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Antler Handled Hunters


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Right now I'm trying to develop my skill base, so I've taken on kind of a "taking all comers" attitude towards commissions. Where I work, in a somewhat rural area, EVERYONE wants antler as a handle. I never had much of a fondness for them, but the knives aren't for me, so what do I care?

 

I tell everyone asking for such a knife that I don't hunt, so I don't have antler handy, but I'll make one if they bring some in. Unfortunately for me, someone called me on it today, and I'm now the proud owner of an antler, with three knives planned from it.

 

So tonight I drew up three designs, each distinct, with extra focus on harmony with the antler section it will be handled with. At first I thought I'd just tell them the blades were interchangeable, in case they all preferred one over the other, but I really think the overall compositions are just right, so I don't wanna mess with them.

 

I designed a bird and trout knife, a Scagel style swept point and a wharncliffe blade. They will all have 5 inch blades.

 

BirdandTrout.jpg

 

ScagelStyle.jpg

 

Wharncliffe.jpg

 

 

If I messed up something obvious, let me know.

 

-Ethan

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Ethan,

 

Are the drawings based on the antler you have in hand? I ask because a friend of mine recently gave me an antler and I found that very little of it's length was even close to straight. I've seen some really clever uses of curved antler for handles, but I couldn't see using the piece I had in that way. Your drawings are a good starting point otherwise.

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those designs look good, but you should saw out and drill the antler, and make cardboard mockups of the blades and tangs before you start forging, so you can really see how they'll look and handle. even when you start on the blades, i'd get the tang shaped first, so you can always check and see how the blade will work with the antler.

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George, yes, I'm just trying to maximize what I can do with the antler that I was given. I went over the designs with the guys who ordered them and they all enthusiastically approve, so I take that as a good sign. I do admit, I struggled at first with the idea of weird shaped curvy handles, but I'm past that now.

 

Jake, I hadn't thought about going ahead and working on the antler before I had the blades. The idea makes me uncomfortable, for some reason, like it would make something go wrong, but I don't see what. I may make some cardboard mock ups just to double check, though.

 

-Ethan

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