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Thread: Giraffe Bone Nuts

  1. #1
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    Default Giraffe Bone Nuts

    Greetings! I havenít checked in here in quite a while. I wanted to ask if anyone is using giraffe bone for their nuts. If you do, what steps do you take to insure the bone is responsibly harvested? An internet search has shown me that last year giraffe products were added to CITES. Giraffes are now listed as potentially vulnerable to extinction, with only 68,000 left in the wild. If an instrument is advertised as using a giraffe bone nut, would it be appropriate for a potential buyer to ask the builder, or the builderís dealer, to provide evidence that the bone was responsibly harvested? I guess in a larger sense, is that an appropriate question to ask about any of an instrumentís raw materials? I wouldnít normally ask about maple, spruce, or cow bone, but giraffe bone struck me as a tad exotic. Thank you for any and all input. And let me add that this is not a hypothetical situation, but something that recently came up for me.
    Don

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Giraffe Bone Nuts

    Since the animals are in danger of extinction, I would not use the material or buy any instrument containing the material under any circumstances, whether it was documented or not.

    While I do not have a problem with retaining the factory original elephant ivory nut or saddle on a 60+ year old Martin guitar, I consider this to be different. Giraffe bone has never, to my knowledge, been in common use in instrument building. This sounds to me like an example of someone exploiting an exotic product simply as a gimmick to appeal to a certain type of buyer whose motives are irresponsible at best.

    I have never heard of any respected builder, past or present, that has ever used giraffe bone.

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    Default Re: Giraffe Bone Nuts

    This triggered an old memory.
    I lived in India for many years, and one day in Old Delhi found myself in a dilapidated Raj-Era shop that you could tell was once a going concern when selling carved ivory and tusks was still legal. When I asked what the large carvings on display were (almost afraid of what the response would be) I was told they were camel bone.
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  6. #4

    Default Re: Giraffe Bone Nuts

    Why the hip-hopping, flip-flopping, nit picking, Earl-bobbing dingadong stabby-wabby would anyone use giraffe bone? If a builder was advertising using it, the question shouldn't be if t was ethically harvested, but rather exactly what they're smoking when they came up with the idea that that made sense. Nine kinds of don't, here.

    Thanks,

    Magnus

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  8. #5

    Default Re: Giraffe Bone Nuts

    Nice one on Magnus, no sense at all.

    Dave H
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    Default Re: Giraffe Bone Nuts

    The first question occurring to me is What Are the Properties of Giraffe Bone that Make It a Desirable Nut Material? - and frankly, I guess there are none, which makes any other question about it utterly unneccessary. A solution waiting for a problem, or for filling the void of cancelled Halloween.
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    Default Re: Giraffe Bone Nuts

    Quote Originally Posted by Bertram Henze View Post
    The first question occurring to me is What Are the Properties of Giraffe Bone that Make It a Desirable Nut Material? - and frankly, I guess there are none, which makes any other question about it utterly unneccessary. A solution waiting for a problem, or for filling the void of cancelled Halloween.
    Presumably they only recommend using the bones that come from the end of the neck?




    (Sorry)

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    Default Re: Giraffe Bone Nuts

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    Presumably they only recommend using the bones that come from the end of the neck?




    (Sorry)
    I just knew it wouldn't be long.

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    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Giraffe Bone Nuts

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    Presumably they only recommend using the bones that come from the end of the neck?




    (Sorry)
    now I get it - it's yet another banjo joke...
    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

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    Default Re: Giraffe Bone Nuts

    Thanks for the responses. This builder, who I will not name, is a known and respected builder. I saw a very nice instrument on line that caught my eye. But the giraffe bone part really bothered me. So I contacted the dealer who listed the instrument and asked the question about responsible sourcing of that particular material. His response not only didn’t answer the question, but instead he insulted me personally for asking the question. Needless to say, I will not be doing any business with him ever, under any circumstances. And no, I will not name the builder or dealer as that would violate forum guidelines. I will say that both the builder and the dealer have received numerous rave reviews here on the forum. So I was shocked and upset to receive the response I did. Was I really that out of line to ask the question, to elicit such a response?

    The specs of the instrument actually specified “giraffe femur”, so no, not the neck. As to the question of “why”, a little online research came up with a comment by someone on a forum who said it was “a little bit harder” than cow bone. And a search of our own forum for “giraffe bone” only turned up 3 or 4 threads where it was brought up, although only in passing. It would appear that the topic has never been addressed head on here.
    Last edited by multidon; Nov-01-2020 at 8:35am.
    Don

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    Default Re: Giraffe Bone Nuts

    There's this magical tool on the internet called Google that can often reveal all... Surely not everyone thought this was going to be some kind of secret.

    Not hard to figure out at least one builder doing it with a search of "giraffe femur" and "mandolin."
    Last edited by Mandolin Cafe; Nov-01-2020 at 9:31am.

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    Default Re: Giraffe Bone Nuts

    Perhaps the builder obtained the giraffe femur pre cites ban and is using existing stock. I feel it is totally appropriate to inquire about whether it was sustainably harvested or not.

    Seems that the main use of that material is for pistol stocks and knife handles.
    Charley

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    Default Re: Giraffe Bone Nuts

    I would not buy from this maker as well!

  20. #14
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    Default Re: Giraffe Bone Nuts

    I’m not disputing that maybe the material used by the builder was obtained legitimately. It’s certainly possible. But then why not just answer the question? Instead of insulting me for asking it? Obviously I thought it was an appropriate question to ask and nobody so far has disagreed with that.

    It’s not that I didn’t expect some folks to do a little detective work, but I was truly seeking to keep this discussion in the realm of generalities rather than specifics to avoid getting the discussion shut down. I am not looking for an advantage in a dispute. There is no dispute since I am not doing any business regarding this. But I think the focus should be on the use of this material. If one is using it, I’ll bet dollars to donuts others are too. My search of our forum revealed at least two discussions discussing the material’s availability on eBay. The posts were pre-CITES. There were photos of the bones. The problem with saying the material is pre CITES is, just like the situation we all face with some tropical woods, there needs to be a certificate or there’s no way to prove it wasn’t obtained illegally.
    Don

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