Red Deer Antler

Making things, reuse tips and tricks of all sorts.

Red Deer Antler

New postby Tonga on Tue 22 Jul 2008 13:52

I'm about to embark on making a Sgian Dubh with a red deer antler handle. I have never worked with antler before and I don't realy know what to expect. My plan was to cut the antler at the thick burr which would act as the blades bolster, cut and file a hole for the tang then expoxy it in then file, sand and finaly polish the antler.
These antlers have been in my family for longer than I have so ruining one realy isn't an option >.<
Any help would be great.
Thankyou, Regards Tonga.

The blade I am going to use is here: http://www.caulfieldleather.co.uk/blades.html
(The Damascus one ^^)

Here are the antlers:
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Re: Red Deer Antler

New postby James on Tue 22 Jul 2008 14:48

Euh, I don't catch exactely where you want to cut? Do you want to use the crown as a bolster, or as a butt , or do you plan to use the tip or make a Y handle ? Anyway, don't do anything before you have the blade in hands ! :wink2: could probably use some parts to make a hard case sheath too :yup: Personally, I'd plan the use of a metal or hard wood bolster, because the inside of the horn could very well be very spongious.
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Re: Red Deer Antler

New postby Tonga on Tue 22 Jul 2008 15:04

Crown as a bolster ^^
If using the antler as the bolster is problematic I will probably go for a brass one.
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Re: Red Deer Antler

New postby LD on Wed 23 Jul 2008 20:27

I must agree, do not cut until you have the blade in hand.

The center of the antler will contain a pithy core that is solid, but crumbly. It is easily drilled with hand tools. A good epoxey will hold the blade in the cavity.

From the looks of the antler you will not need a stain, the color is great. Use a good paste wax or neutral shoe polish to give it a shine.

You will find that using the crown for the pomel will work best, and a traditional SD works well with a poured pweter bolster.

The SD usually did not have an antler crown and using a section of the beam may work best, saving the crown for the dirk grip. I have seen several early dirks using borken sword blades and antler crown grips. I suppose that if you check out enough museums you will find a SD with a crown.
LD
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Re: Red Deer Antler

New postby wildcat on Thu 24 Jul 2008 19:40

no doubt, those will make some very nice handles. Be sure to post pics of the finished product.
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Re: Red Deer Antler

New postby Tonga on Fri 25 Jul 2008 10:02

Should I file off the little lumps before polishing or should I just leave them on?
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Re: Red Deer Antler

New postby LD on Fri 25 Jul 2008 21:27

If you are making the knife to hang on the wall and look at it will not matter. If you intend to use the knife for actual cutting chores you will want the handle free of anything that would give you massive blisters, like those bumps would.

File them to near flush and use sandpaper to smooth the last bit. The underlying surface will be white and probably be a nice contrast.
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Re: Red Deer Antler

New postby Tonga on Sat 06 Sep 2008 13:14

Finished :D
The antler should look nice when the freshly sanded bits begin to age.
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