The first arrowheads were created from organic materials, frequently by knapping rocks like obsidian, chert and flint. Primitive hunters used the resulting razor-sharp stone flakes to fight off human foes and hunt game by attaching them to arrow shafts and shooting them from bows. Bushcrafters still make stone arrowheads today, and they can save lives in wilderness survival scenarios.
Glass functions very similarly to obsidian, the material used to make arrowheads for thousands of years, is volcanic glass. It shouldn’t be surprising that you can build your arrowheads from manufactured glass. Native Americans used such glass to make knives, spears, and arrowheads. Such glass is more accessible and easier to deal with than obsidian or other rocks, especially in urban areas. It is also easier to find. Use the instructions in this article to make an arrowhead from a big rock or a glass bottle.
Take off the glass bottle’s bottom
Put something heavy inside the bottle, such as a drill bit. The bottom should come out if you give it a thorough shake. The bottom of a glass bottle provides the ideal thickness for carving arrowheads.
Find the appropriate rock
It should be consistent in texture, brittle, fine-grained, and free of cracks. Good alternatives include jasper, quartzite, obsidian and any variety of chert or flint. It will be the core; the bigger it is, the more opportunities you’ll have to break off a decent piece. To grip steadily, it should be tiny enough to fit between one hand and your leg.
Pick a solid stone
You can choose a softer rock if you’re working with obsidian, glass or another particularly rigid material. The stone should be roughly rounded, manageable, and tougher than the chosen substance. It is referred to as a hammerstone. A billet, a specific tool, can also be used. Traditionally, billets were manufactured from moose antler, bone, or extremely strong wood.
Soft hammerstones and billets are used for softer cores and more precise chipping because they let you target the force more precisely. You just need one tool, but you can test out a few to see which one works best with the size and type of rock you’ve selected.
Create a striking surface
This striking surface is referred to as a “platform,” and it is to be set up at an acute angle adjacent to a rock edge. If your rock doesn’t have an appropriate platform, use a big, hard hammerstone to split one of the rounded sides apart. Although it will be simpler to hit a platform if it is flatter, the angle of the edge is more crucial. As you hammer it, a rough platform will become better.
Break flakes off your platform
Before you can consistently form suitable flakes, practice might be necessary. With your left hand, keep your core firmly against your leg as you sit with your legs apart. Keep the platform in the position where it crosses your legs. Using a controlled glancing blow that originates from above and travels through the center, strike the platform’s edge.
A good flake should be lengthy and relatively thin but not breakable thin. If you’re producing small bits, strike the platform with a lot of force because large is good.
Get rid of weak bits
Remove little pieces off the edge of the striking surface and set away the flake that was just produced. Thus, the platform is strengthened and the possibility of undesired breaking decreases. The nail file, any soft rock or hammerstone are all acceptable tools for hitting. It shouldn’t require a lot of force. This process is known as “abrading” the rock.
Step 1: Choose a flake
Choose which flake to form into an arrowhead once you’ve taken out at least a couple of them. For this purpose, a flake that is long, reasonably thin, and convex on both sides works well.
Step 2: Make a tool for shaping arrowheads
A sturdy, flexible tool with a copper or antler tip is referred to as a force flaker. Native Americans carved their arrowheads from bones or antlers, but you can make a fantastic glass or rock carving tool by driving a nail into a wooden plank.
Step 3: Take off sharp edges
Put more effort into breaking your flake piece. This is the similar procedure you would have used on the core to strengthen it in between hits if you had made the flake yourself. Use a soft stone or a nail file for carving. Once you have the flake, you should take off the sharp edges that surround it so you can start shaping the arrowhead.
Cut off any bulges or sections that are too thin to be used. The edge of the flake should always be set below the centerline. The flake will break if you hit it over the centerline.
Step 4: Shape the flake’s edge
The task is to reduce the flake to two convex sides and one edge between them by working on both sides of the flake. This process is known as bifacial edge creation. To remove a smaller flake, apply pressure below the midline. The result will be a “flake scar.”
To produce a comparable flake on the other side, flip the object over and use the flake scar as a guide. Turn a little, then do it again. One edge will eventually surround the flake from side to side, creating flake scars.
Step 5: Get the desired shape
You’ll need to remove more material from some areas of the object in order to achieve the rounded triangle shape of an arrowhead. The side you are working on should always be face down. It will break if you push through the top of the object.
Place your tool against the slope of a flake scar and make a strong push into the object’s center (not down as before). Keep applying pressure inward to remove a lengthy flake that extends as far toward the core of the object as you can handle.
Continue this process along the edge on both sides, until the flakes you are removing reach the object’s center on both sides and the arrowhead shape is attained. The object may need to be fully rotated numerous times. As you get closer to your objective, think about using smaller tools to make smaller improvements.
Step 6: Create notches on the arrowhead
Start removing little pieces of the back end on either side with your razor-sharp nail tool. A base section oriented toward the center of the arrowhead should be flaked off using the same method you used to start your bifacial edge.
Work your way into the arrowhead gradually until you reach a groove that is long and wide enough to be tied onto an arrow shaft. Flip the item over repeatedly to evenly work either side of the groove. Use a nail file to smooth the inside edge of the groove. When you have a notch on one side, make an effort to duplicate it on the other.
Get ready to work
You may complete your arrowhead once you’ve cut out two amazing notches in the grooves. Remember that if you remove too much flake at once, it could break. Hold the flakes firmly against your knee. You’ll need to keep it stable because these steps will involve applying quite a bit of force to make the best hunting arrows.
This procedure should take place outside to prevent rock dust from entering a closed room. To avoid cuts, wear gloves and safety glasses.