The Flint Knapping Machine!

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The Flint Knapping Machine!

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:32 pm

[img][/img]
Some time ago I was looking into mechanical lever jigs for fluting clovis points and other ways of lever knapping and I came accross this device. This is not my invention (unfortunatly) but something that was being sold in a Lapidary mag from the 60's to enable you to "make your own Indian arrowheads"! It came with very vague operating instructions and several cut slabs of obsidian with 90 degree edges to lever into shape somehow.
I had to make one!
So here is my faithfull replica, complete with part of a door hinge and pivoting (on a screw) wooden guard to hold the piece still whilst you yank on the handle (made from steel rod hammered out and drilled through and set in an old handle), and the slot for the waste flakes to fall into, before eventually falling on to the floor! It looks crude but this one is not far off what was being sold, apart from the origional was sprayed silver!

Not having any slab cut obsidian I used the nearest thing, glass, and set to work. Bugger me it works! It takes a bit of getting used to but you can fire a series of flakes from edge to edge, although it only works on a 90 degree edge, so conventional flaking has to be used to actually finish the piece.

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Re: The Flint Knapping Machine!

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:34 pm

[img][/img]
A close up of the business end

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Re: The Flint Knapping Machine!

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:41 pm

[img][/img]
And this is the slot for the waste flakes to get wedged in.
If you are lucky you can entirely knap both faces with cross over flakes before you shape the piece, if you are not lucky you'll have a snapped piece of glass!
An interesting experiment though!

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Re: The Flint Knapping Machine!

Post by skalla on Tue May 01, 2012 7:16 pm

that is well cool, and an awesome piece of man-ism. hats off to you sir!

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Re: The Flint Knapping Machine!

Post by Grendel on Sun May 06, 2012 11:57 am

That's a hell of a machine and some nice knapping results. I seen other machines made by people and the results seem to be poor.

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Re: The Flint Knapping Machine!

Post by Lumpendoodle on Sun May 06, 2012 10:18 pm

So what sort of size would the business end be. About the thickness of a big slot screwdriver?

I suppose you could put together a series of sizes for whatever you are working on. Or do you think one size machine would do the job.

I'm deeply tempted to make one of these. I do love a new toy.....

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Re: The Flint Knapping Machine!

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Mon May 07, 2012 6:16 pm

One size fits all, the block on the top is only held in place by one screw, and that allows it to pivot to get an adjustable angle.If one flake fails, you can "aim" the next one to go back in that direction. Also the top block can be unscrewed and screwed back on in another place (the top of the machine is covered with old screw holes) to take any size of glass that will fit on top! The third pic shows the top block moved back slightly.
And the business end is large screwdriver size.
My one was made from oddments from the shed, the only thing I paid for was the door hinge.
Also the clamps are there to immobilise the jig, you could drill holes through the bottom block and screw it down to your worksurface, I does need to be solidly fastened to work properly.
Make one, they're fun...

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Re: The Flint Knapping Machine!

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Mon May 07, 2012 6:20 pm

Forgot to say the glass in the picture is 6mm thick! I would say this is the thinnest it will work on, 10mm+ is the norm.

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Re: The Flint Knapping Machine!

Post by Lumpendoodle on Mon May 07, 2012 7:24 pm

Can't resist......Will see what I can knock together.

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Re: The Flint Knapping Machine!

Post by Lumpendoodle on Mon May 21, 2012 9:49 pm

Well, I left it in the hands of the hubby to build the machine.
Unfortunately, I think he's drilled the hole in the metal lever too low down. I think this has knocked out the angle for applying pressure to the flint.
I am obviously going to do a bit of 'adjustment' on it.

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Re: The Flint Knapping Machine!

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Tue May 22, 2012 8:50 pm

I think too long is better than too short as it can always be filed down a little, the metal lever on mine needs replacing/adjusting as it's worn down. you must post some photos of the finished beast!

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Re: The Flint Knapping Machine!

Post by Lumpendoodle on Tue May 22, 2012 10:26 pm

Will get some photos organised tomorrow.

I think the hubby is seriously into over-engineering. Trust me, no danger of anything snapping on this monster.Rolling Eyes

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Re: The Flint Knapping Machine!

Post by the barnacle on Fri May 25, 2012 8:17 pm

Lumpendoodle wrote:Will get some photos organised tomorrow.

I think the hubby is seriously into over-engineering. Trust me, no danger of anything snapping on this monster.Rolling Eyes



will look forward to the pics sounds interesting.

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Re: The Flint Knapping Machine!

Post by Lumpendoodle on Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:19 pm

You know, it's been so long since I've posted photos, I can't remember how to do it.

Must be getting old.......

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Re: The Flint Knapping Machine!

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Thu Jun 06, 2013 12:49 am

Here is a variation of the knapping machine, its set at 90 degrees to the origional but works on the same priciple, rather than an lever arm there is a Ishi stick and rather than a door hinge there is a eye ring. The piece is set on edge rather than flat. see here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSt3PYA7GWM

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Re: The Flint Knapping Machine!

Post by Grendel on Thu Jun 06, 2013 3:55 am

That's a mighty complex and slow way of skinning a slab. Wouldn't it be much easier and quicker to pressure flake it regularly.

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Re: The Flint Knapping Machine!

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Thu Jun 06, 2013 6:52 pm

It would! but you can get some real umph with this jig, if done right the pressure flakes look like percussion flakes and it doesn't make your arm ache!
Still, it should belong on novelty island Very Happy

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Re: The Flint Knapping Machine!

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:26 pm

The knapping dutchman has a new version of the knapping machine, I admire his ambition: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNwEpEDYa5Q
This one is a true monster, and sadly some detritus gets under it and crack!

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Re: The Flint Knapping Machine!

Post by the barnacle on Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:03 pm

mr.hertzian cone wrote:The knapping dutchman has a new version of the knapping machine, I admire his ambition: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNwEpEDYa5Q
This one is a true monster, and sadly some detritus gets under it and crack!

 I like the way he calls it de luxe Smile

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Re: The Flint Knapping Machine!

Post by Grendel on Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:00 pm

I wonder where he gets his glass from?

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