Our small antler billets are 3 to 5 ounces in
weight and are perfect for detail work and small flake removal
on blades and points.
These finished and
ready-to-use traditional knapping billets are made from base sections
of mule deer antler sheds. The base is the densest portion
of antler since it is more bone-like than the marrow
filled upper portions of antler.
Antler sheds will have some natural
weathering but this should not affect the performance of the billet in any way.
Shape and color will vary with each billet.
Antler is softer than modern knapping billet materials like
copper, aluminum, and steel. This allows antler billets to 'seat' on a stone
edge platform and disperse the percussive impact without crushing the
edge, thus giving antler it's forgiving nature. Though not as easy to
learn with as copper billets, antler billets coupled with well placed
strong percussion strikes can remove some nice uniform flakes and is
actually very efficient when mastered.
After extended use the antler billet will develop a
flat spot on the dome. The dome can be resurfaced many times by hand with a
piece of sandstone, a rasp, or sander to extend the life of the
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.