The above photos show what I started off with, but, this week I managed to get down and borrow my mates big band saw for an hour and turned 6 water buffalo horn back strips like the one in the photos into 6 horn strips. Three hours of rasping the first pair got me to the point (6mm thick) where I could steam the plates and straighten out most of their curvature. Another few hours will get them to the 4.5mm I need but for now they look like this:
It’s been a busy few days, as well as the school carving project and the trailboard, I have made a small start on the hornbow project, not much of a start mind, but, a start all the same. I spent a pleasant afternoon rasping off all the ridges on the six strips of horn I ordered back in January in preparation for band-sawing into plates. I am proceeding very cautiously; ultimately the strips will be about 4mm thick but I have marked out 10mm cuts, now I just need to get some time on a nice big band-saw; its probably a good time to wander over to see my mate the ship-wright.