Intro: Handmade Bone Neckhanger Knife.
So I decided to make a point that I could wear around my neck not only as something that looked cool but something that could possibly get a creature off me that threatens to attack. I also implemented a piece of white oak from a tree long gone which grew on the hill at the old homeplace where I grew up & have so many fond memories of. I had never worked with bone before so I learned a few things about it. First off it's not something you want to take any chances breathing in the dust so wear good mask and use a cabinet to cut inside of to contain it & of course wear eye protection as with anything you work on. Also I learned it's fairly friendly to cut, sand and manipulate so the imagination is pretty much the limit. I must warn you it does have quite a strong smell once you get cutting on it so do this outside unless you want to stink the house up.
Step 1: Tools & Materials Needed.
First of all, bone dust is really bad to breath because it's super fine like powder when cut. When any is breathed into the lungs it is there til you die. To help contain the bone dust I made a simple cabinet out of a cardboard box & used a piece of plastic for a window & used duct tape and clear packaging tape to seal it all up good. I used the sleeves from an old T-shirt to run my hands through beneath the window taping them in place. I cut a small hole in the back for the dremel power cord & used tape to cover it. On top of this I wore a good dust mask as well even though I think most all remained in the box but I'd rather be safe and work as healthy as possible. I got my bone from a bone letter opener I bought on ebay. Here's a list of materials needed.
Dust mask professional grade
Blasting cabinet (homemade from box as seen above)
Dremel rotary tool with fiberglass cutoff wheel, router bits, sanding cylinders.
Sandpaper 100 grit, 150 grit, 400 grit.
1/2 wooden dowel.
drill press with 1/2 bit.
heavy vise (to clamp block of wood in)
flexible super glue.
miramax prestain, wood stain, polyurathane.
Acrylic brush paints for painting designs.
files of various sizes and shapes.
Step 2: Cutting Bone Out in Basic Knife Shape.
Here you can see the basic cutout of the knife & shank all 1 piece for strength. (I had enough bone for a arrowhead too so why not make a arrowhead necklace too but you can disregard that since it has nothing to do with this particular project).
Step 3: Cutting Out the Handle & Bone Endcap & Handguard.
Once I had the basic shape of the knife I decided how large the handle needed to be and cut out a block of wood to the basic size needed. The images have the details of what I did. Sanding the handle down to the point I needed required quite a few hour of work. I first had to cut out a piece of bone as a handguard and cut a slot in it so as the shank could travel through it all the way to the base of the blade & then I superglued it in place. The handguard was rounded off on the side toward the handle so I used lead pencil to mark the wood to match and used dremel sanding cylinder to sand it to the same shape so it would fit nicely against the bone handguard. I also made a bone endcap shaping it with dremel cut fiberglass cutoff wheel & superglued it to the base of handle once I got the handle shape right. After glue was holding strong I sanded it down to match the handle shape precisely.
Step 4: Fitting It All Together.
I used the dremel fiberglass wheel to cut a slot in the 1/2" dowel which the shank would slide into & super glued it in place & used a small C clamp to keep it in place til the glue dried. Once I got the knife together I drilled a small hole in the base close to end cap & made a copper handing ring to run through it & soldered the joint. I then used a piece of faux cord (simulated leather) to use as the hanger which passes through the copper ring & simply tied together the ends.
Step 5: Finished and Ready to Wear.
I just wore this out for the first time today & have already received lots of inquiries and compliments about it. People really enjoy seeing unique handmade items that can't be purchased off the shelves. Hopefully it inspires a few of them to create something unique of their own.