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Author Topic: Flint knapping  (Read 34128 times)

Offline Swede

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Flint knapping
« on: January 02, 2007, 06:55:24 PM »
Here I will show you how to use rocks to make tools. The important thing is to have some knowledge of the different types and kinds of stone. Here we will be looking for chert obsidian novaculite and agate. Chert is the most available quartz there is. It can be found from coast to coast and as far north as Canada. The type of rock we will be looking for will have a shiney surface like glass. In fact glass is a good type of material to make tools out of.

Materials are easier found in stream beds especially on gravel bars where different rocks are piled up from high water. Look for white rocks thats a good identifier of chert.Here is a piece of really good chert or flint that I found that had been worked by a native American. It shows the near perfect chipping or fracture of a professional knapper. Look at the perfect chip that runs the entire length of the chert making the rest of the process easy.

I can now show you how this is done. After you have found your material an almost razor sharp knife can be made pretty easily by striking the edge with another rock as demonstrated. I use a hammer here to show the striking area and angle of the strike. Strength is not the key here but the angle and placement of the strike. Stroke downward and outward and pull the chip away from the rock.

The chips are as sharp as any knife in the drawer and a pointed piece here could be used for a punch.

Here are some examples of different kinds of material. The black is obsidian the white is chert and the colorful chips are novaculite or agate.

Here is an example of what you can make from this material with knapping tools. I will show you how you can use tools you can find to make some points in the next installment.

I hope the war on terror goes better then the war on drugs and the war on poverty
If you dont care where you are your never lost
Im a survivor not a victim
Its not who I am but what I do that defines me.

Offline Watcherofthewoods

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Re: Flint knapping
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2007, 06:57:17 PM »
wow swede that is amazing make sure to wear eye protection tho
Complain less, breathe more.

It isn't until man is quiet that nature will speak.

In the silence and solitude of the night is when you truely find yourself.

Offline Swede

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Re: Flint knapping
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2007, 07:17:32 PM »
The small chips can be collected and crushed between hard rocks to make a powder of sand and can be sprinkled on a one or two inch thick stick with the bark removed and wetted to make the sand stick and used for a knive sharpner. Chert or quartz is one of the hardest materials in nature and can wear down the steel in a knife to sharpen it.

Here is an example of arrow heads I have knapped from scratrch from pieces of chert I have found useing knapping tools.

Here is an arrow I made useing an authenic arrow head I found. I will demonstrate how to add feathers and tie the point on the shaft later.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2008, 10:18:44 AM by Swede »
I hope the war on terror goes better then the war on drugs and the war on poverty
If you dont care where you are your never lost
Im a survivor not a victim
Its not who I am but what I do that defines me.

Offline Swede

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Re: Flint knapping
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2007, 08:21:21 PM »
Lime stone is a sediment rock formed from crustacean shells and over periods of thousands of years they piled up in the bottom of an ocean that is now North America. So it is found at varying depths accross a wide part of the continent. Chert is found in layers of the limestone and is best or easiest found on the top or cap stone of the lime stone.When streams or rivers wear down the earth they will eventually reach the cap stone. This is called bed rock. The lime stone will "melt' away leaving the harder chert.This is where native Americans came to get their material.

A good material to find are chert nodulesThe chert is best worked as soon as it is harvested right from the water or while it is still wet. Some nappers leave their material in buckets of water.

Some material can be enhanced by heat treating in or under a campfire. Chert will become more "glassey" when treated and will turn pink or reddish. Here is an example I found of a geode that was used for a campfire rock by native Americans and has been heat treated.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2008, 01:01:33 PM by Swede »
I hope the war on terror goes better then the war on drugs and the war on poverty
If you dont care where you are your never lost
Im a survivor not a victim
Its not who I am but what I do that defines me.

Offline Watcherofthewoods

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Re: Flint knapping
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2007, 09:18:46 PM »
YAY i have always wondered how to get the feathers on the arrow
Complain less, breathe more.

It isn't until man is quiet that nature will speak.

