More Scrimshaw

ok… im not your average joe… i have weird hobbies, but as a traditional artist, i always want to figure out how to use new tools. I carve ostrich egg shells with a dental drill, but cant fit them under the laser. and ive done a lot of traditional scrimshaw… and had seen some postings in here of scrimshaw attempts.

messing around with a LOT of slate, and playing with depths to cut into draftboard and maple, i figured i could experiment with bone. i started with camelbone… cut and drilled (traditionally) to the size/shape of a grip for a smaller 1911. holy crap. after what i thought was horrendous burning/scorching over the surface, it “scrubbed off” (with a lot of elbow grease) to be something with a LOT of promise… it saves more than 95% of the carving process if i had to do this by hand!


and just a quick ink wash… and i’m all… “wow!” IMG_4390

now just gotta go back in with traditional tools and clean up, dig a little deeper, sand the tops and bottoms to accept a solid black coating… and i’d call it done!

… edit:
ok… im horribly impatient and just did a quick ink again to see what it might look like… now i gotta figure out what to put on the other grip!


This came out just gorgeous! Glad you persisted and got some great results. Is there a reason you can’t use masking?


Gorgeous is the word all right! (That’s making me want to try engraving on bone next.)
Beautiful job! :grinning:


masking as in an etching resist (like wax?) or masking like the adhesive paper to prevent flashback?

your stuff’s always awesome!

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Very nice!


I meant:

gotcha… well… i didnt use it because i wasnt going for a photographic representation that would be ruined by flashback/soot, but instead for more of a “3D engrave” - trying to “dig” as much into the material as i could to give depth and a place for the india ink to “stick”


those look fantastic. did you create the grips from camel bone yourself or did you start with something already cut/drilled?

i feel like i need to go look at our M&P and think about new grips…


wooooooooow thats saweeeet!


Yes, I see what you mean! hence the necessary scrubbing…

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Since we’re in BTM, care to share your settings?


you betcha!

for this burn (camelbone):
700 speed, 80% strength, and 450 lpi cooked it up nicely…

it really “charred” portions, but others (grey areas in design) came out almost blacker than the “charred/ashy” parts… and a bit “bubbly”
i had NO IDEA what i had until i scrubbed the whole thing down with a Mr. Clean magic eraser (pretty much destroying the synthetic sponge)

i would have used something with more grit, but thought that if there were any fine detail in there, i wanted to keep it… and NOT much water, because now the polished camelbone was completely porous and i didn’t want it to split. (because, you know, split happens…)

(i think a great go-to scrub is USUALLY that “orange goop” with pumice and a wet toothbrush (i use to clean wood) - but wood splits when too wet too…)


Those are beautiful, They have to look great mounted! Now I want to make new grips for my 1911. (they won’t be anything near yours but it looks like a fun project).

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How about a fairly firm nylon brush? Too rough?

I’ve got a few bone pieces laying around, including a few skulls that I’ve been meaning to get to. This has sparked my interest again.

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that might’ve worked… :thinking: just didnt have one…
toothbrush didnt do much…
the magic eraser and a lot of elbow grease did…

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Beautiful work! I didn’t even know engraving camel bone was a thing. Perhaps for the other handle unicorns or a rainbow? Just a thought,

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i bought these (blanks) on ebay… but have made others (knife handles) by hand… there’s a pool cue stick components site that has buffalo horn and camelbone that i’ve used in previous knife handles/traditional scrimshaw… - but im sure there are other places too…


um… yeah… this is gonna be very addictive…