A friend of mine is a Pagan with Norwegian descent. For her herbal witchcraft practices, she asked me if I could make her a Boline (a ceremonial sickle) with an antler handle.
I took up the challenge and started working on it.
Since my place is still under repair, I could not setup my forge so I decided to go with stock removal techniques. The Boline's blade will be cut from an old circular saw blade.
I first drew the design with a silver marker on the saw blade and made sure the proportions are correct in relation to the deer antler.
With the use of an angle grinder, I started the slow process of cutting the saw blade steel. You can't cut curves like this so I had to remove piece by piece and fine tune with a hand file.
After the blade has been cut, it's time to shape the cutting edge. Again, my angle grinder with a flap disc was used for the rough shape and I finished with a bastard hand file.
Once again, I previewed the proportions by placing the antler on the blade.
The surface rust was removed using a rough sanding paper and some phosphoric acid based solution was used to add patina (dark color) to the steel to give it a rustic look.
I took some steel sample to a laser engraving service to give it a test.
My friend chose to engrave her family bind rune and it turned out very nicely with the steel showing through the patina.
Once the blade was ready, I drilled some holes in the antler to insert the blade tang and glue it in. Some of the antler texture were sanded down to make it comfortable to hold.
I then stained the sanded areas with coffee ground to give it back its rustic coloring.