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Thread: Reindeer horn

  1. #1
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    Reindeer horn

    Hi

    I have some questions for you scandi makers. the thing is I will get some reindeer horn next couple of days and I want to try to make handle and sheath out of it.

    Is there something I have to do with it before I can use it in handle material?

    Are some parts of the horn better to use in handles than others?

    Best regards Nasi

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    Re: Reindeer horn

    Hello Nasi.
    Its important to look at the middle of the horn in the end piece. To see if its massive or not. Take only the parts that you see are massive inside.
    Good luck to you. It's fun and a challenge to work with.
    /kimmo lilja

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    Re: Reindeer horn

    denser t6he better, you might need to drip superglue into the end of the horn, to harden it

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    Re: Reindeer horn


    Shot at 2007-11-25

    This picture shows a normal sized antler from a mail reindeer. You can se on the “third” antler who is pointing forwards (to the right) that it is a mail reindeer, this third branch of the antler protecting his eyes during fighting other mail reindeers. The female reindeer do not have this “third” antler – and the antler is smaller then the male antler.

    Reindeers bulls have antler during the summer and drop them in the beginning of the winter. The female reindeer have antler during winter and drop them during spring/summer. In this way, the female reindeer have antler during the winter and can protect her food places against the bigger and stronger male reindeer – who is without antler.

    The female reindeer is unique in one specific way, she can decide to “throw out” her unborn child (abortion by will) and she do this, for example, if she is very hard hunted by wolfs. When she understand that she do not have a chance to survive, she “throw” out the unborn child and run, and the predators stop there and eat, she survive and can get many more children in the future. Nature is amazing.

    I have marked the parts that normally is used to make, for example south and north Sami Sheaths. You can se how to use the curves in the antler so you get the design you like to have.

    Rosenkransen in Swedish ( I do not know the name for it English) is almost compact antler material and is often used in the top of the handle.

    In the middle of antler there is marrow (märg in Swedish). This material is big (thick) in the low parts of the antler and thin higher up in the antler. If you shall use pieces of antler to knife handle, take the piece as high as possible of this reason, but not so high that they will be to “thin” as knife handle.

    The upper, wide parts of the antler is nice use to make spoons or other flat things.

    If the antler you have is dark and you like it whiter, you can put the antler piece in a small creek during summer and let the water flow around it = it get whiter in a normal way. You can also use the “thing” ladys use before to get their hair white, (sorry, lack of English name here). But if you use that, the antler change a little in hardness, - but you can get it really white.

    Antler carrying animals use their antlers to fight with, male against male, in the battle of the females. In fights with other animals they normally use their front feet’s – they are perfect kick boxer and they kick from above – and this kick is lightning fast.

    Sometimes the antlers can be used against predators but they use them more to make the predator scare for them then a weapon against them, the weapon is the front feet’s. The antler can be used to hold the predator’s distance.

    In the same way they dig in the snow for food with their front feet’s.

    Nature is amazing. The bull is bigger then the female and he is stronger – but during the winter he have no antlers. The female reindeer have antler and can then protect her dig ups in the snow where she is eating.
    Reindeer female is the only deer type of animal who have antler. That’s because of the reason above.

    All female reindeers (100%) are pregnant after the season in September. They carry their baby’s until about 12-14 June and the day the first reindeer started to born their children (?) – all other reindeers starts to deliver their child’s also. During 1-2 days the complete herd deliver.

    Around the same day, the bears say good morning after their winter sleep. This is is planned by nature. The bears is living of reindeer calfs during the spring (this is spring in our area) and later, when the grass and berrys arrive, all bears change to be vegetarians.

    A normal first year for the new borns take away about 80% of the calfs = 20% survive to be grownups. That is normal and the balance of nature. Those 80 percent give life to other new born, mostly predators, of cause, but also birds and so on who clean the bones in the end together with ants and so on. Circle of life!

    Thomas

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    Re: Reindeer horn

    Fantastic post!

    Thank You Thomas.

    Jon.

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    Re: Reindeer horn

    Great post. Can you also think using the thicker part as a south sami sheath, if you take the north sami part but goes against the rosenkrans instead of the spoons? That creates a nice bend.

    Dennis

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    Re: Reindeer horn

    Look at the antler and try to think how the marrow goes inside the antler. From the crown (rosenkransen) the marrow goes both to the back and to the front antlers, the marrow look like this Y. If you use this part for a south Sami bend curved sheath, there is a risk that the marrow will be seen on its side. If you are lucky, it will not bee seen, but there is a little chance for that, sorry.

    The marrow is always a problem using antler as material. It is not nice looking when it is seen. If the marrow is seen you can treat it with strong glue, if you are lucky, the glue “sucks” in to the marrow by capillary effect, if not lucky, force it in to the marrow. After drying, the marrow will more or less “dissapeare”. One way is to mix the glue with “dust” antler material in the same color as the antler.

