how to Polish small ivory carvings????

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by PaulDiStefano, Apr 8, 2020.

  1. PaulDiStefano

    PaulDiStefano KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    531
    Nov 14, 2016
    Hello, I have been carving on this piece of ivory and made some flowers that are just a little bit smaller then a dime. They have some subtle detail i carved into them and I am looking for a way to polish it and make it shine without washing out the detail. I want a shiny buffed look and have seen super shiny small detailed carvings before but I have no idea how its done. Any ideas? I have tried small buffing wheels with pink no scratch but even that at a super slow speed with a dental rotary tool washes out some of the carved texture and shapes.

    I used small gravers to cut in some shapes and texture to the petals.

    this is the piece i'm working on below.
    IMG_0734.jpg
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2020
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  2. coldsteelburns

    coldsteelburns

    Aug 2, 2010
    Sorry, I can't help, but I just wanted to say that carving looks great!

    ~Paul
    My Youtube Channel
    ... (Some older vids of some of the older knives I made)
     
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  3. PaulDiStefano

    PaulDiStefano KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    531
    Nov 14, 2016
    Haha thanks Paul! I’m excited about how it’s coming
     
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  4. John mc c

    John mc c KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 23, 2018
    Carving looks great
    But should you be using ivory?
     
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  5. effenoam

    effenoam

    187
    Mar 19, 2013
    I use a buffing wheel made out of thin stacked disks on a dremel tool with white metal buffing compound to buff bone. Never worked with ivory though. I always carve deep so I dont lose any detail sanding and buffing.
     
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  6. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    You would normally polish the petals before adding the detail lines, but with care you should be OK, with maybe a little touch up.

    I polish carvings with a variety of soft Cratex wheels and tips using my flex shaft (a Dremel will work). For the final polishing I use a small chamois wheel (1/2" to 3/4").
    Use slow speeds and don't buff too hard.

    The trick to any polishing in ivory is to sand it VERY smooth before polishing. I usually take it to a minimum of 1000 grit, and often to 8000 grit. At that finish, you can just hand buff with a soft cloth. Use matchless white or any god fine grade white rouge to polish ivory.
     
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  7. PaulDiStefano

    PaulDiStefano KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    531
    Nov 14, 2016
    Mammoth ivory
     
  8. PaulDiStefano

    PaulDiStefano KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    531
    Nov 14, 2016
    I had it somewhat polished before I added the detail lines and textures even in the branches. But once I added the textures it completely got rid of any smooth surface. I’ll try those chamois wheels out. I’m having a hard time finding 1/2”. Where do you get yours.
     
  9. PaulDiStefano

    PaulDiStefano KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    531
    Nov 14, 2016
    I had tried that but can’t find a wheel small enough in diameter. They all seem to end up washing out the ends of the petal muchhhh faster then the inside up my the middle of the flower. That’s the hard to reach spot I can’t seem to polish evenly with the ends of the petal
     
  10. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 6, 2000
    You might try using rotary brushes first.
     
  11. PaulDiStefano

    PaulDiStefano KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    531
    Nov 14, 2016
    What type of brush?? Is it abrasive? Does it use a buffing compound?
     
  12. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 6, 2000
    Small circular nylon brushes for rotary tools. You charge them with compound.
    They are best used with slower speed. Dremels at full speed throw the compound off.
     
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  13. Grimy Outcome

    Grimy Outcome

    4
    Apr 10, 2020
    Improper post removed. No buying/selling in Shop Talk


    Post this request in The Exchange - Services Wanted.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 12, 2020
  14. scott kozub

    scott kozub Basic Member Basic Member

    672
    Jan 1, 2018
    Absolutely beautiful work. Toss up a pick when completed.
     
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  15. Steve Beckwith

    Steve Beckwith

    287
    May 29, 2004
    Try a sunshine cloth.
     
  16. PaulDiStefano

    PaulDiStefano KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    531
    Nov 14, 2016
    Ohh ok. I actually had no idea what they were good for. I’ve just been using it to brush the dust away haha. I’ll try that out. Thanks!!!
     
  17. PaulDiStefano

    PaulDiStefano KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    531
    Nov 14, 2016
    Thanks. I will for sure! I’ll make a post with it in the custom knife section when it’s all done
     
  18. PaulDiStefano

    PaulDiStefano KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    531
    Nov 14, 2016
    Oh ok. I’ll get some and check them out. Thanks for the suggestion.
     
  19. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 6, 2000
    All of the little bristle type rotary brushes are used with various compounds for polishing difficult-to-reach areas.
     
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  20. PaulDiStefano

    PaulDiStefano KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    531
    Nov 14, 2016
    Ohh I see. Ok thanks
     

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