Antler

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  • Antler

    Guys & Gals...

    What are some tips for using antler for knife handles?

    I have done my diligent youtube research and have conflicting views...

    Do they need to be stabalised? (difficult to do without a vacuum chamber)

    Does the cancellous need to be cleaned out? - (This is the conflicting one)

    Any tips, tricks or warning would be welcome.

  • #2
    What's this stabilizing stuff about Ernk?
    Can you give a brief explanation or links?

    I haven't even found vids on doing laminated handles and riveting tips and stuff so you don't damage the antler as yet.

    Antler seems to go well over time judging by some of the knives you see in pics.

    Comment


    • #3
      I recon you blokes are making it hard for yourselves.

      Just pick a nice straight section of antler thats tapered to almost nothing at the top, find a spot that will meet your hand width requirements and that has good texture and colour. I cut my scales like this.

      Click image for larger version

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      Fill any hollows or capillaries with bog or epoxy so you have a large surface area to glue to and you can keep it clean.

      Shape the front of each scale to fit your bolster before you fit the scales because you can't easily do it later.

      Click image for larger version

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      The bottom you shape once fitted to suit the shape of your tang or hand you can use a bench belt sander but I didn't have one when I made this handle so used a flapper disc on my angle grinder.

      Click image for larger version

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      Pins really only need to be there for show and some I have seen dont even go through the tang they just get glued in.


      Some more photos...



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      Click image for larger version

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      go to next post.

      Comment


      • #4
        theres a scuff/sanding mark here from a repair I had to do, I broke the old girl and had to sand her back to the length and width you see now, a big long slow job and in the process I hit the handle on the sanding belt, a story for another time...

        Click image for larger version

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        probably should have filled that haha

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        Anyway just trying to show that you dont have to go to too much trouble, this look the goods and this handle has been in use for a very very long time.

        Cheers, Dan.

        Comment


        • #5
          Good stuff Dan, what do you cut them with.
          I was thinking of using the versitile flapper discs for shaping.

          Are they soft enough to just rub them flat on sheets of grit paper on the flat benchtop?
          Are you just using 24hr Araldite or what?

          They don't really need the rivets for looks as they just look sweet with coloured antler.
          Would be cool if a small tine could be used as a blade guard.

          Although not really my style, if I had to, I would visit a mens shed for 5mins on their linisher, belt sander.
          Prob have to talk for 20min and some of the old codgers may start barring up again and searching for antler LOL.
          Never know your luck as you could meet an old knife maker that could give me the tips.
          Used to have access to hard steels like power hacksaw blades and things.
          We used to scratch our heads looking for materials like spring steel for making our 12' 2 piece rock fishing gaffs and someone would come up with something like, " what about that dude in the next workshop that uses such and such springs".
          I could tell true stories of some of the foreign orders blokes made and how we got them out that you wouldn't believe it.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks Guys. That looks great Dan... I was hoping to use the antler whole (not as scales) and have read that the insides can rot.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by magoo View Post
              What's this stabilizing stuff about Ernk?
              Can you give a brief explanation or links?

              I haven't even found vids on doing laminated handles and riveting tips and stuff so you don't damage the antler as yet.

              Antler seems to go well over time judging by some of the knives you see in pics.
              They pop the antler is a vacuum chamber with epoxy and permeate it to prevent degradation. Doesnt look like its need judging by Dan's post

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by magoo View Post
                Good stuff Dan, what do you cut them with.
                I was thinking of using the versitile flapper discs for shaping.

                Are they soft enough to just rub them flat on sheets of grit paper on the flat benchtop? Yes
                Are you just using 24hr Araldite or what?

                Yeah so just imagine working with hard wood, but there are softer parts like the centre, you can cut them with any saw. Use a jigsaw, band saw dremel whatever its bone basically. I used 5 minute Araldite first time then upgraded. It doesnt matter if the scale falls off just glue it on again.

                They don't really need the rivets for looks as they just look sweet with coloured antler.
                Would be cool if a small tine could be used as a blade guard.

                I prefer no rivets, for the look i mean.

                Although not really my style, if I had to, I would visit a mens shed for 5mins on their linisher, belt sander.
                Prob have to talk for 20min and some of the old codgers may start barring up again and searching for antler LOL.

                It would be an experience and I reckon they would love your company, one day we will all be old and bored.

                Never know your luck as you could meet an old knife maker that could give me the tips.
                100% one day there will be a guy there who has done this...
                Used to have access to hard steels like power hacksaw blades and things.
                We used to scratch our heads looking for materials like spring steel for making our 12' 2 piece rock fishing gaffs and someone would come up with something like, " what about that dude in the next workshop that uses such and such springs".
                So I reckon youve caught a jew or two in your time?
                I could tell true stories of some of the foreign orders blokes made and how we got them out that you wouldn't believe it.
                Try us!



