found some obsidian....

Discussion in 'Other Skills' started by cbrianroll, Jul 14, 2017.

  1. cbrianroll

    cbrianroll Tracker

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    While tearing apart a rock wall at my house I found two head sized chunks of obsidian.....unless there is a lookalike. Anyone work with it before? Is it worth my effort? Thanks
     
  2. Jonah L. Archer

    Jonah L. Archer Guide Bushclass II

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    Depends on the quality and what you want to do with it. Some pictures would help. Nice find!
     
  3. CivilizationDropout

    CivilizationDropout --MOA #17 - MYOG #71-- Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I second pictures, best way for us to let you know what you're sitting on!
     
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  4. Hoof

    Hoof Guide

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    A well placed strike with a hammer stone will answer your question. I'd love to find Obsidian like that
     
  5. Winterhorse

    Winterhorse Supporter Supporter

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    Remember safety glasses.
     
  6. Unistat76

    Unistat76 Nerd Supporter Bushclass I

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    You mentioned lookalikes. In my town there was an iron & steel mill back in the mid-late 1880's (the first in America to use the Bessemer process.) The mill produced a lot of blue & black slag that was used to make alleys in town. The slag looked just like obsidian. When I was a kid I used to knap arrow heads out of it. Just an fyi.
     
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  7. Red Wing

    Red Wing Supporter Supporter

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    Exactly, Ive got some from around an old furnace. Black and blue. Some amazing coloration actually, but definitely looks just like obsidion except for the blue
     
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  8. cbrianroll

    cbrianroll Tracker

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    Here's one chunk....obviously the other is the same lol. I played with a fragment for a minute, sharp but it was thin edged. I always wear safety glasses, I have prescription glasses to protect as well as my eyes:)
    [​IMG]
     

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    Last edited: Jul 15, 2017 at 11:00 AM
  9. DavidJAFO

    DavidJAFO Supporter Supporter

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    hello,
    whoo hoo.. that looks very much like black obsidian to me, nice awesome find BTW. :)
    Regards
    David
     
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  10. Lode

    Lode Woods wandering Supporter

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    Never seen a piece of slag that big! Grats on your find. I'm excited for you. Aside from eye protection, keep in mind that stuff is about as sharp as sharp gets, being used for scalpels for surgery.
     
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  11. Unistat76

    Unistat76 Nerd Supporter Bushclass I

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    I would say obsidian not slag.

    Slag often has bubbles and inclusions and I can't see how a piece would be that big with neither.

    Nice score!
     
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  12. Red Wing

    Red Wing Supporter Supporter

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    And this is slag, yes?

    20170715_151314.jpg
     
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  13. cbrianroll

    cbrianroll Tracker

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    Here's a better pic next to my size 10 ft. Definitely know it's sharp! We used to play with it in science class....bled just a bit ha
     

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  14. Lode

    Lode Woods wandering Supporter

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    I'd venture to guess that's slag but pics can be tough. It even looks like there's a tiny smidge of iron on the outside edges, but that could also be clay/mud. I've been grabbing pieces off the ground and from the creek bottoms, banks and race beds around here all my life here in Boiling Springs, Pine Grove, and Caledonia. My favorite are the turquoise blue but have found all shades and hues of black, purples, greens, and slate gray.

    Post number 2 on this thread will tell you all you want to know and more about the different types of slag and why it looks like it does, cold blast vs hot blast methods, impurities, etc.
     
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  15. SmilinJoe

    SmilinJoe Supporter Supporter

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    I don't know the difference between obsidian, volcanic glass or slag. I have a small chunk I thought was obsidian and it looks like what @cbrianroll has, right?
    image.jpg
     
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  16. doanehead

    doanehead Tracker

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    not trying to confuse matters and I'm no expert on the matter but that looks more like dacite. the biggest reason I say that is because it doesn't seem quite as glossy as obsidian. could be the lighting in the pic.
     
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  17. Lode

    Lode Woods wandering Supporter

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    I'm also no expert but it's gneiss to talk some schist about geology.

    I believe you were right to start, that's obsidian at my guess from the pic. Do you recall where you got it? Dacite, when it appears most like obsidian from the proper composition and rapid cooling, is filled out with more of an opaque flat black than a high shiny gloss like the specimen you have.
     
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  18. Wasp

    Wasp ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ Supporter

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    That's pretty cool OP, we have a lot of quartz here but not obsidian. I like it.
     
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  19. cbrianroll

    cbrianroll Tracker

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    I've got 2 more about the same size I found in our flower bed wall....funny I've never noticed it.
     
