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Nicholas Woodcarving
Wood Carving for Beginners

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  #1  
Old 03-05-2008, 01:52 AM
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Default Carving Deer Antler

If anyone is willing to share their knowledge of power cutting deer antler I would appreciate it. I have an example of what I am speaking of that I will upload. I am retired and disabled and was just gifted some stone and wood/bone/antler carving tools. I have a dremel xpr for carving. So I thought I would begin small and easy and work my way up. I have absolutely no visible talent except that I can whiz off the pope in no time flat. Anyway to keep me out of trouble and to ease the weak minded of the burdens of conscious reality they are choosing to simplify my life to keep the peace. I believe that I am jumping into the frying pan because from what I have seen here there is a lot of talent, hard work, and hard earned knowledge that goes into creating a good carving. My level of capability is pre-kindergarten. So if there's a kind person who will take mercy on me and get me started I'm sure you will be blessed by my family, neighborhood, and even the nation.

I looked at the example, a carved part of a deer antler pendant and thought to myself. this looks simple but it ain't. I violated somebody's rights by copping their photo from ebay as an example. For this I apologize yet feel no remorse. I need help. This person carved an animal track in the antler. Seems simple enough right? Well, then I notice that the carver has two colors on the pendant, one brown and the other dark red. It also appears to be sealed in some way. I have no idea what kind of carving bits were used. I have no idea if the paint is stain, acrylic, watered down or concentrated, rubbed or painted, brands or home made, baked, boiled, or fried. I could be dead before I learn all this. I have a man from a deer farm traveling my way about the ides of March with a box of antler pieces for me. So I have run out of excuses and must seek help now. I have no ego so I don't mind groveling for info. Consider this a grovel. Thanks.
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Last edited by oldkindred; 03-05-2008 at 01:56 AM.
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  #2  
Old 03-05-2008, 06:51 AM
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Default Re: Carving Deer Antler

Well Oldkindred, you came to the right place! You write well and your story made sense ..... even to me! I too have had the misfortune of being disabled and forced to retire from the workforce, but not from life. Carving has been my own salvation, it gave comfort and purpose when the days were dark. Still does.

Count yourself fortunate to have that friend from the deer farm willing to bestow surplus antlers on you, they are a treasure indeed. There is so many things you can carve them into. Be advised, antler carving is messy, and you "must" use a good resperator while carving, power carving is the only way to go as the material is so hard. Antler is biological, and carries bacteria, so the dust can be dangerous, thus the resperator. It can smell bad too, so best carve outside or in a well vented shop and clean up well afterwards. I'd suggest using a dust collector as well.

A Dremel will do nicely, for now, but burr selection is important. Diamond and ruby burrs will do nicely and aren't too expensive, most companies that sell carving tools carry them, so it shouldn't be hard for you to get some. Colour in antler can be done by using inks. There are several great books out on skrimshaw, which is probably the closest you'l find in related subjects.

Try some simple shapes first, to get the feel for the material, use a hacksaw to cut off a piece of tyne to work on. Your sample photo would be a good place to start, copyright infringement notwithstanding! Smile Unless you're going into production making them and selling, I wouldn't worry!

Have fun with it, carving is super therapy, keeps the mind sharp ...... well sharper! Carve on!!!

Bob
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  #3  
Old 03-05-2008, 07:10 AM
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Default Re: Carving Deer Antler

Welcome to our home away from home.....Unfortunately I can't help with your questions, but for sure some of the greatl talented people on here will be happy to do so, and I will be watching as I also have a source for antler. One thing that I and many others would suggest, is that you look into a good dust extractor or at least a good dust mask before creating too much bone dust as I'm sure it isn't real good for you. Again...welcome and I look forward to seeing the responses to your query.
John
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Old 03-05-2008, 12:20 PM
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Default Re: Carving Deer Antler

Thanks Squbrigg and Blinky Bill. Your responses are a good start. I have already ordered a scrimshaw book from the library. The only one they had was an illustrated book and does not appear to deal with carving and inks etc., any recommendations regarding scrimshaw books?

Also the suggestion about a good resperator is appreciated. Can you point me to a good respirator by name? Appreciated...

A dust extractor sounds useful too. Would you mind sharing with me the name of a good dust extractor?

If I guess about these things I will get it wrong, guaranteed!!! Any other thoughts are welcomed as well.

Although my antler supply is good, I thought I might share a technique with you for acquiring antler this time of year during the shedding season. I spoke with an Indian elder fren of mine about this and this is the technique he recommended.

