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Forum Home - Go Back > Pow Wow Crafts > General Crafts Dentalium shells Dentalium shells

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Old 04-02-2006, 11:00 PM   #1
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Dentalium shells

I want to make my daughter a dentalium cape but I need help. Does anyone have information on how to work with these shells? How do you cut them or do you file them to get them the same size? Help, please!
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Old 04-03-2006, 01:54 AM   #2
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Did you get the smooth or ridge type? The smooth are the old style and the ridge are whiter and more of what you can get today and cheaper. You will need to sort them for size trying to get the largest or longest. I am also making an old style dress using the old dentilium and know what you are going thru.

I have gotten about 6 pounds of these shells and will still need more. I am also sorting them for size by just eyeing them with the size I have chosen. Will be using the old cotton heavy thread to do mine or you can use the new synthectic sinew. Since I am re-creating an 1880 period dress I have to use the old material. To get my needle and thread thru, I am just nipping off the tip with a needle noise pliers just where I can get needle and thread thru and then sew down on the muslin material. Then the "cape" will be sewn down to the stroud white selvedge edge cloth.

Are you going to be using the old brass sequins? You can still get them at Crazy Crow Trading post.
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Old 04-03-2006, 01:57 PM   #3
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Use a pair of dog nail clippers to cut the ends of these shells. You will find that they have rounded cutting edges, and will make less damage on the dentallium. I just use a file, (called a "Mill *******") to run each end of the shell upon until the edges somewhat become softened or dull. Another thing you could do is to put a dab on each end of clear nail polish, but dry well first before stringing.
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Old 04-03-2006, 02:39 PM   #4
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the name of that file was mill bas.tard.
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Old 04-03-2006, 03:03 PM   #5
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Now those were some good craft ideas i have not seen. Will have to try them.
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Old 04-04-2006, 01:59 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emmy
the name of that file was mill bas.tard.
Thanx, Emmy. I was shocked to see the bas.tard. was a no-no word on here. I mean, that's what it is. Just crazy!
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Old 04-06-2006, 10:05 PM   #7
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Thanks for all your help!
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