The antler we use is mostly Scottish Red Deer, but any antler will make a good stick handle. Try to get antler that is nice and round, as it makes fitting to the shank much easier. If you have an oval antler you can always put a horn or wood spacer between the handle and the shank, this will help you to achieve a far better joint.
Antler is bone rather than horn, so it cannot be heated or bent. It is used as it is with horn or wood to cap the end of the tines.
The coronet is the base of the antler that is joined to the skull, with care you can get enough solid bone for a small carving before you expose the marrow of the antler.
When shanking antler you must remove as much of the marrow as possible with a spade bit that just fits inside the bone walls. Drill down about 4cms to take the dowelled stick. Never use metal studding on antler as the marrow is to soft and eventually it will crumble and the handle will become loose. It is much better to use a dowel joint. (Refer to the dowel joint)
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