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Help Carving Mammoth Tusk

Deniz Hil

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Hi Deniz,

Nice material to work. 

I use wood saws, sharp and thin blades or you waist material. You can use band saws  but the blades tend to be thicker and you will eat more material up which yoiu dont want to do.

You can shape it up on carborundum wheel though  belts would be better ( keep wet or you will fill the room with dust not to mention  your lungs. You should be able to shape simple shapes with this alone. Finish by hand with emery papers and polish on felt with Linde A.

If you want to take it further and carve use a pendant drill with  steel carving burrs and blaze away.

Good luck



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  • 3 weeks later...

I apologize for being so late to respond, I have been recovering from a broken wrist and surgery.

Power tools can be useful but at most speeds can generate heat from friction, causing the material to burn.  Take care with capturing the dust generated as well.  There are several ideas, from simple to elaborate, for dust capture systems posted in earlier years here on the forum, which can be found using the SEARCH option.  

I would not use water while cutting or working tusk, fearing cracking upon drying.  If others have used this method successfully, it is outside of my own experience.  Water for shell working yes, tusk and bone maybe not.

My history with carving I have preferred hand tools for most of the work after the roughing out with burrs using a micro grinder, for the development of careful shaping and detail work.  There are discussions on the forum about preferred tools that we have all made for our chosen use, since there has been a lack of availability for specific use small tools commercially.  

SEARCH and learn a lot from the wealth of information waiting to be discovered here on The Carving Path forum.


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