I hope the customer will accept this, I am not completely happy with the result. An acquaintance of mine has given me some deer antlers for crafting and she also commissioned a knife made out of one of them. The antlers are from her father, who is a gamekeeper and she wants to have something to remember him by. She requested a small letter opener with a stand that can also work as a paperweight. Lenticular grind and not fully sharpened edges. Oak wood for the stand because her office has oaken furniture.
From the manufacturing point of view, there were not very many interesting things – I ground and polished the blade and blackened it with oak bark, then I fixed it to half of the antler with the burr at the pommel end. Because the antler is old, scratched, and irregular – as antlers are – I have hammered the pakfong pommel into an irregular shape. I also hammered the bolster and I only wire-brushed and polished them over the hammer marks. A bit interesting was the making of the stand.
To weigh it down, I chiseled holes in the bigger piece of wood before gluing it together and I poured molten solder into it.
I learned this technique from my maternal grandfather. I have never met him – he died long before my parents even met – but he made for my grandmother a top for winding the thread on bobbins and the top has been weighed this way on its circumference. Molten solder cools in wood quite quickly and it does not char the wood on the edges all that much, especially if it is hard and dense wood. I was itching to try this out for years.
The pakfong throat on the stand for the blade was a bit difficult to make and there I had to use a creative solution to make it hopefully solid enough so it does not become undone in a breeze. I did not want to rely only on epoxy, so I soldered two pieces of copper wire onto the pakfong piece, and I glued those into tight-fitting holes. This way it should hopefully withstand even some mild abuse like falling on the ground.
The full finished set weighs about 860 g, I have possibly overdone the weighing a bit. The stand is slightly decorated with pokerwork and the underside is covered with brown natural felt so it does not click when put on a table. The finish is tung oil and beeswax, which are more pleasant to the touch than lacquer or epoxy.