Raw black English flint

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Anyone got leads on anyone selling modules of flint ? For Self knapping if gun flints?
 

BullRunBear

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Grenadier,
Thanks for the Dixie link. Just ordered one of the nodules. I've wanted to try knapping flint for a long time. (Should have started 50 years ago.) The reviews mentioned the knapped pieces worked great for flint and steel fire starting. I may end up with a pile of slivered rock but it should be fun.

Jeff
 

dgracia

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Grenadier,
Thanks for the Dixie link. Just ordered one of the nodules. I've wanted to try knapping flint for a long time. (Should have started 50 years ago.) The reviews mentioned the knapped pieces worked great for flint and steel fire starting. I may end up with a pile of slivered rock but it should be fun.

Jeff
Just as an FYI, the method used for making gun flints is quite a bit different than flintknapping an arrowhead. You are basically trying to get a big solid piece 3" or 4" tall called a blade core and you knock off long thin pieces around the edges of it using percussive flaking. Once you knock off a number of those thin, long blades, you can trim them where you want it to break using a hammer made out of ½ of a broken file and a thin anvil made out of the other half stuck into a log. Some flakes you'll only get one flint out of and some you may get as many as 4 if it's a really tall core. You just keep knocking off more and more of the long flakes moving in a circle around the core.

Here's a link to two videos from Paleoman52. The first one you want to see is the "follow-up" he did after his first one. On the first one his hand is in the way when he's trimming the long flakes into individual flints, but the first part shows you how he reduces a big piece into a core. I've listed them below in the order I think you should watch them...you'll love the hammer and skinny anvil he makes out of an old file.

Watch this one first for the detail work

Watch this one for how to make a gun flint core:
 
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BullRunBear

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Thanks to dgracia for the info. Especially helpful since I can't know much less than I do at this stage. I'll be pretty much housebound for a while this winter following surgery and this is something I can play with when I can't get to the range. A chance to learn a new skill (even at my age) or at east have the therapy from hammering and chipping. ;)

Jeff
 

dgracia

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Thanks to dgracia for the info. Especially helpful since I can't know much less than I do at this stage. I'll be pretty much housebound for a while this winter following surgery and this is something I can play with when I can't get to the range. A chance to learn a new skill (even at my age) or at east have the therapy from hammering and chipping. ;)

Jeff
You're most welcome Jeff. Be careful of one thing though, when you start knapping flint you will be dropping all kinds of small and extremely sharp bits about. Either do that over some cement (without any hatch lines in it) so you can easily sweep up all the little sharp bits and pieces. Another option is to put down a drop cloth that you can pick up. Also use some nitrile gloves over your hand. They still give you good tactile feedback and will keep you from getting cut up. You can usually find them cheap at Harbor Freight, Walmart, etc. Same thing that mechanics use now.
 

rchas

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A dust mask might be a good idea, as well. Silicosis is to be avoided....
 

JBrandon

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If you have never knapped before and want to make gunflints, a few bits of advice:

You won't be making long blades and breaking them into segments as the films show and as the 19th C gunflint industries did. Takes practice. But it is easy to learn to take off smaller flakes and shape them with pressure or a hammer into usable gunflints.

Don't buy expensive antler billets, they are more useful for flat flaking things like arrowheads in aboriginal style. Gunflints were made with iron tools anyway. For your beginning purposes, buy a 'copper bopper' if you are looking at flintknapping supplies. A small ball peen hammer works too.

And watch some of the knapping youtube videos for beginners to see the basic principles. These are also explained with diagrams in books like Flintknapping: Making and Understanding Stone Tools, by John Whittaker.
 

M. De Land

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Grenadier,
Thanks for the Dixie link. Just ordered one of the nodules. I've wanted to try knapping flint for a long time. (Should have started 50 years ago.) The reviews mentioned the knapped pieces worked great for flint and steel fire starting. I may end up with a pile of slivered rock but it should be fun.

Jeff
You may need to heat treat the nodule if it won't spawl for you. I had a nodule of that Dixie black flint given to me and it was ornery as cat hair in the raw state. You'll be able to tell as soon as you knap off the cortex. Moose antler is the best natural billet you can get as it is tougher and larger in diameter than Elk. You can also make your own billets out of a piece of copper pipe cap, filled with molten lead and attached to a short wood handle made out of anything you have handy. I used some green alder with the bark peeled off.
The copper boppers are easier to use than is the antler billets.
 
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beardedhorse

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A pointed hammer annealed softer is used by the professionals instead of elk or other antler. There are old films of the Brandon, England knappers doing it the centuries old way.
 

deerstalkert

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heat treating tames the cat many times. others it can cause problems depending on the material.
i find the dark cherts here accept the treatment best. the lighter forms fracture alot.
BEWARE! you are entering a most addictive relm.
 

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