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Carving bone or antler?

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  • Carving bone or antler?

    Curious if anyone has carved bone or antler and thoughts about it?
    Living among knives and fire.

  • #2
    I've done both the carving and scrimshaw on deer antlers. Scrimshaw just a good eye and steady hands & tungsten pointed marker. I power carved the antlers, better have a well-fented room & and a can of fabreze
    . . .JoeB


    • #3
      Down my street is a rustic furniture shop. They make canes, walking sticks, stair cases, tables and queen-sized beds from diamond willow.
      On slack days, one of the guys carves western red cedar house doors. He carves antler with a Foredom and does magnificent pyro patterns on bleached and prepared big game animal skulls.
      "Rough-out" takes on a whole new meaning with hard stock like that. Must admit, it's not only good but it sells for BIG BUCKS.
      Over the years, about all I can say is that it isn't quick. Takes a lot of time when compared with wood carving. They have excellent smell and dust control.

      Won't be too long now before the sap is running in the diamond willow and the bark will peel like banana skins. They harvest 4-5 cords of willow to dry and cure for future projects. Some 6".

      I think it's worth trying. Both big and little pieces.
      Brian T


      • #4
        The best antler to play with is axis. It is larger and straighter than whitetail deer. If you stay out of the center core, it will polish almost like ivory.

        Like stated above, use good ventilation and a GOOD air cleaner, antler stinks when it gets hot, think of burning hair. I mostly turn it on the lathe, when I do I slide my lathe outside on a windy day.


        • #5
          I have carved bone a fair bit, it's a nice medium to work with if you are using a power engraving/ carving tool, Foredom, Dremel etc. PPE in the form of a mask is essential, bone dust is very bad for your lungs. Glasses are also advised as it can fracture and is rather brittle. I use it when carving Maori Matau ( Traditional Mauri Necklace pendant). I would advise carving outside, it Stinks!!!.

          Not carved antler yet but have bought some, just looking for something to do with them.


          • #6
            Thanks for all the information and looks like a "power" tool is the way to do it. I have cut elk antler with a hack saw to make toppers for walking sticks, and it does have a strong foul odor. Same with the deer. Not sure about cow bones? I have some antler pieces, less tips, that I'm trying to find a use for and was curious about carving.Looks like something I wouldn't be interested in that option is out.

            Again, thanks for the feed back.
            Living among knives and fire.