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Thread: Working with ivory

  1. #11
    Senior Member Chifunda's Avatar
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    I use mineral oil to prevent drying out and cracking of elephant ivory pistol grips. Perhaps it might work as a coolant/lubricant when drilling?

  2. #12
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    Good suggestion, thanks!
    Spike C
    "The Buddha resides as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain."
    Pirsig

  3. #13


    Bill Burke's Avatar
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    just use a cobalt drill no need for carbide but you want one for drilling metal not wood. keep the rpms about a thousand or so and avoid building up too much heat. go slow so as to avoid needing any kind of coolant. 1/4 inch seems like a large hole for a tang slot. pm me if you want.

  4. #14
    Senior Member Chifunda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpikeC View Post
    BYW, this is hippo ivory.
    If I had known you wanted hippo ivory, I could have gotten you a deal.


  5. #15

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    Have you checked with your dentist Spike? <g>

  6. #16

    HHH Knives's Avatar
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    I just finished a knife with Hippo ivory. Feel free to call or PM I would be happy to give you the drill info.

    Inspired by God, Forged by Fire, Tempered by Water, Grounded by Earth, Guided by the spirit.. Randy Haas

    240mm Stainless Gyuto!!

  7. #17

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    I've looked at some ivory, but I'm kinda scared working with it. I ruin enough cheaper materials easily!! I'll stick to giraffe and camel bone for now I think! I am familiar with that and used to how it works. I have enough stuff that's a bear to work as it is.

    Plus I'm a little heavy handed; I set my work bench on fire a few times while hogging out blade profiles years ago!

  8. #18
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    Thanks for tip, Bill, the cobalt drill bit worked a charm. The reason that I use 1/4 inch for tang holes is that I have had trouble with bits wandering in endgrain. I used a 3/16 bit with the ivory and once again it drifted, so now I'm filing away with a 00 F. Dick needle file. It is a little slow going!
    Spike C
    "The Buddha resides as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain."
    Pirsig

  9. #19
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    sachem allison's Avatar
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    That is why I sent 2, just in case you needed a back up. I usually use my dremel and some burrs to drill ivory, if I have to go deep I use cobalt or those rotozip type drill bits( the ones for ceramic tile. they usually work well.
    I haven't lived the life I wanted, just the lives I needed too at the time.

  10. #20
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    Rotozip!! Why didn't I think of that? It would be way fast for going sideways than a needle file. Thanks, Son!
    Spike C
    "The Buddha resides as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain."
    Pirsig

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