Dealing with bone

Muzzleloading Forum

Help Support Muzzleloading Forum:

Bushfire

🇦🇺 Australia
Joined
Jun 29, 2020
Messages
433
Reaction score
829
Location
Australia
Hi all,

I'm wanting to have a crack at making a bone handled knife.

I'm at the very beginner point of beginner knife making and still using pre cut knife blanks. Want to focus on getting handle making and shaping down pat. I'm buying another 3 blades, one will be a hideous orange mircata, one a redgum handle and I'd like to try bone.

I can readily access fresh bone, but I have no idea if thats ok to use or if it needs to be aged. Does fresh bone shrink or warp? For fresh bone what process do I need to follow in order to have it ready for making scales?

I can also pick up old bone pretty easily, but is that better or worse than fresh?

Sorry for the real 101 questions, I just have no idea. My only custom knife to date was a Christmas gift and is one cow bone. It's quite a nice finish that has grown on me over time.

Thank you
 

Pietro

50 Cal.
Joined
Sep 15, 2020
Messages
1,398
Reaction score
1,798
Bone handles are best "in the white" and left to age to a natural patina - although it can be stained or painted, similarly to wood.

Like the blades you're currently building, pre-cut bone handle slabs are also available - but be wary of the available lengths, so you can match your blade's tang length(s)

The white-handled knives below are of bone

ANgvvX6m.jpg
D9FqruSm.jpg
 

Stykbow

45 Cal.
Joined
Aug 2, 2021
Messages
619
Reaction score
1,127
I’ve made a few out of bone. I always cut off one end, boiled it, and dug the marrow out with a wire. Then I let it dry for several months. It will shrink/crack, at least the way I did it. I always made hidden tang knives from bone. Never used it for scales.
 
Joined
Nov 26, 2017
Messages
439
Reaction score
608
Location
Northwest Arkansas
If you know any farmers, most will have bones laying around somewhere on their place. I look for the big leg bones and saw them up as flat as possible with a bandsaw or hand saw and finish on a belt sander. Those knives above look awesome, by the way, French!! You need one good flat side and you can shape the other like you want it. Whole deer leg bones look really good for a handle, too, and less work if you want to go that route. I find them bleached out and pick them up while out squirrel hunting. Any bone will stink up your shop to the point where a sulphur match won't help if you use power tools, fyi!!🙂
 

foxm1754

36 Cl.
Joined
Apr 8, 2016
Messages
53
Reaction score
28
Please consider taking precautions to prevent inhalation hazards with bone, antler, and exotic woods. Exposure can cause short and long term adverse effects. Protect yourself and others in proximity to your work area.
 
Top