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Thread: Working with ivory

  1. #11
    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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    SpikeC's Avatar
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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
    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
    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

    Availible Knives

  7. #17
    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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