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Norman McCormick





Joined: 17 Jan 2007

Posts: 117

PostPosted: Wed 17 Dec, 2008 10:44 am    Post subject: Bone Handle Manufacture ?         Reply with quote

Hi,
Can anybody point me in the right direction as to the best way to manufacture a bone handle for a knife/short sword both slab and one piece. I have a friendly local butcher willing to give me bone from cow/sheep/pig. I assume tight grain is preferable therefore which beast and which bone e.g. thigh, shin etc. would be best. How do you prepare the bone for use, boiling, baking ? Many thanks in advance for any and all replies.
Regards,
Norman.
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Sean Flynt
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Joined: 21 Aug 2003
Likes: 10 pages
Reading list: 13 books

Spotlight topics: 7
Posts: 5,900

PostPosted: Wed 17 Dec, 2008 11:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I can't help you with bone, but I can at least offer this:

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...ght=hollow

Knowledgeable folks chimed in with great advice about creating medieval hollow rivets for scale grips. You might find this helpful when you get past the preparation of the scales. There's also a thread here on how to create the metal shoulders one often finds on medieval knives.

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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G Ezell
Industry Professional



Location: North Alabama
Joined: 22 Dec 2003

Posts: 232

PostPosted: Wed 17 Dec, 2008 1:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I found this link awhile back:
http://www.bearmeadow.com/build/materials/html/bone-clean.html
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D. Austin
Industry Professional



Location: Melbourne, Australia
Joined: 20 Sep 2007

Posts: 208

PostPosted: Wed 17 Dec, 2008 9:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I can second G Ezell's suggestion of that web page. That's where I learnt to clean bone and following those instructions has worked well for me. I haven't tried it yet, but I've heard that ants do a good job of cleaning bones too. Alternatively you could try burying the bone for a few months and see what happens. If anyone has better advice I'd love to hear it as I'm still quite an amateur bone worker in my opinion.

Regarding the type of bone to use, it much depends on the application. Some bones are quite hollow and have not a lot of wall thickness which can be troublesome. The thigh bone from a cow is quite large and thick and is probably a good way to start your experimenting. Bones can be cut quite easily with a hacksaw and can be filed and sanded to shape.

Riveted scales are fairly self explanatory but a full piece grip may require something to fill the void inside the bone. These days epoxy is a great all round filler but it's not particularly historical. I can't say I know what was done historically, but I'd assume that a cleverly shaped piece of wood, driven into the void, would be sufficient. That's certainly what I'll try next time I have need for a whittle tang bone grip. Either that, or gently hammer some wooden wedges in either side of the tang.

Good luck with your efforts and please let us know how you go.

Darren.
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

Posts: 1,306

PostPosted: Thu 18 Dec, 2008 5:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ave!

There's a Yahoo group which should be very helpful,

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Historic-HornAntlerBone/

I know there are old discussions on cleaning bone, though I don't recall what the best methods were.

I just get dog chew bones (white, not flavored or filled). The small ones are great for Roman sword grips, and larger ones work for bigger projects. Cheap and easy.

http://www.larp.com/legioxx/gladhnts.html
http://www.larp.com/legioxx/gladius.html

http://www.larp.com/hoplite/BAweapons.html

These are my own sites and I HOPE they come up--I'm getting a "not found" message but I'm at work so maybe some connection has been blocked...

Anyway, that last link should show a bronze sword that I made a bone grip for.

I mostly use hand tools for working bone. A Dremel is a great thing, but the dust is entirely evil and it really stinks. WEAR A DUST MASK AT ALL TIMES. And have fun!

Matthew
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Norman McCormick





Joined: 17 Jan 2007

Posts: 117

PostPosted: Thu 18 Dec, 2008 9:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi,
Many thanks for the information and links. Can anyone tell me what 'white gas' is, it is not a term used here in the U.K. to my knowledge, is it perhaps what we call 'white spirit' which is usually used for oil based paint thinning and paint brush cleaning? Thanks again.
Regards,
Norman.
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Joel Minturn





Joined: 10 Dec 2007

Posts: 232

PostPosted: Thu 18 Dec, 2008 11:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

White gas is sold here in the states as Coleman fuel. Apperently their are some subtle differences between real White gas/Naptha and Coleman fuel. White gas/Naptha is sold as a lighter fluid as well.

White spirit is similiar product but sold as a solvent. So it should not be quite as flamable as white gas.
So i guess it depends on what you need to use it for.
Hopefully I am not totally wrong in this.
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Leo Todeschini
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Location: Oxford, UK
Joined: 12 Nov 2006

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Posts: 1,558

PostPosted: Thu 18 Dec, 2008 11:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am not sure about the density of different bones, but you tend to find more blood holes nearer the joints.

To clean it, get your bone and leave it where it will stay fairly dry and near an ants nest or just where you see a few, they will find it and leave it for a few months. When clean, boil it with some bleach to sterilise it and then it will be pretty safe to use. Always wear a mask when working it as the particulate is quite nasty.

For smaller scales buy dog bones and soak in water to remove the junk they stuff them with and then boil.

White spirit will make everything stink for months, I think coleman fuel is zippo/swan ligher fluid over here.

WD40 is great for cleaning down bone after working.

Tod

www.todsworkshop.com
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D. Austin
Industry Professional



Location: Melbourne, Australia
Joined: 20 Sep 2007

Posts: 208

PostPosted: Thu 18 Dec, 2008 11:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In Australia, white gas is called shellite. I don't know if that helps. It probably is what you referred to as white spirit.
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