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Bison horn


#1

Happy Day’s, Can any one out there tell me a good method for working
and especially polishing bison horn or any horn for that matter. The
problem is putting more scratches into the horn than what I’ve been
taking out. One note of interest is that horn is very simalar to
working amber,using high speed tools burns the material and will gum
up drill bits,so I’ve tried to work it slowly and cool as possible,
the polishing is the diffacult part. HELP ME PLEASE! TP.


#2

Tom,

Try smoothing the parts to be polished with grit paper down to about
400 and then go over it again with a Scotch pad or two.

To polish, use ZAM on a cotton muslin stitched wheel. Keep the wheel
well loaded with ZAM and use a light touch. Provided you do not use
too much pressure, it should not burn. I prefer a high speed (3450RPM)
but slower speeds work as well. I use this specifically on black
coral but have also used it on horn, shells, bone and other protein or
calcacious materials. Its also great on turquoise, chrysocolla, and
other soft stones.

Don in SOFL, a sad but resolute American! @coralnut


#3

Tom, I have made items of antler, cow horn, turtle shell and bear
claws and have always polished them the same way. Sand with
progressively finer wet or dry paper. I usually start with 320 grit,
then 400 and 600, then buff with tripoli on muslin and finally with
fabuluster on leather.

                                                            Jerry in Kodiak

#4

Living in Wyoming, USA, we come across a lot of natural materials
that we use. These include antlers, elk ivory (teeth), horns, claws,
fossil ivory and bone. Some materials can be sanded, and is necessary
to get a good surface for engraving or scrimshaw. Use wet-dry
sandpaper or those nail finishing bars from a beauty supply place. Use
fine grits with plenty of water, but don’t get the material you’re
working on too saturated, or else it will be too soft to sand
effectively (speaking of horns and claws). On these softer materials,
often it’s best not to remove too much material, and to only get by
with what will smooth the surface.

For polishing, I use fine grit Cratex points, judiciously. For
carving, use aggressive cross-cut burs, like Krauses. Horns and claws,
being chitinaceous material rather than ivory, you can only carve
shallowly. For ivory, I like to use White Diamond on a soft muslin
buff for the initial polish, followed by Fabulustre on a loose muslin
buff. For horns and claws, only Fabulustre on a loose muslin buff,
followed by a compound for plastic on a loose muslin buff.

Always wear your respirators when working with natural materials.
Hope it helps. P.S. No, I don’t kill the animals. The parts are brought
to me by hunters and Native Americans. I make the hunters show me a
current stamped license. I also have a kid who works for the Forest
Service and does genetic studies on bears for a university. No flak,
please?


#5

tom,

Have you tried “Zam”? It works with resein and doesn’t heat when you
use it. Works great on plastics as well.

Chris
www.chrisslaterstudios.com


#6
Happy Day's, Can any one out there tell me a good method for working
and especially polishing bison horn or any horn for that matter. The
problem is putting more scratches into the horn than what I've been
taking out. One note of interest is that horn is very simalar to
working amber,using high speed tools burns the material and will gum
up drill bits,so I've tried to work it slowly and cool as possible,
the polishing is the diffacult part.

Typically I take horn material through various grades of abrasive,
followed by tripoli and red rouge (sometimes Zam) on very soft buffs.
Use light pressure. If you force it, the strands that make up the
grain will lift out of the surface leaving what looks to be
scratches. Heat makes horn material delaminate.

Ron Charlotte – Gainesville, FL
@Ron_Charlotte1 OR afn03234@afn.org