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Old 01-23-2017, 08:09 PM   #1
bassmatt72
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Default Knapping, all around general discussions.

Just thought with all the knappers and arrowhead collectors we have a general discussion thread on knapping would be appropriate. Ask questions, answer questions, show your work, ask questions, give advice, seek advice, pass along compliments. Plan knapp-ins, individual informal lessons, and possibly share some materials!
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Old 01-23-2017, 08:11 PM   #2
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Here is the tread that got this idea rolling. Jason Fry started it so credit goes to him!
http://discussions.texasbowhunter.co...d.php?t=626471
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Old 01-23-2017, 08:14 PM   #3
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A thread I posted on some artifacts I found with some general knapping discussion in it.
http://discussions.texasbowhunter.co...d.php?t=629672
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Old 01-23-2017, 09:43 PM   #4
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Ok! Here we go! These were two of my very first points, from bottle bottoms. There is a cool way to pop out the bottom of a bottle using a big nail or bolt.
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Old 01-24-2017, 08:29 AM   #5
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Here are a couple of things I had a hard time figuring out....

I grew up calling all arrowhead-ish rocks "flint." Within the knapping context, most of it is more properly called "chert." Academic, largely, and the words seem to be fairly interchangeable, but chert is more often the correct term.

You should read about Ishi. In the early 1900's, he came out of the hills and joined civilization. Much of what flint knappers now know regarding aboriginal techniques came from Ishi. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ishi

A "platform" is the spot you hit or push in order to remove a flake off of the piece you are working. You'll hear this word a lot, because identifying and preparing good platforms is one of the critical skills to be a good knapper.

A "flake" is just about any small piece of rock that you chip off. There are multiple kinds of "flakes", and the nerds can tell you by looking at the flake what technique was used to produce it.

A "spall" is typically a large flake knocked off of a larger rock or "core". When you decide to buy rock from a knapping supply place, it often comes in spalls.
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Old 01-24-2017, 12:55 PM   #6
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Here is a set of progress pictures from a point I did on my lunch break. Start to finish, maybe 30 minutes. This material was from a cobble in the county road in front of my house. Small axis antler billet percussion and a copper tipped Ishi stick for pressure flaking.

Original spall, after just a few flakes to thin off the bulb of percussion.



After a bit more thinning.


All thinned out and shaped, just prior to notching.


Final result, both sides. Not a particularly well refined point, but quick and easy when you start from the right size and shape of flake.




Final point is about 2" long by 1 1/2" wide.

Last edited by Jason Fry; 01-24-2017 at 01:14 PM..
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Old 01-24-2017, 01:08 PM   #7
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If anyone knows of a place for a bunch of Knappers to get together during the spring or first part of the summer, I'd be willing to show up and bring some Obsidian!
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Old 01-24-2017, 01:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flint knapper View Post
If anyone knows of a place for a bunch of Knappers to get together during the spring or first part of the summer, I'd be willing to show up and bring some Obsidian!
Cool! I'll see what I can find.
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Old 01-25-2017, 07:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Fry View Post
...........I grew up calling all arrowhead-ish rocks "flint." Within the knapping context, most of it is more properly called "chert." Academic, largely, and the words seem to be fairly interchangeable, but chert is more often the correct term.....
I asked a knapping pro, he really is a pro and knows more about rocks and knapping than twenty average knappers!! Anyhow I asked him to "dumb it down" for me and this is in a nut shell what he explained. Very much like Jason said, Flint and Chert are basically the same. He mentioned that flints are actually a type of chert. He said basically for knappers cherts are a little more "grainy" and flints are much smoother and glassy.
The finer "flint" can be seen towards the outer ring in these nodules and the "chert" is towards the center and is alittle more cloudy in color.
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Old 01-25-2017, 07:24 PM   #10
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Pretty material. Georgetown?
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Old 01-25-2017, 07:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Fry View Post
........A "platform" is the spot you hit or push in order to remove a flake off of the piece you are working. You'll hear this word a lot, because identifying and preparing good platforms is one of the critical skills to be a good knapper..........
A picture of two different platforms. One is outlined in yellow and both have a black dot for approximate location to strike or hit it. Knapping is all about angles (conchoidal fracture, example when a BB hit a window glass) and pressures. There are things that you have to do to get the "platform" at the correct angle and strong enough to handle the pressure that you are getting ready to put on it!
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Old 01-25-2017, 07:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Fry View Post
Pretty material. Georgetown?
Yes, I believe it is. The knapper I know sells a lot of Georgetown.
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Old 01-25-2017, 08:24 PM   #13
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Paleomanjim has a whole bunch of knapping videos on youtube. If you're a beginner trying to learn knapping from the internet, you've absolutely got to start here.

