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Bone handles


Daniel Hamilton

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Hello, I had a question about a bone handle I'm working on. I took on the project of a viking style of knife and have a brass-antler-wood-bone-brass sandwich going on, that I'm going to carve some designs into. The only antler I have is a bit too big for the handle and I have to sand it down. I was just wondering how far I can go, and if I can go into the slightly porous section without completely trashing the handle. Thanks.

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Sand from the inside out, some antlers/bone are sneakily thin in places... For the most part, though, you can judge the general thickness of workable material looking at the aide of the material (if it's a cutoff piece). Also, as dan said, you better fill the pithy stuff with somethin. I use that bit against the tang of my blades and use waaaaay too much resin to make sure it gets all up in there. Also also, remeber your respirator... Bone dust will mess you up

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I made an elk antler handled full tang skinner about 10 years ago. You can see it here.

As you can see, the pith is exposed and there has been no trouble with the handle material on this knife that I know of. We actually broke it out and used it this summer. All I did was to let Danish oil drip through the pith and dry between applications. Probably about 6 of them.

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