Author Topic: couple more newbie knapper questions  (Read 8951 times)

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Bishop

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couple more newbie knapper questions
« on: March 12, 2008, 05:31:46 pm »
   I have a couple more questions i hope to get some advice on. i have been pretty much using small spalls to practice my percussion thining and pressure flaking, i was wondering when you are looking at a spall or flake for the first time and picturing your point, how do you decide where the tip of the point should be as opposed to the base. i know every spall is different but are there some basic guidlines? do you thin it a little first?

   I am also looking at getting some New Braunfels variety of Edwards flint, does anyone have any experience with this material and if its a decent material for a beginner, the gentleman i am planning on ordering from says it is, but i thought i would get s second opinion.... :)

thanks
Bishop

Offline Ryan_Gill_HuntPrimitive

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Re: couple more newbie knapper questions
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2008, 05:56:40 pm »
i like to work a spall all the way around before i decide on the point.  if at all possible, i try to use the thinnest side for the back so its easy to get the shaft on.

also,  if your spalls are big enough, try to knock some longer flakes off and use those for your arrow heads, those flakes will make some realy good arrow heads and can be a lot easier to work than a full spall.
 in my opinion, there are different types of heads.  Flake heads and spall heads.  both seems to work very well.  flake heads are made from a thin flake and a lot of the time dont have flakes running all the way to center. somtimes they are the best heads, but they are nt as attractive as a head with flakes all the way across.  and ofcourse a spall head would have the knapping markes across the whole face. because it had to be thinned across each bi-face.
look at these 2 heads, (although its difficult ot see) the white one is from a small thin flake, normally thrown away. and the black one is from a spall. the white one has a "bald" patch in the middle, it was already thin enough through the center. the black one had to be thinned.  the white one is just as sharp if not sharper than the spall head.

i guess thats not really what you asked, i just hoped i could share something i learned with you.- Ryan
Formerly "twistedlimbs"
Gill's Primitive Archery and HuntPrimitive

Offline Ryan_Gill_HuntPrimitive

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Re: couple more newbie knapper questions
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2008, 05:57:20 pm »
i guess i didnt include the pictures huh

[attachment deleted by admin]
Formerly "twistedlimbs"
Gill's Primitive Archery and HuntPrimitive

Offline JackCrafty

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Re: couple more newbie knapper questions
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2008, 06:14:03 pm »
It depends on what type of point I'm making.  If I'm making a point with notches....I want the base to be the thinnest part (it's hard for an inexperienced knapper like me to notch a thick base).

As for the "New Braunfels variety of Edwards flint", I wish I knew.  Seems all this excellent, world class, exotic flint is within an hour's drive from me but I don't get to see none of it.  Go figure. >:(

(Yeah....I know.....I guess I need to go to a local knapp-in)
Any critter tastes good with enough butter on it. :::.

Patrick Blank
Midland, Texas
JackCrafty (youtube)

Where's the Rock?  Public Waterways, Road Cuts, Landscape Supply, Knap-Ins.
How Do I Cook It?  Light Colors:  200  for 24hrs, 400  for 4hrs, Cool for 12hrs.

Offline Otoe Bow

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Re: couple more newbie knapper questions
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2008, 06:36:40 pm »
I bet Cowboy knows about that New Braunfels flint.   >:D

Otoe
So far, I haven't found any Osage or knappable rock over here.  Embrace the suck

Offline Hillbilly

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Re: couple more newbie knapper questions
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2008, 10:52:17 pm »
If it's that stuff that Ray Thorpe and Curtis Smith are selling, you probably ain't gonna go too wrong. I've never tried that particular type of rock, but if Curtis and Ray say it's good, it probably is.
Smoky Mountains, NC

NeolithicHillbilly@gmail.com

Progress might have been all right once but it's gone on for far too long.

Bishop

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Re: couple more newbie knapper questions
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2008, 01:09:32 am »
Ryan
you did answer my question plus give me lots of good info, i appreciate it. most of the "spalls" i use may be what some would consider flakes. some i can go right into pressure flaking and some i need to thin out a little bit. things are going pretty good.

