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Andrew V

how do you de-grease bone?

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Hi Everyone.
I'm prepping a marrow bone for inlay work.  I have stripped it of meat but its quite heavily contaminated by grease.  Any tips on how to de-grease the bone? Currently its soaking in a strong sugar-soap solution.

Thanks, Andrew

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Although I have never degreased bone, I understand that it needs to be boiled for a long time and that it stinks the house out!!!

 

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There are methods for preparing bone in the archives.  Using the search function is unwieldy, but with enough patience the best suggestions will form a pattern with the shared information from over the years.  You might also try using a Search Engine like google, etc., mentioning The Carving Path, which would target the information in the forum as well.

In the archives there are many topics regarding the preparation of bone, and many other informational topics and posts about the selection and use of bones.

I found this one that might be helpful: https://www.thecarvingpath.net/topic/3123-bones-that-had-been-cleaned-all-cracked/?tab=comments#comment-25210  One takeaway from it is to not cook the bone, and read about the various degreasing agents.  Cooking might tend to force the fats into the bone, in my opinion.  

Good luck to your investigation, preparation and carving of the bone!

Janel

 

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Thanks Janel, I did as you suggested and put 'the carving path prepare bone' into a search engine and came up with several very useful threads

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Yay!  Phew, I am glad that it worked. 

Let us know how things progress with the bone preparation.

Janel

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Will do.  So far I have removed all the organic material and done a surface clean by soaking in sugar soap solution then band sawed the bone into 3 plates, they are back in sugar soap  until I can cut them to size and thickness when I will probably soak in acetone, though I could use lighter fluid, it depends which is easier to get hold of locally.

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What is sugar soap?

I think that acetone is the basic ingredient in finger-nail polish remover.

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Hi Janel, 

I didn't actually know what the active ingredient in sugar soap was, but it seems its washing soda, a sodium carbonate form of carbonic acid. It has been pretty effective as a second-stage degreaser but the bone will still need something stronger as a final step.  

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update

I found that the sugar soap wasn't working to deep-clean the bone, it remained translucent even after weeks of soaking, I guess the water wasn't penetrating deep into the bone so I dropped the inlays into a bottle of turpentine substitute and in only a few days the bone was completely degreased.

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