https://www.youtube.com/user/paleoma...eature=autonav
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Old 01-28-2017, 11:44 AM   #14
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Anyone knapping today? I have several things to do but I may get out and break some rock later.
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Old 01-28-2017, 12:31 PM   #15
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When and y do you cook cheat or flint or do you?
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Old 01-28-2017, 07:37 PM   #16
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Didn't get any knapping done today, having family night, I'll post a little about cooking rocks early in the morning.
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Old 01-28-2017, 07:42 PM   #17
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The reason you cook flint is to change the molecular level of the flint so it will allow you to remove flakes easier and with greater consistency!

I've never done it, but have seen people cook flint and change a gritty piece of chert into a really glassy high quality piece of flint!
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Old 01-28-2017, 08:30 PM   #18
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Thanks!
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Old 01-28-2017, 10:33 PM   #19
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Exactly what Flint Knapper said. I'll look for some pictures.
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Old 01-29-2017, 05:34 AM   #20
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If ya'll have a get together I would like to knap with ya'll.
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Old 01-29-2017, 06:56 AM   #21
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Have been working at knapping skills for the past few months. Much respect for the ancients. Haven't made but a few points.....mostly working on reduction techniques, skill, and strategies with abo tools. To those who teach, in person or on youtube, Thanks!
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Old 01-29-2017, 08:51 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by White Falcon View Post
When and y do you cook cheat or flint or do you?
Flint Knapper already said it, heat treating, "Cooking", cherts changes them to a "better" quality to knapp. An ok piece of material can be cooked and develop really nice workability, knapps better.
I cook my cherts in a turkey roaster I bought from Wal Mart for $40. If you get one try and find one that the temperature goes to 450. Here is how I do it, spall down your material if its thicker than 2". Pour a layer of clean dry sand in the bottom and start filling the roaster with chert and fill in the air spaces with sand as you go. When its full put the lid on and turn the roaster on to no more than 200, cook at 200 for 12-24 hrs more if the Chert is/has been cold/wet. In this stage I'll sometimes keep the lid just slightly open or occasionally open it to let the moisture out. You have to get the moisture out of the chert before you ramp up the temps or it with break the chert. After its dried put the lid on good and DON"T open it until finished! Next steps are to ramp the temps up no more than 50 degrees at a time until you get to your maximum temp you need. The central Texas stuff that need cooking does well if you can get it to 400-500. I have done well staying at each temp for a minimum of 2 hrs before ramping up to the next. When you get to your max temp let it cook for a long time, I have cooked chert at max temp for up to 36 hrs. If its cold outside I'll then ramp down temps quicker than up, 100 degrees every 1 1/2-2 hrs.; hot summertime I'll just turn of the roaster and let it sit. DO NOT OPEN for at least 24 hrs or more! Let it cool off slowly.
All this needs to be done outside, rocks put of fumes/gasses some of them smell bad and some could be harmful. Also the roaster puts off lots of heat. I even wrap mine in non backed fiberglass insulation to try and make it a little more efficient.
Experiment with your materials to find what works best for them. Write down your "recipes" and mark the chert so you know how it was cooked and can replicate it next time.
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Old 01-29-2017, 09:01 AM   #23
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Material that is "grainy" or really hard can benefit from heat treating. This piece really improved with heat. It didn't get "glassy" but the knappability really improved.
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This material doesn't need heat treating, its already really "glassy" and works well.
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Rough grainy...doesn't usually knapp well. Looks and feels like glass....usually good stuff! Both of these rock were picked up in Texas. I have a spot that with in a 1 mile area I can find five or six different qualities of chert. Some next to impossible to work and some really nice glassy stuff.
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Old 01-29-2017, 09:46 AM   #24
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Thanks for all the information!
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Old 01-31-2017, 06:28 AM   #25
