So I've been toying with the notion of buying a moose billet. First, however anyone wants to chip is their prerogative, but I wanted to stick with antler and bone from local deer or ones that I harvested. Anyway, I was out at my boss's place for a graduation reception and he collects sheds each winter from his various properties. Long story short, he had 3 totes filled and told me to grab what I needed. I restrained myself and grabbed two fresh antlers that I thought were good.
I get home, fire up my saw and made a couple billets. The one I've been using since a couple months after I started chipping has been good to me, but I was hoping these larger ones might help. On the left is my original one and the two on the right are the ones I grabbed. So, I put them on the scale and here are the results:
Original billet on the left - 6.1 oz
Medium billet in the middle - 7.8 oz
Big guy on the right - 12.3 oz!!
So after I learned indirect, I couldn't believe how quickly I learned to be able to take flakes that I couldn't take with direct hammerstone or billet. The same kind of leap forward occurred with the big billet. Holy cow! I know I've been handicapping myself by not having a large billet, but am glad I waited. I'm grabbing all the big spalls I have so I can rip off big flakes. While hammerstones are still a big part of how I knap, it is nice to have the ability to not turn the edge down so much for the necessary hammerstone platform.
Anyway, just thought I'd share my experience. Below is the smaller, original billet next to the big one. I will also note that I tried a domed tip on my billet, but found a flat tip to be better suited for me.
For those interested in size, my boss said if the deer had matching antlers, it would have been a 160 class. Not sure what that means other than it was a big deer.
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Manufacture of stone tools, knives and arrowheads by lithic reduction