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Bone Carving Q+A
tikigodz
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 12, 2009
Posts: 439
Posted: 2010-09-08 5:06 pm   Permalink

Just saved that to my files Thank you sooo much !.Always good to learn a new trade.

 
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Benzart
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 09, 2004
Posts: 10364
From: Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Posted: 2011-05-08 7:47 pm   Permalink

WOW,,, Been a LONG time since I saw the GMAN do some carving like this. GMAN, I Miss you!

Quote:

On 2007-03-03 13:35, GMAN wrote:
Duddy,

Perry asked me to put together a few pics and ideas here to get you going. Here's a try at a medium sized bone "how to" lesson with pics of pieces I made previously. I hope this helps. Here you go...

Get a piece of bone from a pet store or a butcher. Most of mine comes from a butcher and I clean it up myself using a wire brush, boiling water, 20 volume peroxide, and elbow grease. Peparing bone could be a whole thread in itself.

So, let's start. Now that you have your bone, think about the shape, side angles, and any flaws on the bone. Now work a piece out on paper, or on the bone as I do. If you made your drawing on paper, transfer it to the bone now. It will look something like this...



Ok, now you need to split the bone with a saw, leaving 1/2 to 1/3 of it left for your carving. I use a machining clamp and a jigsaw for this, but a band saw would be the tool of choice. Do it like this...





Ok, now we are on our way. Next, you need to rough out the shape according to your drawing. I use a scroll saw to do this....



As you can see in the pic above, I have also used a drill press to make small holes in the areas where I need to do open work. Once I rough out the main shape, I use the scroll saw to remove the material inside the open work areas.....





Once you have the bulk of the material removed we can start doing the relief carving. For this I use a Foredom flex shaft unit and a rotating handpiece. If you have a Dremel, this is where you would use it.

First I use a Typhoon bit to work on the back edges where the bone is angled and may be very thick. Watch yourself here, these suckers will really bite ya. This removes lots of materal FAST. I do not recommend using this bur for anything on the front side of the piece!



Now I start using different cutters and remove material giving the piece it's basic front relief/side profile. For areas such as legs and arms where large areas need to be reduced, I use the long cutter pictured below. While using this, I lay it flat and draw it toward me (kinda like using a pen knife). I have wrapped cloth around the tip so it doesn't bite me. I use a smaller "pineapple" cutter to work the edges around the faces, arms etc, where I need to use the tip and be precise.









Now I need to switch projects, as my pics ran out

So here we are at a similar stage in another piece....







Once we get most of the relief carving done on him, I give him a quick hit with a rough sanding drum and a medium sanding stone.



Now we are ready to use a bunch of smaller toolz. I generally use several sizes of bud burs, ball burs, diamond burs, and other cutters. Here you should have a mix of styles and sizes because it will be trial and error to find what works best for you. Here is some of what I use.....



a small bud....


a smaller bud....


Diamind burs in several shapes/sizes are good for cleaning up saw cuts and for working in tight areas....





For nice even detail lines, I like to use bud burs and lay them on their side. By doing this the tool with track straight and not leave a funcky, wiggly, uneven trail like a ball bur.







Once you get all the details in and all the cleanup diamond work completed, it's time to sand. I hand sand using 100, 150, and 220. Then I switch to my rotary handpiece and use impregnated plastic and rubber attachments. These are great for getting down into detailed areas and removing sharp edges.





After these, I often sand with 300 on up to 1,000, but very quickly.

Next, I use a polishing buff for a quick hit. You can use some super fine polishing compound/powder if you wanna get it any smoother.



All that is left now is to add some age/color to it if you want to. I like to use a lipton tea bag and some cold water to make a pigmented bath for the bone. The amount of color picked up by the bone depends on the strength of the solution, the degree of polish you put on the bone, and how long you leave it to soak. 12 hours should be sufficient for a real rich color. More highly polished bones will not take color as well. If you have a high polished piece and the tea isn't giving you the color you want, add a little cold coffee. Be sure to check it often as the coffee adds color quick.

After coloring, you can give it another hit with the polishing buff to lighten up the high areas which will age it a little more.







well, there you go. I hope this helps.

-Gman



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GMAN
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Joined: Jul 14, 2005
Posts: 2996
From: My Island
Posted: 2011-05-10 04:33 am   Permalink

I miss you too Ben.

-G


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skoko
Member

Joined: Feb 15, 2011
Posts: 8
Posted: 2011-05-27 07:14 am   Permalink

Hey guys i'm thinking of starting bone carving got my dremel and stuff
but i could only find pig hip bone or Femur. Will it work ?

