Does anyone harvest and knapp their own flint?

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Tom A Hawk

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What I have found Tom is that a straight level edge is not a strong edge. The serrated edge is what works best and longest on a gun flint. Same is true on an arrow point or flint knife blade. The scarps between the serrated points are just as sharp as flint can be knapped.
The serration is what gives a flint edge it's strength and longevity.
I see the pressure flaking of serrated gun flints is a topic of your personal interest. Given their long history it is curious that more are not made that way. http://shilohrifle.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=24998

Here is a video from the UK showing the process of making gun flints. Sure would like to have a flint supply like that.

This is my friend and master flint knapper Ken Wallace.
 

M. De Land

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That is because gun flints are made by sectioning blades that are percussion flaked off from a core. The ridge of the preceding blade makes a platform to strike, shearing off another blade with it's new ridge back. The nature of a blade shear does not leave a serration. That is the reason new flints do not have serrated edges but they do after the first cock fall,every time they are touched up and from then on.
 

M. De Land

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The advantages of a serrated flint edge are many. They are stronger, keep the impact area on the frizzen moving around discouraging frizzen face gouging and the flint edge from fracturing to destruction. The serrated edge makes both the frizzen and the flint itself last longer. Most folks never learn to touch up a flint properly with a good pointed pressure flake tool. Most buy these crappy little flint destroying hammers or notching tools that remove far more flint material than is necessary to make a strong and sharp edge. The little hammers are particularly bad about knocking off the flint corners. You have far more control with a copper or antler pointed pressure flake tool than you will with any other kind.
Another bad practice , in my view, is rake back with the flint in the cock against a held down frizzen. It is not an effective way to reshape and edge, puts unnecessary pressure on both the cock and frizzen arm as well as increasing the wear on the frizzen face.
 

smoothshooter

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Seems like a natural adjunct hobby for anyone with an interest in muzzleloaders. Is there anyone on this forum who has pointers to share? Thanks in advance.
I don’t know about “ harvesting “, but sometimes I will pick up a good-looking piece of dark flint or white chert if i see one when I’m out and about and bust a few spalls off of it at some later date. A small percentage of these spalls will have a halfway decent shape that will fit one of my locks. I have not had the time to learn to make them look really good like I hear Rich Pearce does.
 

smoothshooter

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I would do my own but have never figured out where it lives. Elusive stuff. ;-)

It is all over the place in nuisance quantities in Stone County, MO. Northwest of Branson between Crane and Galena. Lots of other areas within 20 miles or more in all directions from Crane. You can see those white and gray rocks from the size of a cigarette pack up to cantaloupe size in cut hay fields and pastures just driving down the road. If I were smart enough to figure out how to post pictures I would post a few.

From a now defunct ml forum I got into quite an argument about this issue. So, I wrote to the geology department of several universities and my state geological commission. Responses I got said if you soak flint in water for 500 years, it might penetrate to a depth of one micron. I haven't tried that. Let me know what you find out.;)
 

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