How to Make a Homemade Bone Handle Knife

Written by danyel bierly
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Making a homemade bone handle knife can seem intimidating but you can do it with ease when using an antler tine. An antler tine is the bone that makes up the antlers. You can purchase preformed and pre-cut antler tine at any fur and hide distributor.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Antler tine
  • Knife blade with a tang
  • Duct tape
  • Vice grip
  • Leather gloves
  • Small bucket
  • Half gallon distilled water
  • Measuring tape

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  1. 1

    Measure the length of the knife tang before purchasing your antler bone tine. It is necessary to ensure that the tang will fit completely inside the pithy core and will not leave a gap between the blade and the handle.

  2. 2

    Place the antler tine in a small bucket and fill with distilled water until it covers the antler by approximately 2 inches. Let the antler tine soak for approximately a month. Once a week, test the pithy core (the centre of the antler end) by pressing your fingernail into it. If your fingernail leaves an indention it is ready to seat the knife blade into it.

  3. 3

    Wrap duct tape around the blade part and the point of the knife blade all the way up to the starting point of the tang. The tang is the part of the knife that resembles a skinny metal rod that you will insert into the pithy core of the antler tine. Put enough duct tape on the blade to avoid accidentally cutting yourself.

  4. 4

    Place the taped knife blade into the vice grip with the tine sticking upward. Turn the handle on the vice grip to tighten the blade firmly in its grasp.

  5. 5

    Put on leather gloves and grasp the closed end of the antler. Center the pithy core onto the knife tang and push the tang deep into the pithy core. Do this step carefully and take several intervals to make sure that the knife blade is not moving downward. Tighten the vice grip as necessary.

  6. 6

    Dry out your antler after you have inserted the knife blade into it. This will get rid of any smell from bacteria growing on the antler during the soaking process.

Tips and warnings

  • Boil your antler if you do not have the time to let it soak for approximately a month. Check your antler every 15 minutes for softness in the pithy core by conducting the fingernail test in Step 2. Boiling can cause the antler to become brittle if you boil it too long.

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