making a ground stone axe.

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making a ground stone axe.

Post by the barnacle on Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:57 am

i was thinking of having a go at making a ground stone axe, does anyone know where i could get a nice bit of greenstone or jadite?
have you ever made a ground tool?

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Re: making a ground stone axe.

Post by grendel on Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:00 pm

I went to the Jadeite market in Burma and even bought a few pieces of Jade, but a bit far away I guess and a lump that large would most likely be very expensive in this country. I bought a lump the same size as the £32 piece in Burma for a quid.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_odkw=jadeite&_sac=1&_osacat=0&_from=R40&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0&_nkw=jadeite+rock&_sacat=0

Greenstone is an informal name for a lot of rocks, Greenschist is the knappable one used to make polished axes in this country.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/MAGNETITE-on-GREEN-SCHIST-Nice-Octohedral-Crystals-LARGE-SPECIMEN-11cm-/121097694717?pt=UK_Collectables_RocksFossils_Minerals_EH&hash=item1c31fc2dfd

you could try entering greenschist quarry, wall and bricks into google.

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Re: making a ground stone axe.

Post by the barnacle on Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:34 am

Thanks for taking the time to get the links - thanks for the information - i think it would be Greenschist i am looking for as i would like to try to knap it to a rough shape before the polishing.

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Re: making a ground stone axe.

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Sun Apr 21, 2013 1:23 pm

Green Quartzite grinds down well, and in this part of the country it was used to make axe heads, athough it doesn't knap well they took advantage of axe shaped beach cobbles and ground them to shape. I have a little one I made a few years back, I'll take a photo...

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Re: making a ground stone axe.

Post by grendel on Sun Apr 21, 2013 1:34 pm

Are you thinking of grinding it by hand or by machine?

also if you want to do it in flint I could send you a knapped roghout ready for polishing no problem.

the Chapter starting at page 89 of this book should help
http://www.archive.org/stream/stoneimplementsw00evaniala

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Re: making a ground stone axe.

Post by the barnacle on Sun Apr 21, 2013 3:44 pm

will look forward to the pic me cone -
Gren - thats a great offer and one i might take you up on if i cant find a nice chunk to try myself, thinking about it flint might make a good polished axe.
i think i would like to try to polish it by hand but i guess it depends how deep i would have to polish it to remove the imperfections or the deeper knapping marks.

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Re: making a ground stone axe.

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:24 am

Right then, pics taken will post them tommorrow!
Mr. G, well done in finding a digital version of Evans, it was groundbreaking back in the 1870's and it still hold some weight these days suprisingly...
I have been after a copy of this just recently so it is good to (vertually) flick through the the pages of such an antiquarian tome Very Happy
I'll be back to spend more time with Evans!

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Re: making a ground stone axe.

Post by grendel on Wed Apr 24, 2013 12:30 am

I used that digital one for years but gave in and picked up a copy from amazon very cheaply last year.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B008G803LO/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_p=103612307&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=1143520734&pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_r=1N0A6XMRX139WRNDT5FT

The illustrations are actually size so it's very useful.

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Re: making a ground stone axe.

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Thu May 02, 2013 12:25 am

[img][/img]
Aha! this is the mini green Quartzite axe from a beach pebble (replica), we do have some of these recorded in Norfolk, I would guess these may have been hafted in an antler sleeve and then in to a wood handle.

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Re: making a ground stone axe.

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Thu May 02, 2013 12:31 am

[img][/img]
Unless there is some kind of "cult of the axe" amulet thing going on here. Looking at this now it could have been ground further, looks quite blunt but I'm sure I was happy with it at the time.
I also have a larger black Quartzite axe somewhere, I'll find it up...

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Re: making a ground stone axe.

Post by the barnacle on Thu May 02, 2013 9:42 am

did you polish the axe by hand? - all i have to do now is find a good bit of stone to make one with.

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Re: making a ground stone axe.

Post by grendel on Thu May 02, 2013 10:38 am

Any idea of what you are going to polish it with? Sandpaper seems to work well for me.

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Re: making a ground stone axe.

