Authentic notching

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Authentic notching

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Sun Apr 08, 2012 3:59 pm

It struck me the other day that I've been notching with metal tips ever since I started knapping, even when I had no idea what I was doing (using a nail punch or even a nail), so I looked in to the various ways of notching B.M. (before metal!)
It seems that the majority was done with pressure with a suitable hard and tough material like antler, or bone. These where trimmed in to a wide spatula and notching flakes prised off.
Where the flint was too thick or even to start the notch a suitable punch was used, agian of antler or bone, but sometimes of stone, all trimmed into ether a point or wedge/spatula.
Anyone out there know of any other potential methods of nothing in antiquity? and have you tried them?

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Re: Authentic notching

Post by grendel on Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:50 pm

The only other tools to the ones you mantion I can think of are stone punches and the Otzi style flaker that may give more leverage than straight piece of antler. Seems to me there was no paleo super insight into notching they just had a huge problem which they dealt with in much the way modern paleo knappers do. From the vid below they seemed to have used some pretty drastic high risk punch techniques they would have preferrrred not to had they a better method. What I find interesting is with the paleo limitations on notching they still chose to invent arrowhead designs that required elaborate notching when life would have been so much easier if they'd just produced hollow bases.

There's a great vid here discussing abo notching techniques, he mentions stone punches, a month or so ago I went stone hunting and found a couple of chisel shaped pebbles, too large for notching but ok for thinning, I'll get round to trying them soon.


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Re: Authentic notching

Post by grendel on Sun Apr 15, 2012 6:31 am

A couple of vids on abo notching, first is a quick demo, the second goes into the theory behind it.




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Re: Authentic notching

Post by skalla on Sun Apr 15, 2012 9:19 am

cool vids - i will have to return to study them more later.. i reckon that notching is one of the next elements that i need to explore and it would be fun to make some new tools for it too

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Re: Authentic notching

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:13 pm

[img][/img]
My first go at making an authentic nothing tool for flint knapping out of natural materials, the spatula end is ground down from a piece of the outside tough part of an antler and the handle was split and hollowed out ( ala Oetzi knife) for the antler insert and glued back together with pitch pine glue. So far it seems to work on the practice flake...

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Re: Authentic notching

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Sun Dec 23, 2012 1:46 pm

Aaaargh! that's the piece of flint that sliced me, it was too big for the pad and overhung too much.... I posted this pic then went back to gore myself badly:shock: *see flintknapping injuries.


They say practice notching with waste flakes, I say practice notching with nice small flakes, with hippo hide gloves on...

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Re: Authentic notching

Post by grendel on Mon Dec 24, 2012 4:54 am

How exactly are you using that notcher?

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Re: Authentic notching

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Sun Dec 30, 2012 1:52 am

Ment to reply earlier, I'm using it like a regular pressure flaker with a lot of down force into the pad, some pressure in too, and flat sides of the antler tip are vertical so it's like a horseshoe nail notcher in plan view but taller to take into account of the faster wear of a softer material, thus more choice of notcher sharp edges to use once one part is blunted. Kinda squidge it in to grab a platform and heave off a C flake. Just don't use a huge spall to practice on! affraid

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Re: Authentic notching

Post by grendel on Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:59 am

I asked this because the result you got in the pic looks a lot like prehistoric notching. I've been experimenting in this field to and completely changed the way I notch in the last few weeks. The new method works 5 times as good as the old and the end results look very similar the prehistoric knapping. I got the idea on how to do it from examining a lot of neolithic arrowheads, going aha! this is how I think they were doing it and getting great results almost immediately when I tried it as well as authentic looking results. The old method I used was the standard one modern knappers use which produces an end result nothing like authentic pieces. The new method I used though is similar to the zig zagging method for creating a working edge, only inside the notch.

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Re: Authentic notching

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Sun Dec 30, 2012 12:22 pm

Good work, it's tricky to get used to after using a steel notcher for so long but the results do look much more authentic as you say.

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