                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Ernk View Post

                  They pop the antler is a vacuum chamber with epoxy and permeate it to prevent degradation. Doesnt look like its need judging by Dan's post
                  So if you were careful, you could bang the glue in all the right spots, then bang it in a vac bag and suck it up? I guess that would work, sounds like a lot of dikking around though.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ernk View Post
                    Thanks Guys. That looks great Dan... I was hoping to use the antler whole (not as scales) and have read that the insides can rot.
                    if your gonna make a knife all Irish style like the guy Steven in Braveheart (it's my Ireland) who got his "dagger past the guards" then you dont need any steel. Pretty sure its tried and tested. If your worried about the insides now? why fret just bang it full of epoxy and place your tang in the optimal point, if theres loose shit in there grind it out, fill it 98% then add some colour for the last 2% shape it up and your jake.

                    ​​​​​​https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9ffXnJQ0xE

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      "Ernk... You've come to the right place the right place then..."
                      "If we meet offline and you look nothing like your Pics...You are buying me drinks until you do!"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The drilling out and gluing the blade in is the easier way, just have to keep it lined up, could be why they use 5 min glue.
                        A good trick in one vid was heating the blade tang thingy, sorry Herne, I didn't take the name of it in yet, and it can be pushed into the antler melting its way in. He may have drilled a pilot hole first, not too sure.

                        They were adding the brass and leather ring, I assume for looks but there could be a reason to seat them up that way.

                        Dan, in the big workshops where you couldn't escape for periods lasting months or at all in some sections.
                        We had blokes that could do anything from Tigging up and balancing a mangled outboard prop, to fabbing up things like wood-burning stoves more suited to the main house than their properties.
                        The Tarago van almost couldn't take the weight of that one.
                        Another welder towed a trailer in every day so security wouldn't check when he took jobs out.

                        A funny one that must have been from the sheeties, was staino trailers that got crained over the high fence during overtime to avoid detection.
                        Another was hearing noises when playing in the rail yard as apprentices, it was a dumped stolen Monaro that they salvaged and put it into an open type of coal container rail truck and were stripping it.
                        We also made staino rope fittings and a bloke that rode a eco XL 250 rode out to Kurnel with a battery hammer drill and fitted them.
                        We could then climb down a massive cliff and fish where no one else could go. We used a big roll of 1'' hemp rope and would pass the packs and rods to each other from ledge to ledge. Could have ended badly as a few blokes froze for a while on the cliff face and another bloke that did propper climbing with nylon ropes and all the gear told us we were mad when he had a look.

                        The ring leader was older than us and a Nam vet, turns out he had to keep busy and did stuff to stay sane.
                        They don't talk about it much but he told me it was things like a mate beside you one second being shot in the head next.
                        Can fully understand why most of them have mental problems or issues.

                        I returned to my car from the train at the station car park as a 1st-year apprentice at 16yo and found a bloke that blew half his head off with a shotty, I think. He was in the driver's seat of a panel van and was a bit dark with the window down about an inch.
                        I drove home as my brain didn't register it properly and I thought it was a pig or something.
                        Told my parents and called the police, they replied that it was prob a suicide as they got another report and would go out.
                        My old man hosed bits off my car from around the passenger side door handle that would have been a fair bit lower than the cracked open window.

                        Don't know how this rant came out but it's funny how you can see something but your brain can think differently.

                        Sorry, knife handles only from now on.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by danandria View Post

                          So if you were careful, you could bang the glue in all the right spots, then bang it in a vac bag and suck it up? I guess that would work, sounds like a lot of dikking around though.
                          Yeah, I dont think I'm going down the stabalising route. Like you said, I'll clean it out as best I can and epoxy the void.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Yeah, wouldn't imagine any real problems cleaned and filled with epoxy.

                            With the laminated method, I will just clamp it using 24hr Araldite so it can be cleaned of any seepage.

                            Keying the steel may help them stay on longer.
                            Could just grind some lines or Xs with the Dremmel or whatnot if it's a plain flat steel handle bit.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by magoo View Post
                              Yeah, wouldn't imagine any real problems cleaned and filled with epoxy.

                              With the laminated method, I will just clamp it using 24hr Araldite so it can be cleaned of any seepage.

                              Keying the steel may help them stay on longer.
                              Could just grind some lines or Xs with the Dremmel or whatnot if it's a plain flat steel handle bit.
                              Drill holes in the tang mate - As many as you like without weakening things

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