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Thread: Antler Stain

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    Antler Stain


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    What is everyone using to stain their antlers? I have seen some nice work lately using deer antlers that, after working the knife handle up to final shape, use some sort of stain to make everything a nice medium dark brown...I have tried it using Oil based leather stain (medium brown) from Tandys and it just does not work on Elk antler or deer....after buffing all I get is some crappy mottled color with green tint, so I suspect I am not using what everyone else is...

    Any help is appreciated!

  2. #2
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    Stafford, VA
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    Do a search on Potassium Permagnate? (SP), you should see plenty on techniques. I bought some on ebay cheap. Frank

  3. #3
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  4. #4
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    ............
    Last edited by Trick; 02-08-2005 at 05:27 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trick
    I was just reading last night in a back issue of blade that you can boil it with a tea bag to stain it brown.
    Just a Thought here
    tea can be used but also remember you want the antler dry when you use it
    so how long were you willing to wait to use it?

  6. #6
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    Gresham, Oregon, USA
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    I've been known to color my stag. If you plan on buffing it do it after it has been stained. I use the non oil stains. I start with black on the back, dark brown or chocolate in the middle and a tan on the front and then try to blend everything together working from front to back. The pp works fine but the color fades in time.

  7. #7
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    Will Fiebings work?

  8. #8
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    I use Fiebling's light brown oil based dye when I do anything other than the natural color.

    I am kind of partial to the natural antler and usually only dye the older stuff that I have to stabilize.

  9. #9
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    Aug 2002
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    Durango, CO
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    Will Fiebings work?
    Yep their Spirit Dye is what I use - works better than oil dye. Like Ray I use different colors to get the color(s) I want and it lasts longer and doesn't get fade or get ratty looking like PP. YOu can buff first but then rub down with alcohol and/or 4/0 steel wool to break the surface glaze or it won't soak in properly. After dying seal with a good wood finish of your choice.

    If you do use PP be sure and neutralize it with something like baking soda and water or soda water (aka club soda) or about best Ballistol. PP is an oxidizer and will keep working if not neutralized. It not only fades but also tends to turn green on you, especially if not properly neutralized.

  10. #10
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    Apr 2004
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    Fiebings Oil based dye was what I was using...I don't know, something is just not working out right. Will try the potassium permangenate and see what happens. Thanks for the suggestions!

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Fiebings Oil based dye was what I was using
    Try their spirit dye NOT the Oil dye...They offer it in 4 0z bottles - you don't need much.

    Oh and each piece of antler is different - I've had some that went mottled - whatever material you use this can/will happen since antler has spots of differing porosity along the length, elk especially.

    The "bolster" on this knife is made of mule deer antler and the grip is of deer leg bone - both fairly "mottled" it's always a bit of a crap shoot when working with natural materials but the effort is worth it IMO.
    Last edited by Wild Rose; 01-31-2005 at 09:28 PM.

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