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I Forge Iron

Preparing a white-tailed deer antler to be used as a knife handle


DHarris

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It had two drops One larger and one smaller. I soaked them both for 24 hours in BLO. I left them to dry on a box outside the garage. Now I have just one. I assume some dog or critter decided to take one. 
 

I am not happy with the color. It was whitish, now it looks like what I imagine a corpse would look like after a week in the creek. What can I do about the color?

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Two techniques I have heard of for darkening light horn or bone are: 1) using a wood stain like you would with using a wood handle or grip and 2) lightly burning or scorching it with a propane torch.  If you try 2) do it outside, preferably in a cross breeze since burning bone pretty much smells like burning hair.

I'd try method 1) first and only go to 2) if you were unhappy with the results of 1).

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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Call a taxidermist and find out what bleach they use to make bone and horn white. Or do an online search. 

I keep seeing nice handle size bone and horn in the dog chew section of pet shops. 

Does anybody out there in IFI-land stabilize bone and horn like wood? 

Frosty The Lucky.

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I've been thinking about using the concentrated sodium hypochlorite that we use in the laundry room at work to attempt to  bleach a coyote skull. When I get around to it I'll let you know how it worked. 

Pnut

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May have trouble with some of those methods as it's been treated with the BLO *first*.  However I have seen plain old shoe polish, the wax in the tin stuff, used on horns that were bleached by nature or by man.  It won't sink in on antlers already treated with BLO.

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Antlers ARE bone, not horn. Heavens to Betsy, Frosty, I would have assumed you know that!!

(Also, a fun fact: antler is the fastest growing mammalian tissue in existence. Elk antlers can grow an inch in a day, and moose antlers add up to a pound in mass every day.)

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Did I say antler is horn? If I did it was a slip of the digits. I know I asked if TSP or cactus juice type stabilization works on bone or horn. Did I confuse the issue using both in the same sentence? 

Cactus Juice is a heat curing epoxy resin that lets a person leave what's being stabilized immersed and under vacuum for long periods of time without danger of it setting up into a block. It's kind of fun watching a piece of wood fizzing in the resin but you need to start at a low vacc setting or it'll foam over. 

Depending on the wood's density and porosity it may take 30 minutes to 30 hours or to get full penetration. 

It's neat stuff. Heat cure epoxy reminds me of working for General Connectors in the day. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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George, TurnTex is the company, Cactus Juice is the product. I don't know how they came up with the name... The resin does have a sweet cactusy scent? There aren't many cacti in NY and I can't say I've spent much time sniffing them..

Frosty, agreed. I've done wenge, padauk, zebra wood, spalted maple and walnut. The first 4 don't take too long, a few to several hours. The walnut takes (comparatively) a very long time, 20+ hrs. It's done when the bubbles stop and/or it no longer floats. Whichever comes first.

I have no idea where antler would fall on that list. It also isn't really made for filling voids, cracks yes, but gaps/voids no.

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I think I will try brown shoe polish applied while the  BLO is a little worm from a torch. 

Left blade is the one to go in the remaining antler  for some reason, a bubble appeared during quenching.  I heated it bac up and welded it flat  

 

the remaining two pictures are of the smaller blade right side left side  the handle will be short, but I see it as more of a boning knife  when using a boning knife my pointer finger rests along the blade to control the tip  my other three fingers remain on the handle.  Hopefully one of the guys at  Byron’s shop today can give me a few tips  

 

The last pic is proof positive  Millennials can work  982C5763-7E12-4D3F-A072-7805B2CAF9C8.jpeg.2c126f365fb90045ed9c626d4b1b1263.jpeg

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I’ve been in it twice in 5 or 6 years now.  The idea of having a pool is much better than actually having a pool.  Now that the middle daughter and my grandkids have moved South Texas, I may not even open it next year. That stuff at the bottom is yellow algae. Chlorine does nothing it.  Once established, it can be hard to eliminate. 
 

This is the blade so far. I tried using the top roller on a 1x30 grinder to do a hollow grind. Didn’t work well. Tomorrow I will try a Dremel sanding drum.  If that doesn’t work and I haven’t totally gorked it, I will take it to one of the SCABA member’s shop and see if someone can show me how to do it properly with a quality 2x72.

This was always just been an experiment more than something I want or need. I don’t hunt and a carbon steel blade would require too much maintenance to use in a kitchen. Other than Steve’s books and Jennifer’s video, I’ve just been mainly making it up as I go. I really wish I welded on WI bolsters before grinding the bevels. 

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For a hollow grind you'll want a much bigger wheel than you've been trying to use. Something 2" in diameter or smaller is more suited to grinding in fullers than hollow grinding the bevel on a blade.  I use an 8 inch wheel for that frequently, but I think 10 to 14 inch would be better for blades 1.5" or more from spine to cutting edge.

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Man, you two cause me to have to Google more than any other posters on the planet. :)

But I still don’t know what it is to ploot. Obsolete spelling of plout, which is evidently to plunge. 
 

And it just now occurs to me perhaps it was just a typo the whole time?

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