Hillbilly
Curtis is who i am going through to get the Edwards flint, i asked Cowboy about him but he hadnt heard of him and you were my next move....you must be a mind reader.... ;D

Bishop

Sleddman

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Re: couple more newbie knapper questions
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2008, 01:35:08 am »
Bishop,  A couple of things that may help you making arrowheads.  I'm not talking for the most part about big blades, just arrowheads. Look for a video called Making Cahokia and Ishi Points, with Jim Redfearn.  He shows how to reduce a spall into usable flakes for arrowheads using his methods of knapping small points.  Also as for learning materials I would get ahold of Craig Ratzat of Neo Lithics and get a box full of odsidian spalls and flakes so you can practice on. By the time you get through a small box of this you will be on your way to making sturdier rock points with the materials you are looking at.  Usually the obsidian will save you some money.    Good luck.

Bishop

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Re: couple more newbie knapper questions
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2008, 01:54:39 am »
Sleddman
thanks for the info, i will look for that video. i have been a little afraid of Obsidian due to how sharp i hear that it is, but i did read some interesting info on how it cuts so clean that your wounds heal faster and cleaner..lol..ive read that some doctors are using Obsidian tools for heart surgery. after kind of getting the mechanics of flintknapping down, i think some Obsidian might be a good idea.
Bishop

Offline DanaM

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Re: couple more newbie knapper questions
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2008, 08:19:46 am »
Bishop a big guy like you afraid of a few cuts :o bob would call ya a wuss :D
"Prosperity is a way of living and thinking, and not just money or things. Poverty is a way of living and thinking, and not just a lack of money or things."

Manistique, MI

Offline cowboy

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Re: couple more newbie knapper questions
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2008, 12:50:52 pm »
I'm sorry Bishop - my bad :-X. Yes I do know Curtis and Ray, but I only know Curtis as Curtis ;D, never did catch his last name - that boy is a knapper now!!! I bought some of his stuff at the knap-in and it's good if it's what I'm thinking about. Probably going to be some of that Georgetown flint which needs no heat treat - works great raw. Your in good company there :).
 On the spalls I would say it is best to make the thicker end your spall the point since you'll be working it down with more passes to get it pointy or narrow, easier to get the point/narrow end thin. The thinner end of your spall will be (well thin) already and easier to notch. Sorry, I was cunfused :)..
When you come upon a track or trail you do not know, follow it to the point of knowing.

Bishop

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Re: couple more newbie knapper questions
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2008, 01:25:27 pm »
  Cowboy..lol..no problem, i know a lot of people by just there first name and if i only see them once or twice a year i may not even know their first. if you and Hillbilly say good things about him i am def going to order up some of that rock. it is some pretty stuff. thanks for the tips, it would easier for me to thin the tip being its not as wide as the base, at least until i can get my pressure flakes to run a little further. im gonna get at it today and post some pics of the junk ive made so far...so at least you all know im putting the advice to good use.
   well, now that ive been called out i have to get some Obsidian..lol...if nothing else than to prove my manhood... ;D...ive siad i would rather sleep in a hotel and im afraid of Obsidian, i need to keep my mouth shut....
Bishop
   
   

Offline Hillbilly

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Re: couple more newbie knapper questions
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2008, 01:56:26 pm »
Like Cowboy said, Curtis is well-known nationally as a great knapper and flint dealer. I doubt if you'd go wrong dealing with him.
Smoky Mountains, NC

NeolithicHillbilly@gmail.com

Progress might have been all right once but it's gone on for far too long.

Sleddman

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Re: couple more newbie knapper questions
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2008, 02:31:31 pm »
Bishop,  Just another thought or two.  Get good rock when you can. Get good rock when you can.  Yes I said this twice. And put it away for a couple of weeks or so. Just make sure when you buy any rock that it is as slick as possible and it is already (if Needed) heat treated or works good raw.  I started with a 20 pound box of obsidian. By the time i was through the box I was turning out some nice points and had learned to thin using percussion and touch up with pressure. Some of the Texas materials are very hard for the beginners because it is usually so tough. Once you get the basics of knapping down it will work alot better knowing how much more force you will need to drive off those big flakes.  Yes Caution when using Obsidian. Keep bandaids near by, Don't wipe your eye brow or your dust off of your arms or you will have lots of small cuts, OUTCH. Wash off your arms ETC. Good luck  PS Once I learned the basics of knapping I mainly use rock so again, Get good rock when you can

Offline Sparrow

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Re: couple more newbie knapper questions
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2008, 03:11:58 pm »
 I've found that using the thickest end for the tip works best.When you're knapping obsidian,you want to make sure that you have a breeze blowing across your face to keep from breathing the silica dust.Really ! if there is no breeze,set up a fan,and make sure you've got a box of bandades right next to you.  Frank
Frank (The Sparrow) Pataha, Washington