In the silence and solitude of the night is when you truely find yourself.

Offline Swede

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Re: Flint knapping
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2007, 11:07:07 AM »
Here are some examples of arrow heads I made from different materials .
Frome left to right moss agate>obsidian>mahogany obsidian>glass>cobalt blue glass> glass
« Last Edit: January 03, 2007, 05:45:32 PM by Swede »
I hope the war on terror goes better then the war on drugs and the war on poverty
If you dont care where you are your never lost
Im a survivor not a victim
Its not who I am but what I do that defines me.

Offline Adi

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Re: Flint knapping
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2007, 06:07:20 AM »
Great stuff Swede. What tools are you using to work these.
Getting out there and doing it. Aptare et superare ;)

"We do not belong to those who only get their thought from books, or at the prompting of books - it is our custom to think in the open air, walking, leaping, climbing or dancing, of lonesome mountains by preference, or close to the sea, where even the paths become thoughtful." Friedrich Nietzsche

Offline Swede

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Re: Flint knapping
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2007, 09:56:00 AM »
Thanks Adi Ill try to get some more pictures of chipping and adding feathers and points to make weapons and tools as soon as I can.
I hope the war on terror goes better then the war on drugs and the war on poverty
If you dont care where you are your never lost
Im a survivor not a victim
Its not who I am but what I do that defines me.

adrenjunky

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Re: Flint knapping
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2007, 06:12:08 PM »
 :thumbsup: AWESOME Swede. Great work

Offline Swede

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Re: Flint knapping
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2007, 06:12:46 PM »
Here are my billets used to flake off bigger pieces. From left to right>elk antler>deer antler>copper dowel>copper stock
I use a folded piece of vinal you can get at fabric stores to work on for pressure flaking. You push down and in against the soft vinal. Triditional knappers use their fore leg to the knee with buckskin to work on but its easier for me to work on a bench with the vinal.

These are pressure flakers. I drill into the wooden dowels and put smaller pieces of copper wire in them. The one in the middle is the triditional method for pressure flaking a deer antler tip.
I hope the war on terror goes better then the war on drugs and the war on poverty
If you dont care where you are your never lost
Im a survivor not a victim
Its not who I am but what I do that defines me.

Offline Swede

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Re: Flint knapping
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2007, 07:03:23 PM »
Ill start with the piece I knocked off the chert in the previous picture.

I work around the edges useing the antler tip for the triditional method. You work the edges by pushing down and in chipping material off and mold the piece to shape.

Once rounded to shape I switch to a smaller pressure flaker to finish the edge and make the notches. This is done by chipping away in one spot and turning the piece over and chipping on the other side back and forth till you go as far as you can. I found this peice of chert very hard and difficult to work with.

Here is the finished product. The material was very hard but with a lot of pressure chipping I finally got the notches. The edges of the piece are sharpened by the smaller pressure flaking tool by tiny chips along the cutting edge. Remember to keep flipping the piece back and forth working both sides.The material is removed from the opposite side from the flaking.

Thats all there is and like anything else it takes practice. It took me two years of trial and error to master a nice looking piece. The quality of the material is the most important making the job easier. Find a piece of glass about a quater of an inch thick to practice on and be prepared to bleed from your fingers. NEVER try this with out safety glasses or at least glasses to keep razor sharp chips from hitting your eyes. Triditional knappers use a piece of buck skin folded over their fingers while chipping. When I use glass I wear a leather glove on my left hand to limit the cuts but that isnt any quarentee you still wont get cut as the chips are razor sharp.

The small chips on the vinal can be crushed to a dust or sand to use for knife sharpening.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2007, 10:00:58 PM by Swede »
I hope the war on terror goes better then the war on drugs and the war on poverty
If you dont care where you are your never lost
Im a survivor not a victim
Its not who I am but what I do that defines me.

Offline Bigblue

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Re: Flint knapping
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2007, 09:34:36 PM »
HOLY CRAP Swede!!!!!!! Those are extra - extrordinary!!

