Tips and Tricks

Making Antler and Bone Points

Native Americans used many materials to make their projectile points.  Most commonly used were stone points of course, because of their strength and material availablity.  However, sometimes other materials were use as a matter of preference, availability or tradition.  I have used all types with very good results taking every thing from rabbits to armadillos to deer.

One must remember that an 'arrowhead' is much like a bullet...it's usually a 'one shot' deal!  as a result, most of the projectile points we find are rather common or broken.  The points shown here are a somewhat 'stylized' in the sense that they tend to be a bit prettier than typical projectile points. But hey....it's my site....I'm exercising a bit of 'Artist Liscense' here.   Enjoy.

Mudd

Cross Section of Antlers

Cross Section of Antlers

These antlers are actually a bony extension of the deer skull. I pick antlers which have a thicker outer bone layer to make points

Small Flat section of Antler

Small Flat section of Antler

This is a 2-1/2" section of antler which has been ground flat on one side using a belt sander with an 80 grit ceramic belt

Antler and Template

Antler and Template

Arrowhead template is fitted to flat side of antler

Outline of Point

Outline of Point

Using the template, I draw the shape of the future point on the flat side of the antler

Antler Point Blank

Antler Point Blank

Using a band saw, I cut off a thin slice of the antler which contains the dense outer bony part of the antler and cut it out to the rough shape of the point

Finished Arrowhead Blank

Finished Arrowhead Blank

This is the finished blank with a portion of the original antler and the template. Blank is ready for several sanding steps and beveling of the edges.

Bevel Jig

Bevel Jig

This is a fixture I built to produce a repeatable bevel on each edge of the point. Held on the metal platform against the sanding belt with a magnetic base, edges can be sanded to a precise shape

Finished Antler Points

Finished Antler Points

These points from Whitetail deer antler are typical of those used by Native American Indians

Bone Point

Bone Point

Arrowhead made from Whitetail deer leg bone. This point went through 5 sanding stages and 3 polishing steps to get to this point

Antler and Bone Arrows

Antler and Bone Arrows

Arrows with projectile points made from bone, antler and buffalo horn.