Author Topic: Knapping stone questions  (Read 548 times)

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Offline Jacob1

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Knapping stone questions
« on: February 01, 2021, 07:24:34 pm »
Ive heard pedernales called amoeba pedernales is it avtually made from amoebas and how easy is it to work and is keokuk good for beginners also is obsidian good for beginner knappers and what is differences between the types of obsidian?

Offline Deerhunter21

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Re: Knapping stone questions
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2021, 07:46:12 pm »
Amoeba chert is a chert that is... i guess not really shaped? it will be wonky shapes lol, but its normal chert.

Keokuk can be good for beginners. really any knapping rock you can get your hands on will, but keokuk NEEEEEDS to be heat treated at a temp around 600deg Fahrenheit. otherwise its super tough. like really tough

Obsidian is great for beginners i would say. its veeeeery sharp so watch out for that. it flakes really easilly. Theres really no difference between the types of obsidians other than looks. If your planning on buying obsidian, i suggest just normal black obsidian because its the cheapest and like i said before, the only difference is how the obsidian looks.
Don't practice until you get it right. Practice until you can't get it wrong.

Russell - beginner

Offline Jacob1

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Re: Knapping stone questions
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2021, 07:53:24 pm »
Amoeba chert is a chert that is... i guess not really shaped? it will be wonky shapes lol, but its normal chert.

Keokuk can be good for beginners. really any knapping rock you can get your hands on will, but keokuk NEEEEEDS to be heat treated at a temp around 600deg Fahrenheit. otherwise its super tough. like really tough

Obsidian is great for beginners i would say. its veeeeery sharp so watch out for that. it flakes really easilly. Theres really no difference between the types of obsidians other than looks. If your planning on buying obsidian, i suggest just normal black obsidian because its the cheapest and like i said before, the only difference is how the obsidian looks.

Ok sorry for the stupid questions

Offline Deerhunter21

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Re: Knapping stone questions
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2021, 09:01:50 pm »
Amoeba chert is a chert that is... i guess not really shaped? it will be wonky shapes lol, but its normal chert.

Keokuk can be good for beginners. really any knapping rock you can get your hands on will, but keokuk NEEEEEDS to be heat treated at a temp around 600deg Fahrenheit. otherwise its super tough. like really tough

Obsidian is great for beginners i would say. its veeeeery sharp so watch out for that. it flakes really easilly. Theres really no difference between the types of obsidians other than looks. If your planning on buying obsidian, i suggest just normal black obsidian because its the cheapest and like i said before, the only difference is how the obsidian looks.

Ok sorry for the stupid questions

no no no no no no, dont be sorry! those were great questions! we all started somewhere!
Don't practice until you get it right. Practice until you can't get it wrong.

Russell - beginner

Offline Parnell

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Re: Knapping stone questions
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2021, 09:36:10 pm »
Hope you saw my PM.  Get Georgetown to start.
1>1

Offline ssrhythm

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Re: Knapping stone questions
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2021, 04:16:58 am »
I bought some Keokuk, Dacite, and obsidian because they are beginner rocks. They flake well and relatively easily, and thats about where I say the beginner part ends.  They are all brittle, so they can be horribly steppy.  Ive yet to get a hunting worthy point or decent knife out of any of it.  I found some great chert rocks in my yard from my rock hound landlord, and its tough and untreated...I have made a great skinner knife and some pretty good (considering size I had to work with) finished points out of it.  To me, the tougher stone is more predictable and far less steppy.  I understand why the three beginner rocks are labeled as such, but my strategy is to now just get my hands on whatever knappable rock I can to see which suits my beginner needs the best...while trying to figure out how to knap it all.

Offline Parnell

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Re: Knapping stone questions
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2021, 01:48:31 pm »
Ive always found obsidian to be a challenge.  Yes, it knaps easily, but I think thats also the problem.  And, Im just not much on glass.  Its messy.  There is a reason why Ive heard it referred to as obs#*tian in some knapping pits.  But, done right, they are sharp points, no doubt.

