Mammoth Ivory Knife

January 13, 2011

This idea crept into my skull and refused to go away until I did something with it. I had seen some bone knives I was rather enamored with, but haven’t really worked with bone thus far, where as I have done work with mammoth ivory and happened to have at least one piece that I thought would work.

One side was already smooth, probably cut off from another project. I buy all scrap, so everything I have is odd bits. The other side was pretty rough, but the piece was thick enough that I wasn’t too worried about it. Initial shaping and cleaning up the one side made it look definitely doable.

Clean Side

Rough Side

So I cleaned it up more and gave it a full blade shape. I did the work with different grinding wheels on my dremel, as well as various light grains of sand paper to smooth it out.

I eventually settled on leopard wood for the hilt, because I liked the look and I had a piece in my stash. I narrowed the end bit down to a narrower strip and dremeled down the piece of wood to the thickness and shape I wanted, cleaning it up with a file and then sandpaper. Some of the shaping is a bit rough. I would like to use a belt sander in the future to make this kind of thing a little smoother, though some of the roughness I like.

I settled it into the hilt with a little epoxy to help keep it stable, and drilled a hole through the wood and the blade to help lace it firmly in place. It is done with artificial sinew.

Finished rough side

Finished clean side


Sheath is pending. Playing with ideas for something that is at least partly open, so the blade is visible even when sheathed, since that’s the part that makes it interesting to me.

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