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Re: Bone machining

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  • Re: Bone machining

    Except for the mess involved in the machining, there is not much more
    difficulty in cutting bone compared to other materials, such as wood,
    plastics or metals. The two important things to keep in mind are:
    1. don't let the specimens dry out during the machining; and
    2. don't let the specimens get too hot.

    Point 1 can be handled be keeping the bone pieces under a constant stream
    of saline - this is where the mess comes from. Bone dust mixed with
    saline is difficult to clean from machine tools, e.g., a mill. In
    addition, the saline bath tends to rust the machine tool. Because of
    theis, it is a good idea to put a very good coating of protective
    lubricant on the machine and clean off all saline and bone dust as soon
    as possible. Don't place any lubricant or cutting fluid on the bone
    specimens - the saline is the cutting fluid.

    Point 2 can also be covered by the saline stream since it will help to
    dissipate the heat generated by cutting. I have also machined bone that
    was frozen. This gives you a slightly longer time before the bone heats
    up and, if you're quick and/or not doing alot of machining, the bone
    won't have a chance to fully thaw. This allows you to reduce the number
    of freeze/thaw cycles that the specimens are subjected to.

    I'm not aware of any papers which specifically discuss bone specimen
    machining. I learned the same way that those who taught me did - from
    someone else who has done it.

    I hope this information helps.

    Aric Kaiser