View Full Version : Using elk antler

Josh Blount
10-28-2002, 08:37 AM
Hey guys,
I've got a knife I'm working on that's going to have an elk antler handle on it, and I'm wondering whether I need to get it stabilized. The knife will be used in a pretty dry climate, and I'm not really sure how to finish the handle to ensure the best performance. Any thoughts on this? Thanks!


DiamondG Knives
10-30-2002, 04:23 AM
I havn't tried to stabilize antler yet, but Ive been using "Fixit" from TKS to use as a sealer. Its worked good for me, no complaints yet.


Josh Blount
10-30-2002, 07:51 AM
Thanks Mike, I think I'll give the stuff a try.


11-03-2002, 07:26 PM
I use a rotted wood hardner dripped into the marrow and dried.
It takes several applications to fill it completely, but it works.
Just make sure it is open on both ends as it will swell and bust the antler if there is no room to expand.

Josh Blount
11-04-2002, 08:46 AM
Hey Geno,
Where can I get rotted wood hardner? Thanks for your help,


11-04-2002, 09:54 AM
Try here. They have several different types. You can also try Hardware stores. Look for minwax wood hardner.

Double S Custom (

11-04-2002, 11:01 AM
I have never used the minwax product.
The stuff I use is just called "rotted wood hardner" and is found at Lowes in the plumbing dept(of all places).
I would not have thought to look for it in the plumbing dept.

I tape one end of the horn(bottom)and drip it into the top, let cure, then repeat until full.
It drills and cuts like a solid piece.

Josh Blount
11-04-2002, 12:40 PM
Thanks for the help, guys. I'll check at Lowe's and see if I can find it. Thanks!


Jason Cutter
11-13-2002, 06:08 PM
Josh, I stabilise all my antlers by first drilling out the soft core and raking out as much as possible. Then I use the thinnest possible superglue and drip in enough to coat the entire insides. The thinnest stuff will wick in in an instance. You'll need to apply quite a bit though, and you have to do it in 3-4 separate goes. I use one of 2 cyanoacrylatye preparations available here in Australia - Flash is one I remember - they come in larger bottles in hobby shops and are a little more convenient than using multitudes of small tubes. Leave for several days to cure is best. The cured acrylate is very strong and tough.


Rusty Blade
12-16-2002, 04:14 PM
What exactly is in fixit. I understand it is a sealer, is it a varnish or laquer? I can't find it on TKS website although I know they have it and a web search turned up nothing. Anybody know?

TJ Smith
12-18-2002, 11:43 PM
I wouldn't use min wax wood hardener on Elk Horn. It tends to turn it a bad looking greyish black.
I epoxy the handle with a generous application of epoxy. prop the knife blade down and the epoxy pools around the tang towards the guard.
For a finish try super glue.
Heres a pic.
Take Care

12-20-2002, 09:52 PM
Have had pretty good luck with low tech solutions to enduring questions.

Elk Antler, there is a lot of it around here, old and new.

Maybe, something else works better, but Danish Oil, seems to work on this, and most Antler, for sealing and keeping it natural looking and resistant to moisture. Not expensive, does take a day or so to dry and doesn't knock you out while using it.

Jason Cutter
12-22-2002, 04:00 PM
Nice to see someone else who finds Danish OIl useful for antler - thought I was the only one. Of course I don't use it on the inside of the antler, but is great for sealing the outside.

However, do you find that it "ages" the antler a bit - gives it a very slightly tea-stained colour very quickly after it cures ? I think it looks quite good that way.

Cheers and Merry XMas to all. Be Good and Be Safe.

01-06-2003, 04:53 PM
My Friend up in Canada made me a nice Elk handled Hunter Drop point Knife. It has scales... and Brass Pins and Bolster. :D

01-07-2003, 05:19 PM
This is probably a bit late but Ace Hardware stores usually carry the PC products that Geno had mentioned earlier, the rotten wood hardener has very little color to it, I have not tried it on horn of any kind but it works darn good for wood.

01-08-2003, 01:22 PM
Here's a few Knives my Custom Knife making Friend made. One has Elk Stag, another Sambar Stag, another white Micarta. :)