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  20. cbrianroll

    cbrianroll Tracker

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    Guess i should read up on how to make a knife or axe lol
     
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  21. DavidJAFO

    DavidJAFO Supporter Supporter

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    "Remember, no matter where you go, there you are."
    hello,
    @cbrianroll Bro there are some "stone kickers" who would give their eyeteeth for a nodule of that black obsidian, it's very much sought after. :)
    Regards
    David
     
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  22. SmilinJoe

    SmilinJoe Supporter Supporter

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    Wow, very lucky. I wonder if you have to heat treat them first. I've been interested in knapping just never dove in.
     
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  23. Lode

    Lode Woods wandering Supporter

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    LOL, I can't tell if you're messing with me! The Earth took care of the heat treat when it formed that stuff. Unfortunately when it came to making it super super sharp it also comes with a dose of very brittle.


    It is! Very true. Google Images, Mahogany Obsidian... super cool stuff. No matter how deep or where I dig here in PA I can't find flint, chert, obsidian or gold.... sonofa.
     
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  24. SmilinJoe

    SmilinJoe Supporter Supporter

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    @Lode, Not messin at all. That just shows my inexperience. I read that heat treating flint would yield better spalls. Not so with obsidian I gather, What you're saying makes sense though.
     
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  25. DavidJAFO

    DavidJAFO Supporter Supporter

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    "Remember, no matter where you go, there you are."
    hello,
    @Lode same here. :( I haven't went on a obsidian dig for a while, more's the pity. These days I mainly go on a "stone kick" along the old mine workings, disused rail lines which crisscross (scar) the landscape looking for obsidian. Volcanic residue was recycled & used to create the base for the rail lines & produced some fine specimens of green & blue obsidian, if your lucky, the odd black obsidian find.
    Down in Wanlockhead Scots pron. 'Wan-Lock-Heed' which is a wee village around a mile south of Leadhills where you can still pan for gold (Bushcraft country). It's part of the Southern Uplands Way of Dumfries & Galloway district. :)
    Regards
    David
     
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  26. Lode

    Lode Woods wandering Supporter

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    Without diving too deep, obsidian lacks the microcrystalline quartz that make up flint, chert, jasper, and agates that benefit from heat treatment to aid/simplify in the fracturing when knapped. Keep in mind that obsidian is an igneous rock formed quickly from volcano type activity, super hot to super cooled, the others listed are sedimentary formed slowly from massive pressures from the Earth.

    If you're interested in a worm hole... this guy is about as smart as it gets when it comes to heat treating knapp able stone.
    http://www.pugetsoundknappers.com/how_to/Heat Treating Guide with Table.html

    @DavidJAFO I've never heard of blue or green obsidian. Cool stuff!

    I'm going to try to grab some pics of the iron furnace slag in my collection today to share here. Hopefully I haven't hijacked the thread too much.
     
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  27. cbrianroll

    cbrianroll Tracker

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    This is so awesome guys, thanks much!! I was hoping I'd need to heat treat it so I could use it as an excuse to build a forge finally lol guess I could show my wife just the one post that mentions it hahaha
    I like worm holes...and I'm kinda close to Puget sound!
     
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  28. DavidJAFO

    DavidJAFO Supporter Supporter

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    "Remember, no matter where you go, there you are."
    hello,
    @Lode obsidian as you say is an igneous rock formed quickly from volcano type activity, super hot to super cooled, the samples I've found are from around or near to Arthurs Seat volcano Edinburgh https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur's_Seat when we were lads we used to go dig out the old abandoned railway embankments for the nodules of green & blue obsidian mostly. If memory serves me it was Andy Dunlop the old Scout leader who used to organise us non-Scouts & Scouts alike & take us all on long hikes & told us about the geolocation, volcanic activity & the obsidian.
    Regards
    David
     
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  29. SmilinJoe

    SmilinJoe Supporter Supporter

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    Cool! I was afraid I was hijacking too but there is a LODE of good info here....see what I......his name is......and I said.....you don't have to tip me :4: thanks to cbrianroll for starting this and everybody sharing their knowledge. :dblthumb:
     
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  30. YetiJack

    YetiJack Tracker

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    I learned how to Knapp arrow heads on obsidian. No need to temper it. It is brittle and sharp like glass. Definitely wear eye protection a piece of that glass in your eye would not be good. Nice find!
     
  31. haunted

    haunted Guide

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    great for killing white walkers
     

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