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Thread: Flint and Steel?

  1. #21
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    We do have fossilized coral though and it sparks pretty good once it is baked.
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  2. #22

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    Baked chert will work too.

  3. #23
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    Ok so Iíve given in and accepted if I want flint Iím gonna have to buy it or wait until I go off traveling. I found a few places online that sell flint and other rocks by the lb. Iíve also found a few that sell flint ready to use for flint and steel. Iím tempted to buy some by the lb. what is the difference between spalls and flakes? Which should I buy?

  4. #24
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    A spall is a larger flake. A flake can be very small.
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  5. #25
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    If folks are going to buy flint, I'm going to order a load of gravel and pick up a bunch of flat rate boxes at the PO tomorrow!

    I'll tell you what, next time I go to the ranch (maybe this week), I'll pick up a bunch of flint rocks and send them to you in a flat rate box, if you'll pay the postage. The rocks are free (that's just what kind of guy I am....) (if this works, no kidding, I'm going into business...).

    Alan

  6. #26
    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    Alan, folks have been buying flint since time began!

    Good tool making flint was a #1 trade item between the Indian tribes with obsidian from the Rocky mountains a high value good. The novoclite from Arkansas was also prized. That is the stuff we make Arkansas knife sharpening stones from. They had some pink chert over there that is found all through TN and KY as grave goods.

    In Europe and Asia they track the travel of technology during the stone age by the flint that was traded among the cultures with french flint in Great Britain, German flint in Italy and such. With the flint went new methods f flaking and the spread of more efficient point shapes.

    Even the cave men were working the profit margin.

    After firearms were invented it was the gun flint that was doing the traveling. The French and English shipped gun flints to the colonies by the barrel full. I know hundreds of barrels were shipped into Mobile, which was a French colony.

    The best Muzzle loading flints for a flintlock rifle are made from English black flint and they are still being imported. Most of the flints sold from the ML suppliers are imported from England.

    The French gun flints are often colorful and tend to go to yellow and caramel colors.
    Last edited by kyratshooter; 04-22-2019 at 09:21 AM.
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  7. #27
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    Oh I know. In a time when flint and flint-like rocks were cutting edge technology, entire economies were based on mining and trading flint nodules. Mining nodules, sitting down and shaping them to cores for easier transport and of course the trading. In Texas the Tonkawa controlled the central trade grounds just under the Edwards Escarpment. Plenty of wood for fires, flowing springs and enough game to host the gatherings. The Pueblo from the west, Caddo from the northeast, Karankawa from the south, Atakapaw from the east. Each group bringing those things that were not to be had in other places. The Caddo probably controlled a lot of the trade since they had the Bois D'arc ( the best bow making wood) and plenty of crops.

    Every time I get in a discussion about Global Warming or "Climate Change", I always reference the Pueblo. I always ask the other person why the Pueblo built their cities to house their large populations out in the desert. They scratch their heads and try to come up with any answer except "It wasn't a desert then". The climate in south and west Texas began changing to more arid 500 or so years ago. Long before the internal combustion engine or cow farts or any of the multitude of other reasons generally given.

    They usually don't want to talk to me any more after that, which is fine with me.

    I still haven't gotten a taker on my offer of "free flint only pay the postage" though. I guess the neolithic is gone for good.

    Alan

  8. #28

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    Alan, I'm not from the west so it was a mystery about big populations out in the desert to me until my first trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. It was a private trip so we had to rely on numerous guide books and veterans stories to get the real picture. Why granaries high up on the cliff walls? Where did they grow the corn? It was obvious that they couldn't farm there as it is now, so what happened? The books got passed around and climbing up to the living quarters and granaries became favorite stops. I can't tell you how many times I've read John Wesley Powell's first descent down the river.

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by DCorlando View Post
    Just wanted to mention my best steel was made from a piece of 1/4 x 1/4 1095 key stock from McMaster Carr and water harden with no temper. I have not tried this as I have a nice charcoal forge but I think it may be possible to make a simple U shaped striker using nothing but a small propane hand torch, two pliers and a small tub of water. The small striker is quite light and is easy on the flint.
    One class I taught I furnished ***************A two inch long chunk of a file broken off in the vise and one edge smoothed on the grinder, a chunk of flint from a creek bed, and a bit of char-cloth, all presented in a shoe polish or Altoids tin which could be used to make the needed char-cloth.
    Last edited by crashdive123; 10-16-2019 at 07:04 AM. Reason: spammer

  10. #30
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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