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  #1  
Old 05-16-2017, 08:07 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Zebra bone and how good it is.

Jantz supply sells some nice looking zebra bone and I was thinking of acquiring one and cut it in half for the handles on 2 of my Damascus knives I made. Put some spacers in and sand the bone's end for a brass plate or possibly a pommel, it depends on the shape. I tend to sometimes let the knife and handle tell me what's the best look and use.

Has anyone here ever used Zebra bone and can you tell me if it's like bovine bone or denser like camel bone? I can't seem to find camel bone whole, but if I did I'm sure it's exorbitant. Camel is always slabbed for scales, but I'm making hidden tangs. The zebra bone is reasonably priced and Jantz shows pictures of the bone you are buying, so that's a plus.

Is the marrow dense or more open like bovine bone is? I'm just wondering if it needs to be stabilized or if just soaking it with some CA glue would be sufficient. Scales are one thing, but I've never used the whole bone for a handle. Like are they slippery and need checkering? Yes they are art knives and will be as beautiful as I can do, but I still make them to be used and do not want a failure if a buyer actually wants to have the coolest knife in hunting camp and actually skins a Bison or something.

As an added question Jantz sells many different African plains animal bones like impala, kudu, giraffe and wildebeest. So does anyone have experience with any of them? Any info would be helpful, especially on the Zebra.


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Old 05-16-2017, 08:27 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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I've used giraffe before. It was very solid. This was some kind of smaller bone from the leg, not the main leg bones as they would be 6" thick which is why they are always slabbed. Most likely, that's why most camel bone is also slabbed.

I don't think you need to worry about the density or whatever as they say it is filled with resin. From that, I'd guess that it did have a fair sized hollow originally. Anyway, it doesn't look like it would be especially slick, probably pretty nice stuff. It's cheap, go for it ...


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Old 05-16-2017, 08:31 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Thanks Ray. I want to avoid grinding it as much as possible as it stinks, even with a respirator I have to blow that stuff off my grinding cart outside. I slabbed out some beef shank bones and it taught me first of all to just buy bone as boiling and bleaching for hours isn't worth it. Jantz' bones are all dyed so I presume cured. But are they stabilized or need it? I didn't see where they said it's filled with resin.


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Old 05-17-2017, 07:03 AM
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They'll be at the Blade Show in a couple of weeks. You can close-up and personal them at the show. You are going to be there.....

I've approached the "slickness" in several different ways - texturing/carving, rawhide wraps, hempweave wraps, etc. Just depends on what I want the "look" to be. Think I tried some zebra several years ago but not sure. Was very dense but very brittle, as it had apparently been heat dried (cooked/baked) and stained. I prefer to use only raw bone these days so I can control the outcome.


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Old 05-17-2017, 07:51 AM
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All the zebra and giraffe bone that is available these days is fossilized to the best of my understanding. That's why it has all the colors in it, not from dye. Like ivory, fresh bone is not sold because it would encourage poachers.

When I looked at the Jantz listing for zebra the first bunch said it was resin filled but further down in the list there are some that don't say that. In any case, stabilizing shouldn't be necessary as they are already fossilized....


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Old 05-17-2017, 05:11 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Thanks guys. I didn't know they were fossilized. I noticed some of the other types like Kudu are stabilized and I just may go with that instead.
Also Carl I won't be going to the Blade show as I have too much on my plate with moving on June 22 and I can't spare the money at the moment.


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Last edited by jimmontg; 05-17-2017 at 05:14 PM.
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Old 05-18-2017, 06:50 AM
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Not arguing here Ray, but have worked with a lot of bone over the years. The bone I got was definitely not "fossilized". One could see the scorch marks and see dye penetration on a cross sectional cut. Of course I got this bone about 20-25 years ago and would not doubt things have gotten to that point about exports. Used to be able to buy ivory without issue now look at the situation.


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Old 05-18-2017, 07:48 AM
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'Fossilized' may not be the most accurate term for what they are selling, 'mineralized' might be better. The material works like bone, not stone. Of course, some of it may be dyed if they want to dye it but much of the colors come from the minerals the bone laid in for decades. At least, all that was true of the giraffe bone I used and I still have one piece of it, I think ....


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Old 05-18-2017, 10:04 AM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Well Ray the place that gets the stuff for Jantz does mention that zebra is fossilized, but also does say some other species are stabilized. I guess it should be ok. I can soak the marrow with some thin CA if needed, I have access to a low pressure tank, only about 120 lbs. but that's fine.
https://www.giraffebone.com/zebra-bone.html

As a side story, Pop's of Pop's Knife Supply told me his camel bone is probably water buffalo bone because the guy who sells it to him is a miserable cheat.LOL Made me laugh, he used a little more colorful language than that, but you certainly can't tell the difference between the camel bone or buffalo bone, both dense.


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Old 05-19-2017, 05:17 AM
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Yeah, Pop don't hold back on the opinion side of things........thing is he's almost always right.


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Old 05-22-2017, 08:42 AM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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The final research into the zebra bone sold by Jantz.

On the Girraffebone.com website if you go to the page about zebra bone it states that it is stabilized and dyed to color with "fossil" one of the most numerous colors. It is neither fossil or mineralized, it is stabilized dyed zebra bone and they do not say where it comes from. I imagine it's from big game hunting concessions and through nothing else to discourage poaching. There is plenty of hunting still left in Africa, most species are not endangered including elephants. It is habitats that are mostly endangered.


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Old 06-04-2017, 01:03 PM
Marriott Marriott is offline
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Let us know how it goes. I've never used zebra bone before but I'd love to give it a try.
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Old 06-04-2017, 01:40 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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I certainly will.


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art, blade, bone, brass, cheap, damascus, giraffe, glue, handles, hidden, hunting, ivory, knife, knives, made, make, making, pommel, resin, sand, scales, spacers, supply, whole bone, wildebeest


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