And how do you prepare your bones for carving and make them so white


 
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Tamapoutini
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Joined: Aug 30, 2006
Posts: 1530
From: Aotearoa (New Zealand)
Posted: 2011-05-29 9:08 pm   Permalink

Hi Skoko. Its been a while since I did any bone carving but can safely say that any dense bone material is suitable for carving, its really only the crumblier porous material that isnt any good. Beef 'shanks' are the preferred bone simply for the fact that you get a decent thickness slab to work with.

Whitening is achieved by boiling with soap or bleach, although I have heard bleach can weaken the bone and is a shunned practice by the true boners. The whitening occurs due to the oils being washed out from the bone. If youre starting with meaty/marrowy bones it can be a smelly job, best done outdoors.. Maybe add a little aftershave to the brew?

Best of luck!

Quote:

On 2011-05-27 07:14, skoko wrote:
Hey guys i'm thinking of starting bone carving got my dremel and stuff
but i could only find pig hip bone or Femur. Will it work ?

And how do you prepare your bones for carving and make them so white


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skoko
Member

Joined: Feb 15, 2011
Posts: 8
Posted: 2011-05-29 11:29 pm   Permalink

Thank you very much for the answer.Because here (in Bulgaria) very few people eat beef it's next to impossible to find a bone unless you kill the cow yourself .On the other hand you can find tons of pig and sheep bone at the butchers.I'll try whit pig bone for now and tell you how it goes . 10x

 
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Will carve
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 06, 2011
Posts: 539
From: Ft. Lauderdale Fl.
Posted: 2011-05-30 04:29 am   Permalink

Benzart goes to a pet store & gets dog bones all bleached & disinfected & they are not expensive.

 
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crazy al
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 25, 2002
Posts: 1841
From: CA
Posted: 2011-05-30 10:45 am   Permalink

local bone carving demo by long time carver, and TC member Louie the Fish aka expt. Fly tier... tells that he gets his bone free from Long Bch CA pet-store bone distributor who loves fly fishing... moral of story...draw flies - make friends and bones.

 
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skoko
Member

Joined: Feb 15, 2011
Posts: 8
Posted: 2011-05-30 1:23 pm   Permalink

I have asked several pet stores if they sell real bones.And non of them do.And they all asked me if i need them for a ritual of some sort :/ i guess pet stores here aren't supplied well enough as yours are.I found a guy that sells camel bones but they are quite expensive.

 
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soupcan13
Member

Joined: May 18, 2011
Posts: 8
From: San Jose CA
Posted: 2011-05-31 7:49 pm   Permalink

Hey hey,

I've used cow leg and jaw bones, buffalo leg, and just got ahold of some elk antler, but if I had a choice I would go with the cow leg bone, it shapes well, is strong, and can hold a glass like polish if you hit it with some liquid abrasive.

Here's a link to a bone tiki I did awhile back,

http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=40075&forum=7

and if you click the link in my sig you can see some examples of hooks I have done out of bone. If I can help answer any questions about carving burs or sanding process ask away!

S
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ko main kai atu ko maru kai mai ka ngohengohe:

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skoko
Member

Joined: Feb 15, 2011
Posts: 8
Posted: 2011-06-01 11:50 am   Permalink

Hi guys I just did my first bone carving and its awesome:)!
It`s nothing special i made a small hei toki from pig bone i got from the butchers.Tell me what you think




Next i'll try a cow leg bone


 
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soupcan13
Member

Joined: May 18, 2011
Posts: 8
From: San Jose CA
Posted: 2011-06-01 11:55 am   Permalink

beautiful work! love the lashings, keep it up!

 
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skoko
Member

Joined: Feb 15, 2011
Posts: 8
Posted: 2011-06-03 10:21 pm   Permalink

Thank you.I have another question.Is there an alternative to the jewelers saw that i can use for the small cuts cuz i just can't find one :/ and exactly which part of the leg bone of a cow do you use a just cut the bone i have (cow femur bone) and it has only few millimetres of bone that i see as useful.I was going to make a hook but now it is going to be way way skinny.Help please which bone should i get

[ This Message was edited by: skoko 2011-06-04 00:03 ]


 
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skoko
Member

Joined: Feb 15, 2011
Posts: 8
Posted: 2011-07-01 11:17 pm   Permalink

Hi.Can someone make a tutorial on how to make a koru pendant.Or tell me how to make the spiral inside.I tried one whit a jewelers saw but it end up very squiggly.and how do you sand it afterwords.10x

 
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KAHAKA
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 03, 2003
Posts: 818
From: San Jose, CA
Posted: 2011-07-02 01:54 am   Permalink

Incredible work, Man. It's all about how to work the tools that're at your disposal. And then there's the whole artistic front of it all, which you clearly have too. Awesome job!!
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