Author Topic: pressure flaker?  (Read 460 times)

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Offline jlatkinson

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pressure flaker?
« on: February 18, 2014, 07:41:03 pm »
Does the point on a homemade pressure flacker have to be cppper? I see copper points all the time and wanted to see if i could use a nail or something for the first time.

Offline Dalton Knapper

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Re: pressure flaker?
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2014, 09:46:52 pm »
Ishi used a mild-soft iron pressure flaker, but he had a lifetime of experience and was knapping glass and obsidian. You would likely get short flakes on whatever you knap with iron. Considering how easy and cheap copper is, I have to wonder why you would consider something other than copper or antler? I started with a nail wrapped in masking tape, but it was less than rewarding result wise. Go to a hardware store and splurge on a foot of copper grounding wire for the 2 to 3 bucks it will cost you or do worse than you could obviously do with the right material. Get some antler of copper and save yourself the misery of bad results.

Offline Stringman

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Re: pressure flaker?
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2014, 05:30:33 pm »
DK has some really good advise. The answer to your question is yes you can use many different metals for the tip of you flaker. Copper happens to be the cheapest (most readily available) and gives the best results for most people. When it comes to notching, some of the more experienced among us like to use steel nails - horse shoe or otherwise - because it doesn't deform as badly. 
Scott
______________________________________________

walk softly, and carry a bent stick...

Offline Ahnlaashock

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Re: pressure flaker?
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2014, 07:10:40 pm »
A cheap dowel, cut in half, with a small pilot hole, and you can drive a piece of the wire mentioned like a nail, right into the end.  Pull and replace until you can make better.  I am still using the same system myself, for my long tools anyway. 

Offline seminolewind

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Re: pressure flaker?
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2014, 07:43:59 pm »
Take the ground wire from your local hardware store and put one end in a vice and the other in the chuck of a drill spin it till it breaks. This will change the temper of the wire so it doesn't bend. Cut it in sections and use those. Nails are good for notching but won't grab the stone as well as copper which will make it hard for a new knapper. Deer antler tines sharpened up work well too.
"Those that beat their swords into plowshares will plow for those who do not." Thomas Jefferson

Elijah,
Tampa, FL.

Offline Ahnlaashock

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Re: pressure flaker?
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2014, 09:16:04 pm »
Interesting!  I have been using the wire as it was received, but it is used wire.  Haven't had a lot of trouble with it bending yet.  I will chuck some up in the lathe and twist it. 

Offline seminolewind

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Re: pressure flaker?
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2014, 11:51:25 pm »
Interesting!  I have been using the wire as it was received, but it is used wire.  Haven't had a lot of trouble with it bending yet.  I will chuck some up in the lathe and twist it.

Give it a shot. I like a longer wire and sometimes really crank down on it. Having tempered copper is a must for me
"Those that beat their swords into plowshares will plow for those who do not." Thomas Jefferson

Elijah,
Tampa, FL.

Offline Dalton Knapper

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Re: pressure flaker?
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2014, 08:13:56 am »
Here's three things to remember about copper:

1. It hardens with age - ancient copper can be quite brittle. Old green telephone wire or power wire will be more stiff than brand new shiny wire from the hardware store (some of that could be the alloys they are made from).

2. Any type of compression or hammering will harden copper. It aligns the molecules - just like the twisting discussed here or hammering it. Some people prefer to hammer their copper pressure flakers to a point rather than file it. If you want to make copper soft (anneal it), just heat it up and let it cool - the molecules become more random and the metal softens.

3. All copper is not the same and can vary on what is added to it. A copper gutter nail is harder than copper wire and there are different mixes of copper alloys, some harder or softer than others.

Offline Ed Brooks

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Re: pressure flaker?
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2014, 09:01:23 am »
3. All copper is not the same and can vary on what is added to it. A copper gutter nail is harder than copper wire and there are different mixes of copper alloys, some harder or softer than others.
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DK: this is probably a loaded question, but is it easier (better for a new guy) to use the softer or harder copper? Ed
It's in my blood...

Centralia WA,

Offline Dalton Knapper

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Re: pressure flaker?
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2014, 09:10:00 am »
Someone may have an opinion on that, but I would say as long as it does not bend on you, it really wouldn't matter. A lot of guys like those copper gutter nails because they are quite hard, but if you get some, make sure they aren't just plated with copper. I  like harder copper myself and it's plenty soft to grab an edge and that is your main concern. I think all grounding wire is pretty much the same alloy and you will want to twist or hammer it because it is annealed and very soft so the electricians can bend it easily.

Offline Ed Brooks

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Re: pressure flaker?
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2014, 09:16:19 am »
Thank you DK. Ed
It's in my blood...

Centralia WA,

Offline seminolewind

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Re: pressure flaker?
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2014, 09:38:09 am »
Someone may have an opinion on that, but I would say as long as it does not bend on you, it really wouldn't matter. A lot of guys like those copper gutter nails because they are quite hard, but if you get some, make sure they aren't just plated with copper. I  like harder copper myself and it's plenty soft to grab an edge and that is your main concern. I think all grounding wire is pretty much the same alloy and you will want to twist or hammer it because it is annealed and very soft so the electricians can bend it easily.

+1
"Those that beat their swords into plowshares will plow for those who do not." Thomas Jefferson

Elijah,
Tampa, FL.

Offline Ahnlaashock

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Re: pressure flaker?
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2014, 09:42:51 am »
I went a different route when I made my new stick.  I drilled the hole at an angle, so the tip does not stick straight out of the end, and I can roll the stick to create the angle I need.  Once the weather changes, I will use the little lathe to build a better system than I am now using.