Dyeing bone

Ken W

Feb 2, 2010
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Kentucky, USA
Is there a way to dye bone? I love the sound of bone saddles and nuts but my latest build would look best if the saddle and nut were black instead of white. I was searching around the shop for some pieces of ebony when it hit me...I wonder if bone could be dyed.
You can get an antique patina by soaking bone in either tea or coffee. I've attempted to turn bone black by letting it sit in leather dye for a few minutes. It was black but splotchy splotchy. When I want a true black for nuts or saddles I use black micarta.
What do you guys think of buffalo horn?? It's pretty black and it sounded good. I've used it on a couple of builds and the only thing about it that is weird is that there are kind of like layers that show when you shape it. At least that's what happened top me both times I used it.
Thanks, Gyozu. I read the info on the link and the dyeing process seems straight forward. I'll try it later this week and post some pics of the results.
How about a black marker? A Sharpie would color it black pretty well.
I believe a sharpie is not the correct color of black. A vacuum chamber can be useful for dying things, especially if you have a dual chamber setup where you can first evacuate the bone, thenopen a valve, letting the dye enter the chamber, and then apply pressure, driving the dye even deeper. The most expensive part of this setup is the vacuum pump. Vacuum bags/ clamps are cool, useful for things like, say, laminating neck blanks. Bar clamps do not even come close to the quality of even pressure achieved in a vacuum bag. If you have a vacuum pump, designing a chamber is not difficult. Stabilizing wood uses this same technique, of impregnation in a vacuum chamber. (wow, that sounds bad!....)

Of course, it is easiest to just buy something that will work, unless your artistic side tells you that you need to make it yourself because what you want is not available.
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