Step 1: Collecting Your Parts
2.Elk Antler. This one was a shed-horn (i.e. no elk were harmed in the making of this instructable) but collecting them from taxidermists, websites, dog chews, or hunting are also other ways to find them. I choose elk antler because they have a very large diameter, and therefor the end project will show a great deal of antler exterior. It is possible to do this with Whitetail Deer antlers, but only the largest will provide you with a sufficient surface area for the desired effect, and cutting these antlers seems foolhardy to me. One could use a Mule Deer with a thick main beam, or other less common undulate but Elk are in plentiful supply, and their antlers can be found readily. You will need a section that is at least 7" long.
3. Miscellaneous Brass Rod and Tube. These will be used to pin the scales together, and as well will serve as the bushing on which the blade will rotate. I do not specify a size, as each blade is different, and finding the appropriate fit is a bit of an art (read: kicking and cussing).
Step 2: Cutting Your Antler to Length
This first cut will run perpendicular to the beam's length.
Step 3: Lengthwise Cut
This is when you will start to notice the smell of cutting antler. There really is nothing else like it. I've not found any way to keep this permeating odor out of my nose, if you find a way I'd be interested to hear it.
Both of these cuts are taken from opposite sides of the same section of anther. Its is how I ensure getting a matched set.
Step 4: Scale Shaping
Carefully cut the first side out on your band saw and then use it as a template for your second antler side. This will ensure that you have the best matched set possible.
After the second half has been marked, it too can be cut out leaving you with two halves that are symmetrical.
Step 5: Shaping
Once the two halves are flat, I will tape them together so that I can soften all of the harsh edges, and then I taper the points at either end. In the world of razor building, the more thin you make the scales, the more impressed your admirers will be. Antler is a very strong natural substance, so don't be afraid to push the limits.
Once you are satisfied with the roundness of your edges, the flatness of the insides we will start working on Blade fitting.
Step 6: Free Your Blade... Free Your Mind
Use whatever tools you have that are able to free your blade from its aging restraints. I typically use a set of dykes and start by cracking the old scales. At that point the bushing is typically able to fall free. I also add a piece of masking tape to the blade. Taping the blade serves two purposes. First and foremost, I have ten fingers, and intend to keep them all. Secondly, it keeps the delicate blade safe from unnecessary dings and dents. These blades are eventually going to be trusted with the delicate act of wet shaving, any inconsistencies will later be a hazard, or a tremendous sharpening burden.
Step 7: Hole Setting
The tail end hole is then marked ensuring that you have given sufficient room for the blade to swing into place without striking it.
To select the appropriate sized drill bit I test fit them in the pivot hole in the blade. Once I have selected the best fitting bit I start to look for brass rod or tube that will as well fit that hole for the final steps. With this bit selected I use a drill press to first drill the marked half. Then I tape the matching half to the drilled half and complete the passes so that the holes are concentric.
Step 8: Gaping the Scales
Be careful at this stage as you sand, your pieces should be quite thin, and it would be unfortunate to watch your hours of work ruined due to a lack of measurement, or grip.
Step 9: Final Assembly, and Finishing Touches.
With the heel side done it is time to fit the blade at the pivot. Here you should be mindful of the blade's full path as you slowly peen the two halves together. Make sure that the peening is done in a fashion that resists free movement of the blade, but that it still allows it to be opened and closed.