For pistol grips Sambar stag from India is used. This is the only antler
large enough. They are very large at the "button" and quite straight. European
red deer has beautiful textue but they are scarce now.
Regular domestic stag is used for small knife and tool scales. Great care in
layout must be used to avoid cutting through to the marrow inside.
For full round knife handles, they are roughed out for length and then some
penetrating solidifier used on the marrow, for strength. I use thinned lacquer.
Thin it very thin and eyedropper or spoon it on.
Then add more laq to thicken it a bit, and use that.
More laq and now its getting thick.
The marrow will get quite solid in the end.
Very interesting, Scott.
I don't know the source of these antlers, because I found an entire 50-gal
plastic trash can full of them at a garage sale for $50.00. Some are certainly
elk, but I am using them for that chandelier you and I talked about a couple of
years ago when you sent me the copper. The one I cut the pieces out of for Ed
are definitely deer. The section I hope he can use was cut about 2/3rsds of the
way up and it is pretty solid -- but we'll see when he cuts out the blank.
These particular antlers are very rough and bumpy down towards the button --
like little rounded studs sticking out. I would imagine that someone who knows
deer well could identify the sub-species from that.
I kept a few pieces from down there from a couple of mismatched antlers and hope
to find a fun use for them. All the rest -- the matched pairs -- are going
either into that chandelier when I get back to it, or into a pair or two of wall
sconces for the same cabin.