More Scrimshaw

Yeah, wow doesn’t quite cover that! Not sure how you got the camel in there even with the crumb tray removed?


I love scrimshaw - especially the amazing Japanese style pieces.

I’d forgotten all about trying the GF for this - I remember it coming up a couple of years ago and thinking “ooh, that would be cool”.

But man, you’ve really gone to town here - this looks amazing - I bet they look even better in the flesh (so to speak) than in photos.

Thank you for the inspiration.


Off topic, but ever seen the egg bot? You could use it to draw the basic design on the egg and then carve manually.


Funny you mention The Egg Bot, I have one myself (haven’t used it in a little while though) but they do have a model they actually call the “Ostrich Egg Bot” for larger items.

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i’ve seen those… but still freehand onto the egg… easier to “change your mind” midstream…

NOT done on a GlowForge… :slight_smile:


evansd2 I’ve got a few bone pieces laying around, including a few skulls that I’ve been meaning to get to.

all my skulls are over 2" tall… wont fit under the laser :frowning:

If it’s close try removing the jaw. Raccoon skulls will fit. Turkey skulls barely fit.

Rat/mink no problem.

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hmmm… coyote, alligator, pig are what i have… will look into raccoon or opossum, then.

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Those look amazing.

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mounted 'em! (even though they’re not really finished) - just couldnt wait to see what they looked like!


Wow, really nice. I love the contrast.

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I am trying to do this very thing and was told by someone at Glowforge that this was too toxic a material to engrave and that it has long term health risks. Have you researched that? I would love to do this process but have refrained. Your results are exactly what I am wanting. I have tried mother of pearl as a substitute and it is a safer material.

bone dust and bone ash are definitely bad materials to inhale… (and egg dust from carving eggs as well)
so… think about adding a little calcium carbonate with water vapor in your lungs and you can make a lovely “plaster of paris” cast…

but… the glowforge has a (decent) exhaust system… and if you wear a mask while cleaning it every few months, i think you’d be ok (im not a doctor so i no way endorse or recommend ANYTHING)

i think it really depends on how MUCH you plan on doing… i think i inhale more fine particles of sawdust or lacquer paint from finishing cut WOOD pieces than any of the bone i’ve done (and dont plan on going into business making these items - im just experimenting)

anyway… hope that helps? (and can i see pics of your mother of pearl burns?)


found a good article on it, actually… that describes much better than i was trying to indicate:


I think the serious health problem lies in burning the bone with the laser. Shell at Glowforge said this is extremely toxic and the health problems don’t show up until later. She suggested the mother of pearl. I have a broken piece of MOP and hopefully going to experiment more next week. I will post when I have something good to show. My initial test was very promising but I don’t think it’s as elegant as the bone.
Thank you for this discussion. I make limited edition artisan jewelry and this technique is exactly what I want to do with the GF.

and… starting the 2nd set… the full sized 1911…



That eyeball alignment is spot on. Snapmarks?

i really need to figure out how to use snapmarks… but no… eyeballed the eyeball, as it were…

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Amazing work!
I did some scrimshaw many years ago (Elephant tusk discs, that’s how long ago) with an exacto knife washed with India ink.
You really leaned into the capability of the laser with those grips!

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thanks @PrintToLaser!

i’d done traditional too… on (i think) elephant or whale… something old a neighbor had… but man! the laser does all the “hard” work… leaving the detail work much easier to do… now i just gotta find time to finish them.

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