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Giant Clam Shell?


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Hey everyone,

I was wondering if anyone on here has any experience at working with giant clam shell?

I'm hoping that i might be able to use some as an ivory substitute in a reproduction of this Ruhlmann desk.


The most important info i'm after is what its like to cut and turn on a lathe, and how strong and stable it is once its finished, as i need it for knobs, escutcheons, and feet, and possibly for the dentil inlay around the top of the desk.


Also curious to know what sort of saw one would use to chop it up with? I'm some sort usually used for lapidary?




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Unfortunately even mammoth ivory tends to be difficult to get in australia, much less importing it from elsewhere.

Same goes for hippo ivory, girraffe bone, and just about every other animal sourced carving medium.


I'm wanting to use giant clam is it seems to be fairly hard and takes a good finish, and unlike true ivories...i don't need to go to the trouble of buying it, as i've already got a couple of large clam shells in my garage that i've been wanting to use for something for some time.

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Going by these pics of a sliced up clam shell it also appears to be a decent ivory substitute at least as far as overall density and lack of pores is concerned.


That said, i'm curious about possibly using moose antler, as a few photos i've seen of the sections close to the base of the antler seem to be relatively dense/not as porous as deer antler. So i'd be very eager to hear what anyone has to say on that too




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