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Thread: Just turned my first "Deer Antler"

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Lafayette, Indiana
    Posts
    2,380

    Just turned my first "Deer Antler"

    A guy that I work with was telling me the other day that he had a broken piece of deer antler in the back of his pickup truck. I talked him into giving it to me to "play" with. Wow...that stuff is hard! I only made a small 7mm key ring out of it so far. I'll give it to him tomorrow. It was hard drilling through it because of the curve of the piece and then turning it was tough as well. I sharpened my bit twice but it was just some tough material. I think I may have enough material left to make a nice pen but I don't have a good kit right now (need to order). No photo..it was just a simple straight keyring. I used the same wax that I use on my pens "Shellawax" ...what would you use?

    Tom

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Posts
    11,832
    Drilling a straight line through a curved piece of antler is the biggest challenge when making pens from the stuff.
    Turning just takes getting used to. Some guys water soak for a few days prior to turning. Personally, I don't see enough (there is a little) difference to make it worth while.


    Uh....pictures????

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tellico Plains, Tennessee
    Posts
    4,351
    Tom,
    I've always drilled my antler on the drill press and got about a 40% screw up rate... I read either here or on IAP about drill the antler on the lathe... you have to set the starting end against the drill bit, put the other end in a chuck.. should have the axis line pretty straight that way... if the piece isn't really curved, seems to work pretty good. I do all of my lathe drilling at 450 and back out often to clear the bit... especially on antler as sometimes if you are getting into a green/fresh piece of antler you'll get some build up on the bit.
    Chuck
    Tellico Plains, TN
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/TellicoTurnings
    My parents taught me to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder to find any.
    If you go looking for trouble, it will usually find you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    lutefisk capitol, USA
    Posts
    485
    What Chuck said. There is a you-tube video someplace that shows how to drill antler with a 100% success rate. Center drill where you want the hole to start and where you want the hole to come out. Set the lathe to the low speed. Put the drill chuck in the headstock and align the drill bit with the starting hole. Put the live center in the tailstock and line it up in the other hole. Hold the antler with a channel-lock pliars and start the lathe. Crank the tailstock to advance the antler into the bit. After going half to three quarters through, you can just advance the antler with the pliars so you don't have to worry about hitting your center with the drill. Works wonders.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tellico Plains, Tennessee
    Posts
    4,351
    Quote Originally Posted by Dale Johnson View Post
    What Chuck said. There is a you-tube video someplace that shows how to drill antler with a 100% success rate. Center drill where you want the hole to start and where you want the hole to come out. Set the lathe to the low speed. Put the drill chuck in the headstock and align the drill bit with the starting hole. Put the live center in the tailstock and line it up in the other hole. Hold the antler with a channel-lock pliars and start the lathe. Crank the tailstock to advance the antler into the bit. After going half to three quarters through, you can just advance the antler with the pliars so you don't have to worry about hitting your center with the drill. Works wonders.
    Dale, That an interesting concept... I do it opposite though... I use a pin chuck to hold the antler, with the drill chuck in the tail stock and crank it forward until I go through the antler.
    Chuck
    Tellico Plains, TN
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/TellicoTurnings
    My parents taught me to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder to find any.
    If you go looking for trouble, it will usually find you.

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