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Thread: Ivory or Bone? ...or what?

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    Member velocityboy's Avatar
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    Default Ivory or Bone? ...or what?

    I'm in the process of restoring an old G. Johnson I recently acquired. Seller had the scales listed as "plastic or celluloid", but they're obviously not. I suspect they're either bone or ivory, but I don't really have much experience with bone and even less with ivory.

    I've researched online and looked through most of the ivory related threads on here and I'm, like, 85% sure they're ivory.
    They "tink" on the teeth.
    They feel colder than the other scales I have lying around.
    They're smooth, dense and fairly heavy.
    And for you "hot pin" guys, I did even do that on the inside of a scale in the wedge area. It had absolutely zero effect on the scale (smell or otherwise).

    Not entirely sure about the Schreger lines though. There is definitely a grain pattern to them, but it's faint (or maybe my partial colorblindness just isn't doing me any favors here with subtle differences).

    Anyway, I figured I'd give some of you a chance to ring in with your opinions. Any help would be appreciated. This blade is likely going to be sold once I'm done restoring it, so I'd like to be as accurate and truthful as possible with the buyer as to what sort of scales they're getting. Plus I'd just like to know!

    Also, IF they are ivory, what would you recommend for cleaning them? Specifically the inside of the scales around the pivot area. Of course if they're best left alone, I'm happy to do that too. :-)

    Pics below. The darker ones are where I turned the contrast way up for you.

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  2. #2
    At this point in time... gssixgun's Avatar
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    Bone


    I hate trying to guess from a pic but here are the reasons as I see them from miles away (Not a very good way to do this)

    1, Thickness
    2. Contour
    3. The "Holes" by the pivot in the pics
    4. The fact that it looks like there were washers from the marks in the pics


    These are just clues I see, if they were in hand I could tell you in less then 2 seconds
    ScottGoodman likes this.

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    Never a dull moment hoglahoo's Avatar
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    Looks like bone
    Find me on SRP's official chat in ##srp on Freenode. Link is at top of SRP's homepage

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    velocityboy (09-21-2013)

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    Member velocityboy's Avatar
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    Default

    Ok that's cool. Bone it is then. Worth a shot asking!

    Appreciate the help.

    Yes, as I recall, they were pinned with washers. Just out of curiosity, were ivory scales never pinned w/ washers? If not, was there a reason for that?

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    At this point in time... gssixgun's Avatar
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    No I have seen them pinned with tiny washers too.. You have to look at the clues add them all together and try and solve the mystery..

    I have found very few "Set in Stone" rules like that in this hobby, but you do find trends, one thing I can tell you is that the first time you get a set of Vintage Ivory scales in your hands you will never need to ask again..

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    Senior Member MrMagnus's Avatar
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    im pretty sure its bone. thay are very thick and the grain dosent look like the typical ivory.
    //Magnus


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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Bone... for the same reason.

    Ivory will feel like a polished finger nail.

    The feel and magnification are the tells.

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    Member velocityboy's Avatar
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    Well, part of what led me to question them in the first place is that they really are remarkably smooth. Far more so than my fingernail. At least on the outside. ...Maybe I just have crusty fingernails. I do have a razor with bone scales and those are much rougher and more porous than these. The only place they really resemble each other at all is near the inside of the pivot area. As we know though, you can put a smooth glossy finish on pretty much any scale type.

    I just dug it out to re-compare. In doing so, I ran across an Engstrom frameback I have with faux-ivory scales that I forgot about. (Raise your hand if you have so many blades you've forgotten what you have!) They're very obviously fake, but one can see what they were TRYING to do as far as the Schreger lines go. ...and there's nothing even closely resembling those on these scales.

    Thanks for clarifying guys! I'd hate to have mis-led someone with false claims of ivory. And anyway, IMO bone is still better than the celluloid I thought I was getting.

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    Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Second last pic looks like bone to me, those canals you wont find in ivory.
    ScottGoodman likes this.
    Hur Svenska stlet biter kom lt oss prfva p.

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    The Shell Whisperer Maximilian's Avatar
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    Bone.......

    əˌfisyəˈndō | pərˈfekSH(ə)nəst | eS'prəSSo | dvəl ləvər

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