Introduction: Antler Mount

In this instructable I'll show the steps I took to build this wooden antler mount.

From software editing, to CNC cutting, to assembly, this instructable will hopefully teach you to make your own or a counterpart using the same system.

This is a great tool to learn if you have a CNC but can be built using a band saw/jig saw/scroll saw



123d Make




Deer antlers


Wood glue




CNC / bandsaw


Fair warning power tools and CNC machines can be dangerous, but as long as you are cautious, and always wear safety gear you shouldn't have any problems.

Step 1:

Looking to make something new with my CNC machine, I came across 123D Make. With help from their videos and free 3D files I was able to learn how to use the software and build a cardboard rhino head.

I wanted to use the same method to make a deer head to mount a set of antlers on.

Step 2: Design/Find 3D File has a huge library of 3D models. I found this deer head that would work perfectly, created by hugoelec.

Download the file and import it into Meshmixer

Skip to step 4 if you don't want to edit the model

Step 3: Meshmixer

Import the .stl into Meshmixer

I found Meshmixer had more design freedom,and a bit easier to edit than 123D Design.

Start by selecting around the antlers and delete bit by bit using the Erase and Fill option, then sculpt the head smooth.

Export the model when you're done

Step 4: 123D Make

Open 123D Make and Import your model

Create a new material under Manufacturing Settings.

Set your material



-thickness *check thickness with difital calipers, my 0.25" (1/4") hardboard actually measured 0.20"

-tool diameter

Hit done

Object Size

Make sure uniform scale is selected and set the length, width, or height you want your piece to be.

Under Construction Technique scroll through the different slice options

For the deer head, I selected stacked slices

Slice Direction

Change slice direction by clicking on the axis you wish to rotate and dragging to desired angle.

For the deer head, I rotated 90 degrees

Modify Form

You can hollow out your object to save material, click hollow and use the min-max toolbar to adjust how hollow you want it.

For the deer head, I hollowed about 75%

Get Plans

Change simple to nested under layout arrangement

With that information 123D Make is able to give you different cutting plans with a simple click.

Once your done you can export to .dxf for CNC cutting.


Export to .pdf and print the plans with your material set as 8.5x11, use the plans as guides for jigsaw/bandsaw

Step 5: CamBam

Open .dxf file in CamBam

Highlight the drawing and right click - edit - join - set join tolerance to 0.1

The join tolerance makes the poly lines easier to work with

Select the inner poly lines and create a profile tool path


Inside cut (inside or outside of poly line)

Cutting Depth

Increment 0.10 (depth of each pass enter as a positive number)

Depth -0.20 (full depth of material enter as a negative number)

*check thickness with difital calipers, my 0.25" (1/4") hardboard actually measured 0.20"

Feed Rate

Cut 50 (cutting speed)

Plunge 10 (plunge speed)

Holding Tabs

Tabs auto


Diameter 0.125


Select the outer poly lines as a different profile tool path


Outside cut

...the rest is the same as our inside cut


Right click - machining - generate tool paths

This will show you the tool path, make sure it is cutting where it is supposed to by selecting show cut width under view

Right click - machining - produce g code

Save your .nc file for cutting on your CNC

Step 6: Cut and Glue

I messed up my scale a bit and had to make the head bigger. I brought the model back into 123D Make and made sure that uniform scale was clicked and re-sized the model.

I also added the dowel option, make the holes 1/32" bigger than the dowel so you don't have to force the dowel through.

I used 3/8" (0.375") dowel, so I set my dowel size in 123D Make as (0.406")


As the CNC is cutting make sure to keep track of the parts, mark the top and number them according to the assembly plans from 123D Make.

Step 7: Attaching the Antlers

Attaching the antlers took a bit of guess work,I kept lining the antlers up and sanding part of the head smooth until I had good contact. I then drilled into the antler and then into the head and used a dowel to hold it all together.

Step 8: Paint

I went with cherry stain and sealed with a clear coat.

That's it everyone! Thanks for taking the time to read my instructable.

Step 9: ​Bonus Pictures

Before and After Contest 2016

Participated in the
Before and After Contest 2016

Full Spectrum Laser Contest 2016

Participated in the
Full Spectrum Laser Contest 2016

Plywood Contest

Participated in the
Plywood Contest