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I was just thinking about bone today and found this topic. What about using bone as a spacer between the handle and shank. It seems to me you could use the long bones of a deer (people who don't hunt here are the exceptions). Select a length that is the appropriate diameter, say between 1 1/2" - 1 1/4. Then either pre-slice them to the desired height and fill with epoxy or leave the whole length for slicing later, then fill with epoxy and slice it once the epoxy's cured. Once you have the slices, drill a hole for you screw down the middle, attach it between the shank and handle then sand it to fit just like any other wood spacer. I've never tried it but it may work.
 

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Again, because hunting is so prevalent in this area I can probably get a hold of any deer bones. The large femur might work. The vertebrae might also be worth a look. I give my dogs the cow femurs but they seem a little large in that the shaft of a cane would fit inside the hole in the bone. The large round head of the femur could be cut and shaped to work also.
 

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I also have a line on faux ivory. It's available from Atlas Billiard supply. The sell materials for pool cue manufacturing. It's called Super Tusk Elforyn. Not cheap but it looks nice.
 
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