Mule Deer

Art from antlers.

You can turn elk, moose, deer, and caribou antlers like wood, to make bowls and other small objects.

For most turning projects, the most useful portion of the antler is the "burr"—a ring of bone at the base of the antler, just above the animal's scalp. Elk burrs are my favorite—they have the largest diameter, and the burr's scalloped rim forms an elegant natural edge. Elk burrs are also the most colorful, with irregular dots ranging from dark

___0____j to gray and black on the whitish, porous inner section. Moose antler is denser than elk and can yield impressive-size burrs, but it lacks color variations. Caribou and deer antlers have relatively small burrs; the latter is a good size for small turnings such as pens, letter openers, and key-chain fobs.

Antler responds well to traditional turning techniques—shearing, scraping, and shear-scraping—with standard turning tools. It's surprisingly abrasive and will dull cutting edges faster than most woods, although I haven't found carbide tools necessary. Turned antler shavings are similar to wood: Shearing produces curls, and scraping creates powder. Antler has a grain direction

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