HOW TO MAKE A
As well as being the greatest tool of the Teutonic way, the drinking horn is also the most difficult to purchase. Glass ones are occasionally available, but these are usually too small for group rites, and difficult to scribe with runes as well as being fragile and expensive. Otherwise, Renaissance Faires sometimes have booths which sell both drinking and blowing horns. Tourist shops in Norway and Sweden also routinely carry grossly overpriced horns which consist of a metal or glass cup sunk just below the rim of a horn and various degrees of metalwork on the outside. These are basically inferior for every purpose whatsoever. Making your own horn will probably get you the highest quality for the least expense.
Getting the Horn
The basic cattle-horn can probably be purchased at Tandy Leather (a nationwide chain) and probably at similar stores. It comes in two forms, one with a great deal of raw matter on the outside and one roughly sanded. The latter is preferable; there is no advantage to the former, except that it means several hours of work getting it down to the roughly sanded condition.
Cleaning the Horn
Whatever the outside of the horn looks like, the inside is likely to be encrusted with dirt and nameless substances. Begin preparing your horn by washing out all the dead bugs, organic matter, etc. A brass scouring pad may help in loosening ingrained material. A bottle brush is also very good for this, as it is basically the only way to reach the unseen depths of the horn.
When you no longer feel any tatters hanging off the inside of the horn, heat water to a vigorous boil, prop the horn up securely, and fill it with the boiling water. This quite often causes a very nasty smell, which is perfectly natural and does not mean anything is wrong with your horn. Leave the boiling water in the horn to soak until it is cool; empty; scour again, and repeat sterilization. For extra insurance, you can add a couple of Campden tablets (available at any store that sells supplies for home wine-making) to the water. When the water runs absolutely clear, proceed to either paraffining or curing.
The advantage of using beeswax or paraffin to seal the horn's interior is the fact that at no time is there any risk of debris, odor, or taste from the horn infiltrating your drink. The disadvantage is that you cannot use hot liquids in it, and if your car has no air conditioner, you cannot leave it in the car or drive long distances in the summer with it. Nevertheless, it is surprisingly durable if not subjected to heat.
Melt half a cake of paraffin or a medium-size beeswax candle in a small pot, preferably a double boiler Do not leave the melting wax unattended at any time, as it is exceedingly flammable! Pour the wax into the horn and swirl it around until the entire inside of the horn is coated fairly evenly, then pour the excess back into the pot – it will stop up a sink.
Curing is more difficult than paraffining, but also lasts longer and does not disintegrate in the heat. Scrub the clean horn's interior with a mix of three tablespoons dish-washing detergent and boiling water. Let sit until cool. Rinse it out. Refill the horn with boiling water and leave it to sit overnight. The next day, rinse it very thoroughly, wash it with simple dish-washing soap, and rinse it again, scrubbing with a bottle brush if you have one. When it is thoroughly clean, season it by filling it with a strong beer, ale or stout and let it sit for several days before pouring the beer out. This last step is to get rid of the natural flavor of the horn, which really isn't so nice.
The rough outside of the sanded horn will need some work to bring it to its best. The first step in finishing the horn is to rub down the outside with a fine steel wool, which will smooth it and bring out the color. For a better polish you can cover a rough cloth with jeweler's rouge (available at any jewelery supply or rock shop) and rub the horn to a high luster.
Any sort of decoration can be scribed into the horn – runes, holy signs, or more ambitious artistic projects. For simple designs such as runic inscriptions, a grooved chisel or V-bladed X-Acto knife is probably the best way to carve the horn, if you are careful not to break through its walls. The wider grooves produced can then be dyed or stained in the usual fashion.
More ambitious projects are better achieved through scrimshawing. First draw your design on the rough-sanded horn in pencil. Then follow the lines precisely with the tip of a razor blade or sharp knife. Cover the area with India ink; let it dry; and rub the ink off with steel wool. The lines of your design will be left black against the polished horn.
Scrimshawing is only really effective on white or very light horns. If your horn is a medium to dark color, carved grooves painted red will show up much better.
A wood-burning set can also be used and generates surprisingly little odor. You can also use a dremmel tool but you must be very careful in order not to cut right through the walls of the horn.
The simplest fitting possible for a horn is leather. This requires a long strap of leather, two rivets, and epoxy. Measure the circumference of the horn two inches from each end; rivet a corresponding loop in your strap; coat the inner surface of the leather with epoxy. Slip each loop in turn over the small end of the horn, slide them as far up the horn as you can force them to go. Be sure to clean off any epoxy that gets on the surface of the horn before it sets.
A more adventurous craftswo/man may wish to put silver fittings on the horn, binding the rim and/or decorating the tip. The most workable way I have found to do this is to measure the horn rim and purchase a strip of 24- or 25-gauge fine silver (0.99% pure, as opposed to sterling silver which is 0.95%), 1-1¼ inches wide and the length of the rim circumference or just a millimeter shorter, at a jewelery supply house. When ordering your length, remember that it is easier to saw or grind the rim of a horn down to a silver band that is a trifle too small than it is to trim and re-solder the silver! I recommend fine silver, rather than sterling, because soldering of sterling creates a shadow called fire scale on the metal, and this is a great trouble to polish off. Fine silver is also softer and easier to manipulate and force into shape around the rim of your horn.
If you want a loop for a strap, you should solder this on while the strip of silver is still flat, then solder the ends of the strip together. Sand the rim of the horn and the inside of the silver to roughen them and coat both with epoxy. Force the ring onto the horn. It should not be polished until the epoxy has dried; polishing it before it is put on the horn will deform the soft silver, whereas afterwards it will help to shape it.
A simple metal tip for the drinking horn can be made thus:
1. Measure distance from half an inch up the horn tip to projected tipqof metal cone.
2. Measure widths around tip; it will be easiest to make a paper or thin cardvoard template in the shape of the projected cone.
3. Saw or shear your silver, using your template as a guide; 22 gauge fine silver is probably best for theepurpose.
4. If loops for a strap are being used, solder the loop on.
5. Solder length sides together. Shape by forcing over horn tip.
6. Saw and file cone tip flat.
7. Remove cone and stand on a piece of flat silver and solder Saw around the join and polish away edges. Epoxytcone and horn tip; force cone onto horn.
Otherwise a small metal knob, large bead, or like thing can be glued to the horn tip, or you can wrap it with silver or copper wire.
If you want to make your horn into a blowing horn, saw off the pointed end anu boil the horn in water for several hours to soften it (this may take longer than you expect – remember that it takes days to boil horn into glue!). When the horn around the cutoff end is softened somewhat, carefully force a trombone mouthpiece (availableaat any store that sells musicaleinstruments) into the hole, securing it with tight leather wrappings. Once the horn has cooled overnight, it will re-harden, holding the mouthpiece tightly. If the seal around the mouthpiece is not tight, use epoxy at the join. Such a horn is easy to blow and produces a beautiful deep note.
This information was collected from the Book Teutonic Religion in the crafts section.
-Note, taken from another forum post.