Make my horn flat



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Kortoso
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Make my horn flat

Postby Kortoso » Fri Jul 08, 2016 2:09 am

Hi all.

I'm beginning a project making medieval arrows. I plan to make horn nocks, and yes, I sawed a cow horn in half.
http://www.personal.utulsa.edu/~marc-ca ... horng.html
But I'm interested in hearing from those who've done this. Do you boil the horn? Soak it in ammonia? Bury it in a graveyard at midnight?

Thanks!
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Elleth
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Re: Make my horn flat

Postby Elleth » Fri Jul 08, 2016 3:03 am

Cool!

I've had the same intention, but haven't gotten far at all yet. You can see some of my inserts here though:

Image

I cheated though by buying some pre flattened panes of horn:

http://smilingfoxforgellc.com/details.asp?id=903

I have softened and pressed cowhorn for containers- I boiled it until it was soft and then stuck it in a (padded) vice:

merf-horn-containers.jpg
merf-horn-containers.jpg (81.27 KiB) Viewed 4011 times


I think the same treatment would work for you, but be really cautious and go really slow: if it's not softened enough it will crack. Also the boiling process yellows the surface of the horn a bit, but in this application I don't think that matters.

I can't wait to see your arrows! :)
Persona: Aerlinneth, Dúnedain of Amon Lendel c. TA 3010.
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Kortoso
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Re: Make my horn flat

Postby Kortoso » Fri Jul 08, 2016 6:03 pm

Thank you! I shall endeavor to persevere! :D
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Kortoso
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Re: Make my horn flat

Postby Kortoso » Sat Nov 19, 2016 6:48 pm

Update: I got my lazy butt back on this project recently and I discovered a few things.

When I start working with a new medium it's mostly an experiment. So with that in mind, I dropped a piece of horn in boiling water. Not much flattening per se. The shape of the horn distorted in unpredictable ways.

Then I tried putting the horn piece in an oven. I used a spring clamp to help flatten it and heated the oven to a max of about 300F.
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Kortoso
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Re: Make my horn flat

Postby Kortoso » Sat Nov 19, 2016 6:51 pm

For future reference, I would cut the horn up first into workable sizes: one quarter of the horn and 2 inches long in the case of arrow reenforcements. Then, using a pair of steel plates and at least one spring clamp, place them in the oven for a brief amount of time. 250F degrees may be enough, but more than 10 minutes may discolor the horn.
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Udwin
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Re: Make my horn flat

Postby Udwin » Sat Nov 19, 2016 10:05 pm

According to the Horners I've spoken to, the magic number is 330 degrees F...reach that, and horn becomes easily pliable. Heating in oil apparently works better than water, and beef tallow or lard is preferred. You might keep an eye out for a used deepfryer, so you can accurately control the temperature.
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Laothain
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Re: Make my horn flat

Postby Laothain » Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:09 pm

I wonder if that would work for bone. My cousin gave me a deer leg that I’m thinking on how to flatten it for buttons and such.

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