If you live where the deer roam your property regularly, build the following. Make a V shape low fence with cedar posts, no more than about three or four feet tall. After you drive in the vertical posts attach three horizontal posts on each side of the V shaped fence. Then place a bucket with feed or just drop the feed on the ground in the corner of the V. Shelled corn or cracked corn works fine. When the deer approach the food in the V area and try to eat their antlers will get caught in the fence and often shed right there while they are eating. This sure beats walkin' endlessly through the woods without an antler dog. Uncle John knows his stuff so this should work for you. Good luck.

Last edited by oldkindred; 03-05-2008 at 07:40 PM.
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Old 03-05-2008, 09:05 PM
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Default Re: Carving Deer Antler

Sounds like you're on your way. A dust collector/filter...... I use a Razaire 530, which I find useful. For a resperator, I use a twin canister (replaceable)mask type, available at most industrial safety supply stores.

Hope this helps, best of luck too.

Bob
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Before they slip me over the standing part of the fore sheet, I'd like to pipe: "Up Spirits" or "Splice the Main Brace" .....................one more time.


link to Gallery photos
http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.co...user/2823/sl/s
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  #6  
Old 03-06-2008, 08:38 AM
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Default Re: Carving Deer Antler

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldkindred
Thanks Squbrigg and Blinky Bill. Your responses are a good start. I have already ordered a scrimshaw book from the library. The only one they had was an illustrated book and does not appear to deal with carving and inks etc., any recommendations regarding scrimshaw books?

Also the suggestion about a good resperator is appreciated. Can you point me to a good respirator by name? Appreciated...

A dust extractor sounds useful too. Would you mind sharing with me the name of a good dust extractor?

If I guess about these things I will get it wrong, guaranteed!!! Any other thoughts are welcomed as well.

Although my antler supply is good, I thought I might share a technique with you for acquiring antler this time of year during the shedding season. I spoke with an Indian elder fren of mine about this and this is the technique he recommended.

If you live where the deer roam your property regularly, build the following. Make a V shape low fence with cedar posts, no more than about three or four feet tall. After you drive in the vertical posts attach three horizontal posts on each side of the V shaped fence. Then place a bucket with feed or just drop the feed on the ground in the corner of the V. Shelled corn or cracked corn works fine. When the deer approach the food in the V area and try to eat their antlers will get caught in the fence and often shed right there while they are eating. This sure beats walkin' endlessly through the woods without an antler dog. Uncle John knows his stuff so this should work for you. Good luck.



You don't say what happens if their antlers don't shed? lol....who gets the privilege of trying to get them out of there?
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Old 03-06-2008, 10:20 AM
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Default Re: Carving Deer Antler

Quote:
Originally Posted by squbrigg
Sounds like you're on your way. A dust collector/filter...... I use a Razaire 530, which I find useful. For a resperator, I use a twin canister (replaceable)mask type, available at most industrial safety supply stores.

Hope this helps, best of luck too.

Bob
I looked up 3M twin canister masks and they look fine. I also checked the Razaire 530 but the price is a little dicey for me. I may have to search for a reasonable alternative. Again thanks for all your help. I'm getting closer to being operational each day. Thank You
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Old 03-06-2008, 10:24 AM
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Default Re: Carving Deer Antler

Hi Ho Silver wrote: You don't say what happens if their antlers don't shed? lol....who gets the privilege of trying to get them out of there?

Ooops! Yah I see what you mean. Prolly have to get a volunteer from the coffee shop...lol.
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Old 03-08-2008, 01:27 AM
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Default Re: Carving Deer Antler

Here is a little info I found on another forum for those who are interested regarding the coloring and preserving of antler and horn.

Black india ink, and oil paint in black, raw umber, and burnt
sienna are preferred for an "old scrimshaw" look. (One artisan squeezes
oil paint onto corrugated cardboard, and leaves it for about two hours
so that excess oil is drawn out.) In this case, paint is being worked
into scribed lines with brush or finger, and the excess rubbed off
with a soft cloth.

Meanwhile, contemporary-style artisans were using watercolor dyes,
applied with a very narrow-pointed artist's brush after excess has
been wiped off (the brush). One artist let her color dry, to avoid the
risk of rubbing one color into another, and then removes excess with
moist tissue and a toothpick, while another wipes immediately with
alcohol.


***The author warns against wiping "expansively," to avoid staining-
-so I think that watercolor dyes, in colors that will get your chosen
effect, are worth experimenting with, as I'm guessing you want to
stain entire items.***



Regarding preservation, they all go for linseed oil on completed
work, with applications twice a year on ivory; beyond that, avoid direct
sun
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Old 03-16-2008, 09:33 AM
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Default Re: Carving Deer Antler

Oldkindred,

Here is an excellent web site that I'm sure you'll find of interest in some fantastic antler work, enjoy your new hobby. Bill

http://www.shanewilson.com/
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