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267800 "Joseph Sullivan" <joe@j...> 2019‑02‑06 Of guitar bridges and stag horn
Ed and all:

As always, Conroy knew what he was talking about.  The antler/bone junction in a
stag does have a lot of spongy material.  Oddly, however, immediately above the
skull the antler is very dense, and much like ivory.  This is what I had seen
and noted in my prior post.  In larger antlers, sponginess exists again in the
main branches, but as Conroy noted, as you move up the shaft, it becomes
increasingly dense.  I was able to find a wide and dense section of upper antler
that might do for Ed's guitar bridge.  Because of the curve, the sawing will be
tricky, but I do think a suitable flat can be made -- after all, guitar bridges
are not all that massive.  I will be very interested to hear Ed's verdict, not
only on the feasibility of cutting out a suitable piece, but also on the
usefulness of dense staghorn as a bridge.

Because I have been pre-occupied with earning my bread by the sweat of my brow
in a particularly intense way for a couple of weeks, I am just now getting
around to shipping the stuff.  It will go out later today  or in the morning.

Joe
267801 "Joseph Sullivan" <joe@j...> 2019‑02‑06 Re: Of guitar bridges and stag horn
Ed said:

Joe

 

Can’t wait - sounds like a great experiment.  I will get the blank close to the
right size then weigh it, and get some professional opinions if it varies much
from the 50 grams or so of an ebony blank.

 

 

Ed Minch

 

END SNIP

 

 

Yes, this will be fun.  I’m pretty charged up too.  Love this kind of thing.  I
wish I played steel string…

 

Meanwhile, Scotty the Happy camper or somebody – I also have the rough roots of
the same antlers which would make superb knife scales or full handles for
carving knives.  What advice can you offer about:

 

a.	Best way to cut and mount either as scales or as handle ins the round;
b.	How to stain the antlers?

 

Cheers!

 

Joe
267802 scott grandstaff <scottg@s...> 2019‑02‑07 Re: Of guitar bridges and stag horn
In my meager experience antlers are all different.
Whitetail is different from blacktail etc.
Elk, large and impressive as they are, is pretty poor actually.  It has 
a great deal of marrow and only a thin veneer of solid bone.

  Antler tips are always solid bone though. The last 4 inches or so, but 
merely small.
  Barely wide enough for a bridge saddle.

   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.

Shinbone from any old cow or water buffalo is usually what is used in 
guitar bridges and saddles. Any butcher can help you there.  Elk 
shinbones are particularly large and solid.

   To prepare bone for use, the old recipe is boiling said bone for an 
hour or more in a soapy solution. Then sealing up in a jar of clean 
gasoline for a week.

Buuuuuutt

   Currently you can get bone nut and bridge saddles, perfectly 
prepared,  from China (Ebay), at about 10 sets for 5 dollars, free 
shipping.
It takes at least a month to get them, but nobody is cheaper.

  To color either bone or antler is a closely guarded trade secret.
The only one I personally know is for greenbone. A beautiful greenish 
brown.
  For this take regular asphalt wood stain (walnut, ebony oil stain, 
etc) and slather it on.  Then take a heat gun (or a torch if you don't 
have a heat gun), and heat it. It will kind of sizzle and dry up. It 
takes several coats done this way to actually penetrate and stay on.
  It smells pretty foul so outside on a calm day is best.

These two are both local blacktail antler. Small knife is greenbone.
  http://users.snowcrest.net/kitty/sgrandstaff/images/knifepix/myknives.jpg<
/a>
   yours Scott

-- 
*******************************
    Scott Grandstaff
    Box 409 Happy Camp, Ca  96039
    scottg@s...
    http://www.snowcrest.n
et/kitty/sgrandstaff/
    http://www.snowcr
est.net/kitty/hpages/index.html
267803 "Joseph Sullivan" <joe@j...> 2019‑02‑07 Re: Of guitar bridges and stag horn
Scott said:

   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.

END SNIP

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.

Joe
267804 scott grandstaff <scottg@s...> 2019‑02‑07 Re: Of guitar bridges and stag horn
50-gal plastic trash can full of them at a garage sale for $50.00.

Joe
I know those guys!! Guys with 50 gallons of antlers.
  They never give them up. They always say they will. but they never 
do.   lol
I have a few, but that's it.

  Look in the front row in this pic. That teensy bird & trout knife? 
That was a 100% legal buck!
  In this state, to take a deer, it has to be at least a forked horn.
2 years and older bucks are the only legal game.
  The hard rule for minimum is, you have to get a wedding ring to hang 
off the fork,
or you are getting a really stiff ticket if caught.
  A friend shot it from a distance with a scope and was kind of 
embarrassed when he got up to it. But it was legal and wasting it would 
be inexcusable.  So he carried it out and dressed it.
  I put the antler to use.
http://users.snowcrest.net/kitty/sgrandstaff/images/knifepix/drawer.jpg
> yours scott


-- 
*******************************
    Scott Grandstaff
    Box 409 Happy Camp, Ca  96039
    scottg@s...
    http://www.snowcrest.n
et/kitty/sgrandstaff/
    http://www.snowcr
est.net/kitty/hpages/index.html

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