Flint knapping is a handy craft and survival skill that can be used to turn ordinary stone (flint being the best kind) into cutting tools. "Knapping" is the process of chiseling these stones in a controlled fashion so they break or flake the way you want. It is a skill that can be developed through regular practice with a few basic tools.
Things You'll Need
- Thick sheet of canvas or leather
- Shears for cutting either canvas or leather
- Big (1" to 2" wide) cylindrical piece of antler or bone
- Small (1/2" to 2/3" wide) cylindrical piece of antler or bone
- Buck knife
- Rounded stone, large enough to fill your handhold, but not larger
Take a thick piece of either canvas or leather and use the shears to cut two pieces from it for work pads. One should be rectangular and sized to cover your lap. The other should be a little larger than the palm of your hand, to pad the striking stone.
Take the two pieces of antler or bone and use the hacksaw to cut off their tops to create a level striking surface. These will serve as a big and a small chisel for substantial shaping and fine work, respectively.
Use the knife and whittle away a chisel-like edge in the bottom of the antler or bone pieces.
Go to a creek or stream and find a good rounded stone for a striker. It should fit snugly into the grip of your hand, having some heft, but not be awkward to use. As the striking stone will serve as your hammer, do not choose sandstone, as it will wear down to quickly. An igneous rock would be best, but any non-standstone rock will do.
Tips & Warnings
- If you can find a piece of flint big enough to use for a striker, it is more valuable as a tool-making material. Technically, flint can be used for a striker. As a practical matter it is better employed as a raw material.
- Photo Credit Wikimedia Commons