Our traditional Abo flakers feature a removable bone tip insert that allows
the user to replace, modify, or reposition the tip as needed. Featuring a
large approx 6 inch long fire hardened hardwood handle, the bone tip is
held firmly in place by a leather cord lashing.
The flaker comes with one, 3.5 to 4 inch bone tip installed, and one
replacement tip for when that one becomes worn down. Replacement bone tip
inserts are readily available.
Bone tipped flakers require a slightly different flaking technique compared
to modern copper tools. Being that bone seats very well on sharp fragile
platforms, little to no grinding of the platform may be needed. This of course
varies with the material being knapped.
Bone is very dense, but when sharpened to a fine thin point it can become
brittle and break or crack off. If this is happening with any significance then
the platform being flaked is too dull or ground down, or the bone tip is too
thin and sharp. A slightly dull but still tapered tip proves to be the
best working model for these type of tools. The tips can be modified by
grinding with a chunk of sandstone, a fine wood rasp or file, or sandpaper.
Traditional tools are also known
by flint knappers as 'abo' tools (derived from the
word aboriginal). These terms refer to tools that are made of natural
materials and are similar in function to the implements used
by our stone tool making predecessors throughout the course of human
technological development. Examples of other abo tools include
hammerstones of various densities and shapes, antler tine flakers, rib bone
flakers, lashed flakers, wood billets, sandstone edge modifiers, and
billets created from the base or 'crown' section of antler.
Flint knapping with traditional tools is immensely rewarding,
though challenging to use and not the easiest to learn with. There remains
something to be said for recreating the process that is largely accepted as one
of the most important technological advances in human history with nothing more
than items found on the forest floor.
Graded for beginners and our own kit material, these small
spalls and flakes range from 2-4 inches in length. Mix may include:
heated keokuk chert, Georgetown flint, heat
treated novaculite, obsidian, and/or dacite. Sold by the pound
(3-5 pieces per lb).