Cleaning and Drilling Moose Antler

Submitted by Tom on 1/17/06 at 7:29 PM. ( )

I just did a little searching and did not see an answer to my question. I found a moose antler a few months ago and would like to make a cribbage board out of it. It doesn't have any dirt on it and it doesn't really smell anymore so I was wondering if I needed to clean it before or after drilling the holes. Would soap and water do the trick or do I need to use bleach or something similar? Thanks a lot in advance!

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Soap is good

This response submitted by Chad on 1/17/06 at 10:48 PM. ( )

Tom- I would recommend soap and water but dont scrub with anything really abrasive. Just a soft cloth. Also, I am assuming this is a recently shed antler. If this is correct be sure and let the antler dry out in a warm dry place (like the garage but if you have dogs or other animals around, hang it up somewhere inside because critters of all kinds love to chew on antlers) for a good 3 or 4 months before drilling the holes or they will shrink up and become too tight for the pegs after the drying period. Once completed you can either varnish the antler, which I personaly feel makes them look fake, or simply rub a light coating of vegetable oil (or some folks really like olive oil)into the antler and refresh it when it starts looking a little worse for wear. Take your time and it will not only turn out great but will last for more than your lifetime. Good luck with your project.


This response submitted by Tom on 1/18/06 at 9:51 AM. ( )

Thanks a lot Chad. It has been hanging around for about four months already so I think I'll wash it in the next few days and design where the holes will be drilled. I'll be sure to take my time to make it look professional!


This response submitted by Douglas on 1/18/06 at 5:41 PM. ( )

You will find it easier to use a dremel with a bit. The faster speed makes bit walking much less. Also eaier to stay verticle. I used a small post level banded to the side to keep all holes vrticle.

After your finished I found a buffing wheel and some plasic polish works great to give the playing surface a nice look. Does not cheapen it. Actually gives it a complete classy look.

I did this on a whitetail shed and it looks great.

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