I certainly appreciate all of you taking the time to critique this bone dying attempt.
This really is a work in progress, I don't know that it will ever be finished but it is something I have been playing with for a year or so now. I have a bunch of pieces of bone and in various size of my shop, most smaller, that have been dyed in this process.
A year or so ago I stumbled across an old German knife that I thought had beautiful handles on it. I don't believe the original handles had been dyed, I think they may have been left just as plain white bone. But here is the knife that inspired this search, this Work-in-Progress, that keeps me coming back to this project. When I get the bone to repair this knife, I will think I did something right that day.
Once I got the pictures and enlarge them I was able to see that I had misread the tang stamp the first time. I now believe the tang stamp says:J DIRLAM & SONS/SOLINGEN GERMANY. My original thought was the tang stamp was J DERLAM.
The effect that I got dying the bone was interesting, but it was not what I was looking for.
If anyone has ideas on how to achieve this type of coloring AS on this old knife, please let me know.
I will share my dying method with your folks that you have been so good to share your time with me in critiquing these handles.
I USED some small pieces of bone and some larger ones as well, and I mixed up a solution of water and Potassium Permanganate. Roughly 4 ounces of water and a tablespoon of PP. I laid the bone carefully in a flat glass container, very similar to a butter dish, and I poured the PP & water solution carefully into the container so that the level of dying solution did not get on the surface of the bone slabs. The color you see coming through is the potassium permanganate that has worked its way through the capillary structure of the bone dying the bone as it went.I allowed the bone to lay in the dish for several hours, some I left lying there for several days, adding dye or water to the dish from time to time. Some pieces of bone absorbed a lot of dye while I watched them, while others showed very little change over a few days.
Some of the bone was far more porous than others and took a great deal of the dye and other pieces took very little dye. As someone pointed out the process is not at all controlled, it's very random in one sense because you never know how a piece of bone will take the dye, but it is rather obvious that the lighter more porous bone will absorb more of the dye than the denser bone. Obviously the more dye absorbed, the more color absorbed by the bone.
I did one experiment where I dyed the slab with PP and then afterwords soaked it in yellow shoe dye. The result was inconclusive because I need a far bigger sample, but as you might expect buying all those bone handle slabs and then dying them can be both time-consuming and expensive.
As I come back to this project from time to time an experiment more with this method of dying I will come back and update the topic. Others of you who like to experiment with dying your own bone or like to work on knives on to give this a try, please use the information I've given as a starting point and come back and tell us what you have found and what you are able to come up with.
I would love it if somebody can perfect this process of dying bone to make it look like an antique knife handle, so we can all use it.
I look forward to more comments from members and I look forward to seeing the results some of you get with various dyes and bone or stag! Don't forget to experiment with stag. I didn't use stag in this project but I have experimented with it before.
So bring it on guys let's see what you got and what you can get!