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  • Working with Bone/Antlers

    I was curious if anyone has experienced any success working with antler or bone for scrolling?

    I have a nice moose antler that I found and thought it would make an interesting piece of work. My main concern is what would a proper blade be for such a hard material? Is there any other things I need to consider prior to working on this?

    Any input is appreciated.
    Todd

    Hawk G4, Dremel 1800

    Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

  • #2
    Hi Todd, I have been asked by a First Nations artist to cut some moose antlers and havent done it yet. I put it off because of the smell.
    I would recommend a skip tooth blade, you want little or no burning...the smell ewwwwwwwwww...
    There is a high demand for scrolled antlers, I see them advertised in the $500 to $700 dollar range. I may just put up with the smell.
    Not sure my wife will. I will have to get my old saw and use it outside.
    Mikes website recommends FD Polar blades.
    CAЯL HIRD-RUTTEЯ
    "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
    Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21

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    • #3
      Thanks for the info Carl, and yes I know the smell. A few years ago I tried to make a antler knife handle for an old blade I had. I used my dremel tool and it literally made me sick to my stomach.

      I'll have to check Mike's web-site out for the blades.
      Todd

      Hawk G4, Dremel 1800

      Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

      Comment


      • #4
        Todd,

        I was at a gallery in Sterling on the peninsula and the owner said to bleach the antlers before you do any work. That will get rid of some of the smell. Of course, the heat from cutting may create some smell. I found a small piece of an antler but haven't done anything with it yet. Stop off at the Saturday market in Anchorage and you will see some amazing work some folks have done with carving antlers. They may be able to offer some solutions for working with them also. Good luck with it.

        Dan
        Dan H

        I would rather be friendly to a stranger than be a stranger to my friends.

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        • #5
          I've been down to the Saturday market in Anchorage Dan and you're right there is some amazing work displayed there, with crazy price tags might I add. I've not talked with anyone in depth concerning the methods they use in creating, but the best I could see was that they were using grinding tools of sorts. Myself I am just looking to do some basic fretwork if that is possible. Honestly I should be more worried about the wood projects I am working but the antler has been sitting here long enough and collecting dust and it has my imagination running.
          Todd

          Hawk G4, Dremel 1800

          Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

          Comment


          • #6
            Todd, Carl, and anyone else planning to do ANYTHING wiht bone or antler----WEAR BREATHING PROTECTION. I wouldn't even settle for a regular dustmask--I'd go for a high quality one (if not a full resperator). Set up a fan (with a goodquality furnace filter on it) in a position that it will pull the dust away from you--and another fan blowing towards that other fan. You DO NOT want to breath that stuff in!


            Bone and antler are pourous enough that all kinds of bacteria and other nasty micro-organisms get in and they will wreck havoc on your resperatory track!!! You WILL get a resp. infection--and it could get serious VERY fast! NO JOKE!

            I've read a lot about this--people actually dying from breathing antler dust. One guy I know carves bone and antler and he uses a full downdraft table AND one of those respirators they sell for wood turning.

            Just be careful!

            Bob
            www.GrobetUSA.com

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            • #7
              Thanks Bob

              Thanks Bob. I am still not sure a I will do the antlers, I was just offered the job.
              The person who asked me to do it also has abalone shells to cut and I understand the dangers of that are similar. Small shards in the lungs, not too good.
              My Grandfather was a Master Stone Mason who ended up with silicosis. Good job our safety standards have been raised!
              CAЯL HIRD-RUTTEЯ
              "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
              Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21

              Comment


              • #8
                I tried cutting antlers once on my band saw. I was going to use the tips in a Native American style necklace for my daughter. The stuff stinks so bad when the blade heats it up I had to quit!!!
                If it don't fit, don't force it....get a bigger hammer!!

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                • #9
                  Thanks for that info Bob, I never gave that any consideration. I do enough unhealty things as it is so perhaps I'll just give the antler to the wife and she can paint it.
                  Todd

                  Hawk G4, Dremel 1800

                  Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It was freezing outside last night so I shut the shop doors and windows, put on a dust mask, and proceeded to use my dremmel on some red stag. STUPID !!! All I can say is BobD you are 100% right. I spent the entire night and all of today hacking up all sorts of yummy stuff plus got one nasty headache. The mask made it worse. For some reason the dust was able to pass through the mask and then stayed inside. I just got back from minor emergency. They gave me a breathing treatment, a shot in the hip for the coughing and headache, and a steriod. I may need to have antibiotics if I get pneumonia from it. Joy. I'm going tomorrow and getting the best respirator money can buy. I NEVER want to go through this again.

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