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  #1  
Old 03-02-2017, 12:43 AM
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I was unaware of this and think you should take necessary precautions to protect yourself. English knappers died at early ages and they died of Silicosis.
When you knap a flint the fine dust particles are emitted into the air. If inhaled they are like the damage you would get to your mouth if chewed up razor blades. They stick to your lungs and the their jaggedness keeps doing damage to you lungs. The particles are so fine they will go through protection masks. So what precautions should you take? Knap flints outside and blow out like you whistling when knapping. Don't knap in an enclosed area. The particles stay in the air and can be inhaled by unsuspecting occupants. Wash your hands and brush off you clothing up wind. Im not telling you this to deter you love of the sport. Im just think you should be aware. You can search this subject by entering flints and silicosis.
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  #2  
Old 03-02-2017, 02:10 AM
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Welcome to the Forum

Glad to see you here and hope you post often. All the best...
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  #3  
Old 03-02-2017, 03:51 AM
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The same silica is in common sand which the planet is made of. Be afraid, be VERY afraid of everything?

Get real.
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  #4  
Old 03-02-2017, 04:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirts View Post
The particles are so fine they will go through protection masks.
Welcome to the group! Flinting is a dying art so it's good to see more people actively engaged.

As to your statement about the particles, a standard NIOSH approved N95 mask, available at just about any Home Depot / Lowes / Harbor Freight will effectively protect you as long as you fit it properly and don't engage in flinting in an enclosed area for 8 hours at a time.

So continue to enjoy your hobby / sport. Just take the basic precautions you've stated along with proper respiratory protection.
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  #5  
Old 03-02-2017, 05:55 AM
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Who's confusing the language around here? On a shooting site a 'flinter' is one that shoots flintlock guns, right?

Flint knapping is a primitive art form pretty much ruined by the pre-form flakers.

I'm a gun maker, knife maker and flint knapper so speak all three languages.
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  #6  
Old 03-02-2017, 06:38 AM
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I read that about flint knappers once. But they were talking year and years, hours and hours of this kind of activity. An average shooting might knap for ten minutes a few times a month. But a good warning is a good thing. I will take your information to heart and be careful were I knap my flints from now on.
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  #7  
Old 03-02-2017, 07:01 AM
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Thanks for the warning. My son has wanted to knapp flint arrowheads for years now. Should be simple enough to set him up with the proper environmental precautions.
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  #8  
Old 03-02-2017, 07:37 AM
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In law enforcement we just called it a heads up.
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  #9  
Old 03-02-2017, 08:56 AM
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Just do it outside with a small fan blowing. Simple enough.
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  #10  
Old 03-02-2017, 10:22 AM
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I learned while living in a VERY remote place. It was noted I had made it barefoot travel proof for a thousand years! Obsidian flakes are like little razors.

Many times, I've seen the dust from a strike in a sun beam against a dark back-ground and the feel of being pricked by particles is common, so I know the material is there but MUCH less than my surface grinder!!

Dimner-- I have access to Brown's Bench black inignimbrite (opaque obsidian) if your son wants to try knapping stone found in Indian and Clovis sites ALL over N. America. Some sites are dated to 13,000 years old. Oddly enough, six massive Clovis points were found in a bundle within a mile of the Brown's Bench 'Obsidian Point'. Those ten inch long blades were of Hill Country of Texas chert. Brown's Bench points are found all along the Gulf coast and the Pacific.
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  #11  
Old 03-02-2017, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by JBelk View Post
I learned while living in a VERY remote place. It was noted I had made it barefoot travel proof for a thousand years! Obsidian flakes are like little razors.

Many times, I've seen the dust from a strike in a sun beam against a dark back-ground and the feel of being pricked by particles is common, so I know the material is there but MUCH less than my surface grinder!!

Dimner-- I have access to Brown's Bench black inignimbrite (opaque obsidian) if your son wants to try knapping stone found in Indian and Clovis sites ALL over N. America. Some sites are dated to 13,000 years old. Oddly enough, six massive Clovis points were found in a bundle within a mile of the Brown's Bench 'Obsidian Point'. Those ten inch long blades were of Hill Country of Texas chert. Brown's Bench points are found all along the Gulf coast and the Pacific.
That would be outstanding. That's really been our biggest challenge with getting him started. In Michigan we have found only chert in the wild. We have researched on how it's done and it is possible to make arrow heads with it, but chert has been difficult for him to work with. Might be much easier to work with more traditional obsidian like rock.

Last year for his 14th birthday I bought him an Atlatl and he has been wanting to make his own dart/arrow for it. I'll ask him tonight what he thinks.
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  #12  
Old 03-02-2017, 10:44 AM
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a very enlightening subject. thanks for the heads up.
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  #13  
Old 03-02-2017, 11:06 AM
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Flint knapping is absolute proof positive humans need teachers. There's NO way a kid could learn to make an arrowhead in time to keep from starving to death. I thought a lot about that in my second week of trying. If lunch was waiting on me, I was a gonner!!

In the 1700s, flint knapping was a big business to keep the armies in flints. While diving the St. Marks River in N. Florida which has been in commercial use since 1540 for artifacts, I found a 'chest full' of brand new English flints. The chest was long gone and the flints were scattered over a quarter mile of river bottom, but it was early seen it was a 'load' and everything found was put into one collection. We three guys found just over 13 pounds of gun flints and they were sold by the "Stoneweight" of 14 pounds! I guess they're still at the U of Fla Museum.
I've always been an arrowhead hunter, collector, and in constant marvel of the skill displayed in making them. Those gun flints seemed identical and nearly machine made. Many years later I saw the collection of 1600 arrow points found in a leather bag in a cave in Oregon and it was the same way: Identical. In a cliff dwelling in Utah, I saw the excavated remains of a 'den of knappers?' with scraps and flakes a foot deep in the corners. It was easy to ID the three knappers that worked there by the 'styles'. It also showed me they threw away points they KNEW were weak. A defect in the stone in a critical place got it flung in the corner.

On prominent points on several mountains and ridges near here are 'watch stations' that are always deep in pressure flakes but never thinning flakes or major shaping that takes a hammer stone to do. Always the near silent cracking of the final sharpening by pressure. They must have brought pre-formed points with them to finish up without looking at the work and making no noise. Kinda sinister when you think about it.

Wendover point, Brown's Bench 'obsidian'.
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Last edited by JBelk; 03-02-2017 at 11:14 AM.
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  #14  
Old 03-02-2017, 11:43 AM
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You are so right about needing teachers. I have tried flint napping a few times and I give up so easily. I never could rely on my food with my knapping skill.

"den of knappers?"

Makes me wonder if way way back those knappers were rocks stars of their time. Think of how much depended on their knapping.

My son has tried doing alot of learning off of you tube about knapping but just never can get the hang of it. Also because he doesn't have an unlimited supply of media to knapp. You see these guys knapping with a volley ball sized rock. They can afford to mess up. With my son and I the best we can do is get golfball, maybe tennis ball sized rocks to work with. What do you think would be the most cost effective way to get a slew of rock to practice on?
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  #15  
Old 03-02-2017, 11:58 AM
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When I tried knapping black obsidian and chert into arrow heads all I ended up with was cut fingers and a very frustrated afternoon. I had watched a very skilled gentleman who was more then willing to give tips and pointers. And he had a lot of patience that afternoon while I broke piece after piece. But I finally ended up with six very perfect arrow heads. And his price I thought was more then reasonable.
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  #16  
Old 03-02-2017, 11:59 AM
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Knapping and billiards are skills of angles. All knappable rock breaks at 30 degrees to strike. The scrubber stone is much more important than you realize at first. A good knapper does three times more scrubbing a platform than actually making a strike. I saw a guy demonstrating knapping 7-Up bottles for kids one time. He made little green 'bird points' just about perfectly.

I've always felt mixed emotions when finding a really good point: The last guy to see that point maybe thousands of years ago was REALLY MAD about losing it. I'm happy I found it. Sorry!

PM me an address and I'll send a flat rate PO box full. I think that's 40 lbs and I might have that much. I also have some 'Waco chert' from Cameron, TX that the Indians did better with than me!
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  #17  
Old 04-19-2017, 05:18 AM
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i think your chances are greater dying in a car accident than flint napping or making gun flints, what say you? i am talking now not one or 2 hundred years ago.
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