Hoko & Rhyolite...Some Testing

Discussion in 'Primitive Tools' started by himesrun, Jan 7, 2017.

  1. himesrun

    himesrun Tracker

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    I had a chance to test out the hoko as well as the Rhyolite in general today. Here's what I found. First, let me say I've had very little knapping experience. That being said, one thing for sure is this stuff is hard! I was able to get some usable pieces though. One piece in particular came off in the general shape of an axe which I'm going to work on in the future. I first used the hoko to cut some thick leather. I was surprised how well it cut it. It was actually easier to cut with the hoko than with the scissors. Very sharp stuff. Like most materials like this you need to get to the rock that hasn't been weathered and freeze fractured. You can see the difference with the good stuff being much darker and harder. Next, I tried it with a steel striker and it did shew pretty good sparks. I linked a couple of vids to show you. It worked great with a ferro rod as well, as good or better than my Mora.
    Now, for those of you wondering where to find this stuff. I'm not sure about other parts of the country so I'm going to talk about my neck of the woods here in south central PA. Rhyolite (AKA. Metarhyolite) can be found in PA,MD and VA. It starts in the mountains of Adams county PA in the South Mountain area and travels south through the Catoctin mountains, through Frederick and into northern VA, eventually running out around Charlottesville. I'm sure there are many members that are in the vicinity of this large tract.
    So, is it better than steel? No, but mostly from the standpoint of durability. I would say it can cut any material just as well as steel can when it's sharp. It's no wonder the Neolithic people of this area quarried it for over 11,000 years!
    IMG_1618.JPG IMG_1619.JPG IMG_1623.JPG

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  2. Bitterroot Native

    Bitterroot Native Guide

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    That's awesome himesrun! Cool that it will create sparks with a fero rod too.
     
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  3. himesrun

    himesrun Tracker

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    Not just good sparks......great sparks! It just shredded it.
     
  4. Serush

    Serush Tinder Gatherer

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    Awesome post. I play in that area sometimes and have been looking for flint. Now I know I don't need it and there is some local rhyolite that will do the job. Thank for the post and a very cool hoko.
     
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  5. CivilizationDropout

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

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  6. Medicine maker

    Medicine maker Scout

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    wahoo, didn't know PA had rhyolite, maybe Ill find some now. Whenever I see tests like this all Im reminded of is a story about some lost 18th century hunters who apparently hiked like 30 miles just to find an old gun barrel and somehow beat it into a axe like thing. They likely didn't even know how to work stone anymore just like people today. Your last sentence is especially true.
     
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  7. hillst1

    hillst1 Supporter Supporter

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    There are large deposits of rhyolite in the piedmont of North Carolina too. The natives mined it for tools since chert or flint is not very common. Good post.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
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  8. DavidJAFO

    DavidJAFO Supporter Supporter

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