Knife Making Materials

Mark Knapp Custom Knives carries a variety of materials including knife scales ideal for the custom knife maker and carver. Choose from a selection of sheep, antelope and musk ox horns, available in scales or the whole horn. We also stock deer, moose and caribou antlers in points and parts or the whole antler. We carry fossil ivory and exotic hardwoods too.

We take the following forms of payment; Paypal, Check, Money Order, American Express, Visa or Master Card. If you like, feel free to call in your credit card payment at 1-(907)-452-7477. We are located in Fairbanks, Alaska and we are four hours earlier than Eastern Time. We use USPS Priority flat rate for shipping.

If you live outside the United States, please contact us directly, via phone or email, so we can discuss shipping/insurance charge. We do not declare lower values on customs forms.

Happiness is guaranteed – if you find you can’t use it when you get it in your hands, return it for your purchase price back (please do so within seven days).

Our knife making materials

Mammoth Tusks

Interior Mammoth Ivory Scales, Sections, Scraps

Mammoth Ivory Scales

Mammoth Tooth

Fossil Walrus Ivory Scales & Sections

Fossil Walrus Ivory Scraps

Fossil Walrus Ivory Tusks

Fossil Walrus Oosik

Musk Ox Horn Scales, Sections, Scraps

Dall Sheep Horn

Moose Antler Scraps


Workin’ with the stuff

Mammoth ivory, fossil walrus, hippo teeth, etc.

Ivory can be worked with common woodworking tools and methods. Bi-metal band-saw blades last much longer than carbon blades. When working ivory use only sharp tools and abrasives, ivory will heat up excessively if dull tools or abrasives are used; this will cause it to warp or crack. When sanding and polishing be sure to work slowly and keep the ivory cool. Do not dip in water. Ivory that is warmed excessively while finishing cracks a couple of days after worked and turns foggy white if heated too much on the buffing wheel. Fossil walrus ivory is the most stable of the ivories, less prone to cracking from heat or atmospheric change. Be sure to use a breathing mask and eye and ear protection when working any of these materials.


Antler from any variety of deer (sheds every year), giraffe bone, fossil walrus bone including oosik, mammoth bone, etc.

Bone can also be worked with ordinary wood-working tools; as in working with ivory, bi-metal band-saw blades will last about ten times longer than carbon blades. Bone is less sensitive to heat while working; it will not crack as easily as ivory although it can warp if heated up too much. Bone is probably the most stabile natural material used in knife making; it usually stays where you put it.


Horn from any variety of sheep, goat or antelope (stays on for the life of the animal, except American pronghorn antelope)

Horn is the same material as hair or fingernails; it can be worked like bone or ivory with woodworking tools. It will not crack due to heat although it burns fairly easily on the belt sander or buffing wheel, turning it yellow or foggy white; care must be taken to use only sharp abrasives and keep the buffing wheel charged with compound to remedy burning. Heat from a dull band-saw blade or sanding can also put permanent warp in the horn. Of the natural handle materials horn is most sensitive to humidity or atmospheric change; it can “move” or warp a little during construction of the knife. If horn scales warp, they can be heated in a pressure cooker or boiling water and pressed flat to harden and dry.


Mammoth teeth and shells are best worked with carbide or diamond-faced abrasives and saws. A carbide grit band-saw blade works well on teeth and shells. Diamond or carbide hole saws or core drills are best for making holes. Silicon carbide sanding belts and disks work well for shaping and finishing. Be especially sure to use good ventilation and a breathing mask when working with teeth and shell as the dust from them are particularly bad for your lungs.

We will happily answer any question about working knife-making materials if contacted by email.