A new material.
I took a little time on my day off last week to work with some antler that was given to me by a coworker who hunts. I have never worked with it before and all I had to go by was the hunter’s comment that it stank when it was sawed and a warning from The Mad Luthier™ that I should wear a respirator when working with it.
The hunter was right. What a smell. It definitely has a grain to it and it will split. It saws OK and turns nicely though it will jam in the flutes of drill bit no matter what you do. You definitely need to keep your tools sharp for this stuff.
I used a nail buffing block to polish it and finished it was paste wax. It’s beautiful and feels like ivory. The cores are porous and that constrains you in terms of sizing your pieces but I sawed some wide, flat pieces from the forks of the rack and might experiment with relief carving next week.
I incorporated some of the antler into a pen barrel and it’s gorgeous. The big question is do I keep the pen, try to sell it, or try and trade it to the hunter (who is saving antler for a chandelier) for more from his stash?