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Softening bone? Make pliable for slight forming. Answered

Hello! :)
 I am hoping someone can help me. I carve   faux claws, fangs,and bone rings.
 There are times I wish I could soften the bone, as when carving a claw from a rib bone, It would be nicer if I could remove the marrow , soften the bone and bring the 2 curved ends together, or when making rings using sections cut from a thigh bone, I end up with piece's  that are odd shaped and too thin walled to carve out room for a finger.
 If I could find a way to soften the bone i could squeeze the bone some to get a usable round shape ,(after bracing and letting dry.), and I would have more usable maternal
 I remember when I was growing up, we were up in the villages and a VISTA volunteer came for the summer. He had in his room a bone in a bottle, not soft, but hard , no cuts in the bottle . Us kids tried to figure out how he got it in there as the bone was a little bigger than the opening. Before he left he finally told us he had soaked the bone so it was pliable and able to fit through the smaller opening, once inside it went back to it's shape and dried hard again.
  For the life of me I can't remember what it was he soaked it in. If anyone knows, or has a idea , it would be greatly appreciated if you would let me know.
  Have a great day, or night ( I know I spend hours here when I can't sleep and am "Night owling". lol ). I love this place!! :) :)
   Leo4613   :)


Just soak it in plain vinegar for a couple of days. Rubber chicken.

i've never needed to soften bones before, but wouldn't an acid soak (like vinegar) actually disolve the calcium in the bones (sort of like the trick where you soak an egg in vinegar to peel it without touching it)? wouldn't that prevent it from going back to it's original hardness?

have you tried just water?

I guess once you bend it into whatever shape you want, there is enough bone cellular structure left to keep it looking like a bone after it dries. From what I remember, the bones may be more fragile after it dries but still fun to play with.

One COULD make a little "milk casein" to spread lightly over the bone once formed so it would make the position more permanent. (I know this is old, but I just thought of this...).

Water will soften it some, mostly surface level softening. Good for easyier carveing but not for forming.

Thank you, am in the process of trying it. :)

Soak it in cola overnight. The phosphoric acid leaches the calcium out and turns thinner bones rubbery. I don't think it would work on a thick bone like a T-bpne steak, but it should work on chicken bones.
(it does the same to your teeth!)

already have idea how to bend beef bone?

Yeech!! could it have been that simple!? lol just goes to show ya sometimes think too much and miss whats right in front of you. lol
Thanks! I'll give it a try! :)

Leo, just an FYI: if you use the Reply on the Right side under a post you are replying to, the person gets notification that you replied to them.

I am not at home right now(Ketchikan Alaska.), Came to OR to meet and visit with my GF.
But I am trying it out on some bones here, The chicken bone softened up very well(rubbery), the pork and beef bones have started soaking and are starting to soften, the pinky ring I broke is starting over again as I forgot I had sealed the inside as well so had to scrape the nail polish off and start it over ( seems nail polish works well to seal jewelry, were soaking 1 1/2 weeks before I remembered. No softening. )
I'll post the results, hopefully after they have softened and I can try to form them,let them dry out and see they are firm enough to use.

Yes, one can actually cook chicken bones to a softness :-) I've done so and accidentally eaten them.

The others may take longer if you can get them to soak in the acid long enough.  It breaks down the calcium in the bone and leaves mostly cartilage like stuff behind.