Author Topic: Making stag grips  (Read 514 times)

Offline Dark Horse Charlie

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Making stag grips
« on: September 23, 2023, 12:23:21 PM »
Howdy, has anyone made a set of SAA grips from elk antler. I want to give it a shot but had some questions. I have worked with bone and antler before for knife handles and know about the smell and how ro cyt and sand them. My question is around the finishing.

After sanding, what type of polish is best to use?

Do I need to use any type of sealer?

What about stain?

Thanks
DHC

Offline Professor Marvel

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Re: Making stag grips
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2023, 11:46:28 PM »
Elk antler is so porus it is quite a challenge . I make knife handles from deer and stag antler and made some grips for a rem 1858 from stag. They were small enough and thin enough as two slabs to be similar to knife handles.
I have never done anything as big as a one piece SAA grip or a S&W  N frame target grip. My bigest knife handle grips were all blind stick tang drilled into the antler so movement has not been an issue.

I have heard that some folks “heat and flatten” in order to get a large piece. But Once you cut a slab from an antler you open yourself up to movement.

A lot of folks make a rough slan then stabalize it with a lot of superglue, resin or epoxy. There is a new one ingrediant expoxy that is cured by UV lamps, this holds some interesting promise since you can give it time to soak in before curing it.

When i cut, sand or polish any horn or antler I use bentilation (it stinks) and ALWAYS wear a quality respirator like this

https://www.lowes.com/pd/3M-Reusable-Sanding-Valved-Safety-Mask/1000244145

An N-95 mask is not enough.

I usually polish on an 8 inch cloth wheel on a grinder, using red rouge and mild pressure. You can burn the antler so be carefull.

Oh, and if you work it after stabalizing, the glue will emit vapors also.

Hope this helps

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Offline Dark Horse Charlie

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Re: Making stag grips
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2023, 07:17:03 PM »
Thanks Marvel. Some really good jnfo.  I read somewhere to use a vacuum container to help with the porous antler. Not sure if it works or not.   

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