Friday, April 23, 2010

Making Antler Arrowheads

We dug out an old piece of Moose Antler, and decided to make some antler arrowheads. The boys have been itching to learn how to carve out and make arrows.

This piece of antler is very heavy and dense. More than a deer antler.

The first part that takes the longest is to cut off slabs from the antler.
Be sure to get them the right thickness.
If you use powertools, it will stink - smells just like branding a calf!

Next, we drew out a pattern we wanted.
Hunting arrows had a tappered backend on the arrowhead - so it could fall out easier and help bleed the animal better.
The tapper also increased the chance of saving the arrow to use again.

It is tricky holding onto the small piece of bone while carving on it.
Vise grips and a vice helped...

The sawzall also made the work quicker.
Except for the smell!

The younger boys really got a kick out of it.
It is alot of work by hand, but they didn't seem to mind. Funny how work is more fun when you are making 'weapons'.

When the arrowhead is shaped properly, an edge can easily be put on using a file. Or a grinder.
Battle arrowheads had the barbed backend that we often think of. The barb ensured the arrowhead was more difficult to extract from an enemy.
Here are a couple of the arrowheads we made to demonstrate it with the boys.
Hunting arrowheads were installed onto the arrow shaft to lay vertically - so they would penetrate the ribcage of an animal's vertically aligned ribs easier.
Battle arrowheads were installed horizontally, because only Man has horizontally aligned ribs. Very clever, huh.
The boys spent more time cutting disks from the antler for their own arrowsheads.
They learn best by putting sweat and effort into the learning. It is a great time to tell hunting stories and old west wisdom.
And no, Dad never did actually run into real indians on the plains...