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HHH Knives
09-29-2011, 06:11 PM
Most of you know I am a BURL junky and have a almost abnormal obsession for these beautiful pieces of wood!

But theres another material that really makes me happy and makes a amazing knife. Its Mammoth Ivory. These pieces you see me use on our knives are ancient fossils from 10s of thousands of years ago. These Giant animals roamed the earth some 50000 thousand years ago. Then at some point.. They became extinct.

The fossil and bones and stuff are found throughout the world. They even found 2 full skeletons here in my town a few years back when digging a foundation for a house. I didnt get any of that one, lol But you can bet if I could of I would of!

The ivory is often colored. This is from the minerals and stuff around the animals when they fall. Thousands of years later the Ivory soaked up these minerals changing the color.. The colors in the Ivory can range from almost pure white to tan or browns.. With the outer part, often referred to as Bark. The Bark can be any number of colors.. But can range from Black to tan and gold and every color hue in between. Its really quite unique and amazing stuff! Some of the most beautiful and rare colors are would probably be Blue and Green.. But they all are quite cool in my opinion!

Every once in a while I score something special.. This ivory just arrived at my place yesterday!! Im Stoked. Its some of the finest quality mammoth tusk I have ever seen. Super solid and almost white to cream color insides. With the outer bark a nice brown and golden tan color.. Its very solid with great character highs and lows. similar to stag horn. these are called fissures I think.
The material is very stable and dense and the solid insides part, polish like glass. Where the outsides often are left smooth and buffed but with as much of the color and texture as possible!! I have not made a kitchen knife yet with a ivory handle and hope to at some point.. This piece should make as many as 8 sets of knife scales and many smaller cut off pieces to use as spacers and end caps etc. :)

I guess Thats about enough of my babbling!! Thanks for looking and if anyone has any comments or questions, Ill do my best to answer.

Here are some pics of that chunk I just scored. Its over 6" long and is about 5" across and 2" thick..

http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=1826&d=1317333927

http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=1823&d=1317333910

http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=1824&d=1317333917

http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=1825&d=1317333922

mr drinky
09-29-2011, 06:43 PM
Very interesting chunck of fossil there. I have a fossil walrus ivory handled knife. It is beautiful and buffs up nicely, but it also formed a little crack :( Dave has it right now.

k.

l r harner
09-29-2011, 06:46 PM
looks liek folder scales and 3 full WA handles

HHH Knives
09-29-2011, 07:35 PM
K, Ivory can be finicky. and will develop cracks if its overheated when sanding it.. At least thats what I have learned. :) So far I have only made one knife with walrus Ivory and didnt have any problems. Also drastic changes in humidity and heat can cause it to do some funny stuff. Similar to wood in that respect. It is also similar to wood in that it needs to be cured and allowed to dry and find its happy place, B4 you use it for things like knife handles or pens etc.

Butch, I agree on the scales. But so far I have not tried Wa handles.. But one day soon. I hope to give it a try. I was actually thinking I may first attempt a Delbert style Wa handle.

sachem allison
09-29-2011, 10:07 PM
randy, somewhere probably with my Watanabes I have two full walrus tusks sitting in a box in California. I'll see if I can convince the old man to find them and maybe we can see what comes of it. I was a staff paleontologist in a past career for a company in California. found a lot of cool stuff over the years. kept some, misplaced some

sachem allison
09-29-2011, 10:08 PM
i also have a good source for legally culled hippo ivory from South Africas wildlife management program.

HHH Knives
09-29-2011, 10:18 PM
randy, somewhere probably with my Watanabes I have two full walrus tusks sitting in a box in California. I'll see if I can convince the old man to find them and maybe we can see what comes of it. I was a staff paleontologist in a past career for a company in California. found a lot of cool stuff over the years. kept some, misplaced some

That sounds great! I have used walrus ivory on a few knives, Its always awesome looking! Its much different them Mammoth. The core is almost textured and has a cool look.
If you get them Im sure we can come up with something AWESOME!!

HHH Knives
09-29-2011, 10:34 PM
Paleontology (pronounced /ˌpælɪɒnˈtɒlədʒi/; British: palaeontology)[note 1] is the study of prehistoric life, including organisms' evolution and interactions with each other and their environments (their paleoecology). As a "historical science" it tries to explain causes rather than conduct experiments to observe effects. Paleontological observations have been documented as far back as the 5th century BC. The science became established in the 18th century as a result of Georges Cuvier's work on comparative anatomy, and developed rapidly in the 19th century. Fossils found in China since the 1990s have provided new information about the earliest evolution of animals, early fish, dinosaurs and the evolution of birds and mammals. Paleontology lies on the border between biology and geology, and shares with archaeology a border that is difficult to define. It now uses techniques drawn from a wide range of sciences, including biochemistry, mathematics and engineering. As knowledge has increased, paleontology has developed specialized sub-divisions, some of which focus on different types of fossil organisms while others study ecology and environmental history, such as ancient climates.

Wow Son, Thats awesome.. I had to Google it!! We gota talk!

sachem allison
09-30-2011, 02:19 AM
the short of it was I dug up fossils for a year and lugged alot of tools in hot scorching weather for miles.

ecchef
09-30-2011, 05:45 AM
Like hearts of palm...with bark. :D

Burl Source
09-30-2011, 01:05 PM
Very nice texture on the bark. Kind of like stag.
Hopefully you will be able to keep natural instead of grinding away.
Just my opinion. Great score.

At my first knife show we were next to a guy who specialized in fossil Ivory.
We made friends and now we see him at every show.
He figured out early on that my wife has a weak spot for ivory.
I probably don't need to say more.

HHH Knives
09-30-2011, 03:14 PM
Mark, Yea, When I process this, I will work to get as much usable bark. Although I love the solid white or cream core pieces. Especially when its as solid as this stuff. Yet its the bark that makes some of the coolest handles in my opinion! Normally I do try to keep as much of the natural bark on the handles.. :)

So your Mrs likes Ivory, Possibly we can work out something..:happy2:

jmforge
10-06-2011, 01:07 AM
Go for the round "tusks" I hear tell that the enamel on the big curved teeth can flat tear up some saw blades.
i also have a good source for legally culled hippo ivory from South Africas wildlife management program.

sachem allison
10-06-2011, 03:35 AM
Go for the round "tusks" I hear tell that the enamel on the big curved teeth can flat tear up some saw blades.
yeah that hippo ivory will actually spark bandsaw blades it's that hard.

HHH Knives
10-12-2011, 04:29 PM
Yep, Cutting the stuff can really destroy a otherwise perfectly good band saw blade!! :flush: