Thursday, April 17, 2008

Obisidan Knife

I've wanted to make a knife or spear point for a long time. Until a couple days ago I never made a point longer than a few inches. The first problem was to get a long enough piece of rock to work with. I started by knocking a long thin spall off a roundish nodule. From there I knocked piece after piece off making very few mistakes for once. I took a few pictures on the way to the finished product because I was afraid I would mess it up.

I switched to pressure flaking a little sooner than I should have. I could control the accuracy of the flakes I pushed off so much easier than when striking the rock. The problem is that the flakes I took off weren't as long and thick as when striking. I was too afraid to ruin the piece with a misplaced strike though so I picked up the ishi stick. The consequence was a thicker, duller blade than I hoped for. Near the tip it's probably a 2/1 or 3/1 width to thickness ratio. That makes it good for stabbing things but not so good for slicing. By the way, I don't plan to do either with this guy so don't worry. The finished point ended up being about 4 1/2 inches long.

After finishing the point, I selected an antler from my stash. I sawed of the tines at a nice wide spot. I put the antler in boiling water to soften up the inside of the antler. After taking it out it was pretty easy to scrape out the inside with some metal tools. I also filed down a groove in the sides since the rock was wider than the antler. When fitted together the blade fit about 1 1/4 inches into the antler handle. Ideally it would've been a little deeper into the handle, but I was satisfied with it.

After whipping up a batch of pitch as I discussed in my last post, I poured it into the antler handle. At the same time I heated up the blade over the Jesus candle so that the knife would have holy powers. I then jammed the blade into the handle.

As the pitch overflowed I molded it around all sides of the blade and handle. As the pitch cooled it became very easy to mold. Below is a close up of the finished product showing the black pitch.

The picture below shows you the overall size of the knife. The blade is now approximately 3 inches long. The blade feels very secure inside the handle.


Anonymous said...

super badass pitch, but no sinew wrap?
NK, then, don't leave it in your car on a sunny day...


Neilio Mikalario said...

badass dude. said...

That is a very beautiful blade, nice work!