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Discussion Starter #1
A friend asked if I could make a pair of mammoth ivory grips for him...of course I always wanted to try that so now is my chance! First, I had to find some mammoth ivory. Surprisingly enough, it isn't that difficult to come by; just a bit expensive though. $200 a pound! So I found a piece that I thought would work OK and it had that 'blue' tinge on the bark (outer layer that is subject to discoloration/mineralization from being buried for 14,000 years). I bought it and some black superglue to fill in the delamination gaps.
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Discussion Starter #2
Part 2;
Superglue in the gaps...this was a bit tedious as I could only get a small amount into the gaps with the activator at one time. So I spent some time, glue and wait, glue and wait.
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Part 3. Glue is set up and time to get out the bandsaw. I marked out the grips, quite a bit oversize so I had plenty to work with. Ancient ivory doesn't cut too bad, but it sure smells bad! I must have gotten nose-blind after awhile in the shop because it only bothers me when I first start cutting/grinding/sanding.
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Discussion Starter #4
Part 4. I roughed out the grip shape with a belt sander and one of those little Worksharp knife sharpeners with the blade guide off; works great on the curved parts of the grips!
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Discussion Starter #5
Part 5. Unfortunately, I do not have the pistol frame yet so cannot do the final fitting and polishing...but I can tell that real (albeit very old) ivory is a joy to work with! I'm going to do a bit more work on them before I get the gun frame...not sure how long before you all get to see the final results!
 

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Count Ursunk
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Wow. Gives a new meaning to antique grips for sure. Anxious to see the finished product.
 

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Akboater: looks like you're rolling along nicely. Looking forward to seeing the finished product. Thanks for posting.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
I found a pistol that should work (according to what I can figure out anyway!). So I decided to go ahead and start on the final fitting...it's going pretty slow since I learned some time ago that it's a lot easier to take some off than put more on! So, I'm sanding/fitting/sanding/fitting...getting pretty close and I couldn't stand it anymore: I had to throw a quick polish on to see what they were going to look like. I'm trying to leave as much of the bark on as I can and still get the shape I want. I'll be working on these for a few more days and will post pics as I go!
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That is cool. They look great so far. I’m amazed that it was even easy to find the material. Who’d have thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I suppose Mammoth ivory might be more difficult to find in Cleveland than in Anchorage...after all, there were lots of mammoth in Alaska back in the day....(or so I'm told!). In this day and age of internet, I'd imagine it wouldn't be all that tough to find...did I mention that it's more expensive than quality bourbon?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I had put this project aside for a few weeks (other priorities....) and finally getting back to it. I made a little walnut display box (in case they don't fit properly on my friends' gun; then he can leave them in the box!!). I got the ferrules in although they didnt go in quite square so I knocked one back out and ended up chipping a bit off the edge of the hole...crap. I worked it down a bit but ended up leaving most of it...gives it character, right? Anyway, at this point I'm very reluctant to start over with the fossil ivory I have left so it's going to have to be good enough. I left them slightly 'fatter' toward the butt end so they'll fit bigger hands a little better than the stock factory grips....a bit more work on the box (I'm going to put a magnet 'latch' in) and I'll see if he likes them...hope so!
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Very nice akboater. Remembering your original post, I was wondering how you were getting along with this project. Very nice indeed. Congrats.
 

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they look great. I think all of us would be proud of a set of grips like that.
 

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Count Ursunk
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I think your friend will be well pleased with those. Masterful art work there.
 
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