In the woods - Exotic fields, Antler

Landsknecht Emporium
Landsknecht Emporium
Earlier we said, this series will include our non-standard grip options.
That's not entirely true, since we discuss Antler in this post, which you can order as a standard option for most of our blades. Still, we felt this material was special enough, to include here.
While it is not wood (obviously), antler comes from the same place, just from a different source.
This material has a large variety based on the animal that produces it; while all antlers will have almost the same properties, pieces from different species will have differences in size, colors, patterns, and even physical properties.
It is one of the most organic materials that can be used not just for making knife and sword grips, but for a large scale of crafting. We say it's the most organic for good reason; the antler is not just "dead" tissue, like our nails and hair. It's just as a living part of the creature as our bones and teeth for example and only dies once it is cast by the animal.
The casted antler is usually collected by the local hunting companies and is sold by them. In Hungary, the most commonly available antler is collected from roe deers. This material is just as good as any other antler, but usually small in size, which limits its use significantly; so much in fact that we don't really use this type of antler in our workshop.
Fortunately though, from time to time, we're able to source other types of antlers, such as the red deers significantly longer and thicker "horns".
These larger pieces still need a lot of prep work before they can be used as grip panels;
We soak the antler in water for about three days, then boil it for multiple hours to make the pieces soft, rubbery, and pliable, occasionally you can even tie knots on them.
In this malleable state, we press the antler carefully to get a flat piece, which can be formed into a grip panel, without removing much from the beautiful rugged surface of the piece. This is done carefully since as the antler dries (again for multiple days) it is prone to splitting if too much pressure is applied.
If everything goes smoothly (which is a rare occasion), after the first boiling and pressing the antler is ready to be cut to size and form. This brings us to the next hard part; antler is a bit 'picky' on how you can work with it, usual methods and most tools used for woodworking have to be avoided here.
However, once the panels are ground and pinned on the grip, they are strong, durable, and of course, they look marvelous.
Another great thing about antler is, that it literally needs no maintenance. Over time, the white parts will get an ever-darkening yellow color from the oils and greases but this aging never takes away from its natural beauty.
paypal barion_com