Post by the barnacle on Thu May 02, 2013 6:41 pm

i was going to try a lump of sandstone in a tub of water as i think alot of polishing would of been done on stone slabs on the edges of streams or rivers?

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Re: making a ground stone axe.

Post by grendel on Thu May 02, 2013 9:19 pm

Would sandstone work? Wouldn't that be polishing something harder with something softer?

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Re: making a ground stone axe.

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Fri May 03, 2013 11:42 am

I made the little axe some years ago, I think I roughed it out on an old paving slab, and yes, sandpaper was involved!

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Re: making a ground stone axe.

Post by the barnacle on Fri May 03, 2013 6:13 pm

not sure if sandstone would work now you mention it, hmmm - i was in london today and on the way back called at a few ploughed fields to get some flint - i hope it isnt to weathered, i am going back on sunday so if its ok i will be getting more - and maybe find the odd authentic worked flint.

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Re: making a ground stone axe.

Post by grendel on Fri May 03, 2013 6:45 pm

I suppose it's a bad time to mention the Thames beach is made of flint pebbles.

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Re: making a ground stone axe.

Post by the barnacle on Fri May 03, 2013 6:55 pm

Grendel wrote:I suppose it's a bad time to mention the Thames beach is made of flint pebbles.
Very Happy might have to call in when next in the big smoke,

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Re: making a ground stone axe.

Post by grendel on Fri May 03, 2013 7:26 pm

There's also a load of flint nodules, mostly small but some medium size, beautiful black flint.

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Re: making a ground stone axe.

Post by grendel on Sat May 11, 2013 10:01 pm

I stuck a video up on how to make a polished stone axe in the Tutorials section. I checked Youtube when we opened this topic and their was nothing, then that one appeared like a Xmas prezzie this week.

However I'm not too sure about the technique he uses it seems to me he got a regular flaked axe where the knapper had deliberately put in pronounced flak scars. Presumably if a knapper was making one specifically for grinding he would have made it a flat as possible and that alone would halve the grinding time, also there is still some visible scarring left at the end of grinding from the really deep scars.

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Re: making a ground stone axe.

Post by the barnacle on Sun May 12, 2013 1:43 pm

as you say the finished item all depends on the quality of the knap - thanks for posting the link - this is how I see they would be done on sandstone slabs along streams, I must have a go at this but need a flint axe - I think the best would be a nice black flint.

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Re: making a ground stone axe.

Post by grendel on Sun May 12, 2013 4:41 pm

I tried to polish this one a while back, one side had much deeper flaking and was more uneven than the other so I quickly worked out if I had knapped it flat life would have been a lot easier.




So I knocked out one specially designed for polishing from what I learnt. This one is as flat and even as possible.



Another thing I learnt was on the vid it tells you the grind down the edges and sharpen it later, this is good advice as the edges may crumble otherwise.

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Re: making a ground stone axe.

Post by skalla on Fri Jun 07, 2013 10:48 am

Howdy all, been away a (long) while.. will catch up in "the pub" but i came across this thread and thought i would leave this link from PP...it's by the guy from the Egyptian Knapping link ages back. You may recognise the chap in the vid from the Culture Show "Ice Age Art" special (pls watch it on YT if you aint seen it, it's fab) - well here he is making a ground axe
Grinding an Axe
ETA: i tried grinding out an axe from a Quartize cobble a couple of years back, using a paving slab and the experiment did not last, from my own POV i should have maybe used a softer rock for the first effort, and perhaps a more abrasive slab. Not sure that i have the patience for the 20 or so hours work involved to do it the old fashioned way!


Last edited by skalla on Fri Jun 07, 2013 10:53 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : i cant type or spell)

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Re: making a ground stone axe.

Post by grendel on Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:40 pm

With the sandstone he uses the sand will come loose and that's what grinds the axe. I guess you could used any flat surface and put a little sand on it.

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Re: making a ground stone axe.

Post by skalla on Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:16 pm

I used a little water and flint dust, but the slab was some kind of aggregate with raised moulded nubs - i have others that i may try at some point, or just cheat and use a power grinder for an inspirational first success.

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