For The Turners

I posted this in another group as well so if you get it twice, I apologize, just looking for all advice possible advice.
Ok, I need advise from the experts and from those who have made mistakes.
My brother in law just gave me 6 deer antler sets to make pens. Anyone out there have any experience? Anyone tried and screwed up, but know why they screwed up?
Some basic questions:
Any curing / aging / drying need to be checked or take place?
Whats the best way to cut them?
Any drilling tips?
Gluing tips?
Turning tips - speed, tools, etc?
Anything that you can suggest would be greatly appreciated. I've turned probably 100 pens, 30 walnut bowls, 6 backscratches, 8 Boxes and made some other things just for christmas. So I have some experience, just never attempted Deer Antler. Thanks in advance.
Jack Wynn Atlanta, GA
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JACK said:

Jack, they stink to high heaven when machined. Other than that, nothing extraordinary.
Greg Also in Atlanta
Greg G.
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The smell of working bone or antler is memorable.
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Jack... one could type for hours. Or, check out this link as it will keep you busy for a while due to the fact it has been exhaustively discussed on the woodturning NG.
http://tinyurl.com/2ajwty
Good luck. I have seen some nice things turned from antler, and have about five pounds of moose antler waiting for me to decide what to do with it. (At this point I am thinking knife scales.)
One thing that seems to be a common theme though, and that is to make sure it has cured out (you will know if it is mealy or bloody when you drill it) and that you do not apply a finish on the antler. Get out your Beall polishing kit and gently work through the compounds until mirror bright.
Robert
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Where in Atlanta?
Alpharetta here.
Jack

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JACK said:

Unincorporated Cobb between Fulton County and Sminings. 8 minutes to Buckhead, 20 minutes to Mare-retta. 12 minutes to Rockler. 16 minutes to Highland Hardware. Worked for a decade in Roswell, Dunwoody, and Sandy Spring when Alpharetta (and Roswell for that matter) were horse farms and Dairy Queens. Most old customers lived there. Cobb, however, remains the puss pocket it always was.
I mostly turn stuff like this:
http://webpages.charter.net/videodoctor/images/cherry_pwalnut01.jpg
I'm thinking of starting a new theme based series of turnings. Pettifoggers, Politicians, & Machinery will be initial efforts. ;-)
Good luck with the antler turnings, I see you have gotten more useful advice from others. I've tried to find alternate materials locally, alabaster and raw turquoise for instance, but have had little luck. Miami, Chicago, LA and NYC seem to be the primary outlets for artistic supplies, yet ordering sight unseen is risky and/or shipping = $$. Lots of fake turquoise going around these days.
Greg G.
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Wow, that pic is gorgeous, nice job. Also, do you know of a good hardwood source? I know Atlanta Hardwoods, but they can be kinda pricey. There also used to be a good plywood source in Kennesaw, but they seem to be gone or have moved. I can't remember they're name anyway.
Getting ready to build an entertainment center out of Red Oak. Originally I was going to be able to use mostly 3/4 plywood, but now I'm afraid I'm going to have to use all 3/4 planks. Just looking to save some money.
Any ideas?
jack

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JACK said:

Thanks for the kudos. Lots of time for little net worth, however. As for local suppliers, although I watched them build the place in my teens, I have found Atlanta Hardwoods/Atlanta Wood Products Center et.al. to be a little dodgy in their pricing - i.e. 7% addition for kiln shrinkage, 11% for straight line ripping, etc. Peach State Lumber Products in Kennesaw prices outright, fairly good prices for this area, and the people are quite friendly. They stock many "exotics", #3 cherry in bulk, plywoods, and Ipe. It is the last place I purchased from. Carlton's Rare Woods in Atlanta has faded since the founder died a couple of years ago. Watch what you buy, as the poor storage conditions lead to mold and possibly gluing and finishing problems. There is a place in Austell called Sweetwater Lumber, but it's been a few years since I've been there. Their stock was mostly limited to what the local cabinet makers used. Most of the local shops have since gone out of business and I have no idea what that has done to pricing/stock.
As for the planks vs. plywood, You may well be aware of this, but watch for and plan for expansion of the panels when using raw wood. The last price I got on 3/4" Red Oak ply at Peach State was $50 sheet for shop grade, $64 for B-2 veneer core, and $53 for B-2 fibre core. Price break at 5+ pieces.
Plan on wood is going up.. and up...
Good Luck,
Greg G.
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Thanks, I did get prices from Peach State, and now from Suwanee. Will try Sweetwater, hadn't heard about that one.
As far as McClendon's, I love the place. But like you, I'm selective in what I buy from there. Mostly solid pieces for turning. I don't know if you've been there in a while, but he has one piece of Ebony downstairs that I would just love to have. Its a bench seat (or the approximate size of one and about 4 inches thick) and its absolutely stunning. But for 2 grand, its just kinda out of my league. I do however love to walk through his shop and just drool ocassionaly with no particular purpose. LOL!
Thanks for the tip, I'll call Sweetwater.
Jack

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