Coloring an antler handle.

Fatstrat

Well-Known Member
I'm making an antler drop hinden tang knife with Elk tip handle. The tip is white, would like to add some brown color. Either in the "veins" or in middle of handle with the "veins" remaining white.
What is the simplest method of doing this? Should it be done before or after sealing? (I would think after).
 

ChuckBurrows

Well-Known Member
Leather dye is what I have used for 40+ years and do it before sealing or you won't get any color at all.....
 

Danae

Active Member
I think it's called potasium permangenate ... probably spelled wrong, chemists sell it. Try on a scrap piece
 

Canyonman

New Member
I like to burn it with a propane torch. Then sand it down a bit, the more you sand the lighter shade of brown you will get overall.
 

blksmith

Active Member
I'm making an antler drop hinden tang knife with Elk tip handle. The tip is white, would like to add some brown color. Either in the "veins" or in middle of handle with the "veins" remaining white.
What is the simplest method of doing this? Should it be done before or after sealing? (I would think after).
potasium permangenate is what I use. Use a small pointed brush and paint it in the grooves and low spot. It can be sanded off to reveal the low spots. Looks about the right color.
 

izafireman

Well-Known Member
potassium permanganate is the stuff to use. It covers purple at first and is a bit of a shock but as it oxides it goes darker. I have used it on white weather stained antlers and stuck them in a barrel for a week and they came out black!
 

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percy

Well-Known Member
I've used both pot perm and leather dye. The best leather dye is the oil base for sure. Both work well depending on the outcome you are looking for. On smooth bone handles I don't do any thing in coloring until the knife is finished just before buffing the handle. I dye it a little at a time and can get any depth of color you want this way. Remember some bone dyes better than others, even of the same type and off the same leg. Look at the bone to match up the color before using it then it will color better with the dye.
 
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