    You can use any part of the antler to do everything you like to do – but some parts is more traditional then others. The crown is nice to use as a top of the handle because there is very little marrow inside it and the top of the handle will be nice looking. Most craftsmen use the crown just for this purpose. But, there is nothing right or wrong here, you use those parts who you think fits best.

    Thomas

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    Re: Reindeer horn

    thomas that´s a great post!

    i think it´s worth to make it sticky!

    thanks for the info!

    greetings from austria

    belabear

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    Re: Reindeer horn

    Thank you very much

    this will be a great help

    Nasi

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    Re: Reindeer horn

    nice info thanks
    Daniel Claville

    Flames and Fire is forever my Desire, And my Desire shall bend the will of Steel

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    Re: Reindeer horn

    Hi

    Now I have my antler and it is from a reindeer probably from this fall hunting season. It has a greenish color on it and it is still attached to the scull.

    Can you recommend to my what to do next…..

    Best regards Nasi

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    Re: Reindeer horn

    Hi Nasi, greenish color?

    Can you make a photo of it so I can se the form and the color, I think that can help us both. Some measurement will be nice also.

    Thomas

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    Re: Reindeer horn

    I will try to post a pic this weekend.

    Nasi

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    Re: Reindeer horn

    just a thought, i read somewhere that reindeer antler you find in the countryside, as you can in norway or sweden, is often green

    if i remember correctly in the past people only took white colored antler and discarded the green colored pieces, to bleach it it was dumped into running water and left alone for some months

    nowadays it´s just the opposite

    greetings belabear

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    Re: Reindeer horn

    Here is a link that shows some of what you shall do if you shall make a Sami knife or type off.

    https://www.brisa.fi/portal/index.ph...en&language=en

    First, you must decide what part of the antler you shall use for the sheath.
    Cut out that part from the antler - and cut it in half. You have now the front side and the backside in your hand and you can se the marrow in both of them.

    Now you must take away as much of the marrow as possible. The simplest way is to saw it but if you cant do that, use files and sandpaper and grind the marrow away, so much as possible – but not so much that the sheath will be to slim for the knife. You do this on both parts.
    The two parts shall be put together again so do the grinding so the surfaces will be absolutely flat!
    When you have done this, make place for the knife blade in both parts. Put the blade side on the plain surfaces and draw the contour of the blade on the antler and take away the material, just a little more then half the blade thickness (on both half’s of the antler sheath).

    Put the two halfs together and check so the blade fits as you like it to fit.
    When you have come so far, start to design the shape of the sheath. You do this before you put the half’s together and you can se the limits you have. Design both parts of the sheath this way.

    During this work, you must also decide how to fasten the leather part of the sheath on the antler part. Normally you make the sheath in this form on the upper side )( and when you sew the leather on it the leather will dry and will be formed of this shape and it will be a nice conection. You can also leave a outstanding part (or 2) in some form you like, round, squeare, hearts and so on) and let this parts go thru the leather and they will make the leather stay in the place you like it to stay on the antler part.
    I am sorry, my English is little limited here, if you do not understand what I talking about (I do not) just tell me and I shall try to make a better explanation)

    Make a slits from the tip of the space for the knife and straight down so that when you put the halfs together, you have a hole into the sheath this way, good to have for at least 2 reasons, water can go thru and you can, with a small stick, clean the sheath when needed.

    When you are happy, glow the half’s together with ordinary contact glow and put 1 or 2 rivets thru the half’s in the lowest part of the sheath. Put a rubber band around the top.
    Now you have a sheath and you can start to design the outside of the sheath more fine – when you do that, do not forget how “big” the blade is on the inside of the sheath.


    Shot at 2007-09-24

    This picture shows one of my old knifes. You can se the 2 ways I try to describe above on this knife, both the )( shape and the outstanding parts who goes thru the leather.
    You can also se one way you can design the front sheath, just making small hearts in a pattern thru the antler – or other shapes you like to have.

    Well, that was the sheath…so far.

    Next step is to design the handle of the knife

    When you shall put the leather and the antler part together you need the complete knife with finished handle.
    I use the old Same way when I connect the leather and the antler parts together. I think that is a good way to do it – but there is many ways to do just this. If you like me to explain how to do it, just contact me again.

    *

    Yes, Bealabear is correct, the green color comes when antlers have been outside on the ground for long times and it have start to decompose. You also say that you think that this antler was fresh – that make me wonder a little.
    You say that the scull was included, good, can you se any rests of meat or of the brain? If not, it seams to be a “old” antler.
    That is nothing wrong with that, it is just a little weaker then fresh antler – but the green color is often very nice and it makes often a very nice pattern on the sheath.
    I wait until I se the pictures before I say anything more about the color…

    Thomas

 

 

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