Keokuk can get funny for me, also.  I dunno...kinda chalky or something.  Just doesnt play nice for me.

Thats just my perspective, though.  Different strokes...

Dacite is like a slightly glassier Gtown.  Gtown was what I really cut my teeth on.  A little went a long way and it has that sweet spot, right in the middle, for characteristics.  Only problem with it is it only comes in one color!

1>1

Offline Deerhunter21

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Re: Knapping stone questions
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2021, 02:00:07 pm »
i should really get some Georgetown or go down to texas to get some. your really making me wanna try it lol!!

obsidian is a good rock to learn to flake on but later on i do feel its kinda lacking. but i just like making stuff so im not too picky!  ;D
Don't practice until you get it right. Practice until you can't get it wrong.

Russell - beginner

Offline gutpile

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Re: Knapping stone questions
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2021, 04:19:02 pm »
georgetown is hard to find.. real georgetown that is... it knaps well and doesnt require any heat treating.. if starting out might I suggest toilet tank lids.. old tv tubes just wear a mask on those the silica dust is toxic.. even ceramic floor tiles... yes these are slab like but once you edge them they work basically the same as rock.. set up platforms learn to reduce thickness how hard to hit how much is going to remove predicting how to work flakes.. all these skills can be learned on above materials.. and are free for the finding.. learn the principles of flake removals.. and reduction on free stuff... then go buy you some rock if you cant find any..JM2C... gut
to take from nature the materials needed to take from nature the meat needed...they all die from natural causes osage, rivercane, stone points,...

Offline JEB

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Re: Knapping stone questions
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2021, 12:19:34 pm »
deerhunter21. You are not going to just drive down to Texas and pick up some rock.  Texas is 90% privately owned and it is against he law to pick rock up off public land.  I have dumped many a bucket along the Pedernales river at the request of law enforcement. They were nice about it and of course I complied. With that being said I have been spending 1 month in the winter  in Texas for 15 years and have made some good contacts and bring back a handful of 5 gallon buckets of knapping rock each year. 

I have never driven up to Georgetown to look for rock. I understand most of the good stuff belongs to a rock mining company . Not sure if they would let you gather a bucket or two or not.

Lots of good suggestions on practice rock/materials have been made. 

Offline JackCrafty

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Re: Knapping stone questions
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2021, 06:04:02 pm »
Amoeba chert is named after its shape. It comes in irregular "blobs" with no square edges. Sometimes it's hard to find a good platform to start spalling it. It knaps well raw but knaps better when heated under low heat (275F to 300F). Be careful with the heat: try flakes first to make sure it won't fracture and become useless. You can sometimes find it on ebay or etsy. It's not really a beginner-friendly stone.

Keokuk is usually heated before it is sold. It's good for beginners of you're making small points. You'll break the larger pieces in half and experience endless step fractures until you become and experienced knapper.

Obsidian comes in many varieties and some can be very expensive. Most of it is cheap and easy to work. The problem for beginners is that it breaks so easily that you will not be able to get a point from it right away. And you will cut yourself a lot. It's essentially glass -- and it has the same pros and cons as glass.

Porcelain floor tile can be knapped and it's very cheap. But the "slab" shape can be a problem. Most beginners will break the slabs in half during the removal of the hard surface coating on the top side. But if you've got patience and use narrow pieces, you can get the hang of it and make some decent small and mid-sized points fairly quickly with pressure techniques.

Good stones for beginners are the mid-range materials like Dacite and low-grade heat treated chert. The higher grade of heat treated material, like Keokuk, are very nice but very brittle. Low-grade heat treat is more durable.

You can order boxes of mixed flakes from several online sellers and usually find something in the box that will work for you. You can then focus on getting more of the stones you like.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2021, 06:08:06 pm by JackCrafty »
Any critter tastes good with enough butter on it.

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Midland, Texas
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Where's the Rock?  Public Waterways, Road Cuts, Landscape Supply, Knap-Ins.
How Do I Cook It?  Light Colors: 200 for 24hrs then 300 to 400 for 4hrs, Cool for 12hrs.