For some unknown reason I have wanted to make scrimshaw and bone tools for a while, I assume as an offshoot of my small scale carpentry. And while Jasmine and I were walking on the beach, we found a washed up cow femur which I took as a sign to start on some bone work. So in addition to the sign, I took the femur home with me.
To clean up the bone, you cut off the knuckles; I used a normal fine tooth hand wood saw. You just get rid of the knuckles as you want the hard and smooth center bone and the knuckles are too porous. Then you remove the marrow, which normally I would make into a soup, because waste not want not, but eating unknown long dead juice from a bone just sounded unappealing. Plus it smelled pretty rancid.
I don’t know the correct method of cleaning bone, so I simmered in multiple washes of water for a couple of hours until the water was clear and didn’t smell. I then sat the bone in the sun until dry and it turned bone white.
So far I have made some scrimshaw jewelry, dice, a domino, and a pair of yarn needles and I am starting to feel a bit more comfortable with the bone. Below are some pictures of the work, and when I feel like I actually know what I am doing, I will post some directions.