Tips and Tricks
Making Antler Knife Handles
Native Americans made their knife blades mostly of stone. And usually, they made their knife handles of deer, elk or moose antlers. Yes, they made handle out of other materials including wood, bone and sometimes with no handle at all. Here I'm only going to deal with antler types which were the most common. I've also included some examples of handles that I make which are stylized and not typical of what they made. I'll be adding more pics and perhaps videos later.
White Tail deer antler tine
Knife handles can be any shape or size. Curved tines provide a nice, flowing look. Handles with an antler crown add character and a more rustic look.
Curved antler tine
This a curved Elk antler tine. It has a 1" slot cut in the front end for mounting the blade.
Antler Crown handle
This rustic knife has a white tail deer antler handle with the crown as the butt.
Usually, the first step in making a antler handle is find a blade that matches the handle for a good, proportional look.
This 13" knife is a good example of blade/handle proportional look.
Obsidian blade and antler handle
Matching handle to blade.
Antler slotted for blade
After selecting the handle, I use a band saw to rough cut a slot in the handle to mount the blade.
Elk antler tine knife
This is a sample of a Elk antler tine handle with Obsidian blade glued and wrapped with sinew.
Example of laminating wood with antler for a unique looking handle!
Buffalo Horn Bolster
Another example dressing up an antler handle. This handle has a 5/16" slice of Buffalo horn as the bolster.
Elk tine Handle
This Elk tine handle has a small slice of 'Purpleheart' wood laminated with tine.
Good example of mixing materials. This is a 13" knife with a Whitetail deer leg bone as a handle. Bolster is a piece of Purpleheart wood.