Author Topic: Horn  (Read 21731 times)

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« on: November 05, 2007, 07:39:22 pm »
So, I picked up a few gemsbok horn to play around with--was thinking arrow shelf, possible arrow heads (?), and maybe used in some other crafts.

I was curious how do you polish horn? The only thing I could come up with online was someone said half terpentine and half linseed oil.

Please advise!

Offline RidgeRunner

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Re: Horn
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2007, 01:21:41 pm »
The only types of horn I have ever worked are cow and bison.  Never any Gemsbok Horn.
The best way I have found to polish horn is with finger nail files that my wife has warn out.
Start with something course.  100 grit sandpaper is what I usually start with.
Then just use finer and finer finger nail files/polishing pads until the horn is polished.

I don't know how turpentine or linseed oil would help.

David Key / N.W. Alabama


  • Guest
Re: Horn
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2007, 05:22:35 pm »
Thanks Ridgerunner :)

Anyone had any experience with Gemsbok horn?

Offline DanaM

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Re: Horn
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2007, 06:43:24 pm »
I used my dremel today to polish tip overlays composed of bison horn and bone, polishing wheel and their compound worked great
Not very primitive but what the heck.
"Prosperity is a way of living and thinking, and not just money or things. Poverty is a way of living and thinking, and not just a lack of money or things."

Manistique, MI

Offline stiknstring

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Re: Horn
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2007, 11:52:45 am »
Thanks for that tidbit Dana.  I was going to overlay pighoofs on my daughters bow and was curious if that stuff would work. 

Offline FVR

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Re: Horn
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2007, 02:33:04 pm »
I just usually scrape the horn with a cab. scraper.  Looks real nice.  I finish with hooflex a product sold at horse tack stores for care and polishing of horse hooves.  Stinks, but works nicely for what I use it for.
Can't cheat the mountain, pilgrim.
Mountain got it....

Offline stickbender

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Re: Horn
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2008, 12:29:39 pm »

     When I was younger, we would go to the butcher when he was butchering cows, and get the cow horns, and put them on ant mounds till the horn would slip off, and then boil them to kill the nasties in side, and then wet and scrape them with pieces of broken glass.  Usually old mayonaise jars.  Then when they were thin as we wanted, we would wet them again, and sand them with medium grip paper, and finally to 200-220 grit, all of this was with the grain, or length wise.  Then when nice and smoothe, we would polish it with a paste wax, and buff it.  It makes a beautiful shine.  It should work as well with Gemsbok horn, since horn is just compressed hair, like your finger nails, and animal hoofs.  I hope this helps.


Offline bobnewboy

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Re: Horn
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2008, 09:56:34 am »
It isnt very primitive, but the following works really well: cut to shape, sand smooth with finer and finer sandpaper, then finally turn to a buffing wheel or piece of rag with T-Cut automotive paint refinishing compound.  It gives a great polish to horn, and doesnt smell too bad.

"The Englishman takes great pride in his liberty. He values this gift more than all the joys of life, and would sacrifice everything to retain it. The populace would have you understand there is no country in the world where such perfect freedom can be enjoyed, as in England!" Frenchman, London 1719

Offline Cromm

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Re: Horn
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2008, 08:18:37 pm »
i've seen a bow made out of them. Nice to shoot too.....
Great Britain.
Home of the Longbowman.


  • Guest
Re: Horn
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2010, 04:41:57 pm »

My uncle polished horn handles of umbrellas and walking sticks in the 1930's and 40's with Brasso. He had an umbrella business.