Curing Ram's Horn for craft use : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I've started a new hobby of making walking sticks (canes, market sticks, etc) of the type found in England and Ireland. Many of these have handles fashioned out of Ram's horn.

I've found a local person who is willing to give me the heads of her rams when she butchers, but I'm uncertain how to 'cure' the horns so I can use them later. Any ideas?

-- Lor in Oregon (, January 10, 2002


cut off the bone,,let it dry completly

-- Stan (, January 10, 2002.

I collect walking sticks let me know when you get one ready. Bob se,ks.

-- Bobco (, January 10, 2002.

I did a buck goats horns once. I used the directions for a shofar in the book- The First Jewish Catalog. I had to cook the horns for a few hours, after they have boiled for a long time, you then pull the bone out and scrape off the hair and tissue inside the horn. Getting all the stuff out of the tip was a job. Being from a buck goat, WOW did those horns ever stink up the house, I have a strong stomach but it was just about unbearable, buck smell usually doesn't bother me. I think ram's horns would be more pleasant to work with. :)

-- Rebekah (, January 11, 2002.

I found a craft book at the library (can't remember the name - I'll see if I can find it later) that gave instructions for preparing antlers & horns. They have to be heated to make them easy to work with & I think they used hot sand. I don't know if that made them last longer or not.

-- Bonnie (, January 15, 2002.

During the summer we set antlers, horns and skulls on ant hills. The ants clean them up really good. BUT that doesn't help during the winter. Sorry!

-- cowgirlone in OK (, January 15, 2002.

Found the book. It's Crafts of the Woods by Bernard S. Mason, published in 1973 by A.S.Barnes & Co.,Inc.

Apparently horns & antlers don't have to be cured, but they have to be boiled to make them soft enough to work with. Feathers are hardened for pens by putting the tips in hot sand & then dip them in boiling water with a little alum dissolved in it.

-- Bonnie (, January 24, 2002.

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