Alchemist Bone Knife.




About: I'm a big fan of video games & have a huge collection. I enjoy watching anime & love science, technology, & astronomy. Check my youtube channel out under Nesmaniac.

I wanted to make a unique antique/primitive style knife with sort of a mysterious theme about it. I had a piece of bone to work with & a piece of white oak from a long gone tree that grew on the mountain above my childhood home. I really didn't know how it was going to turn out exactly but I knew basically what I wanted so I got to work. My comfort zone is making stuff out of cardboard, painting, etc... so this was new materials I worked with. I learned that bone is nasty to work with so having the proper safety such as dust mask, cutting cabinets to further avoid breathing in the hazardous bone dust, & as with working with anything safety glasses. I also learned that with wood, especially an old piece, you really have to make several cuts to get a workable piece because it subject to break when cutting since there are weak spots inside so it takes a lot of work to get a workable block the size you need.

Step 1: Tools Used & Diagram of Parts & How I Put It Together.

Remember if you are going to cut bone you want to avoid breathing bone dust because it lines your lungs and will not ever come out. Not only did I wear a high grade dust mask but I also made a cabinet out of a cardboard box and lots of tape and cut a window in it taping in a piece of plastic and I cut arm holes & taped shirt sleeves around the holes. Here's everything else I needed.

Safety glasses


dremel rotary tool with sanding wheels, fiberglass cutoff wheels, rotary cutting bits.


flexible super glue

1/2" wooden dowel 6" long

bone slab

80, 100, 150, & 400 grit sandpaper


drill press & various bits

files both flat and round

Miramax prestain, wood stain, polyurathane, and spray clear coat

gel pens for alchemy symbols I drew on the blade

blocks of wood

towels & cloths


Step 2: Cutting Out the Bone Inlays & Gluing Them in Place.

One of the hardest things was cutting out the bone inlays to place in handle and sheath. Once I got the inlays cut out of the bone using the dremel & various attachments I had to use 2 different sizes of rotary cutting bits to cut the recesses in the wood to accommodate the bone inlays. This required many trail fittings & going back and take a little more out until they eventually fit flush with the wood. I then used a generous amount of flexible super glue to hold them in place with it actually oozing out around the edges of the inlays & used a cloth to wipe off excess. I then sanded over top of them before the glue was dried to make the edges blend in nice & flush.

Step 3: Finishing Touches

With inlays in & the sanding done I was ready to stain. I used miramax prestain, stain, and polyurathane. I drew the ancient alchemist symbols around the blade using gel pens. Gel pens gel smudges off very easily so I spray 4 coats of clear coat over the symbols to keep them protected because sliding the sheath on friction holds it in place & the symbols would never remain without being well protected. I really didn't have the alchemist idea until I had the knife finished & since the bone inlays I made and overall ancient look of the knife seemed to have a alchemy feel about it & I wanted some sort of drawings on the blade I had the idea to just go the alchemy route. I really had no idea that would happen but I'm very happy with how it turned out. It should long outlive me & I actually wrote my name and date inside various parts of the knife before assembling it because who knows where it might end up one of these days.

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Trash to Treasure Challenge



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    6 Discussions


    10 months ago

    nice job! I wish I had the time and materials to make this.


    2 years ago

    Very nice knife. I'll try to do one for me. I've been doing some bone articles for a while and never thought about making a cabinet to avoid the mess and health issues that bone powder could cause.
    I'll definetly make a cabinet to me too. Thanks for your instructable.

    2 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    Yeah the cabinet definitely keeps the mess down I've used this one on making 4 different things now out of bone & nice to use to work on wood as well. I might have to build a better one out of wood & glass later on. I think you can buy one at harbor freight pretty reasonable too I'll have to check before building a better one to see if it might be smarter to go that route. One thing I suggest that would make it easier on the back would be to put the window at a slant on the front so you don't have to lead over so much. Since I wanted to toss this cabinet together in 10 minutes I just used the shape of the box & top was the only place I could put my window. Also the bone power gets into the dremel a lot & it gets hot. I take the dremel out and turn it full speed to blow the dust out of it ever so often. Best setup would be have a vacuum hose hookup attached to the cabinet to suck the powder out if you want to get fancy with it and do a lot of bone cutting.


    Reply 2 years ago

    Thanks for your comment.

    I'll probably go cheap and simple, as I wont cut lots and lots of bone. I actually do my cutting with hand tools, and use the dremel only to give the final shape, but I try to do it as much as possible by hand.
    Nice to know about the powder heating the dremel, anyway. Thanks for the tips.