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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 10:41 am 
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Welcome to my Guide to Knapping you own flint Arrowheads. In this post, I'll be concentrating on very simple technology, requiring very little skill, or practice to get right. Not Brilliant, Not beautiful, but effective little points.

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My Tools, consiting of one Anvil Stone, for resting the flint on, when I don't want to rest it on my legs. One Large Hammer Stone, One Small Hammer stone/Grinding stone One Antler Flaker, though a decent hard wood would do. My Brother has one consisting of some soft iron alloy. a few screw drivers for when I want a narrower point of a flaker, and the Fingerless glove, simply an old gardening glove, with the finers lopped off, allowing me to work the flint in my hand without burying shards of flint into it.

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And the flint, abundant where I live, and used and traded for thousands of years as a valuble commodity. The first Indsutry was flint Manufacture, Axe Heads from one site end up across the continent.

This flint I've been working for a while, and so I have a place to strike Flakes from. However, with an unbroken nodule, you need to open up a face. the best way is to strike off one of the ends, at a weak spot.

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Like that.


Then you need to prepare the face to have a flint flake hit from it. The way I do this is with my small hammer stone, and I grind and gently hammer the area I'm going to strike, making it a striking platform. I do this working at a right angle to the direction I intend to strike the flake from
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Then, using the large hammer stone, and the narrow edge, I will strike down wards, and slightly outwards, to produce a flake. If I wanted a Large flake, I'd use the wide edge, or even use it horizontally.
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This prodices a flake, and already you can see it looks good for a small arrow head. The ridge running along it is undesirable, but I actually misplaced that strike, and so I'm happy to get any usable peice
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Using my pressure flaker, I'm going to start shaping the head, I use my fingers to hold it against the ball of my left thumb, and using the flaker, I push both down and in, producing a flake on the undeneath of the flint. I can turn it over to produce flakes on the other side.
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Here you can see the scalloped shapes this leaves behind in the worked flint. By Nibbling away like this at the flint, you can easily produce a simple arrowhead.
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After a Mornings work, you can produce quite a lot of points, here are a couple of mine, and a few of my little brothers. However, the top one was not produced today, it's generally the same teqniques, but takes a lot more practice and time. I've ended many a day in frustration trying, but after a lot of trial and error, and patience, and the advice in Book, DVD, and person of a local flintkanpper John Lord, I have managed my pride and glory.
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And here are a few attatched to Arrow shafts. If I could afford sinew I would use sinew. If I could reliably produce birch Tar, I'd use Birch tar (apparently a thrmoplastic. But I can't find anyone who knows how Neolithic Man did it). They are attatched with Dacron b500 and Hotmelt glue.
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Here is me and my little bro, an Activity porbably done the same thousands of years ago, probably very close by. a few years back a bus fell through the road only a hundred yards away. a Watermain had leaked dissolving the chalk supports left by flint miners way back when.
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well, I hope you enjoyed that.


Health and Saftey notice: silicosis is a nasty way to die. Don't work with flint indoors. And Always wear glasses or other sensible eye protection.

Archeological notice: Flint is impossible to date except in the style of it's working, and the layer it is found in. Don't leave your remains around as a puzzle for future archeologists. Thoguh Last Riflemans suggestion, of leaving a penny in with them, that way they can be dated accurately is brilliant.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 11:16 am 
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Very interesting, looks likes its might take some time to learn. But im gonna give it a go when i get home. :)

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 11:24 am 
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The Basics, are very very easy to learn, your only Difficulty will be finding a stone to work. But I'd ask Last Rifleman, not me, because I'm kinda spoilt when it comes to finding flint.

My Little brother, he's 11, and in just this morning he managed to produce some decent points. I bet you can't pick out all his from all mine in the Photo. If he can do it, you can do it.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 11:33 am 
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Nice. Thanks for sharing.

We had a pretty decent flint knapping class at Zombie Con this year. I think we have video of it around here somewhere. I'll get it up on the website.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 3:44 pm 
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Yeah i guess your right, besides the area here were i live is pretty rich in flint. I would love to the that video Kyle. :D

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 7:36 pm 
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Ad'lan, nice pics and great info. I would not even to attempt to change or debate anything you have said! Nice work!

