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Thread: The Knapping Thread - Show your projects, Discuss techniques, Give and receive advice

  1. #41
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    That is some beautiful work.


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    Voice in the Wilderness preachtheWORD's Avatar
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    Here are the points I knapped yesterday. I am running low on good material, and it shows. I mostly have very small flakes and some hard and crumbly stuff. I need to stock back up on some good stuff. On a good note, I am getting much faster. I knapped these six points in about 2:45.

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    The first two in the top row are smoky obsidian - small but pretty. I haven't got a clue what the material in the top right point is. It was really crumbly and wanted to crush rather than flake. The two white point are quartz. The one on the left was really uncooperative - full of fractures and lumps. The bigger one was much better in consistency, but it had a big lump on one side that I couldn't pop off with a hammerstone or pressure flaker. I don't know if you would call it a really big arrowhead or a relly small spear point. The last is glass. I was in a hurry to finish and did not thin it out enough. That is why the notches look bad.

    Hey guys, post your work!
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  3. #43
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    Those obsidian points are looking better all the time. You're really improving! I haven't had a chance to knap any lately, but I found an old toilet tank a few days ago that someone threw out on a dirt road. Gonna try some of that for big percussion spearpoints. Got a lot going on lately with hit-and-miss work, the garden, and honey-dew. I'll get back on it as soon as I get time. Got a piece of rock from one of the guys at the building supply house and he told me to come get all the rocks I wanted, so hopefully there'll be some good stuff there.
    Keep up the good work PTW. I've got the fever, just not the time
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  4. #44
    Voice in the Wilderness preachtheWORD's Avatar
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    I did three more points today. My hands are getting a little sore. Here's to hoping they will toughen up soon!

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    The material of the left point is "johnstone," aka a toilet tank lid! It worked pretty good and I thought the point turned out good. The middle point was from a big shard of glass. I was a little nervous working on that one! The third point was from a very granular white quartz I found behind my house. It was terrible for knapping. I was almost impossible to spall into any kind of workable flake. It breaks easily when percussion flaking, and crushes instead of flaking when a percussion flaker. I know it looks terrible, but I am just happy that I could get anything remotely resembling a point out of it. I doubt it would be functional though.
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  5. #45
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    you are really turning out some fine points there, even from the bad rocks. I only had a few minutes to bang on the Johnstone yesterday. Hopefully I'll have more time this weekend to get back on knapping. Nice work!
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  6. #46
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    Default percussion on johnstone

    Johnstone, aka, toilet tank ceramic is not the best thing to knap, but it's good for practice, because if you break it, it's not like you ruined good flint. I found some discarded on a dirt road the other day, so I brought it home and broke it into smaller pieces for practice with percussion. Here's how it went...
    A nice slab for me to break
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    and break it did!
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    I used the top piece for a while and it broke too just as I was getting a good edge. Oh well, here's the result of that.
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    Not the result I was hoping for but was a good opportunity to show the leg bracing technique I use for percussion knapping in the next post.
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  7. #47
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    Default Leg bracing for percussion knapping

    I use a piece of old carpet for padding. Much better than banging bruises on my leg and driving flakes into it. The carpet is pictured above and this is the basic posture I use. You can see that I am able to hold the piece at a nice driving angle to get flakes to run further. Too steep an angle and it'll still hinge, but I don't seem to make the waves in the flakes the way holding a piece out front of me seems to.
    This allows for more stability and accuracy. Two shots so hopefully you can see what's going on.
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    Normally I would be sitting in a chair, but I couldn't find something the right height for the camera to get a good shot. Still the method is the same. Brace the piece on the outside of my leg, and drive the billet straight down in a glancing blow on the prepared platform edge of the piece. I hope that explains it well enough, because it really is that simple..

    Here are the results of percussion knapping yesterday. The point on the left is johnstone.. not exactly perfect, but I didn't pressure flake anything.. I only used the billet to make the point. The second point (on the right) is some rock Craig gave to me. I think it's chert. It's not the best stuff, but after slowly and deliberately peeling off the remaining cortex and getting to the good rock, I was left with a preform worthy of a spearpoint.
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  8. #48
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    This is the best piece I've turned out lately that had any size to it. It is the second percussioned (is that even a word?) point pictured above, but I just wasn't satisfied, so I got my pressure flaker and went to work. After about an hour of refining, thinning, and trimming, This is what I wound up with.
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    The mosquitos came out and I had to retreat indoors, so maybe I'll get a chance to do some more knapping tomorrow.
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  9. #49
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    Nice work on the Johnny Chert.
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  10. #50
    Voice in the Wilderness preachtheWORD's Avatar
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    ycc, thanks for the tutorial on percussion flaking. I am doing it quite differently. I will have to try your method. It seems way more precise. Now I understand what you meant about having to pad your leg.

