This is a Maori hook I carved from cow bone. Carving bone is a pretty slow process...I carved this over the course of two days.
Carving a personal 'totem' like this is kind of like a journey. It's a very personal experience...
After all the time and hard work invested, and holding something so pure and beautiful... something that you carved, is an experience everyone should have (but so few do).
Before you carve your Hook, I recommend reading up on Maori culture. It's very fascinating and helps give you the inspiration you'll need for the 'journey' ahead.
Step 1: Pattern
When picking a cow bone to carve, make sure it is white as paper. If it is in any way translucent or yellow, it contains grease. Grease will wreck your carving! Do not carve greasy bone!
You can get bone from PetsMart. It's in the form of cleaned bone dog toys (the ones made of REAL cow bone). You may even have a bone in your yard, dropped by some else's dog (or your own!).
From here on out, safety glasses are a must!
Step 2: Rough Carving
My blade is too wide to cut out the middle part, so I'll remove that with a jewelers saw in the next step.
I drilled a hole so I would have to remove less material with the jewelers saw.
Step 3: Cutting Out the Inside
Step 4: Cleaning Up
Step 5: Removing Extra Material
You should wear a respirator for this. Bone dust can hurt your lungs!
Step 6: Cleaning Up
Remove EVERY LAST tool mark!
Step 7: Hand Tools From Here!
Specifically, files. Lots and lots of files...like, triangles files and chain saw files and miniature files.
Shape and curve it...round every single plane and angle. This thing needs to look like it grew off a tree or something. Perfectly smooth, slick, and organic...like a fish.
You will also need to define the barbs. See the photo...
Step 8: Sanding
The wet dry will get the hook really slimy and maybe even grimy. Gently wash the hook with warm water and shampoo/softsoap. After you wash it, it'll be insanely slippery (even when dry!)...I don't know why though. Don't drop it, or it'll crack.
Step 9: Burnishing
Step 10: Polishing
After you wash it, polish it with a towel (like a beach towel). After you use the towel, use a clean piece of felt, then a piece of paper to finish the shine. At this point, it'll look shinier than glass...it's unreal.
After it was all shiny, I drilled a hole in it. As far as the tying of it, you're on your own. It's pretty easy to figure out of you look at my picture. There are about 4,000 ways to do it...so you'll definitely figure one out pretty quickly!
For some reason, I cannot catch the shine with my camera! I assure you, though, it's like a mirror!