LumberJocks

As The Lathe Turns #31: Turning Something Besides Wood

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Blog entry by William posted 448 days ago 1089 reads 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 30: The Lumberjock Pens Part 31 of As The Lathe Turns series Part 32: A Gift From a Friend »


This is deer antler. Ever since I first seen this in the Penn State Catalogue I have wanted to try this. I live in Mississippi though. This is arguably the deer hunting capital of the world. There is no way I was paying for deer antlers when I knew that, if I asked enough people, someone around here had some lying around that would let me have them.
As it turns out, I kept forgetting about it though and finally got around to asking someone. Or rather, my wife asked someone. The maintenance man where she works at mentioned that he was a deer hunter and she asked him about deer antler, and he brought he a couple of racks the next day. So I was correct. The first person asked about them here had some for me.
I really enjoyed turning this. It was definately different than turning wood. I have enough left to do maybe two more pens out of the antlers he sent with my wife to me. I will have to be on the lookout for more.
Also, I’ve noticed other things, like bull horns in the catalogues. I don’t know where I’d get that around here, but it’s got me thinking about wild bore tusks? Basically, it seems these days that anything I see softer than metal, I start to wonder how it would turn on the lathe.
The man didn’t ask for anything in return, but of course this first pen goes to the man who gave me the antlers.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/



16 comments so far

View JL7's profile

JL7

7025 posts in 1567 days


#1 posted 448 days ago

Well this is defiantly another “twist” in your turning…..well done.

-- Jeff - I have not failed. I've just found 10,002 ways that won't work.

View William's profile (online now)

William

8922 posts in 1444 days


#2 posted 448 days ago

Thank you Jeff. I try to keep things fresh.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View DIYaholic's profile

DIYaholic

12955 posts in 1277 days


#3 posted 448 days ago

That looks interesting….

I’ve got a huge toenail clipping, that you can turn!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procratination a bad thing?

View William's profile (online now)

William

8922 posts in 1444 days


#4 posted 448 days ago

Thanks Randy.
If the clipping is about a half inch square and about two inches long, send it on my way.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View jumbojack's profile

jumbojack

1156 posts in 1226 days


#5 posted 448 days ago

how was the smell?

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View grizzman's profile

grizzman

6807 posts in 1905 days


#6 posted 448 days ago

yea william, did you need an air mask, antler being hair, would smell something awful when turned, i would think…but you did a great job with this, what about some moose antler, what kind of pen can you turn with it…lol..actually i better not ask you that, you will come up with something…...and william you are right about trying to work your way through the pain, but like you a lot of times that is just impossible..but your doing it, and your a hero to your family and friends…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View William's profile (online now)

William

8922 posts in 1444 days


#7 posted 448 days ago

I don’t know about the smell. It didn’t smell afterwards, but while turning and sanding I wore the respirator mask you see on my face in my avatar photo. I read somewhere on the internet that the dust from antlers can be very harmful to your respiratory system. So I took no chances and wore the mask. I’ll have raise it up next time just for a second to see if it smells.

Grizz, do you have some moose antler? Now I want some moose antler.

Thanks guys for the support.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View grizzman's profile

grizzman

6807 posts in 1905 days


#8 posted 448 days ago

yes william i do have some, ill have to see if i have enough to send any, if i do you will hear from me on it, good to know about the antler dust, i wear a mask most of the time, but i might have let is pass on that thinking it was no big deal, thanks for the heads up on that….well i hope to feel better tomorrow, i hope you do..until morning breaks, keep your powder dry, and watch your top knot…:)

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View William's profile (online now)

William

8922 posts in 1444 days


#9 posted 448 days ago

Thanks Grizz. I was actually joking. I had no idea that you would actually have any. If you have it to spare though, you know that if you send me some I will try to send you a pen back.
You notice I said “try”. The reason is I also learned there are pitfalls to turning antler.

I messed up three blanks before getting the first successful one. I am learning and am a little more knowledgeable for the next one, but it is hard shaping, drilling, and preparing a blank out of these. It is neither square nor round. The way I done it was cut a section longer than needed, turned it between centers until round so I’d have a flat reference, then cut it square on the ends. Next I glued in the tubes, used my sanding doo-hickey on the lathe to square up the ends, then turned it for a pen.
Two of the trial pieces the hardness of the antler caused the bit to wander a bit and exit the side. Another one developed a crack as I got near final size.
I guess what I’m saying is I will try to get you a pen if you send me some to try, but I aint making no promises.

As for the antler dust, I don’t believe everything I see on the internet, but can believe the bit about the antler dust being harmful. When sanding it, it is such a fine powder that it resembles talcum powder. I don’t think I’d want that in my lungs since it is mostly clacium. I can’t see how that would be good for breathing. The chips while turning are of course larger, but I decided not to take chances there either.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View Roger's profile

Roger

14161 posts in 1406 days


#10 posted 448 days ago

Very nice William. My neighbor offered my some deer antler for turning. I have not yet got them… He’s 80 and can’t remember where they’re at….. One o these days, I’ll help him find em

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

View William's profile (online now)

William

8922 posts in 1444 days


#11 posted 448 days ago

Go pick his brain for the location of them Roger. I’ve seen your amazing work and know that you’ll enjoy turning antler.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View eddie's profile

eddie

7042 posts in 1216 days


#12 posted 448 days ago

thats a cool pen ,i may have some antlers around if you need em

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View stefang's profile

stefang

12592 posts in 1936 days


#13 posted 447 days ago

Very nice pen William.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View William's profile (online now)

William

8922 posts in 1444 days


#14 posted 447 days ago

Thanks Eddie. I will gladly take all the antlers I can get if you don’t want to hang on to them. I’ve made a few phone calls today to a few hunters I know. I’ve been unsuccessful on locating sources for more antlers.

Thank you Mike.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4096 posts in 1459 days


#15 posted 447 days ago

That is a nice pen, antler looks great after a few years of use.
Jamie

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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