Tools of the Trade: Burrs

Antler carving is possible largely because of power tools which make use of burrs. Burrs are made from high speed steel, tungsten carbide or a diamond matrix. The cutting edges can be single or double fluted. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes and are used with a variety of flexible shaft or micro motor tools.

When you first start carving, you may purchase a Dremel kit from a local hardware store. This usually comes with the motor, flexible shaft and an assortment of burrs. Most of these burrs are useless for carving, so it will be necessary to purchase them separately.

I have included images of some of the most useful burrs for carving antler.

A Website For and About Antler Carvers

‘Yukon Seasons, 2003’ by Shane Wilson moose antler and skull sculpture (112x120x61 cm – Yukon Government Permanent Collection)

This website is dedicated to the art of antler carving. It may also be of interest to carvers of other materials (such as horn, ivory or bone) since we share many of the same tools and techniques. And the differences are sure to be instructive!

Through interviews, I hope to share the work of carvers and collectors, posting images of their sculptures and discuss things they have learned about their work: tools, techniques and marketing tips.