Our large antler billets are 9 to 12 ounces and are perfect for medium to large thinning flake removal and other general reduction 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 billet.
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.