    Here are a few points I made over the weekend:
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    Most are obsidian from broken pieces and very small pieces. The first was from a very thin flake. This may be my favorite of the 33 points I have made as of 4-3-2010. It looks like several originals I have seen. The bigger white one is "johnstone." This piece was a lot of trouble. It started out about times that wide, but the glazed sides would never "clean up." I ended up with this narrow point and it still wasn't totally cleaned up. The smaller white piece is quartz. I can see why the natives in my area were very eager to trade for some other type of material. Quartz just doesn't cooperate. Wish I could get it to, because it could be very nice looking.
    Last edited by preachtheWORD; 04-05-2010 at 10:40 AM.
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  11. #51
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    the three obsidian pieces on the right are very nice. I'm particularly fond of that clovis style. Have you tried hafting any yet?
    That johnstone piece turned out pretty nice too! I wouldn't put much weight on keeping it.. all my johnstone pieces are real brittle and most break before I'm done. on the bright side, I'm filling up some mud-holes in the driveway Good for practice though!
    the bottom left piece looks like the "Kentucky Hornstone" Poco sent to me. I gotta try some more of that soon. It's like carving soap and I just LOVE it.
    the top left one has a good hunk left in it.. have you tried using your flaker to remove those pesky hinges? you have to hold the piece in a really awkward position and it takes a good bit more pressure from your arms, but I've successfully removed a couple that way.. I've also broken several trying to remove the "cliffs" too, so be easy. Still has a nice shape.
    Good work PTW! keep 'em coming!
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  12. #52
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    My latest. Flint River Honey. This was found north of the fall line by a diver. Good stuff. It flakes as well as the stuff Poco sent from the mountains without being cooked.

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  13. #53
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    Default Fire Drilling for hafting

    Batteries died in the camera while I was doing this and only got a few other crappy pictures with a friends camera phone, but hopefully you can tell what's gonig on here. I'll get some pics of the hole with the hawk head in it later today when I get some fresh batteries.
    Coal and Straw "Fire drilling method". Basically you put a hot coal on the piece you want a hole in, use a straw of some sort, (horseweed, cane, bamboo, etc.; I used a plastic straw) and blow on the down on the coal till it's VERY hot and the wood underneath with get hot enough to burn. Use a rock or knife to dig out the charred stuff, drop in another coal and keep going.
    The other pics we took were pretty blurry, but I'll post the results of a couple hours work later.
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  14. #54
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    Wow, how did I ever miss this thread?

    I could take some lessons here.

    Nice rocks.

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    Most of the phone pictures were really blurry and not much good, so all I have to show is the results of the coal and straw drilling method.
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    The hardest part is keeping the coal ON the wood while blowing.
    The straw itself needs to have an extra tube on the bottom to catch all the spit that likes to fall out and onto your nice hot wood, putting it out. It took me a while to get the hang of it, but it was a really effective method for drilling requiring few tools and few calories. All I had to do was breathe a little harder than normal. A straw and a scraping rock for removing the char made up my tools for this job.

    The extra space will be filled with wood shavings for cushion and packed with pine pitch glue, then wrapped with twined sinew, extra around the handle to keep from splitting.

    so that's all I have for a lesson in hot coal drilling and hafting right now. stay tuned!
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  16. #56
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    Well done YCC.
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    Voice in the Wilderness preachtheWORD's Avatar
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    That is a very nice skull cracker, ycc! Thanks for the tutorial on the straw and coal method. I will have to try it. I really want to make a tomahawk, but I don't have any material big enough yet. But when I do I may just try hafting it that way.

    By the way, what stone did you use for the head, and what wood did you use for the handle? And what did you use for the straw?
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    The stone is some serpentenite (I guess) that I sourced from some boulders near my MIL house. I have some pictures of us spalling it out somewhere.. I'll get them uploaded soon. Very glassy and VERY hard to knap
    The handle is a piece of cherry from a tree that was removed at my co-workers house.
    the straw was just a regular plastic straw. No cane in walking distance, but I gotta figure out something besides plastic because it blows spit everywhere. Needs a spit-trap on it.
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  19. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by your_comforting_company View Post
    The stone is some serpentenite (I guess) that I sourced from some boulders near my MIL house. I have some pictures of us spalling it out somewhere.. I'll get them uploaded soon. Very glassy and VERY hard to knap
    The handle is a piece of cherry from a tree that was removed at my co-workers house.
    the straw was just a regular plastic straw. No cane in walking distance, but I gotta figure out something besides plastic because it blows spit everywhere. Needs a spit-trap on it.
    I used a piece of copper tubing (ice maker line size) and bent a small "p" trap in it. I didn't spit on the coals once.
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    Cool! I actually have a piece of copper tubing that came off an old junk compressor that is shaped like a P-trap. Good Idea!!
    I also thought of drilling the pith out of some cane at a branch node.. I'll try to stop somewhere today and get some more cane and make one and maybe try it at the festival this weekend. The straight part of the cane would be the straw, and the branch would be the spit collector. hold a finger over the end of it as you blow and when taking in a breath, drop the spit out... I'll be playing with it some more to see what I can come up with.

    The strangest thing about the rock is that as much as I've scoured an area within 5 counties, this is the only good quality stone I've found. All the inclusions are well silicated and it's pretty neat that all the little crustaceans glow in the sunlight if you hold it up.

    Would it be a good idea to post pics of source rocks here or do you think another thread would be more appropriate?
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