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Heading to my Junction lease for a week! No computer and minimum phone service! I'm going to take my knapping stuff and I'll try and get some pics to add to the thread.
Anyone is welcome to post questions, ideas, and/or share their work or knowledge.
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Old 01-31-2017, 10:42 PM   #26
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I think every outdoorsmen should know basic napping skills. My stuff is nothing to look at but in a tight spot I can make basic cutting tools pretty fast. This thread makes me want to get back into it.
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Old 02-01-2017, 02:27 PM   #27
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I worked down a palm-sized spall of Keokuk today on my lunch break. While I had no catastrophic failures, I struggled with getting thick enough thinning flakes, if that makes sense. By the time I ran out of width to work with, I was still too thick. I did end up with 7 or 8 good flakes that will make good bird points, however.
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Old 02-01-2017, 02:47 PM   #28
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Two things I always consider when working different materials!
1. Make sure you have a good platform to work from!
2. If one kind of tool is not working, try and go to a different kind of tool!
For example: go from a antler billet to a hammer stone!
3. Changing the angle of the blow sometimes helps, or the side(mass) of the tool!
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Old 02-01-2017, 03:33 PM   #29
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I broke up my good smaller hammer stone, need to find another. This was all antler billet today. I have noticed that my antler has changed shape a bit with some use. I've now got a wider flat side, and a narrower side. I did notice a change in the flakes by hitting it with the narrower vs. the flatter side.
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Old 02-04-2017, 09:35 PM   #30
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Looks like Jason has been busy working, and I have been away at my Junction deer lease. I managed to do a little knapping while down there. I'm lucky that it has some really good quality material but unfortunately most of it has freeze cracks in it making a lot of it unusable or at the least brakes into small pieces. Well, my wife picked up this piece and I decided to try it.
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Here is the thickest it was.
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This material was really sweet and Knapped very nicely! I picked up a feed sac full of it! This is a rough preform I ended with before I headed back out to the stand to hunt.
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Old 02-05-2017, 07:10 AM   #31
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That nice, you have your own source for good flint.
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Old 02-05-2017, 11:24 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neuse View Post
That nice, you have your own source for good flint.
I am very lucky! I have one place that is a 50 minute drive(deer lease) and then this other deer lease near junction which is a 3 hour drive. The closer place has four or five different qualities of chert from not to good to real good and its all in medium to larger pieces with minimal freeze cracks. Junction is high quality material but is full of freeze cracks and mostly smaller pieces.
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Old 02-07-2017, 08:46 PM   #33
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I am a Michigan knapper, been doing it for 5 years or so. Killed one deer with one of my Flintridge stone points. Wife and I are in New Mexico right now but heading to Texas at the end of the month to visit a Marine buddy who was shot and paralyzed in Viet Nam. He lives just north of San Antonio. Will be out looking for rock in Texas until I get thrown off the river bank, lol.

Be careful when cooking Texas rock. I use a turkey roaster and beach sand. I turn it on and turn it up 50 degrees every hour until it is on high and leave it go for round 6 hours and then turn it off and let it cool down for a few days not removing the lid. Texas rock will get real brittle and break like a piece of hard candy some times.

Google Art of Ishi, he is my teacher. Also check out you tube, Mike Cook (art of ishi) as he has some real good knapping vids.

I will be keeping an eye on this thread as I really enjoy making driveway gravel.
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Old 02-07-2017, 10:53 PM   #34
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Jon, make sure and give me a shout when you get to Texas!
I think I have over cooked a batch or two! I've been too busy to do any knapping this past two weeks. Sure do wish I could get back to that last piece I started while at my deer lease!.
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Old 02-07-2017, 11:21 PM   #35
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Very informative thread !
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Old 02-09-2017, 07:44 AM   #36
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Will do Bassmatt.

