

I've found that ivory does about everything you might expect of a soft nonferrous metal like brass or bronze. I've glued, carved, sanded, dyed, oil soaked, burned, drilled, tapped, lathe turned, lathe cut threads and used ordinary hand dies to cut external threads for little ivory nuts and bolts. Great fun, and they look wonderful. As long as you select a solid piece of fossil ivory, it all works fine. Some fossil ivory and some parts of solid pieces can be a little, well, I'll call it punky, almost like rotted wood.

 

Where's the photo of the ivory knife, or are you just teasing?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd like to test how far you could push the ivory, I wonder if anyone has done any stress testing and the like. I'm just begining with it and at first I was be scared off using it for knife handles because of all the stories, but it carved really nicely and I was amazed at how strong the threads can be! I really had to twist hard to strip the threads out! on a 2/56 screw.

 

BTW: so far I don't like working with gold, hmmm I must be doing something wrong. I used a gold pin on my moms carved damascus cross I made for xmas and I had the toughest time with it. HA last night I was working on another knife and was making a special pin for it...... then all of a sudden it disappeared!! Really! I had my wife and son crawling all over the floor looking for it!! nope it didn't fall it disappeared. man..... this thing was almost an inch long, must of been majic gold!!!! I couldn't believe it.

 

Rik

 

 

hey Jim, you gotta come clean and tell us what you thought of the engraver with palm control!! I want to see the plate you made

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My trick is to turn the lights off, and use a flashlight held against the floor, to illuminate all that is raised above the surface of the floor. Light and shadow do much to help find the magical missing.

 

When the floor search occurs at my studio, I am usually looking for a piece of amber of 1mm diameter and 1.5mm in length. That disappears amongst the tiny wood bits from my carving and the sand from my shoes. The light makes the amber glow in a way that its company does not.

 

Best of luck,

 

Janel

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rik,

 

Here's a photo of a netsuke I made a few years back with a lot of small ivory parts, including both inside and outside threads. I have an antique woodworking plane that the netsuke is a scale copy of. Lots of fun (and challenge) to make. It's about 2 inches in length, hippo tooth ivory (still legal), boxwood and desert ironwood.

 

I've also turned tiny little needle-thin ivory pins using a little lathe trick I devised, where you take a pretty deep cut to final diameter as the very last thing. This keeps the ivory stiff enough to work well against the lathe cutting edge without flexing away from the tool like it would if you took a repetitive series of small cuts at a very small diameter of ivory. I've occasionally taken a cut that was too deep, causing the ivory to catch and jerk out of center in the lathe chuck, but almost never breaking. A good solid piece of ivory is remarkable strong, even in tiny diameters and thin sections. Of course, fossil ivories come in a range of very good to very bad, often with all the grades occurring in a single chunk.

post-11-1134760611.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If it’s an elephant tusk, it’s a difficult matter, to say the least. The United Nations CITES treaty prohibits traffic in a number of ivory species. I suggest you browse the US Fish and Wildlife Service web sites as to specific legality of selling endangered species parts. Specifically, I know there is a problem if you sell them across state lines and don't have the appropriate documentation as to the ivory being from pre-ban sources (pre 1989, if I recall correctly). Here are a few links to get you started:

 

US Fish and Wildlife Service Forensic Labs

US Fish and Wildlife Service Home Page

 

You can carve the ivory for yourself without any problems, but sales or even transportation across state boundaries are a potential problem, and across an international border is even more difficult. I love elephant and whale ivories, but the legal difficulties make me steer clear of them. If you're planning on acquiring more ivory in the future, may I suggest limiting yourself to fossil ivories (mammoth/mastodon and/or walrus tusk, pegs or jawbone) and antler. I even shy away these days from hippo tooth, which is still legal, just because if you should run afoul of Federal or state fish and game, they tend to "shoot" first and ask questions later. They are quick to confiscate and if your possession was legal, slow to return, if the work hasn't been pilfered in the interim.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...