Cuttlefish bone for casting ?


I want to do some bronze casting, using the cuttlefish bone moulding process - a mould is carved or pressed directly into the cuttlefish.
I have my cuttles. Now I need to machine them a little to make flat surfaces, interlocking keys etc. Any advice ?
Can I machine cuttlefish bone as I would timber ? Is the dust a hazard to me, or my machinery ? Will it shatter if I go at it with power tools?
How should I machine it ? What's the best bit of bone to use? Do I need mortice and tenon keyways in it, and if so, how do I form them?
Thanks for any advice you can offer.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Andy Dingley wrote:

Use the soft side, almost like styrofoam. I used to flatten mine on a concrete block, squeeze them together over the original object and notch or mark the mating spots. Take them apart, remove the object and cut a sprue notch on one end (of both), then re position them together and wire together. You can cut it with a knife on the soft side.
Once upon a time I lived on the beach in Sicily and would pick them up in my backyard. This is rather crude casting but fun.
--
Gerald Ross
Cochran, GA
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I used to use a parrot to machine them. He was slow but steady.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
There is a rec.crafts.metalworking newsgroup where they may have some experience and be familiar with the hazards.
--

FF


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

    He has it already cross-posted to rec.crafts.metalworking, so we are already seeing it.
    Not that I know the answers, but someone else probably does.
    Enjoy,         DoN.
--
Email: < snipped-for-privacy@d-and-d.com> | Voice (all times): (703) 938-4564
(too) near Washington D.C. | http://www.d-and-d.com/dnichols/DoN.html
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Andy Dingley wrote:

it leaves a surface a lot like wood grain. I kind of like the effect, and the bit of cuttlebone casting I did I brushed out the grain to accentuate it. you can work to minimize it, burnishing to fill the grain, but if smooth is what you're after, there are refractory casting materials specific for the purpose.

the rubbing on a brick is a good technique for getting a flat face.

pretty much.

I wouldn't go snorting the dust, but in small quantities I don't imagine handling it would be a hazard.

power tools should be unnecessary. it's soft and pretty porous. damn near scoop it out with a spoon.

hand tools.....

right up the middle.

if you need to register the halves, a groove in the edge where the binding wire bites in should be plenty. if you want a flat back, save the cost of cuttlebone and use something cheaper and easier to get flat for the back. a fire brick or shard of kiln shelf works well. I have used wood with good results for small castings.

have fun.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The smell is going to astound you!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.