I have a couple nice chunks of Green River Chert, Flint, and some Mohogany Obsidian that I wish I could turn into points as nice as yours.  :thumbup:
I take people way out into the woods and then do things with them.

SHUT UP AND POST  :P


Offline Swede

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Re: Flint knapping
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2007, 09:58:12 PM »
Well I would trade some pieces for some jelly but------------------------`~ 
I hope the war on terror goes better then the war on drugs and the war on poverty
If you dont care where you are your never lost
Im a survivor not a victim
Its not who I am but what I do that defines me.

Offline Bigblue

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Re: Flint knapping
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2007, 10:22:34 PM »
 :blushing:
I take people way out into the woods and then do things with them.

SHUT UP AND POST  :P


Offline Swede

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Re: Flint knapping
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2007, 01:37:52 PM »
How to fasten feathers.
This is a wild turkey feather and is a legal one. Be careful what kind of feather you use because some birds are protected by law and having a feather in your posession can be against the law.
All feathers have a grove in their center for strength. Follow carefully this grove and split the feather in half.






Cut the feather to length

Snip the feathers on the ends to leave a strip for fastining to the shaft.

This shows the feather fastned to the shaft without glue. Of course without glue its pretty tough to tie three or even two feathers to the shaft.I use a fletching tool for this however in a SURVIVAL situation you wont have a tool. Pine sap can be used to help hold the feathers in place till you get them tied on. I use a whip stitch to tie the feathers and the arrow point to the shaft. A whip stitch is like a hangmans noose and Ill try to show how to do that. There might be other glues available in the wilds but Im not familier with those.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2007, 07:58:14 PM by Swede »
I hope the war on terror goes better then the war on drugs and the war on poverty
If you dont care where you are your never lost
Im a survivor not a victim
Its not who I am but what I do that defines me.

taken by the wind...

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Re: Flint knapping
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2007, 04:24:11 PM »
~ swede? Is there anything that you DON'T know how to do?

Offline Swede

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Re: Flint knapping
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2007, 04:49:17 PM »
Well trying to keep that %#*~ camera focused for one :ranting:
I hope the war on terror goes better then the war on drugs and the war on poverty
If you dont care where you are your never lost
Im a survivor not a victim
Its not who I am but what I do that defines me.

Offline Swede

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Re: Flint knapping
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2007, 05:07:03 PM »
The whip stitch (any way thats what I call it)
Start with a loop

Put the loop on the shaft and wrap starting at the end of the string leaving enough of the string showing to get hold of later. Wrap tightly towards the the loop.

Wrap till you get to the loop and stick the end of the string through the loop. Now pull the other end of the string you left on the other end till the loop is closed tight.

Snip off both ends after you get the knot as tight as you can.

This is what it should look like (well I could have wrapped the string better) Im useing fake tendon string. When you put glue on it it looks like tendons. Tendons out of animals is what ancient man used to tie up their tools and weapons.You can buy this type of string from flint knapper web sites or hobby shops.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2007, 05:27:20 PM by Swede »
I hope the war on terror goes better then the war on drugs and the war on poverty
If you dont care where you are your never lost
Im a survivor not a victim
Its not who I am but what I do that defines me.

Offline Swede

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Re: Flint knapping
« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2007, 08:45:38 PM »
Next you can trim the fletching to suit your self like this.



You can get fancy

Here is how you attach the arrowhead to the shaft. On this one I used waxed string and whip stiched all the way up

Here is the main book I used for referance "The Art of Flint Knapping by D.C. Waldorf"
I hope the war on terror goes better then the war on drugs and the war on poverty
If you dont care where you are your never lost
Im a survivor not a victim
Its not who I am but what I do that defines me.

Offline Watcherofthewoods

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Re: Flint knapping
« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2007, 10:19:39 PM »
Swede, do you wear eye protection while you do that?? Because i heard about a guy that lost his eye to a chip of rock from that.
Complain less, breathe more.

It isn't until man is quiet that nature will speak.

In the silence and solitude of the night is when you truely find yourself.