Cus­tom Bone and Steel Tools for Book Work­ing with Shanna Leino – Day 4

At the start of today’s class, I was determined to start yet another bone folder. I chose this thin piece of bone:

Thin piece of elk bone

After some filing, sawing, and sanding…

Bone folder carving in process

…and then a polish with steel wool.

Bone folder

I love it – it creates such a thin score line. And it feels amazing in my hand. The color variations in elk bone are amazing – this bone folder looks like it was soaked in gravy. Did I mention that I love it?

I took a look at my other three bone folders and decided to attack one of them with surface work. It wasn’t anything too complicated, just a bunch of dots. I like it better now.

Bone folder

Shanna then taught us how to make bone buttons.

Her first piece of advice:

Get as much work done as possible before separating it from the mother ship.

Translation: When you are working with a section of bone for your button, be sure to file, sand, and/or drill it before you

cut it off the rest of the bone. It’s much easier to work on a larger piece of bone.

Here’s the piece of bone I chose:

small piece of elk bone

I flattened the surface with progressively finer files. You mark the location of your holes with a pencil and use a Dremel for drilling them, using a high speed cutter (a.k.a. burr bits) bit with a small head.

small piece of flattened elk bone

Elk bone button

Next, using a Dremel, the holes are connected with a shallow channel where the thread will sit.

Elk bone button

Lastly, all sharp edges are sanded to soften them.

So what do you think? I'd love to know!

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