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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am considering having some grips made out of hippo ivory for by Ruger Bisley. Ideally I would like to have them scrimshawed (or would it be just scrimmed?) I have heard from a couple sources that hippo ivory is much harder than others. Here are a couple quotes, "Hippo tusks have a layer of extremely hard enamel on the outside which protects the ivory underneath and removal of this is a chore within itself" and "Hippo tusk is the hardest of all ivory and also the rarest. The tusk is so hard that it can be made to spark steel, and for this reason was little used except by the most determined artisans. Hippo ivory has a smooth cream colored appearance with a very fine grain."

Another scrimshander told me this, "I was told that you must slice the tooth (lenghthwise), or grind the dentin off it in order to expose the inner layer of the tooth material, which can be scrimmed.
Hippo dentin is so hard that you need heavy-duty power tools to grind or cut it... I was told it will actually cause sparks to fly when using a band saw or power grinder (probably like a belt grinder). I have heard of people breaking saw blades on it. I think it was suggested to use diamond blades. Once the dentin is removed, the inner ivory is polished to take a shine.... then it can be scrimmed. If your grip maker can remove the dentin layer, the ivory can be scrimmed."

So I am wondering if it would really be better to not plan on having these pistol grips scrimmed but instead just leave that outer dentin layer in place. That way they would be tougher but plain. Or is it actually possible to scrim through the dentin layer? Thanks, Brian.
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