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Saws for ivory and bone


toscano

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I am curious to see what kind of saws people use on bone and ivory.

I am particularly interested in handsaws and not so much on powertools, but all accounts are welcome.

 

I started using one of my japanese hardwood ryobas on bone and it cuts pretty well. I am not sure how kind the process is to the steel, but I intend to keep one saw dedicated to bone and ivory.

 

Thanks,

t

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I believe that I saw a hack saw, or perhaps a band saw, being used by a mammoth and fossil walrus ivory dealer some years ago in a photo. It is possible that water was used with the cutting process. These are vague memories, sorry. My saws are inadequate, made for cutting wood, but by the time I am ready to cut non-wood materials, I do not want to take the time to drive into town to find other wood saws. That does not say much for my ability to plan ahead, but they do get the job done, in time, with elbow grease. One saw is a Japanese style hardware store variety pull saw with fine teeth on one edge and medium teeth on the other, the other is a short cross cut hand saw. For the smallest cutting, I use a jewelers saw or coping saw, using various degrees of fineness for the blade, to match the work to be done.

 

See this page for old photos of a couple of the saws at work...

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I am curious to see what kind of saws people use on bone and ivory.

I am particularly interested in handsaws and not so much on powertools, but all accounts are welcome.

 

I started using one of my japanese hardwood ryobas on bone and it cuts pretty well. I am not sure how kind the process is to the steel, but I intend to keep one saw dedicated to bone and ivory.

 

Thanks,

t

 

I carve/cut a lot of bone, antler, and fossil ivory and I use a regular hand saw for larger pieces--a hack saw can also be used. Also use a regular band saw for smaller to medium sized pieces and jewelers saws for real small or delicate pieces. The problem with a hand saw or hack saw is holding the piece, but if you have something to hold the pieces steady there is no problem cutting. I don't think cutting either of these does much damage to the saw unless you try to force the cut, or push it through the band saw to quickly. Most fossil ivory isn't much harder than green ivory and in many cases isn't as hard. One of the main things is to hold the piece securely so it doesn't move and warp the saw blade.

 

Jim McNeil

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Janel and Jimmy,

 

thanks for the quick replies. As I stated previously I use a hardwood ryoba for bone and I am pretty happy with its performance (better than a couple of hacksaw blades I had used in the past) and it's reassuring to hear others using similar tools. A bandsaw would be great for this work, but space and money allow only handtools at this time.

 

cheers

-t

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I have not cut any Ivory but have cut bone and ebony wood. I have a Japanese saw a KIGOKORO that cuts most every thing, it cuts with a pull stroke. I cherish this saw it is 2 cutters one fine and one corase.

Just 2 or 3 weeks back I purchased from Lowes home center a Japanese style saw cuts on the pull, called a Bear. I have used this saw to cut some Ebony and it works very well. This saw sells for less than $20., the blade is very hard and very sharp. Ed

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  • 2 months later...
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I use a hand saw that belonged to my grandfather. The antler or ivory has to be held solid. I put heavy leather on my big old vise jaws . I have also put a hacksaw blade in so it cuts on the pull stroke.not the push stroke. Better controll this way. I have a jewlers saw with very fine teeth but don't use it often.

 

Bruce

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  • 3 weeks later...

For my ivory and my bone I use a plain old Irwin coping saw. Never done me wrong. The only complaint I have about it is the precision isn't as nice as I would like. Otherwise, it's cheap and easy. I use a cheap steel vice as well to hold the piece in place. I would love to get a band-saw or scroll-saw one day.... (Wishing away) heheh.

Good luck! Glad to hear you have had some success!

Bella

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I actually use Piano wire is made from carbon spring steel and is sold in diameters up to 1/4-inch. It is very strong and withstands abuse when used as a carving tools. it works very well and is relatively cheap to buy .

(**** As a safety note****) wear very good gloves to cut it when making your tools as it will cut you very fast before you know it .

 

Robert

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