Don't forget the Fredrickburg knap in. It is a very good one and is held in March. Been there a few times BUT wife and I will be back in cold country when it takes place.
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Old 02-09-2017, 09:06 PM   #37
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Sorry I have been busy the last several days and haven't been able to post much let alone do any knapping! I did snaps some pics...
Lets talk tools. I use "modern" copper tools and hammerstones some. All my tools are homebuilt.
First a quick pic of where I knapp, my back porch. It faces south and the sun sets nicely in the evenings making it a relatively warm and protected place to knapp in the early spring, fall and winter.
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Two of the basic tools needed to start from a larger rough piece are your Bopper and abrader. My abrader is a piece of busted up common grinding wheel and other grinding wheels of various coarseness.
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The abrader is like sandpaper on steroids for stone. We use them to remove areas of stone to thicken and strengthen platforms. Please ask questions if you have any.
Next Boppers, used to strike the platform to remove flakes, both large and small. My boppers are basic copper pipe caps that I have melted and filled half way with lead then attached to some type of handle. You can see I have wood and PVC pipe handles. The largest is 2" all the way down to 1/2", basically bigger tool bigger flakes of material removed- smaller bopper smaller flakes.
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Old 02-09-2017, 09:09 PM   #38
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I think Jason uses some antler tools maybe he'll post some on his tools?
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Old 02-09-2017, 09:17 PM   #39
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Two of my earlier points, a glass display shelf hafted to a faded whitetail antler. Not a very pretty or good piece but it is one of my firsts.
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Next a generic knife blade from some type of a red glass. This one turned out pretty good with some nice looking flake scars?
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Old 02-10-2017, 08:59 AM   #40
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great finds
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Old 02-10-2017, 10:50 AM   #41
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I'm jealous of all you talented knappers. I've tried on multiple occasions to learn this discipline and one of two things always gets me - availability of knapable material, or my own horrendous coordination..
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Old 02-10-2017, 12:18 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiftAndShoot View Post
I'm jealous of all you talented knappers. I've tried on multiple occasions to learn this discipline and one of two things always gets me - availability of knapable material, or my own horrendous coordination..
As for the knappable material, there are several videos showing how to knap the bottom of a bottle and floor tiles - easy to come by.

As for you coordination, or lack thereof, you're on your on.
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Old 02-10-2017, 06:15 PM   #43
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Bassmat, that red blade is a nice lanceolate type blade. One of my favorite's to knap because I don't have to try and notch it, lol
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Old 02-10-2017, 07:23 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weminuche View Post
great finds
Not finds, these are pieces we have done.
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Old 02-10-2017, 07:25 PM   #45
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Quote:
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Bassmat, that red blade is a nice lanceolate type blade. One of my favorite's to knap because I don't have to try and notch it, lol
Thanks! I'm not to sharp on point types.
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Old 02-12-2017, 01:51 PM   #46
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Going out to knapp, general plans....maybe a corner tang knife?
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maybe some bird points out of these?
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work these down into some finished rough bifaces?
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Work this "turtle" down into a better biface?
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Old 02-12-2017, 07:06 PM   #47
bassmatt72
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Belton TX
Hunt In: Kimble and Coryell County
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Well.....No bird points today! I worked and got some bifaces done with lots of good workable flakes.
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Here is one at the beginning and what it finished up as.
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Last edited by bassmatt72; 02-12-2017 at 07:14 PM..
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Old 02-12-2017, 07:13 PM   #48
bassmatt72
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I started on a really good piece but was messing it up so I switched to a different piece of lower quality, raw uncooked, tough central Texas chert. Not the best work but this raw chert is tough!!!
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Old 02-16-2017, 08:28 AM   #49
Jon Stewart
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been gathering dead/weather cholla for knife handles. Got 70 handle stock so far. Got to get them while I can as cholla doesn't grow in Michigan, lol
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Old 02-16-2017, 07:06 PM   #50
bassmatt72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Stewart View Post
been gathering dead/weather cholla for knife handles. Got 70 handle stock so far. Got to get them while I can as cholla doesn't grow in Michigan, lol
Cool! That's the same material as in your avatar?
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