Another attempt at making bone needle

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Tank

Full Member
Aug 10, 2009
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Witney, Oxfordshire
I haven't made a bone needle in a while so as I sit at home with time my hands I thought I would make some more.

The dogs always bring me bones during our walk so I have a nice stock of what I think is a muntjac leg bone.

Normally I like to work with all stone but today I did use the 60 grit sand paper in place of a stone as I could sit out of the where I wouldn't get in the way of any neighbors (isolating at home)

I busting open a bone with lots of chew marks (not from the dog)
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Sanding a few to a uniform shape on the paper.

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With out too much time spent in shaping I started with the eye, using flint to do an incised eye.

The process of making the eye is always slow going as I am no flit knapper and I have to use what I can find in my flint pile.

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Once the eye was through I found a nice piece of flint with a nice 90 degree edge to do the bulk of the shaping. Always love how nicely flint and bone work well together, far better than trying to use metal on the bone.

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Finished (for now, I may come back and work the eye some more)

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For now the needle gets added to the rest and wait for me to wonder use them.
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Bone, antler & shell book by Hilary Stewart

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Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
36,876
2,752
S. Lanarkshire
Those are neat :)
I admit I usually scribe them out like a triangular wedge from the bone, but your way looks like it works fine :cool:

I hate the smell from sanding bone. It smells like hot bonemeal. Strange opinion from an archaeologist I suppose, but i find it quite nauseating. My cat adored it.

The bone needles are good with sinew. They don't fray it up so badly as a metal needle eye can do.

They're also good to sew hair....those beautiful eastern european plaited hairstyles are sewn. They didn't have kirby grips in the past. Once your hair was dressed it was kept tidy until it grew slack and then it was all unravelled, washed/brushed, re-plaited and re-dressed. My hair is too fine now to do it, but when I was younger and my hair was waist length it was done just to see if we could :)
It was surprisingly sound, and stable.

They're also really good with cordage to weave stuff like coiled baskets. Similar principles really, I suppose.
 
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Tank

Full Member
Aug 10, 2009
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Witney, Oxfordshire
Brilliant. With all this free time, I may give this a go myself.
During the first lockdown I was made redundant, it was the best gift of time ever to work on skills.

I have a two days left of a 10 days isolation... So more time to work crafting.

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Tank

Full Member
Aug 10, 2009
1,980
201
40
Witney, Oxfordshire
Those are neat :)
I admit I usually scribe them out like a triangular wedge from the bone, but your way looks like it works fine :cool:

I hate the smell from sanding bone. It smells like hot bonemeal. Strange opinion from an archaeologist I suppose, but i find it quite nauseating. My cat adored it.

The bone needles are good with sinew. They don't fray it up so badly as a metal needle eye can do.

They're also good to sew hair....those beautiful eastern european plaited hairstyles are sewn. They didn't have kirby grips in the past. Once your hair was dressed it was kept tidy until it grew slack and then it was all unravelled, washed/brushed, re-plaited and re-dressed. My hair is too fine now to do it, but when I was younger and my hair was waist length it was done just to see if we could :)

They're also really good with cordage to weave stuff like coiled baskets. Similar principals really, I suppose.
I often will scribe the bone before breaking, I did that for the longer needle. I actually ended breaking two bones, if it didnt get any good bits this post would have been about some gauge hooks :)

I have cheated once and used a Dremel to cut antler, it stunk so much I went back to using stone to avoid that smell. Even when using on stone (or sandpaper) I use a mark so not to breath in any of the fine dust.

My plan is to use them doing some coiled baskets, I have been gathering and processing burdock fibers to make one.
 
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Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
9,456
2,209
McBride, BC
Thank you very much for the process pictures. Your observation about working the bone with stone is a very telling remark. There appear to be almost spoke-shave like tools, flints with arcs of stone missing.
 

SaraR

Full Member
Mar 25, 2017
854
546
Ceredigion
I haven't made a bone needle in a while so as I sit at home with time my hands I thought I would make some more.

The dogs always bring me bones during our walk so I have a nice stock of what I think is a muntjac leg bone.

Normally I like to work with all stone but today I did use the 60 grit sand paper in place of a stone as I could sit out of the where I wouldn't get in the way of any neighbors (isolating at home)

I busting open a bone with lots of chew marks (not from the dog)
0de3a165f56b74c5bc32956545abe159.jpg


Sanding a few to a uniform shape on the paper.

db19c58125f634150b399903c3f76fd3.jpg


With out too much time spent in shaping I started with the eye, using flint to do an incised eye.

The process of making the eye is always slow going as I am no flit knapper and I have to use what I can find in my flint pile.

1423fcb0012129d200b286b7580bd792.jpg


1deeb6f3544a2efea4bbc9e2b751c1eb.jpg


2e473ec06037fb070cbff26184b0e285.jpg


Once the eye was through I found a nice piece of flint with a nice 90 degree edge to do the bulk of the shaping. Always love how nicely flint and bone work well together, far better than trying to use metal on the bone.

363597771eba3418b3e2b11d8a60c504.jpg


Finished (for now, I may come back and work the eye some more)

bff69e8d8cd558ba24c2c7696fae78fa.jpg



For now the needle gets added to the rest and wait for me to wonder use them.
55b0215040a14a0a215da3aa3156d642.jpg



Bone, antler & shell book by Hilary Stewart

6bc9569c2f2de17086be16aa804df501.jpg


536cc08f37bf10d38261956bab4c4169.jpg
ee8d4d1a3a5755cc93179ddf2c8d1d0e.jpg


Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk
Nice work! The longest needle would be perfect for nålbindning if the hole was a lot bigger.

I've got horn needles that I use for that, but both bone and antler work really well and is great to work with as it's softer on the hands.
 

Tank

Full Member
Aug 10, 2009
1,980
201
40
Witney, Oxfordshire
Nice work! The longest needle would be perfect for nålbindning if the hole was a lot bigger.

I've got horn needles that I use for that, but both bone and antler work really well and is great to work with as it's softer on the hands.
I am currently making some larger needles for this use.

Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk
 
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