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View Full Version : Straightening Antler?



pocomoonskyeyes
04-21-2010, 04:30 PM
Does anyone know how this is done??

stabber
04-21-2010, 04:36 PM
I know Harm straightens Horn with heat. Not sure about antler?

murphda2
04-21-2010, 04:49 PM
Hmmmmmm, Ray Rybar was telling a group of us about a formula where you mix vinegar and something else together and then soak the antler. I'll try to remember what it is or call Brian and see if he remembers. Long story short, Ray said that after soaking the antler it would be flexible enough to where you could tie a knot in it if you wanted to.

pocomoonskyeyes
04-21-2010, 07:46 PM
Hmmmmmm, Ray Rybar was telling a group of us about a formula where you mix vinegar and something else together and then soak the antler. I'll try to remember what it is or call Brian and see if he remembers. Long story short, Ray said that after soaking the antler it would be flexible enough to where you could tie a knot in it if you wanted to.

Murph, I think you are on to something here. I saw this somewhere and don't remember where I stumbled on it. I didn't have any antler at the time, so didn't pay too much attention,or Bookmark it. Now, someone is giving me several sets of antler!! I do remember something about the vinegar, and maybe heating it?? Arghh, it is right on the tip of my tongue, so to speak!! I came upon it accidentally, following one link from another..... and now have No idea where it was or anything.

murphda2
04-21-2010, 08:07 PM
I sent an e-mail to Brian. Hopefully he'll remember or someone else will chime in with the answer and directions.

Doug Lester
04-21-2010, 09:20 PM
This came up on one of the other boards and one of the contributors said to boil the antler for at least one hour to get it soft and then clamp it between some hard plates or vice jaws.

Doug Lester

VaughnT
04-21-2010, 09:21 PM
I always soak my antlers for two or three days in regular water to soften them up, but I've never thought to try straightening them. They soften up to the equivalent of green wood and are easily whittled.

Maybe adding some vinegar to the water does something to the antler to make it even softer. I'll have to give it a while as I'd love to be able to straighten out a few pieces for some handles.

murphda2
04-21-2010, 09:21 PM
We discussed that with Ray and he said it wasn't as good of an option. I'll research this more tomorrow.

C Craft
04-22-2010, 08:31 AM
OK, I will take a shot at this!

Straight is a relative term when it comes to describing antler. However you can get it fairly straight if that is what you desire. The first time I tried this I did not have great success. I did not get it hot enough or clamp it fast enough or hard enough and quite possibly I did not leave it clamped long enough!
I think I used vinegar, but it was a limited amount, just a couple of tablespoons in a pot of water. When you boil it in water it does not have to be an extremely hard boil once it begins to boil. Just enough to keep the heat and steam there and do not let it boil dry!
I do not recommend that you to do this in the house. The Misses won't like the smell you have introduced into her house. Boil for 45 minutes to an hour and this is where you will need gloves because you want to go straight from the hot water to the press. Have your boards you are going to use to clamp with already in position and the clamp or vice set and ready to go.
I used my vise and the "break, bust or bleed" method to clamp. In other words all the pressure you can put on the antler. When it went to straight I never stopped until I could put no more presssure on a small Sears vice. Look at it this way the piece is no good the way it is bowed and straight is what you are trying to achieve, so put the pressure to it!
The piece will only straighten as much as the boards will allow it too. It will embed into the wood some and the shape will also dictate the amount of straightness you obtain. Here is the other key do not be in a hurry to remove it from the clamp. I gave it 48 hrs. Now I am not sure it takes that long but it didn't hurt it either. It has to have time to take as set and dry out again completely.

This knife was made from a piece of antler that was straightened. It is a primitive folder and it had to be straight enough to allow for the the body to swing in and out. It was the outer time of a whitetail antler and had approx. 3" curve in it, or more when I first started with it! I don't have a straight down shot of the knife but you can get the idea of how much curve I took out of this piece.

(click thumbnail for larger image)
http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u20/craft5759/th_000_1086.jpg (http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u20/craft5759/000_1086.jpg)

http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u20/craft5759/th_000_1083.jpg (http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u20/craft5759/000_1083.jpg)

A word of caution I have not tried this with a really thick or heavy piece of antler so I am unsure of what the result would be! However I would think it will work but, the steam/boil time may need to be increased and the amount of pressure needed may be even more! This piece I used for this knife was approx 3/4" thick average and at its widest 1 1/4", if you look closely you can see where I cut the other side of the fork off on the bottom of the knife.

murphda2
04-22-2010, 01:20 PM
OK, give me a little more time. I spoke with another guy who was at Batson's with us and he has told me that he wrote down Ray's recipe and instructions. He is going to e-mail the information to me tomorrow (hopefully).

Steven Janik
04-22-2010, 02:06 PM
I just shook the "GOOGLE" tree and there are some posts under "antler straightening".

Hope it helps,
Steve

C Craft
04-23-2010, 11:35 AM
OK, give me a little more time. I spoke with another guy who was at Batson's with us and he has told me that he wrote down Ray's recipe and instructions. He is going to e-mail the information to me tomorrow (hopefully).

So I am waiting...............................

I want to see if someone else has got a better idea than mine. I know mine worked but I am always willing to learn!

Patiently waiting :running dog: :bud: :beg:hello there

C Craft
04-28-2010, 07:19 AM
Murph I know you’re out there I can hear you breathing! working 1
Seriously I know when I emailed you, that your reply said you were working on getting this info so, just thought I would bump this thread. I am always interested in knowing alternatives to my methods.

I am still patiently waiting for an update Murph! cry me a river 1:haha:yea!:beg::duh: