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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If you want to learn flintknapping but don't have the right type of stone, don't despair. Billy Berger teaches you how to make deadly and beautiful arrowheads from the flat bottoms of glass beer bottles. Glass is plentiful, free, and it flakes much easier than flint. Learning the basics on glass makes it easier to transfer those skills to flint.

http://youtu.be/SfMN3BVISmQ
 

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Thanks for the video OP.
Common glass is a great source for knapping material. I buy tinted window glass for practice and teaching others. I have used broken jars, TV tubes, whiskey bottles etc.
My favorite material is obsidian though.

These are fiber Blue optic glass, whiskey bottle and window glass.


Al

p.s. As for modern bottles, the Arizona Ice Tea bottles are the best ones that I have found. The bottoms are more convex, on both the top and the bottom, than beer bottle bottoms. The video discuss' this at about 2:10.
 

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Some beautiful work , I can appreciate that.
I have a collection of indian arrow heads from Wisconsin my dad collected .
Very articulate work .
 

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These are my first and only attempts. Not so impressive as Al's good work. What is not seen in this image is concave curve from the original shape of the glass. I was able to deal with it to some extent, but the pieces are not entirely identical and symmetrical from one side to the other. I used only a wood handle from a cut branch with a nail inserted in the end as a knapper. These took about two hours and I stopped just short of a fully formed tip on account that a raw arrowhead is better than a broken one....at least from a beginners POV. Doing this project was a requirement for the Pathfinders E-Course. It was a rewarding project.
 

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These are my first and only attempts. Not so impressive as Al's good work. What is not seen in this image is concave curve from the original shape of the glass. I was able to deal with it to some extent, but the pieces are not entirely identical and symmetrical from one side to the other. I used only a wood handle from a cut branch with a nail inserted in the end as a knapper. These took about two hours and I stopped just short of a fully formed tip on account that a raw arrowhead is better than a broken one....at least from a beginners POV. Doing this project was a requirement for the Pathfinders E-Course. It was a rewarding project.
If they are sharp and they are thin and basically asymmetrical, they will work as a point. What you have could be used in a survival situation. And, isn't that what this is all about?:thumb:

Al
 

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Here are some thoughts regarding glass arrowheads. One, given the fragility of this resource there is no room for practice with these tips. And to add to that, how would even the most skilled acquire a uniform tip weight from piece to piece....in a survival situation. And then there is the most serious drawback being that of broken glass inside the animal intended for food. I suppose the simple solution would be to avoid eating meat from the wound area of the animal in which case the wastefulness is predetermined by the predicament a person finds themselves in.
 

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I bet its a fun skill to try and hone but iron/bronze/steel will not just vanish if things break down. Man will not go back to living like a cave man with all the common knowledge everyone knows today.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
VERY NICE. Thanx for sharing. I need to get the necessary stones/antlers to start practicing.


Thanks for the video OP.
Common glass is a great source for knapping material. I buy tinted window glass for practice and teaching others. I have used broken jars, TV tubes, whiskey bottles etc.
My favorite material is obsidian though.

These are fiber Blue optic glass, whiskey bottle and window glass.


Al

p.s. As for modern bottles, the Arizona Ice Tea bottles are the best ones that I have found. The bottoms are more convex, on both the top and the bottom, than beer bottle bottoms. The video discuss' this at about 2:10.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You're kidding right? Not the Olympics, just kill and eat. No disrespect, but COME ON MAN!


Here are some thoughts regarding glass arrowheads. One, given the fragility of this resource there is no room for practice with these tips. And to add to that, how would even the most skilled acquire a uniform tip weight from piece to piece....in a survival situation. And then there is the most serious drawback being that of broken glass inside the animal intended for food. I suppose the simple solution would be to avoid eating meat from the wound area of the animal in which case the wastefulness is predetermined by the predicament a person finds themselves in.
 

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You're kidding right? Not the Olympics, just kill and eat. No disrespect, but COME ON MAN!
How many animals have you taken with a glass arrowhead? On one hand it would make sense that the issue of broken glass becomes more concerning the smaller the animal,based on the size ratio of the arrow tip and the animal. The wound is much larger on a rabbit by comparison to a larger animal taken by the same size arrowhead. Also if you have made a glass arrowhead then you know there are microscopic pieces of glass everywhere, on the floor,in your clothes, in the seams of your leather gloves, your shoe laces and the meat you harvest. It stands to reason that the ballistics of a glass arrowhead will crumble on impact with bone and redirect arrow and in turn create a pathway through the animal of unsafe meat. But this is simply theory, I'll give your argument that, but respectfully so I am not going to eat deer meat with broken pieces of steel broadhead.
 

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How many animals have you taken with a glass arrowhead? On one hand it would make sense that the issue of broken glass becomes more concerning the smaller the animal,based on the size ratio of the arrow tip and the animal. The wound is much larger on a rabbit by comparison to a larger animal taken by the same size arrowhead. Also if you have made a glass arrowhead then you know there are microscopic pieces of glass everywhere, on the floor,in your clothes, in the seams of your leather gloves, your shoe laces and the meat you harvest. It stands to reason that the ballistics of a glass arrowhead will crumble on impact with bone and redirect arrow and in turn create a pathway through the animal of unsafe meat. But this is simply theory, I'll give your argument that, but respectfully so I am not going to eat deer meat with broken pieces of steel broadhead.
Making glass points is absolutely no different than early man using obsidian for the same purpose. If there is such an issue as you are worried about it would seem that it would have presented itself many years ago. I understand what you are thinking but, I think that you may be over thinking it. If I had to choose between a fragment of glass and a life saving meal, I would take the shot.

Al
 

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All I am saying is that a glass arrowhead is going to shatter on impact and the path it takes through the animal creates an area unsafe for consumption. I did not say forgo the deer entirely because the front shoulder has broken glass in that particular area.
Al, answer me this, and I ask this respectfully, but how many practice shots can a person expect to get out of one glass arrowhead?
 

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I would say that once you have gained the skill needed you could make pretty consistent arrowheads and once you did that you could practice all that you want. Depending on the backstop they don't always break.

I will use early man as an example yet again in that he was able to become extremely proficient so, he must have found a way to practice. You could use less than premium points for practice as long as they possessed reasonable aerodynamics and weighed consistently. A simple scale to compare weights is more than doable in the woods.
Lots of people don't practice with broad heads today. They use practice arrows.

Another thing is that arrow heads do not need to be huge. In fact most of the points, made by early man, that people find are in fact Atlatl points and not arrow heads. They are way to big to be used on an arrow. Point being (no pun intended) if you use smallish points you could probably get away making practice arrows using no point or a simple weighted point.

Al
 
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