Bone direct from India?

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Bob Gramann
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Bone direct from India?

Post by Bob Gramann »

Has anyone ordered saddles and nuts from these folks WWW.BONEHORNPARTS.IN? The prices are inviting. I was ready to hit the buy button when I came across this:” Not only does the omission of the treatment with hydrogen peroxide obviate an environmentally damaging component, but leaves a higher fat content and therefore is more efficient than bleached variation functioning as a string guide.” I thought that the reason to buy bleached bone was to keep the fat from seeping into the guitar wood the bone contacts. Can anyone who knows more about this tell me if I should buy or flee?

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Barry Daniels
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Re: Bone direct from India?

Post by Barry Daniels »

Yeah, you want the fat to be removed. You would have difficulty gluing the nut to the neck with a high fat content.
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Bryan Bear
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Re: Bone direct from India?

Post by Bryan Bear »

I’ve heard that the fat in bone can cause problems but never gotten a firm handle on exactly what those problems are. How much fat is really In a dry bone? And how much will leach out into the wood. And what damage would that really do? We put oil on fretboards all the time. I know using too much oil too often can be a problem but would the amount in a bone blank really be problematic?

I’m not saying it isn’t a problem and I’m not thumbing my nose at conventional wisdom. I’m just asking for info and evidence. Sometimes thing get repeated over and over in small circles and they become common knowledge without ever being challenged.

I get Barry’s concern about glue but I wonder if it matters all that much. The glue just needs to keep it from falling out when you change strings. That could be worked around.
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Dick Hutchings
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Re: Bone direct from India?

Post by Dick Hutchings »

I prefer unbleached myself and have used it on a few mandolins. I never had a problem and it looks so much better to me. The bleached ones tend to look like plastic by the time I get them buffed up.
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Barry Daniels
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Re: Bone direct from India?

Post by Barry Daniels »

Unbleached does not necessarily mean that it hasn't been de-greased.
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Carl Dickinson
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Re: Bone direct from India?

Post by Carl Dickinson »

I wonder if it's from sacred cows?

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Bob Gramann
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Re: Bone direct from India?

Post by Bob Gramann »

It certainly was from dead ones.

Clay Schaeffer
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Re: Bone direct from India?

Post by Clay Schaeffer »

My wife said "maybe they amputated a leg", which reminded me of the three legged pig joke.

Alan Carruth
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Re: Bone direct from India?

Post by Alan Carruth »

Fat in the bone will leach out into the wood and break it down over time.

Dog bones from the pet store are typically steamed. I've processed bone at home, and it's generally harder than the pet store stuff. It's particularly handy if you heat with a wood stove.

Assuming you've got a fresh bone from the butcher, put it in a pot of water and simmer it for several hours. Take out the bone and make soup.

Put the bone back in a pot of fresh water and simmer it again. When you see some fat on the surface, shave in some Ivory soap. Keep doing this until the broth gets thick and milky from the soap. Dump the broth and start over with more water, and soap as needed. When you no longer get any fat coming out of the bone simmer it in clear water again to get the soap out. The result will be a 'cream' or 'bone' color. To be really sure you got all of the fat you can put a piece in a small jar with some white gas or naptha; if the liquid turns yellow you didn't get all the fat. If you like white you can bleach the shaped nut or saddle in regular household bleach for a few minutes.

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Bob Gramann
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Re: Bone direct from India?

Post by Bob Gramann »

Thank you, Alan. At least for me, it sounds like it’s worth the extra money to buy the saddle blanks from the normal suppliers. Are the unbleached parts from normal suppliers okay?

I’ve used the pure white pet store bone to make odd sized saddles when I didn’t have an appropriate blank. I’ve never been able to detect any fat (no stains on any paper they were stored on). Was I wrong about that?

Alan Carruth
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Re: Bone direct from India?

Post by Alan Carruth »

All the pet store stuff I've seen has been fat free, except for the ones that are filled with cheese or peanut butter, of course..... It's always a drag when I stop in at the pet store for some saddle stock and all they have is the filled bones.

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Bob Gramann
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Re: Bone direct from India?

Post by Bob Gramann »

Thank you. I am reassured.

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