Introduction: Norse Rune Charms

About: Avid Kayaker, Canoeist, Wildcamper, SUP-er and Photographer,
I started off today messing around with the dremel tool seeing if i could engrave things and generally what i could do with it. I wanted very simple design so that i wouldn't end up messing it up.

That's where the thought of nordic runes came in. With their simple straight line designs i thought they'd be an idea place to start engraving. 

Whilst i was looking through imaged of runes and nordic symbols i remembered one of my friends always wears a protection rune whilst he's kayaking, that inspired me to make some protection charm type of things.

After a little research into runes and their meanings i decided on three with a general protection/ water/ kayaking theme. (These might not make any sense to people who know about runes and stuff i just chose them because i liked the meanings and designs)

Top to bottom. 
Algiz: A protecting shield
Uruz: Strength, speed, energy and freedom.
Laguz: Water and healing energy.

Deer antler (shed)
Wood (Oak)
Leather scaps

Dremel (or other rotary tool) (sanding, drill and engraving attachments)
Various files
Small vice

Step 1: Prepping Materials

I started off by cutting my antler and oak pieces into small strips of the size i wanted for my talisman. Then i used the rotary tool with a sanding attachment to smooth over and thin out the two pieces. 
Finally i drew on the designs i wanted ready for engraving.

Step 2: Engraving

I next clamped the antler strongly in the vice and fitted the narrowest engraving bit to the rotary tool. With gentle strokes i worked away at the areas until the grooves were several mm deep.

I then swapped to a wider engraving bit to smooth out some of the top edges or the runes. 

The final part of this step was to drill a small hole in the top of the strip.

Step 3: Smoothing

Using a selection of files i smoother off the outer edges of the piece and to remove some rough bits from the edges of the carving. Next i used a piece of P240 sanding sponge to smooth off and polish the piece. 

Step 4: Filler

I was thinking of various ways for making the engravings stand out against the pale antler. One idea was to use paint but i wanted the surface of the engraving to be flush with that of the antler, so i needed something to fill the gap. I decided to use black boot polish (seen as it was the only thing i had to hand) I rubbed the polish into the cracks and wiped away any excess that was on the surface.

I had thought about other materials that i could use, the only other thing i could come up with was some kind of clay. If anybody has any other ideas or any tips i'd be grateful. 

Step 5: Finishing Touches

To finish off the oak piece by rubbing it down with linseed oil and drilled holes in the top of each part. 
I then cut a strip of leather to go through the holes and bind them together. 
Not really sure what im going to do with it yet, though it would make a nice pendant.
I also engraved some on a piece of antler that lives on my keychain.

Again if anyone has any ideas about filling the engravings, that would work better than boot polish, please let me know.

Step 6: *Update*

After a number of suggestions of using wax ive been having a mess about. Wax crayons where by far the easiest to come by, and also give a rang of colors which is nice.

Initially i started by just rubbing the wax into the engravings. This worked fine for shallow ones but not so good for the deeper ones.7

Next i started melting the tip of the crayon over a lighter and dripping the wax onto the carving. Worked really well as the wax flowed into all the markings. Any excess wax was easy enough to scrape off with a knife.

I started to have a little bit of a play around with using different colors, quite pleased with some of the results.