I have got to find a way to get some of that wonderful flint from you, you lucky bastard (Just kidding of course, but you are so very fortunate)!

I might be able to get my hands on some white Burlington Chert from the southern Ohio/Missouri region. Some of this stuff is porcelain white but will turn a variety of color when heat treated. Depending were it is found, the color varies. All of it seems to be found in nodular form and is tough to work. But the results are amazing.

Then there is Indiana Hornstone. This chert is hard to work and hard to find. Those who find it usually cut it into slices with lapidary saws because the interior has wonderful concentric rings, like a tree. Most people try to put the smallest ring in the center of the piece.

Ever work with the black stuff from Dover? That makes wonderful flints for flintlock guns, another hobby of mine.

Sorry to hijack the thread but again you are so lucky, as well as your ancient ancestors, to have such an abundance of material.

Also, try a length of large gauge copper wire. Electrician supply stores shold have it. File it inot a point and mount it into a wooden handle for a pressure flaker. When sharp, you can make long, narrow flakes with only half the effort of using steel or soft iron.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 2:18 pm 
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Thanks Last rifle Man, I'll try it.

However, Norfolk is wonderful county geologically speaking Jurassic Chalk/flint and Sandstone, with later deposits of mudstone. pretty dull geology, but some fun palontology. But then you add the Glaciers, created Norfolks mountains (all 20'), and the deposits they dropped are amazingly varied. All kinds of rock. perfect toolstones. Grindstone and granite, my hammer stones and anvil are from my local beach.

When it comes to flint types, norfolk is also very varied. white venied, pale grey, to the dark glassy black are all common. You find them mixed on the beach as they sea rolls them from location to location.

I'll take my Digicamera around norwich and show you some of the different styles of it's useage.

The Black stuff from dover is the same layer as the black stuff in Norfolk. There is a village local to me called Knapton, where they produced Flints for flintlock guns for export and military use untill the 1950's (apparently some far east traders still could find buyers for flints).

I've often wonderd about the designs for flints for flintlocks, but I've never investigated. I'd be interested if you'd write up anything on them?

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My Guide to Primitive Fletching
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 6:40 pm 
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Gun flints are simple core and blade technique. You first have to form a diamond shaped core of tough flint with as flat as a top as ou can get. Then you drive long, thick flakes from the flat top. This will give you the triangular or trapezoidal profile of the flint. Then it is just a matter of placing nothces along the length of the flake to make snapping off the individual gunflints easier. Sounds easy but is much harder in practice.

My Dad still buys flints made in England. They always seem to work well. I have had good sucess with some blond colored French flints and some very dark grey Danish flint. When my dad's flint get dull, I use my pressure flaker and re sharpen them. This works for a while but the flints to get to the point of getting so dull as to be useless. When you own as many flintlock guns as my Dad and I do, flints become critical.

Some flint is simply too brittle for gun flints. Dover flint is just right in toughnes.

Here are a couple pick of some flintlock guns my dad has built:
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.62 smoothbore pistol. We built this from some parts we had lying about.

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.45 Lancaster County style rifle, 42" bbl, maple stock. This is the 7th rifle my Dad has built.

If you look close, you can see the profile of the flint in the cock.

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Last edited by TheLastRifleMan on Wed Jul 25, 2007 6:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 6:52 pm 
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Great post! Now I know what I've been doing wrong. :oops: I didn't know anything about preparing a platform. Thanks!

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 6:59 pm 
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Glad to have been of service! :D

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That is pretty dam awesome. Making a pistol from parts lying around :D I've always wanted a baker rifle.


Where do you get your flints from? Is there a company online?

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My Guide to Fletching
My Guide to Primitive Fletching
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Please Check out my PAW Story, Fagin


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LastRifleMan: Your dad makes a beautiful rifle. That is some nice work.

Ad'lan: Thanks for the primer... between your post and LastRifleMan's post I want to try knapping.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 4:27 am 
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To be frank, With the amount of Raw metal and the ability of even cold working to produce useable items, I don't see Knapping as a Vital skill in the PAW, unless you are planning an infinte reloading cheat by using flintlocks, making your own blackpowder, and casting your own bullets.

Or Of course, you live in an area with abundant workable stone.


