Made an antler frame yesterday, with a one inch steel ball as the heart of the design.
Drilled three holes into the steel ball, then threaded them and put in 8mm threaded rods. Attached the antler parts, as always this survived the vise test even without glue. Epoxy made it rock solid. I also soaked the spongy marrow with epoxy. Then I polycoated the frame, this will take care of the rust as well (the steel ball isn't hardened stainless, otherwise I couldn't have drilled the holes in).