Engraving and Carving Antler – Orca Knife

Here’s my latest knife. It’s a tiny deer antler Orca done in NW Native American style.Orca_Knife_Group_2Web Orca_Knife_Group_1Web

The knife is 3 3/16 inches overall, with a 1 1/4 inch long 1075 carbon steel through-tang blade. The antler has been aged with potassium permanganate. The handle is made from the last fork of a really old (and tiny) naturally-shed antler.

I’ve been experimenting with engraving and carving antler lately, and have come up with a combination of engraving the edges/outlines with a Lindsay template onglette, carving out the background spaces with NSK and carbide burs, followed by some special little scrapers I’ve made. Tiny flats help on occasion as well. Seems to work fairly well. You do need to take fairly light repeated cuts with the onglette, or the surface of the antler can tear.

I was sort of surprised, because under the microscope carving antler at this tiny scale reminds me very much of carving ivory soap! What seems hard and unyielding with a standard knife is gentle and easy with tiny tools.

Thanks for looking!



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2 Responses to Engraving and Carving Antler – Orca Knife

  1. Ashley says:

    Tom, this knife is absolutely stunning!! This is a dream blade for me! It is an inspiration for me to carve a deer antler handle. Kind regards from Minnesota.

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