How to Remove the Center of Cow Horns

Updated February 21, 2017

The use of cow horn has a long history dating back to the Middle Ages, if not before. In the Middle Ages, cow horns were used for multiple purposes: as drinking horns, powder, cups and even musical instruments. Cow horns have also been used for powder in the American Revolution as well as by frontiersmen. Using cow horns to make a powder horn or some other object can be done after removing the centre of the horn. This is something you can do yourself.

Cut the base of the horn with a hacksaw. Begin the cut on the portion of the horn where it starts to flare.

Soak the horn in a bowl of water for two hours. This will help soften the scale that may cover the top of the horn.

Remove the scale from the horn by scraping the surface with a rasp. Smooth the rasp marks with a medium file. This will help smooth the horn's surface.

Cut off the top of the horn, then drill a spout hole. Start with the smaller bit first, then work your way up to the 9/32 inch bit.

Put on heat-resistant gloves and heat the base of the horn with a heat gun.

Scrape out the interior of the horn with a sharp knife. The inside should come out easily when enough heat is applied. If it becomes difficult, reheat the horn and continue scraping out the inside.

Things You'll Need

  • Hacksaw
  • Container
  • Water
  • Rasp
  • Medium file
  • Drill
  • 15/64" and 9/32" bit
  • Heat gun
  • Gloves (heat resistant)
  • Knife
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About the Author

Marjorie Gilbert is a freelance writer and published author. An avid researcher, Gilbert has created an Empire gown (circa 1795 to 1805) from scratch, including drafting the gown's patterns by hand.