But as a Hobby, and a skill to develop, it's marvellous. It connects you with your ancestors, people just like you, who used their skill with stone as a means to survive. It's even more fun when you combine it with a hobby you already have. I combined it with my archery, Last Rifle with his gun collection.

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My Guide to Primitive Fletching
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I'm not looking at it as a survival skill, even though it might come in handy for that, more as something to connect myself more to history.

I live in the central Ohio area... so there is a lot of flint/chert available.

I don't live but an hour or so from the Zaleski area which as I've heard has some nicely workable flint/chert.

Granted I probably wouldn't get into flintlock rifles. I wouldn't mind trying my hand at primitive archery. I've got a book on primitive skills, that details bowmaking, and knapping... and it got me curious.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 5:01 am 
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Then I'll have to get around to posting up a photo guide to simple bowmaking.

Hmmm, stringmaking should probably come first.

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Seriously, I'm not sure I'd fuck with Ad'lan if he had his bow with him. I just don't see that ending well.

Please Check out my PAW Story, Fagin


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Ad'lan wrote:
Then I'll have to get around to posting up a photo guide to simple bowmaking.

Hmmm, stringmaking should probably come first.


That would be aweome.


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Ad'lan wrote:
To be frank, With the amount of Raw metal and the ability of even cold working to produce useable items, I don't see Knapping as a Vital skill in the PAW, unless you are planning an infinte reloading cheat by using flintlocks, making your own blackpowder, and casting your own bullets.

Or Of course, you live in an area with abundant workable stone.


But as a Hobby, and a skill to develop, it's marvellous. It connects you with your ancestors, people just like you, who used their skill with stone as a means to survive. It's even more fun when you combine it with a hobby you already have. I combined it with my archery, Last Rifle with his gun collection.


Maybe not really as a survival skill, but if technology breaks down, it would be nice to be able to make a weapon/tool without having to smelt/cast it.

Plus, I've always wanted flint-tipped arrows, just for the heck of it.

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I think the ability to make special tools from primitive materials will be quite handy. I could probably scrape a hide with my multitool, but a hafted scraper will work better. Sure, in many situations metal will be available, but if it's not, you need to make do.
Fun, AND a survival skill. Hoorah!

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Thanks for the comments on the rifle and pistol, guys. There was a lot of work put into both.

My Dad has two rifles in the works right now but they may not be finished until early next year if at all. He heas some major heart surgery coming up which will limit how much he can do for about 6 months. Just found out about this last week.

Ad'lan, we buy most of our flints at gun shows or from dealers we find in muzzle loading magazines.

I would love to see your post on bow making. This is one thing I have never done.

And yes, I have wanted a Baker rifle for a long time myself. Brunswick rifles have become available but the prices are rather high.

You are right about combining two hobbies. Twice the fun AND satisfaction.

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TheLastRifleMan wrote:
I would love to see your post on bow making. This is one thing I have never done.


I also want to see this, so POST FASTER DAMNIT!!!! :D

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Thank you for sharing your knowledge. Fantastic post. :D

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phoenixmastm wrote:
TheLastRifleMan wrote:
I would love to see your post on bow making. This is one thing I have never done.


I also want to see this, so POST FASTER DAMNIT!!!! :D





Fast enough?http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=19758

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My Guide to making your own Flint Arrowheads
My Guide to Fletching
My Guide to Primitive Fletching
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Seriously, I'm not sure I'd fuck with Ad'lan if he had his bow with him. I just don't see that ending well.

Please Check out my PAW Story, Fagin


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Ok so I went out to try this out and i was able to make some rough arrowheads, but when I was out looking for flint I found an stone axe.

I was wonering if any one know how I could show the pic I took of it ?, Im kind of wondering when it was made or somthing :lol:

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Take it to your local museum, and tell them exactly where you found it. They will probably be interested, depending on the frequency of lithic finds in your area.


As for putting the photo up here, open a Photobucket or Image Shack account, upload the photo there, then copy and past the image link into a post on here.

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My Guide to making your own Flint Arrowheads
My Guide to Fletching
My Guide to Primitive Fletching
Cymro wrote:
Seriously, I'm not sure I'd fuck with Ad'lan if he had his bow with him. I just don't see that ending well.

Please Check out my PAW Story, Fagin


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