Ongoing Member Challenge: Stone Bladed Knife and Fish Skin Sheeth

Discussion in 'Primitive Tools' started by kevseadog, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. kevseadog

    kevseadog Scout

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    Hello all,
    A few months back Civilization Dropout challenged me to produce a stone bladed knife with a fish skin wrapped handle and fish skin sheath with all traditional technologies. He stated that he would match my efforts in his neck of the woods. I uped the ante by stating that we needed to catch the fish with a bone fishhook.

    The following photos show my progress to date (been a little distracted with the new Youtube channel we started Catch n Cook California).

    I started by knocking a decent flake of obsidian from a nodule I gathered in the mountains at a modern quarry with proper permits (as an archaeologist I must emphasize the importance of not gathering tool stone from known archaeological sites). flake.jpg
     
  2. kevseadog

    kevseadog Scout

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    early biface.jpg Next I cranked out a little biface using a sandstone hammerstone.
     
  3. kevseadog

    kevseadog Scout

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    Finished off the biface as a decent knife blade regardless of the little cortical inclusion mid-blade. knife blade.jpg
     
  4. kevseadog

    kevseadog Scout

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    And got searching for some driftwood for the handle. I ended up selecting redwood driftwood as it is characteristic of many of the artifactual knives I have analyzed here in California. I also ended up retouching the biface into a concave base for greater hafting strength. unhafted.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
  5. kevseadog

    kevseadog Scout

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    The handle was cut and grooved using simple fine grained volcanic flakes. Next I hafted the bifaciel knife blade to the handle using 1/3 pulverized charcoal to 2/3 conifer resin from my prepared pitch sticks. hafted biface.jpg
     
  6. kevseadog

    kevseadog Scout

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    I felt that the haft could use some extra reinforcement from some natural cordage so I gathered some dogbane at the creek with my girlfriend while on a mushroom hunt and started in separating and softening the bast fibers for twining. bast.jpg
     
  7. kevseadog

    kevseadog Scout

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    Once the woody center was removed and the scaly exterior was freed, the fibers were ready for cordage. softened bast.jpg
     
  8. kevseadog

    kevseadog Scout

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    So I twined up some 30-40lbs strength cord at the creek in an hour or so. cordage.jpg
     
  9. kevseadog

    kevseadog Scout

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    And reinforced the haft. Civilization dropout, I will send you some of the mohagany obsidian and banded obsidian blanks pictured here tomorrow. All that is left to do is fashion a bone fishhook with all stone tools, some more natural cordage, catch a fish with it, skin and tan the skin, wrap the handle and make a fish skin sheath, and then use the knife in a bushcraft scenario. Looking forward to it! knife and crescent.jpg
     
  10. SmilinJoe

    SmilinJoe Supporter Supporter

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    Wow, mad skills @kevseadog. The left mahogany obsidian piece looks like an empanada. Mmmmmm empanadas.....
     
  11. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue Graybeard Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Wonderful work!

    That mahogany obsidian is just outstanding stuff! :dblthumb:
     
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  12. Guillaume Longval

    Guillaume Longval Friction Fire Addict

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    Very nice!

    Looking foward to the fishy adventures!
     
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  13. J. Pierce

    J. Pierce Perpetually Off Topic, Sorry. Supporter

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    Jeebus crips!

    I now feel super lazy and unskilled.

    That's a whole big steaming pile of awesomeness man!
     
  14. NWPrimate

    NWPrimate Supporter Supporter

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    Beautiful work and an outstanding post. Way to rise to the challenge @kevseadog ! :35:
     
  15. kevseadog

    kevseadog Scout

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    Lol, now I am hungry! Empenadas are bomb! The "empenada" stone is a replica of a lithic crescent (typical Far Western flaked-stone tool associated with the earliest Americans during the terminal Pleistocene and retained through the early Holocene in California and the Great Basin). I busted this one out for some archaeology undergrads in twenty min or so the other day as we taught them the importance of understanding fracture mechanics and lithic (stone tool) attribute analysis before they venture into the woods for their first archaeological field school this summer.

    My girl and I paddled 3 miles down a creek through (and over) three beaver ponds yesterday scouting for fish but it is still early for bass out here in CA... I think I may go with ocean fish for the handle-wrapping and sheath Civilization Dropout! ... by the way how do I tag him in a post so he knows that I am responding to his challenge? I am decent at oldschool tech, but useless at these interwebs!

    Thanks for reading ya'll!
     
  16. SmilinJoe

    SmilinJoe Supporter Supporter

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    Appreciate the information, reminds me we are infants in our time spent on this planet compared to what's historically behind us. Just put the "@" sign in front of their name @kevseadog
     
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  17. Primordial

    Primordial MOA #40 Bushcraft Friend

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    All kinds of awesome here! Great showcase of skill and knowledge!! Thanks for this!
     
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  18. rsnurkle

    rsnurkle Supporter Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Put an @ symbol in front of his name: @CivilizationDropout .

    Ahh, lucky undergrads. Beautiful work here, thank you for sharing your progress!

    Edit: woops, didn't refresh redundant answer. ..
     
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  19. central joe

    central joe Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Ya done well young fellar, nuff said. joe
     
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  20. CivilizationDropout

    CivilizationDropout -MOA #17-MYOG #71- Supporter Bushclass I

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    Outstanding start!
    I'm going to be the infomercial version of this, (you know, where they blow up the gas grill trying to start the lawnmower?)

    I'm impressed by the skill you've displayed and I am eager to emulate it with my area's natural materials!
     
