Deer season is right around the corner, and for some stupid reason I have never bothered to use/get the antlers along with the delicious meat.
I was thinking, I should use some of the beautiful material which has me wondering if anyone has used "fresh" antlers for handles, etc? If so, how long did you have to dry them, and what was your method?
Whitetail - Mule deer antlers are indeed beautiful, they will need to air dry at least 3 months, I have some that have been drying for 3 to 5 years. Best to get them stabilized as the hard outer layer of the antler is relativly thin, and the antler is likely to move some. Also if left wet, will absorb some moisture, thus moving again. I have pretty much stopped useing it. I got several elk racks, whitetail and mule deer antlers, some quite large, but found it discouraging, to put so much work into a project, to have noticeable gaps and bumps form after a period of time.
Hmmm. That's too bad, but maybe I'll send some pieces out to get stabilized sometime this spring. If I dry it until then, ship it off and then use it, do you think it would work out ok?
Should be fine after it has been stabilized. :)
Ive had good luck with grinding/drilling out the pith as best I can, then filling with 2 Ton Epoxy or JB Weld. Drill out to accept your tang, then drill and pin as usual.