markh

Gluing deer antlers to forged steel

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Does anyone have experience gluing deer antlers on as handles for fire tools? What glue should I use? Thanks

Edited by Mod17

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Try JB Weld. Its a two part epoxy type adhesive and I find it works well on almost anything. Not good for some plastics.

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i would recommend tapering the tang on the firetool drilling out a hole in the antler slightly smaller than the largest part of the taper. Then put epoxy in the hole and on the tang and drive the handle on. This will create a traditional friction bond and have the epoxy to back it up.

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whatever you use make sure you rough up the piece you are inserting with chisel marks or holes....give the glue something to get around and hold onto.

Peyton

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I have seen this done but without glue by taking a chisel at an angle to create barbs where the iron will be inserted into the antler. I'm sure that a little clear epoxy or perhaps gorilla glue (gorilla glue expands and would fill any voids that would happen to be around and dries to a slightly yellowish color) would work nicely to sure it up for the long haul.

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hey ironrosefarms - the expanding action of the gorilla glue is bad. it creates a sort of foam that is NONSTRUCTURAL, gorilla glue is only good if all your pieces are almost perfectly meshing. I find that 2 part epoxy works great if you have any voids.

Edited by cal-k
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I grind annular grooves on the tang to be inserted so that the glue will have something to grab. JB Weld works fine and the color shouldn't matter if you wipe off the excess before it dries.

To really make it look nice, attach a plate of aluminum or brass to the end of the antler, file for a perfect fit, and put the tang through it into the antler. If the other end of the antler is sawed off put a plate or buttcap on that end too.

Here's how I do it on small meat flippers.

9641.attach

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I also have used the JB weld. I forged a tenon on the ends of a set of fireplace tools, then drilled the antlers, a big glob of JB around the tenon & then insert. Still holding so far after 2 years.

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Thanks for a great thread MarkH, you sparked the creative juices!
I have a bunch of antlers and have always wanted to use them creatively for blades or tools.
I've always wondered about the best way to do it and the epoxy/friction sounds great.
But also wondered can they be sawed in half length wise and epoxied or pinned like some wood handles on a knives or is that not practical.
Tim

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You're welcome Tim. I always have a lot of questions and it's nice to know that I'm not bothering everyone. Take care

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Thanks for a great thread MarkH, you sparked the creative juices!
I have a bunch of antlers and have always wanted to use them creatively for blades or tools.
I've always wondered about the best way to do it and the epoxy/friction sounds great.
But also wondered can they be sawed in half length wise and epoxied or pinned like some wood handles on a knives or is that not practical.
Tim


If the antler is big enough diameter, yes you can saw it into flat scales. Use a slow saw speed and be aware that sawing or grinding antler can smell pretty bad.

Steve

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i would use epoxy or 5200 marine adhesive.


If I'm not mistaken 5200 marine adhesive stays pliable after curing does it not? I don't think you'd want a flexible adhesive in your knife.

I think 2 part epoxy is a good choice. Otherwise the boil and poke method is interesting. And if it doesn't work like you want you could always drill and epoxy.

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I made a knife when I was teaching handicrafts at a BSA summer camp, back around 1984. We didn't have a suitable drill, so I just heated the tang, and burned it into the antler. Stinks, but worked really well making a really tight fit. Used some Devcon 2 part epoxy in the dual tube, and glued it up. In all of those years it has yet to get loose, and it has been used quite a bit, and has been wet often.

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accuglass epoxy used for glass bedding rifles works very well, cutting grooves in the tang so it has something to get a hold. You can also dye this epoxy brown or black. it is avable from brownells gunsmith supply

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I am making an antler chandelier for someone and I’m mounting them on an old iron wagon wheel. I have drilled through the antlers and wired them in place so I can glue it all together but had no idea what to use. I did get a two part epoxy because I had eliminated pretty much everything else just from other projects. Just wanted a second opinion with some experience. Thanks all!

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I have use a lot of deer antler/bone, knobs, knife scales, pen blanks at school for antler pens, and handles of all sorts. Devcon 2 part epoxy works very well. If I were going to use them for fire place tool handles I would also pin them or make it a through tang with a cap. The thicker the antler section the more porous the inside will be, I normally try to remove most of the porous materiel or stabilize it as mentioned above.

Have a great night,

W

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LOL Nice! well when I get that time machine built I will keep this thread in mind! :lol:

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