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Swede, how much would it cost to get all the tools needed, and what are all the tools needed?

I dont have a dime in my tools I made them. Look around for some heavy solid copper wire and drill a hole in the end of a dowell rod that is about eight inches long. the hole should be no larger than the wire. All you will need is an inch or inch and a half piece of heavy copper wire. This will be your smallest pressure flaker. A deer antler tine is another good tool. It can be sharpened to a point if need be. Trial and error will guide you as to how sharp a point to put on you tools.

 

The base of a large deer antler works good for a billet or hammer. Round the end off like a ball.

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OK lets do something with this piece. First Ill show you how to resharpen this edge>

 

arrowhead001qn7.jpg

 

Work the edges with pressure chipping>

 

arrowhead006yp0.jpg

 

Follow with a smaller pressure flaking tool>

 

arrowhead007of0.jpg

 

Next lets see what we can make with this chip. Here trial and error will guide you by looking at what material is available to work with>

 

arrowhead014mz7.jpg

 

Useing the copper clad ground rod and striking down and in against the vinal for a cushion and working with this brass pressure chipper I managed to chip out this design. I was correct that the hard places in the piece were tough to deal with>

 

arrowhead016nq7.jpg

 

Heres what I ended up with. Not a really good piece but useable. Use your small pressure chipper to make a serated edge on the sides.

 

arrowhead018al5.jpg

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Thanks Holly but since I moved this project to the kitchen Mrs Swede has ordered a complete clean up of her kitchen floor. Those chips are pretty sharp on bare feet.  :blush:

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Swede, I got to thinking looking at these pictures of your pressure flaking.  Edgar Rice Burroughs, in one of his Tarzan books, described a process for making a knife by heating the blank (the description in the book made me think of obsidian) and then carefully dripping a drop of water on the hot material to elicit a thermal flaking. One drop per one chip, so it wouldn't be fast, but it would have the benefit of being doable without any tools.  I've never heard of this technique anywhere else, and I read about it 40 years ago and didn't think about it until just now.  It seems like a technique that might work, so I wonder if maybe he found it in some African research somewhere.

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From "The Beasts of Tarzan" by Edgar Rice Burroughs

 

Upon the shore he found an out-cropping of brittle, igneous rock.

By dint of much labour he managed to chip off a narrow sliver some

twelve inches long by a quarter of an inch thick. One edge was

quite thin for a few inches near the tip. It was the rudiment of

a knife.

 

With it he went into the jungle, searching until he found a fallen

tree of a certain species of hardwood with which he was familiar.

From this he cut a small straight branch, which he pointed at one

end.

 

Then he scooped a small, round hole in the surface of the prostrate

trunk. Into this he crumbled a few bits of dry bark, minutely

shredded, after which he inserted the tip of his pointed stick,

and, sitting astride the bole of the tree, spun the slender rod

rapidly between his palms.

 

After a time a thin smoke rose from the little mass of tinder, and

a moment later the whole broke into flame. Heaping some larger

twigs and sticks upon the tiny fire, Tarzan soon had quite a

respectable blaze roaring in the enlarging cavity of the dead tree.

 

Into this he thrust the blade of his stone knife, and as it became

superheated he would withdraw it, touching a spot near the thin

edge with a drop of moisture. Beneath the wetted area a little

flake of the glassy material would crack and scale away.

 

Thus, very slowly, the ape-man commenced the tedious operation of

putting a thin edge upon his primitive hunting-knife.

 

He did not attempt to accomplish the feat all in one sitting.

At first he was content to achieve a cutting edge of a couple of

inches, with which he cut a long, pliable bow, a handle for his

knife, a stout cudgel, and a goodly supply of arrows.

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Here's a question I asked you before Swede, but I'm still not quite clear on. From the looks of that piece, it has a convex side and a flat side. How do you go about thinning out the convex side to give it symetry?  I ask because it seems to be a recurring issue on about 50% of the pieces I work with.  I'm not certain how to 'flatten' an arrowhead.

 

Also, what are good ratio's for length, width and thickness?

