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Moose Antler

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  • Moose Antler

    My frien's, a downside to living in the isolation of Whooping Hollow is that my Iphone has to operate as my internet access ~ for an extra charge ~ with only 10 gigs each for the two phones. This means that ~ if I avoid videos (which many news sources start automatically ~ if I am carful of my downloads of photos and info for woodcarving ~ I have internet service for about 2 ½ weeks each month. My internet access is restored on the 4th of each month.

    I have found the silver lining in this dark cloud. More carving time and time for organizing/cleaning my carving station. For the past couple of weeks I have been in enforced isolation. Naturally my addiction took over and I made a lot of progress in my carving habit ~ except for my nod to safety. I have decided to place the barn owl on a block of wood carved to look like a chunk from a fire. The carving is ready for assembly ~ except for the base. I want to burn the base rather than resort to paint. In my concern for safety I put my Bernzamatic (butane torch) in a safe location. It is very safe. Even from me. Can't remember where I put the **** thing!

    I have mentioned working on the two foxes and have made a lot of progress ~ on one. I might have gotten further if it were not for the moose antler. I have been working on an antler ~ acquired from and following instructions by Bill Matz.

    Antlers are hard ~ this I learned early on ~ when I started to drill my first hole ~ the drill slipped and skipped across the surface of the antler ~ my first thought was, "not even started and ruined a very expensive antler ~ my second thought was, "Uh, Oh! The drill bit did not leave a mark!"

    The antler is roughly 3 feet long and two feet high ~ no way can it be carved in the house using my portable air filter for dust control ~ no way it can be carved with anything but my flexshaft and steel bits ~ no way I can leave it on the porch for squirrels to gnaw on ~ no way I can carve when it's too cold, hot or raining. Very inconvenient! I have to move the operation onto the porch and when not carving find some place to leave the carving until the next session. In retirement, with few enforced deadlines, I became acquainted with the fine art of procrastination. It solved all my problems ~ except the alleviation of guilt when I realized how long it had been since the last session.

    Then a EUREKA moment! Diana had selected the location of the antler. Why not hang it there where it is easily available and still out of the way? It took a while to figure out the method of hanging that would allow me to take it down, carve a while, and return it. Deer antlers were the perfect choice. The moose antler rests, without attachments, in the deer antlers and above the rock that extends through the wall and into our bedroom. Solved all problems ~ except my fascination with procrastination!

  • #2
    That's great work. I like the "scenes" of animals and the cut-though style.
    Popular power carving medium up here as well. Mineralized protein and far harder than some carving stone.
    Soapstone, I could carve with a screwdriver if I had nothing else.
    Brian T


    • #3
      Very nice antler theme, Paul. Nice way of using the trees and of course the turkeys look fine. I can tell it is/was a lot of work and I've only "monkeyed" around with some elk and deer antlers. Obviously not as hard as the moose.

      Again, great work and keep it going.
      Living among knives and fire.


      • #4
        Great to see you carving again my friend. That Moose antler looks gorgeous, great job on it. Am waiting to see how those foxes turn out. Keep us posted.

        Before they slip me over the standing part of the fore sheet, let them pipe: "Up Spirits" one more time.


        • #5
          Paul, the moose antler looks amazing. I have only turned pens from deer antler before. Does moose antler stink when carving?


          • #6
            Really nice work Paul. Super idea for hanging the antler as well.



            • #7
              Beautiful work, Paul. My mom has painted scenery on moose antlers, but I've never seen one carved.

              As to the silver lining of your dark cloud, sometimes I think if I had two less weeks of internet per month, I'd be far more productive.


              • #8
                Paul...that is just spectacular! Wow!

                I am doing what my father in law did...stockpiling tools in anticipation of my retirement, and moose antler is one of my bucket list items to carve with my still in the box Foredom! I found a matched set of really small moose head gear in an antique shop here in Kansas. I was surprised they wanted over $300 for the set...too rich for my blood!

                I have heard that antler buyers are paying $15-$20 per pound from shed hunters for deer and elk antlers. Looks like they might be high for a while!


                • #9
                  My main regret with the moose antler is the "white" wall behind it. Diana and I lived in many different houses during our Park Service career. All park houses were painted "Navajo White". So we continued this theme into retirement.

                  RavV, dust from the antler does have a smell that some find unpleasant. To me, it resembles burning hair and is not a problem. Since I carve with metal burrs, I do wear a mask for protection. I also only carve outdoors so that the dust does not accumulate in the house.

                  tbox61, I believe, even for a small matched set, $300 would be a price to jump at. I bought the one I am carving and one (not a match) equally large over 10 years ago and paid $200 each. I also bought (at the same time) one about half that size that cost around $100. I was watching the TV program "Life Below Zero" and a trapper found a large shed. He was happy that this find was worth over at least $200 (guessing the weight) for him in Fairbanks. No telling what shipping would add to the cost.

                  A few months ago I found a supplier for a block of basswood 12x12x15. The cost of the wood was around $70. The cost of the shipping was almost $50. Makes the moose antler value not so out of range.

                  ****, these figures brings back a memory from 1980 when I started carving. I told Diana, "I'm going to move from leather working (only can make so many billfolds, purses and belts) to woodcarving. It will be a cheap hobby. All I need is a pocket knife and a limb!"

                  I should have known better. When asked what I would do after my Peace Corps assignment, I observed, "Not sure. But I have been in uniform from high school until now. First the military high school, then the Marines. I am not going to wear a uniform or sleep on the ground ever again." This lasted until I returned home, became a National Park Ranger and did both for the next three decades.


                  • #10
                    Paul, the antler is looking really nice, and the way you hung it just looks so natural..what a good idea between your wife and you. Maybe it could be sat off from the wall with lighting. It sure looks nice there!


                    • #11
                      4.67Antler is looking good. At $4.67/board foot, you got a deal on the block of wood!

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                      • #12
                        Paul that was quite a career. Lots of memories I am sure. Where is
                        Whooping Hollow?


                        • #13
                          Great looking peice Paul. Always enjoy following your work. Glad you are back in the carving chair. Thanks for sharing.


                          • #14
                            WHW Entrance.jpg Ray, Whooping Hollow is in the Ozark Mountains ~ about 40 miles south of Branson, MO ~ 50 miles east of Fayetteville, AR ~ no large towns around. We are a little over a mile off of U.S. 412 along a "so-called" road. The nearest shopping is 18 miles away in Harrison, AR. We love the isolation.

                            I had not met the neighbor at the junction with the highway. A couple of days ago he was trimming brush along his fence and I stopped to talk. He said he had been down our road for 3/4 of a mile to where there was a place to turn around. "I thought that it was a drive way from there on."

                            There are only a couple of places in the remaining quarter mile where two cars can pass. The road ends in our front yard. We are surrounded by cliffs and this road is the only way into our home.


                            • #15
                              Paul...I didn't realize you were so close to Branson! Next time we are there, I may have to convince the wife to head to Whooping Hollow for a visit!

                              I was in Peter Engler's shop in Branson last November, and was visiting with guy in the tool shop. He said on Tuesday nights, some guys from Branson head south to Harrison and carve with Harold Enlow. Have you ever done that?