Let’s get the bone out of the way then, shall we?
As previously noted, I ended up making my pin bone from a beef bone sold at a pet store for dogs to gnaw on. I boiled it until the ‘meaty’ bits were loose and then scraped it with a knife blade until it was clean and smooth. There followed an extended stint in a hydrogen peroxide bath both to bleach the bone and hopefully clean out any remaining contaminants that might foul my experience.
Safety When Working with Bone
Note that I did not use power tools to work the bone. There’s a reason for this aside from my promise to prejudice my methods toward the Elizabethan: Bone dust isn’t something I want to line my lungs with. I’m not sure if we know the period methodology for working with bone beyond “Grab a knife sirrah, and go to with a will!” If I find something in my reading I’ll let you know.
I worked this bone wet, but if I wanted to something more refined and give it a proper finish, there would be a great deal of polishing in my future with progressively finer grits. Thankfully, this is a tool that doesn’t require much refinement beyond what you see above.
When next we meet: Making the pin and the sad plight of the Pin Maker.
[…] I used a ‘make do’ bone. Also, I bleached it with hydrogen peroxide in the modern manner. Though I don’t really think the bone makes that big of a difference, it may have and I can’t discount it until I’ve tried this with a fresh, greasy, unbleached bone. Also, aesthetically it always bothered me that my pinner’s bone never looked like the ones we see in the museums. […]