Author Topic: Making Horn Bands  (Read 4164 times)

Offline Tim Crosby

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Making Horn Bands
« on: June 21, 2010, 07:04:45 PM »
Right up front let me say that this is the way I do bands and it is self taught. Im sure there are other ways but this works for me. I am always looking for ways to simplify the operation.
  There is a lot of work involved in making the bands, I probably have 80 bands cut and at least as many horns that have been cut up for bands and never seem to have the right band. Cutting them off on a band saw, hack saw whatever is one thing getting them spaced right, turned and fit are three more steps. Some horns just do not make good bands, oval, horns with high ridges inside them, thick to very thin sides on the same horn,
etc   Once a band is cut, it is heated in boiling water, then placed on a sacrificial wooden cone and rough turned to width and thickness.  Some days I spend a whole day doing nothing but rough turning bands. You could just cut them and do the fitting when the horn is ready. I think in theory you could get four bands for a horn off the same horn but the shape of the two horns would almost have to be perfect, inside and out. Once you have a pile of various size bands, you need to work the horn down to its final shape and finish. Draw knife, rasp, file, scraper, sandpaper whatever you choose.  Decide on the base, flush mount or inside, turn it. Decide on the tip, integral to the horn, applied, screw tip, antler, horn, wood, shape or turn it. If the base and tip are on the horn it will help, visually, in fitting the bands.   Now you can start fitting the bands if you are very lucky they will you will, depending on how many bands you want, lets use three, find three that fit and are spaced nicely. If they are a little bit off you can work the inside  until they fit, a lathe with a 4 jaw chuck is good for this, a jam chuck, sandpaper on a cone, just remember there has to be an inside taper so it fits the horn.  Also remember when/if you heat the bands to press them on they will stretch a bit and will not fit exactly where they did to start with. Now if you want to turn rings, grooves, some kind of design on them they can go back on a sacrificial cone, if you have already rough turned them you can spray water on the cone slide the bands on and as the wood swells it will hold the bands, best to turn while it is still damp or they may slide off.  You may be able to get the rough turned bands on the cone evenly but you will more than likely have to true the sides up before turning. Try and keep them all the same width and thickness. Then they go on the horn, like I mentioned if you heat them they will stretch a little but they will also fit better. You can leave them pressed on only and see how long they last or you can pin them on with a couple of steel or wooden pins. Many old horns you see have bands missing, you can see the shadow where they were. On some examples, having bands that are pinned on, the bands are worn through but still attached.

Tim C.

« Last Edit: August 28, 2018, 04:16:41 PM by Tim Crosby »