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Dan D'Silva





Joined: 28 Apr 2007

Posts: 161

PostPosted: Tue 18 Jun, 2019 12:29 pm    Post subject: Wide bone or bone-like grips         Reply with quote

Hey hello. I'm considering getting one of these:
https://www.atlantacutlery.com/companion-blade

For various reasons I'd like to give it bone grips. But all the commercially-prepped ones I've found max out at about 1-1/2 inches wide, whereas judging from a scaled photo it seems to me that the grips on this need to be at least 2 inches wide (if they're made in one piece, which I'd very much prefer). So I'm wondering if anyone knows either a) where I can get some unusually wide pieces of bone or b) what's the best substitute.

I'll consider ivory micarta if anyone can recommend it, but I've never seen it in person and online photos haven't convinced me that it looks quite the same. I'd also consider another synthetic material, or wood; anything that works, really.
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 3,311

PostPosted: Tue 18 Jun, 2019 3:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The easiest source is from cattle femur bones. Around 7 million of them are slaughtered in the US each year, so that gives you 28 million femurs to select from. Your nearest butcher will have plenty of them. Ask him to cut off the ends and split it for you before you take it home.

I leave my bones outside on an ant nest and let the busy critters clean them up. Then I spread them out in the sun to bleach and sterilize. Raw bone is far better than cooked bone because it is less brittle.

When cutting/sanding/working bone, make sure you wear a mask because the particles can damage your lungs.

Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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Matthew Amt




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

Posts: 1,353

PostPosted: Wed 19 Jun, 2019 6:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Start at a pet store, dig through the large dog chew bones. The plain white clean ones, not the gummy meaty ones or those with the tasty fillings. They will tend to be curved and twisty, so the trick is to find one or two with a nice flat side. But I'm not sure what width you might find.

Otherwise, Moscow Hide and Fur might have shoulder blades or something else larger and flat:

https://www.hideandfur.com/inventory/Skulls.html

And yes, DUST MASK!

Matthew
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Dan D'Silva





Joined: 28 Apr 2007

Posts: 161

PostPosted: Wed 19 Jun, 2019 9:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks. I'll start at the Pet Smart and move on to the grocery stores and farmers market. I've got a respirator (we used them in foundry to protect against stucco dust) so no worries there.

If real bone in the right size doesn't turn up, do you like any alternative materials?
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Matthew Amt




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

Posts: 1,353

PostPosted: Wed 19 Jun, 2019 10:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've only used bone or wood, plus I think one knife handle of antler. Long ago I heard that micarta was a pretty realistic substitute for ivory, but pretty sure I've heard other opinions since. Even if it's really good, I'd still have a little of a bad taste in my mouth for using it--it's *plastic*...

Really like to try boxwood some day, it's supposed to be dreamy to work with. But expensive!

Matthew
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Dan D'Silva





Joined: 28 Apr 2007

Posts: 161

PostPosted: Thu 20 Jun, 2019 5:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yeah... it's not that I want to use synthetic material, mostly I just want to find something that looks convincing if I can't get the real thing.

An art professor of mine also once mentioned substituting boxwood for bone. I remember from searches back then that it's hard to find in large pieces. My parents have a boxwood hedge that's more than 20 years old and still can't be more than a few inches thick at the root crowns. But maybe something will turn up.
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 3,311

PostPosted: Thu 20 Jun, 2019 9:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Planting in a hedge strangles the roots and prevents full growth. If you want full-sized plants, they need more space for root development.

I don't understand why you can't use cattle bones. I know that femurs are more than large enough for a weapon grip because I've used them myself. If you need a larger piece then use shoulder blades.

Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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Dan D'Silva





Joined: 28 Apr 2007

Posts: 161

PostPosted: Fri 21 Jun, 2019 2:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
I don't understand why you can't use cattle bones.

Maybe I can and maybe I can't. I haven't had a chance to check the local stores yet, and ordering online would be my second choice in this case because of the inability to examine pieces firsthand. Non-bone material is my third choice.
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Michael B.
Industry Professional



Location: Seattle, WA
Joined: 18 Oct 2007

Posts: 360

PostPosted: Tue 25 Jun, 2019 7:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'll pick up bone from butchers, that's your best and cheapest bet. Pet stores can work, but can be spotty and expensive. I've used solid moose antler in place of bone for a white handle before, but I have lots of access to it. Holly wood is very white with a fine texture that looks like bone at first glance, I love working with it, the good pure white stuff can be quite spendy though.
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Michael Bergstrom
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Dan D'Silva





Joined: 28 Apr 2007

Posts: 161

PostPosted: Wed 26 Jun, 2019 5:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I did wind up getting a prepared femur from Pet Valu last week. Not cheap, but judging by online prices, even two would be cheaper than a pair of boxwood or holly scales. Judging by the pieces I examined, it will be necessary to get two, because of the bone's shape. But I'm gonna see how I like cutting and shaping the first one before buying another.
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Oskar Gessler




Location: Germany
Joined: 29 Nov 2017

Posts: 24

PostPosted: Fri 28 Jun, 2019 10:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would write an e-mail to these chaps https://brisa.fi/horn-bone/moose-horn.html
give them the needed measurements ask if they have some antler for you.
Antler is basically bone and especially with moose antler, even the ´porous´ inner part of it is dense and hard as hell.
If you dont like the colors, you can give it one or two hydrogen peroxide 33% treatments and you will have some pretty white bonematerial.
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