Further experiments with scrimshaw

I did some more experiments with trying to laser scrimshaw a piece of antler today. First I did a coating of preservation wax, then just did an etch again.

which looked quite nice (I got better focus this time compared to my last test) and had great contrast. I then gave it another coat of preservation wax to try and trap the burned residue in the relief. This took a little of it out and reduced the contrast just a bit.
I want to see how well it stands up to wear still, but pretty happy with it. Never one to stop experimenting I did a second one below the first. This one I tried applying ink to, but it still seeped into the antler so I cleaned it up a bit and sanded it lightly and tried encaustic paint which is more of a wax. First I rubbed it over the etch to get it into the relief grooves, then tried a heat gun to melt it and wipe it off. That didn’t do well either.

So, the wax, then etch, then wax again is so far the best I’ve found. I may try some other waxes and seals to see if there are ones that work even better than what I already have. Stay tuned :slight_smile:


Oh man, this is awesome! Scrimshaw has been on my “to-do” list from day one. I don’t have access to a lot of good material to try it on though. After seeing how yours turned out, I’m really going to start looking for some. Is “preservation wax” a general term I can search or any recommendations on where/what to use?


That top one looks like the real thing. :grinning:

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What about wax, etch, wax, paint/ink? Maybe the second coat of wax would keep the stain from seeping?
In any case, the wax, etch, wax sample looks pretty darn good!


Here is the wax I was using. https://www.amazon.com/Renaissance-Wax-PCRW2-200ml/dp/B0012S1XBO/
it smells like shoe polish, but seems decent. I may try some carnauba wax too.


Looks great!