jacbow2

Burning Blade tang into antler

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Is it safe to heat up the tang of the knife then push the antler over it so it fits? I've heard bad and good things about it, What I planned on doing is drilling small holes to guide it then burn the rest so its a perfect fit. 

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The only times I have personally applied heat to an antler was unintentional, i.e I was drilling and caused heat because the drill wasn't evacuating the chips well enough.  That one time experience would lead me to believe that applying heat to them would be bad for long term usage.  I ended up scrapping a 4" section of antler because it caused checking and cracking in the antler itself and lead to it quickly loosing its' grip on the tang of the chisel I was working on.  I found it much more stable to either drill then shape the socket with a set of gun files install a brass collar then drive the tool into the antler, or drill the hole large enough for the tang to slip 75% or so into the antler then put epoxy in the hole and drive the tool into the seat.  I am not sure how it would work for knife handles since the porous nature of the main trunk of the antler would make it unsuitable for a handle unless sliced into scales and riveted to the tang perhaps?   Let me know how you do it and what you end up thinking I would love to know since at some point I will make a knife I'm sure.

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The odor produced might be enough to dissuade you from repeating the burn in if you ever do it.  There are better ways to do it.  Some of it will depend on how your antler has been treated, if at all.  If it's fresh out of the forest then you can probably submerge it in hot water.  That will make the center of the antler turn soft and somewhat similar to glue.  You may not even need any epoxy if you use that method.  I don't remember specifics regarding temperature, time or anything like that, but it should be fairly easy to find online.

However, if the antler has already been stabilized with resin or other such material then I don't think hot water will work and you'll have to drill close to your needs and then epoxy - as far as I know.

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About the smoke you'll generate burning antler or horn. The stuff is basically the same chemically as hair and the smoke doesn't just have an unpleasant odor, it contains a significant % of hydrogen cyanide. Yeah, it's toxic in any quantity really toxic. Burning wool has been used as a chemical weapon since biblical times.

If you're going to try this please, PLEASE use proper PPE. Good ventilation better yet outdoors AND a good respirator with eye cover. Yeah, cyanide will absorb through your eyes, mouth and not that smoke is going to get in but your ears. It's a way to poison someone, a couple drops in an ear while they're sleeping, B'BYE "King Lear". 

Frosty The Lucky.

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47 minutes ago, Frosty said:

It's a way to poison someone, a couple drops in an ear while they're sleeping, B'BYE "King Lear". 

Hamlet; you're thinking of "The Murder of Gonzago".

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Thank you John I present my above mistake as proof positive I am NOT an English Major! Nor am I fond of Ketchup.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Don't forget Macbeth. Light entertainment for the ages.

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Actually I was nicked by the scalpel during the operation. which is what I blame my fascination with knives and swords on. *Stabbed* my first day in the world!  My wife tells me it's almost impossible to find the scar anymore; she said it was a lot clearer 30+ years ago...

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I have done it, just don't get the tang so hot that it chars the antler otherwise it will make a loose fit.  A dull red at most.

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I would think burning on horse shoes would put off similar fumes, normally done outside sometimes lots of smoke, death is not usually the result. Esther thinks it smells good I guess one of those familiar childhood smells. Everyone else would rather avoid the smell.

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I drill out what I can and then use files and these bad boys. Amazing how well they work on horn and bone. Then I soak the whole thing for 24 hrs in a cocktail of wood hardener, turpentine, whatever stain or dye I'm using and linseed oil.  

 

IMG_4675.JPG

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What I found to work very well with antler is;  either boil it in water, or you can just soak it in cold water for a couple weeks to soften it. Then just push it onto your tang. As the antler re-hardens it grips the tang like concrete. That is the technique I used to make this KSO a few years ago, no pin, rivet or epoxy was used and it's still holding. However, it has developed a very slight wiggle so when I do it again in the future, I will use a pin/rivet for added support.

Hope that helps some!

Viking 

58fcde6385be9_K.S.O.w.AntlerHandleBrassHilt.thumb.JPG.74ad61b3cc9129e67c5c6d1b990649d9.JPG

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On 4/13/2017 at 1:38 PM, metalmangeler said:

I would think burning on horse shoes would put off similar fumes, normally done outside sometimes lots of smoke, death is not usually the result. Esther thinks it smells good I guess one of those familiar childhood smells. Everyone else would rather avoid the smell.

I agree poisoning is a matter of dose not chemicals. You'd have to lock yourself in a room with burning hoof, antler, wool, beef, etc. to poison yourself and I'd bet smoke inhalation would get you first. 

I don't know if anybody remembers but a while back there were warnings everywhere about browned meat generating cyanide fumes and how everybody should stay away from grilled meat and fish. 

No accounting for taste but I don't think it's that odd Esther likes the smell of burnt hoof. As a kid we used to love going to the dump, the old kind that were giant pits of burning garbage. We not only got to look for "good" stuff we all liked the smell.

Now, if I only could've convinced the pretty girls I went to school with that a little BO was attractive. Oh wait hockey players would get them all. Nevermind.

Frosty The Lucky.

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On 4/23/2017 at 10:05 AM, BlackMetalViking said:

What I found to work very well with antler is;  either boil it in water, or you can just soak it in cold water for a couple weeks to soften it. Then just push it onto your tang. As the antler re-hardens it grips the tang like concrete. That is the technique I used to make this KSO a few years ago, no pin, rivet or epoxy was used and it's still holding. 

Do you get any cracks or splits in the antler when it dries? Does it push right on or does it take some persuasion. 

 

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On 4/24/2017 at 8:19 PM, BlasterJoe said:

Do you get any cracks or splits in the antler when it dries? Does it push right on or does it take some persuasion. 

I haven't observed any cracking on mine, and I've had it for a few years now. It pushed on fairly easy, but I needed to use a wooden mallet to seat it all the way.

One thing I failed to mention in my previous post, if you choose to do the slow soak in room temp/cold water, make sure to change it out as it gets cloudy, the water smells horrible, but if you don't, bacteria will form and could dis-colour or ruin your piece of antler.  

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