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Swede, I got to thinking looking at these pictures of your pressure flaking.  Edgar Rice Burroughs, in one of his Tarzan books, described a process for making a knife by heating the blank (the description in the book made me think of obsidian) and then carefully dripping a drop of water on the hot material to elicit a thermal flaking. One drop per one chip, so it wouldn't be fast, but it would have the benefit of being doable without any tools.  I've never heard of this technique anywhere else, and I read about it 40 years ago and didn't think about it until just now.  It seems like a technique that might work, so I wonder if maybe he found it in some African research somewhere.

The heating and dropping water is utter nonsense. Think about it. How could you control the proccess. The first drop would likely crack the entire piece in half or possibly shatter into pieces. Take normal glass (not the pyrex). What would happen if you did that to glass?

 

The process of chipping is action reaction or sorts. The force of the blow isnt as important as the angle and preparation. Dont just hit the edges the force is inward from a "bench". Lets say the edge tapers like the cutting edge of an axe. You need to create a "bench" on a 45 degree angle and strike inward so the action is directed towards the material. Before the strike you will need to "abraid" or roughen the surface of the chert.

 

This makes your antler or copper to keep from sliding off the material. Thats why you use a softer tool to grab and pull off the chip.

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Here's a question I asked you before Swede, but I'm still not quite clear on. From the looks of that piece, it has a convex side and a flat side. How do you go about thinning out the convex side to give it symetry?  I ask because it seems to be a recurring issue on about 50% of the pieces I work with.  I'm not certain how to 'flatten' an arrowhead.

 

Also, what are good ratio's for length, width and thickness?

If the piece is really covex it will be hard to get a "bi face" However by removing material from outside of the piece its possible to take most of the bend out of it.

 

Think chipping is actually removing material from the opposite side of the strike or flake. The same holds true for straightening the cutting edge .

 

3/1 ie a piece 3 inches wide and 1 inch thick is pretty much too thick. A really good piece will be 5/1 or 6/1 .

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This is a skill I really want to learn.  I just am not sure what rocks are knappable in my area. 

Go no line and look for websites that sell blank knapping material to start with or find some plate glass one quarter inch thick or thicker to practice on. Buy a book. Like I said before The art of flint knapping by D. C Waldorf is a good one.

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Hey Swede.  I just remembered this.  A friend of mine gave me some.....we think it is furnace glass?  He found it near a river.  It looks just like obsidian.  I have a couple really nice chunks. 

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Yup they actually sell furnace glass for knapping. It might be hard to get a good piece to work with out of it but even if its a small piece it will work for practice. Ive made points out of that kind of glass. Its probably different colors run together isnt it?

 

Can you post a picture of it so I can see how to knock off a chip?

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Hey swede, great posts. Its nice to have a guy that really knows what hes talking about, and has a lot of experience.

 

I wanted to ask you a question about material in my area. I've found pieces of chert on the surface, near railroad cuts and such that are not usable. I've tried digging where there are large deposits of limestone on the surface with no luck at all. There aren't very many rivers around here, and the ones that are around are so heavily used it'd be impossible to find any useful material. How can I find usable chert?

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Well you asked the right person derek.  Swede is one of the finest knappers I know. :salute:  Holly, on the other hand, is one of the finest nappers I've ever know too. happy097.gif

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Dave it looks like you been hitting the bottle again.  :nono:

 

Derek is there a limestone quarry near you? Thats an excellent place to get flint. Go to the rip rap pile usually 8-10 inch rock or larger and just pick up some pieces. They wont even charge you for them or at least very little. Also there should be a stream near by the quarry. Look on the gravel bars.

 

I see your server is in Kansas but I dont know your area.

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I live in Nebraska near the Kansas border, I come here to use the library because the one in my town is the size of a shoe box ;). Yea theres a limestone quarry, but its been abandoned for years, and completely mined out. None of the equipment or buildings are there either. That is the only quarry I can think of near by, I think some one owns that land now.

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Well thats still a source for flint if you can get in there or if theres a stream nearby.

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I found this beautiful piece of flint in my gatherings. Im goint to try to make a piece out of it. It wont be easy but its worth a try.>

 

flint004kf5.jpg

 

Heres a nice bench to try to knock off a flake. Ill try to strike inward with my large copper billet. If you can see the top arrow is pointing to a strange etching within the stone that looks like pencil marks. Strange.>

 

benches1.jpg

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Update> I broke it    :cry:

 

You didn't break the stone, Swede, the stone just wasn't worthy of YOU. :console:

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