How to Polish a Water Buffalo Horn

Written by jennifer alyson
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How to Polish a Water Buffalo Horn
The horn of the water buffalo is used in pens and knife handles, among other items. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

The horn of water buffaloes serves as a material for pens, wind-instrument mouthpieces, knife handles and gun grips, among other things. Horn from the Cape buffalo is mostly black with some thin white stripes streaking through it. Horn from the Asian water buffalo is black, brown or light grey. Water buffalo horn needs occasional maintenance to protect its surface and shine.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Sandpaper, 400-grit
  • Steel wool, 0000 grade
  • Mini grinder and buffer, 3-in.
  • Wool buffing pad
  • Mineral oil
  • Three cloths, dry
  • Paste wax or neutral shoe polish

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Sand your water buffalo horn gently with 400-grit sandpaper to remove scratches, nicks and other flaws.

  2. 2

    Buff the horn with 0000 steel wool to further smooth the material's surface.

  3. 3

    Polish the horn with a 3-inch mini-grinder and buffer fitted with a wool pad. Run the grinder at speeds ranging from 1,725 to 3,600rpm. Don't let the horn overheat, or it could become scorched and develop cracks or lines. The higher the rpm you use with the grinder, the more lightly you should apply the horn to the machine.

  4. 4

    Rub mineral oil into the horn to protect it from drying. Wipe off excess oil with a dry cloth.

  5. 5

    Wax the horn with the paste wax or neutral shoe polish to further protect its surface from dirt and water and to make it shine. Apply the wax or polish with a dry cloth, let it sit for a few minutes and wipe off the excess material with another dry cloth.

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