Indirect notching?

Manufacture of stone tools, knives and arrowheads by lithic reduction

Indirect notching?

Stacyharmon
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Stacyharmon
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Joined: December 24th, 2017, 11:43 am

May 27th, 2018, 1:40 pm #1

I have been attempting to use a flatened steel nail with a small notch filed in to set on the platform. My only issue is I keep blowing off a ear. I use a hand held copper tool hammered out to a flat screwdriver shape to start the notches about 3/16 deep then switch to the punch. I thought maybe I was setting it to high on the platform. I was also wondering if I could angle the top of the punch slightly outward towards the ear to guide the flake towards the stem slightly. Kind of how you can direct the energy of your billet when percussion flaking.
If anyone can direct me to a good tutorial or share any insight on how they do it would be greatly appreciated.

Stacy
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nogie1717
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May 27th, 2018, 1:48 pm #2

I am no expert on punch notching, but can tell you about failures!

Most commonly, I blow off the ears due to support. As long as I keep the ear totally off of the leather, I’m okay. The second reason is that my punch is too wide for the notch. And it doesn’t take much. The force with which the punch transfers means that a tiny piece of the ear catching that force will tip off the ear. Gently abrading the inside of the notches with a flake will help in some instances prevent the punch from ripping off flakes, but obviously a guy should keep the notch wider than the punch and avoid angles that cause the punch to touch an ear.


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Stacyharmon
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May 27th, 2018, 2:14 pm #3

nogie1717 wrote: I am no expert on punch notching, but can tell you about failures!

Most commonly, I blow off the ears due to support. As long as I keep the ear totally off of the leather, I’m okay. The second reason is that my punch is too wide for the notch. And it doesn’t take much. The force with which the punch transfers means that a tiny piece of the ear catching that force will tip off the ear. Gently abrading the inside of the notches with a flake will help in some instances prevent the punch from ripping off flakes, but obviously a guy should keep the notch wider than the punch and avoid angles that cause the punch to touch an ear.


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Thanks for taking the time to reply. I'm not a 100% sure that I'm not touching the ear with the punch causing some of my failures,I pinch the punch between my thumb and finger and set them on the point to control how much of the punch follows thru.I do clean up the notch after each removal to clearance it and a abraid it. I have been using my notched hard rubber pad to make sure the notch, ear and stem are in no contact. Most of the failures look like the cone wraps around to the ear,and then there is a 20 second string of superlatives not fit for a sailor.  I was thinking that I was taking to big a bite with the punch,but if I try to take smaller bites I end up stalling. I suppose I'll have to just keep trying and pay attention to the failures and maybe I'll see what I'm doing wrong.  I'm also going to play with angling the top of the punch slightly outward towards the ear, so the energy is directed towards the stem slightly. Do you use a steel punch? I wonder if the material the punch is made of play a factor. I was thinking of making a copper and maybe a antler from a moose palm.



            Stacy
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nogie1717
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May 27th, 2018, 2:16 pm #4

I am 100% antler and hammerstone. I am guessing there are differences in antler versus metal, but platform strength may be the most important factor for me. It has to be just strong enough to take the flake, but not so much that the flake ends up running and wrapping.


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Stacyharmon
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May 27th, 2018, 2:26 pm #5

I'd bet that my platform strength is the biggest factor. Then maybe a softer punch. Although I think a lot of people get by with the steel. I just hope that it doesn't take me a year to get this figured out. I may just have to make stemmers and shallow corner and side notches lol. I'm still working on a side trade, just got healed enough to Knapp, no ishi stick yet.
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freeze cracked
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May 27th, 2018, 2:45 pm #6

i've put up several videos on notching and discuss punching as well as pressure in them. others have videos up too. i have seen numerous methods and tools for punch notching, and the subject is actually very complex and the small details and variables are all important. 

punching with steel is asking for problems, and you have to be super-good with controlling all other variables optimally if you want even medium success punching with steel. nobody would be using copper if steel was an acceptable material for percussion or indirect percussion.

a KEY factor when notching is to practice on FLAKES until you both get high level of success, and strong awareness of how thick an area can be before your success drops off dramatically. once you know that thickness, don't try to notch preforms thicker than you're capable of dealing with successfully.

but all the details of punch notching are  covered in videos online.
i dream of a better world in which chickens can cross roads without having their motives questioned.
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Stacyharmon
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May 27th, 2018, 4:31 pm #7

Thanks Freeze  for the reply.
I will have to go back thru your videos and find where you discuss the punch aspect of notching. I'm pretty sure I have watched them all but wasn't interested in punch notching then so I may have overlooked it at the time. I do thank you for posting them as that is were I first saw anyone use indirect,which has made a huge impact on my thinning.

DC Waldorf shows a steel punch in his video ,secrets to notching Thebes and there variations. He says that he started with steel cause that was what was available to him early on. I think he also said that he has a failure of around 20% with steel, he has a cone split in the notch of a thebes using steel. So if someone as experienced as DC has a issue with steel occasionally, should have been a clue to a novice it was going to be more of a challenge.
I will make me a punch of copper and I will try antler as well. Most certainly will heed the advice to practice on flakes.

On a side note did you make flintridge this spring, I really wanted to but work and a sick pet prevented me from going. Love to see a walk around if you did.
       Stacy
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freeze cracked
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May 27th, 2018, 5:57 pm #8

there are variables in each punch, regardless of material. the longer and narrower the punch is, the more "springy" it can be, which stores energy for a split second and releases it into the work over a split second longer than it otherwise would. the degree to which the end of a punch is chewed up also affects the speed of the energy transfer. etc. what you hit a punch with dramatically affects the result. the mass, hardness, and speed of the percussor are all big deals.

if you use the search engine on youtube to search for things like "punch notching an arrowhead", "notching an arrowhead", etc., you'll find some videos by others as well as mine. several others have good success with different techniques. 

you can horizontal punch notch also, although i've only remember seeing one person other than myself use that. a cool aspect of it is that you can use a bowed punch that allows the "bit" of it to come up from underneath and rest on the platform, so there's no way for it to touch the ears and be an issue when it's struck. 

no, i didn't go to the spring flint ridge. i may go to the fall one. i tend to wait until near the time for distant knapins and then attempt to talk myself into the driving. 
i dream of a better world in which chickens can cross roads without having their motives questioned.
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