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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  The Cutting Edge (Moderator: St. George)  |  Topic: Working with Buffalo Horn 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Working with Buffalo Horn  (Read 10882 times)
1961MJS
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« on: January 26, 2014, 04:05:31 pm »


Hi

I'm working on a bunch of knives, and then sheathes for my old Scout Troop.  I bought a pair of Buffalo horn scales to put on a Russell Green River Butcher blade.  I had it down to the right shape and was going to put a little more shine on it with a felt buffing wheel and an early American (JC Penney) Dremel tool.  The felt sort of melted the horn. 

1.  Can I use a muslin wheel to polish horn?
2.  If no, how do you get a good polished surface on Buffalo Horn?
3.  On a side note, is Paper Micarta as easy to melt as the horn?

Thanks

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Camano Ridge
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« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2014, 05:28:37 pm »

When I work with Water Buffalo horn I sand to 800 grit then polish with green compound for metal using a cotton wheel. It takes a little bit of elbow grease but sanding is the most important part of preparing for polish. I use a some what floppy wheel. Do not press hard when polishing. Here is some finished horn using my method.


* buffalo horn kn ife 2.jpg (306.54 KB, 2000x1500 - viewed 443 times.)

* water buffalo horn 2.jpg (12.06 KB, 320x240 - viewed 381 times.)
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1961MJS
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« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2014, 06:01:08 pm »

Hi
Thanks, I'll use a muslin wheel, on a larger grinding wheel and not lean in so hard.  I'm in an apartment and only have a Dremel tool available right now.  I'll work on the scales when I get home.

Thanks again
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GunClick Rick
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« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2014, 10:45:21 pm »

One thing to note is buffalo horn is more hair than horn,like hair fibers and make sure whatever you do to wear eye and mouth prtection,don't ask me how i know,same with antler..
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May your lodges hold much tatanka~
1961MJS
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« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2014, 07:32:17 pm »

Hi
Thanks for the ideas.  I tried the horn, but it warped and wouldn't stay glued to the blade.  I ordered black canvas and black linen McCarty instead.  I'll use real bison leather for the sheath.  It's for Boy Scout and I think they'll like it just as well.

Later
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Camano Ridge
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« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2014, 07:54:34 pm »

I think you will be much happier with Micarta, it won't chip and does not get sliperu when wet like horn can.

I am surprised that the water buffalo horn warped on you. What type of glue did you use, did you also use screws or pins?
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GunClick Rick
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« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2014, 10:33:43 pm »

Water buffalo i don't know about,i was talkin bison..Awsome stuff Camano! I found this old bull skull at a yard sale for 25.00 the horns were peeled back and rough as an old cob,i rasped and filed and sanded,dyed them and put a semi gloss on them.It's what taught me to wear eye protection and a breather mask,felt like i had sand in my eyes for days and had a bit of a sore throat,wasn't fun.



This is the buffalo,i just used black shoe polish on it,but i wasn't about to mess with it becuase it was like hair fibers.

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GunClick Rick
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« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2014, 10:49:28 pm »

Hi
Thanks for the ideas.  I tried the horn, but it warped and wouldn't stay glued to the blade.  I ordered black canvas and black linen McCarty instead.  I'll use real bison leather for the sheath.  It's for Boy Scout and I think they'll like it just as well.

Later

What your posed to do is give them boys some horn and sand paper and tell them to shape and sand~ Cheesy That's what my mountain man friend does when he teaches at schools,i gave him a bear hide once and he had them all hand tan that booger in different sessions,it came out darn nice and i wanted it back,no go Grin
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May your lodges hold much tatanka~
1961MJS
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« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2014, 08:25:38 am »

I think you will be much happier with Micarta, it won't chip and does not get sliperu when wet like horn can.

I am surprised that the water buffalo horn warped on you. What type of glue did you use, did you also use screws or pins?

Hi

I used pins, and Locktite gel glue.  The Horn warped, I had it for say 4-5 months.  I won't try and use it until I get a garage so I can have a much larger belt sander. 

Later

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ChuckBurrows
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« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2014, 11:50:32 am »

Buffalo horn has always had a nasty rep for warping - most makers using it today get it pre-stabilized or have it stabilized...
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aka Nolan Sackett
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Cliff Fendley
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« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2015, 02:47:32 pm »

Working with some buffalo horn and made me think of this thread. I agree with what Chuck said but it doesn't even stabilize well either. I always warn customers wanting buffalo horn. It can shrink, crack, twist, warp, etc, etc.

I always tell customers to rub mineral oil on it from time to time to keep it from drying out and cracking. Treat it the same way you would ivory.

Work it the same way you work ivory, sharp belts and keep it cool, sand to at least 600, buff with muslin wheel with green or pink compound. If done right buffalo horn will shine like a black mirror.
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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  The Cutting Edge (Moderator: St. George)  |  Topic: Working with Buffalo Horn « previous next »
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