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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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One of the things I really love about typos is how often they send innocents down rabbit holes. Every now and then they come back with something good.

(Frosty secret/tip. Unless a typo is obvious I exercise google fu before picking it up. It saves embarrassment) 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Lots of errors with a first time. One of the more “doh!!!” errors was not drilling the holes for the bolster and scale pins. 
 

I can remove the hardening and stand a decent chance of not ruining the blade by having the blade in water while using a torch on the handle area, but it wouldn’t have been necessary had I just planned things. 
 

The bolster will be WI. Since welding them on isn’t possible now, I will go with J-B Weld and pins. I am not sure about the pins. No matter which I choose, they will be visible. WI would match the best, but drawing out the WI I have that thin without it splitting isn’t likely to be possible unless I made them square, and I can’t drill square holes. 

5DBEE28E-E9C6-455F-9551-90471C6D5A75.jpeg

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No need to risk the blade's heat treat to drill the tang. Mark the locations and clamp the blade to the drill press table, chuck up a piece of round rod with a rounded end. Lay a wet rag on the blade, turn the drill on and apply pressure to the marked location. Stop when the blue runs a way beyond the .dia or the hole. Repeat in the other locations.

It won't be annealed by a long shot but the temper will be run well beyond blue. You can bring it to red under the friction point but that chances running the temper maybe wider than you want. You need to balance RPM with torque. The faster the rod turns the hotter it'll get faster but the higher the RPM the lower the torque and less pressure you can apply. There's a happy medium take notes. The faster you can heat the hole location the less time there is for the temper color to spread.

It's an old trick but works on most alloys.

Frosty The Lucky.

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That worked for one hole for the scales but not the second. Once the drill cut through the WI it would just spin. For the much smaller holes where the bolsters will go, same thing. Bit went right through the WI and spun on the steel. I then tried a carbide Dremel bit. Worked great. It isn’t a drill bit. More of a very fine rasp. 
 

But how it turns out is something I may never know. I set the blade down somewhere and now cannot find it. And now that my grandson is no longer living in our guest house, I have no one to blame for it going missing. This was just an experiment anyway, so I won’t be that upset if it never turns up. I will just start again, but not do all the stupid things I did this first go round. 

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A trick I have found useful in such situations is to get a similar item and repeat what I was doing and see where I set that one.  I've had good results from that.  Another issue is when something has slid down from where I set it and so hid itself.   Remember; living long enough to get absent minded means you have *SURVIVED*!

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