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  21. Rockgod1619

    Rockgod1619 Supporter Supporter

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    Wow! You've got some awesome skill there!! Very well done!
     
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  22. Oakenhart

    Oakenhart Scout

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    Absolutely beautiful work, way beyond my skill level,still at the hoko knife stage. I think to few people realize just how sharp a stone blade can be. Thanks for sharing,looking forward to more.
     
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  23. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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  24. Draketake

    Draketake Guide

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    K,

    Beautiful work.

    Are/were fish skin sheaths used moreso than say leather/hide?

    Can you point me to a tutorial or two on how to make the fish skin sheath. I am intrigued.

    Thank you in advance.

    Bob
     
  25. bacpacjac

    bacpacjac Guide Bushclass I

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  26. Quinlan

    Quinlan Supporter Supporter

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    Greetings,

    I try to avoid reading through the ongoing member challenge thread and the completion threads like this in answer to issued challenges. The reason, very simple. Self preservation. You guys doing these challenges, another level of skill and expertise that when thought about is dangerous to my fragile bushcraft mental state.

    Well done as @NWPrimate stated in his OP for the challenge thread is something that members like you @kevseadog have left behind in dust. :35:

    Regards,

    Christos
     
  27. Medicine maker

    Medicine maker Guide

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    Crimony that amazing. Very good skill.

    Will be watching this continuously.
     
  28. Seahunter

    Seahunter Scout Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Awesome work Kev! I look forward to seeing you work on the rest of this challenge. When Kevin was 4 or 5 years old our family went to Yosemite. There was a guy in one of the park buildings doing a flint knapping demonstration. I remember thinking I would never have patience for that. Kevin watched him for what seemed like an hour. I think that may have been one of those influential moments that shaped his life. On a side note Kevin also forgot his shoes on that trip so my parents bought him the only shoes you could buy at the gift shop; moccasins.
     
  29. Bitterroot Native

    Bitterroot Native Indigenous Skills Junkie

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    NICE WORK! Really good job on that blade! Can't wait to see how this comes along. Curious about what kind of hook you're going to make, gonna go with a gorge style or a more "hook" shaped bone fishhook?
     
  30. Muleman77

    Muleman77 Hobbyist Hobbyist

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  31. Guillaume Longval

    Guillaume Longval Friction Fire Addict

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    I have a glue-newb question: does pitch glue get sticky with the heat of hand contact? What happens if left in the sun?

    Im currently reaserching 18th and earlyer recipes for boat tar and trying to cut down experimentation time...:33::D
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2018
  32. kevseadog

    kevseadog Scout

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    Yes pitch glue often gets tacky if left in the sunlight on a very hot day. This is one of the reasons our Southern California tribes that made sewn plank canoes (caulked with natural petroleum tar) often made tule sunscreens for their boats when not in use. The issue is really deciding how much temper to add and whether to use hard or soft pitch to begin with. Hard pitch will produce more brittle glue but will be less likely to melt in heat. For a boat however, soft pitch may be preferable as it is necessary to have some flex without springing a leak.
     
  33. kevseadog

    kevseadog Scout

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    Thanks for the kind words! And thanks to @CivilizationDropout for the challenge... it has been quite fun so far!
     
  34. kevseadog

    kevseadog Scout

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    I remember that! I reconnected with that guy years later. His name was Phil and he is Sierra Miwok and Mono (two of our local tribes). I remember watching him notch an obsidian point with an antler tine. Years later with that image in my head I started trying to flintknap. I never knew their were books on the subject and was already hunting with my own stone points and homemade bows when someone told me that there were instructional books out there. I guess I took the long way around and learned pretty much straight from the stone. So years later I visited the same museum in Yosemite, reconnected with Phil, gave him some obsidian and related that story. I told him, "next is friction fire." He took me out back of the museum and introduced me to an incense cedar and an elderberry and explained that his ancestors preferred spindles of elder and hearth boards of incense cedar. They used hand drills. I was working as a shepherd at the time, living in the woods all summer, sleeping in a hammock and hanging with 550 sheep and goats and my faithful dogs. I spent the next month in the woods practicing. The first hand-drill ember with materials I had gathered was a moment I will never forget!
     
  35. kevseadog

    kevseadog Scout

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    Thanks! I thought about a gorge, made one with all stone tools, then decided I would like to do a J shaped hook from a deer metapodial. This will be a replica of archaeological specimens from around the world!
     
  36. Guillaume Longval

    Guillaume Longval Friction Fire Addict

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    :D thanks!
     
  37. Seahunter

    Seahunter Scout Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    That's so cool! I didn't realize you re-connected with him.

    I always wondered how you arrived at that combination of wood for friction fire. It does work really well.
     
  38. Ascham

    Ascham Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    It should have read "Great job". Sorry for the typo.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2018
  39. badgerthehobo

    badgerthehobo Scout

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    Nice! Did you get the rock in Davis creek?
     
  40. kevseadog

    kevseadog Scout

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    Indeed. I try to make a trip up that way once a year or so. It is very responsive stone!
     
  41. ilovepierogi

    ilovepierogi Tracker

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    I got a fever, and the only prescription is more progress pictures Walken .jpg
     
  42. NWPrimate

    NWPrimate Supporter Supporter

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    :18:
     
  43. CivilizationDropout

    CivilizationDropout -MOA #17-MYOG #71- Supporter Bushclass I

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    Had an awesome mail call today;

    IMG_8020.JPG

    Now to start trying my hand at making that knife!
     
  44. kevseadog

    kevseadog Scout

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    Hope you enjoy the process as much as your challengee has! Those are from some of my favorite quarries, and I think they will work well with your hand my friend!
     
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