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first antler handle

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Posts: 7
Active Member Apprentice Bladesmith
Topic starter
 

a very apprentice smith here. I'm using whitetail antler what should i use to seal it with? i have boiled linseed oil but is there something better? i'm really not wanting to darken the antler to much. suggestions would be appreciated

 
Posted : 03/01/2024 2:50 pm
Ed Caffrey
Posts: 746
Prominent Member Master Bladesmith
 

Actually, nothing is necessary.  Typically in nature, a shed antler will last a LONG time without anything as a "sealer".  Most of the time antlers get eaten up by various rodents for it's calcium content before they rot away.

  I rarely use any type of "sealer" or "coating" such as varnish, poly, etc. on natural handle material.  A good coat of quality "wax" with a high carnauba content is my typical "final finish".   My personal favorite is Mother's Carnauba Cleaner/Wax.... about $15 a can at Walmart.     

Ed Caffrey, ABS MS
"The Montana Bladesmith"
www.CaffreyKnives.net

 
Posted : 05/01/2024 9:45 am
Posts: 7
Active Member Apprentice Bladesmith
Topic starter
 

thank you for your response. after posting my question I tried some linseed oil on a scrap piece and realized it wasn't soaking in and I began to think I might have asked a foolish question but you don't if you don't ask. Thanks again for the help

 
Posted : 06/01/2024 8:57 pm
Ed Caffrey
Posts: 746
Prominent Member Master Bladesmith
 

The only "foolish question"  is the one not asked! 😉   

  The vast majority of natural handle material that does need to be sealed, I either use some that has been stabilized, or send my own stuff out to be stabilized. 

 You see a lot of folks trying to do their own stabilizing, but take it from a guy who tried doin it the "home brew" way for 3+ years..... you are WAY AHEAD in time and money if you just send it to the professionals....who have the professional level equipment, and the professional level chemicals.  Some of the best I've used is by http://www.kandgstabilizing.com      

Ed Caffrey, ABS MS
"The Montana Bladesmith"
www.CaffreyKnives.net

 
Posted : 07/01/2024 5:53 pm
Posts: 3
Member
 

I am an apprentice and have only made two antler handles but have seen others use leather die to darken the antler. Especially the grind areas. Hope it helps.

 
Posted : 15/02/2024 12:26 am
Kiril Mitrashkov
Posts: 33
Eminent Member Apprentice Bladesmith
 

Potassium permanganate can darken the white antler too. But be careful and use gloves, because it will dye your skin too.

I am not lazy, I am on energy saving mode!

 
Posted : 18/02/2024 10:41 am
Posts: 6
Active Member Journeyman Bladesmith
 

Tea, try soaking it in tea

 
Posted : 21/02/2024 8:29 pm
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