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deanis
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deanis
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Joined: February 13th, 2018, 1:56 pm

February 14th, 2018, 1:54 pm #1

I've been knapping for a couple months, ordered a starter kit in December. I'm looking for advice on how to thin smaller pieces without taking huge chunks of material. It seems when i'm trying to take off flakes I "gouge" the edge more than I would like. Also would love any advice on how to take larger flakes off when pressure flaking. Another issue i'm having is shaping - How do you guys get these perfect looking symmetrical corners/tips/notches?  

Here are some things i've been working on, I know they're fugly. I'm very excited about knapping and have spent what seems like all my freetime doing it. 
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Chippintuff
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Chippintuff
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Joined: January 21st, 2011, 12:25 am

February 14th, 2018, 4:42 pm #2

Don't beat yourself up. You are doing great work for the time in it. Be sure to keep some of these points. Later you will want to see them again and again.

My best piece of advice on getting flakes to travel further and take less out of the edge is to chip from platforms that are pretty close to the side the flake is coming off. Platforms are top priorities in knapping. 

The next priority with pressure flaking is to concentrate on applying the force in the direction you want the flake to go. This takes a LOT of practice, because the rock twists in the hand more and more as pressure builds. When the flake initiates, the force is no longer in the correct direction. Get somebody else to watch as you do a slow motion flake.

The next thing that is hard to learn is how to apply a lot of force with your hands. It takes time to build those muscles up and train those reflexes. Be patient. It will come.

WA
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deanis
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deanis
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Joined: February 13th, 2018, 1:56 pm

February 14th, 2018, 4:47 pm #3

My other concern is running out of material. Any suggestions on where to buy online? I'm in Minneapolis so, not a lot of natural options here. 
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mjflinty
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mjflinty
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Joined: May 5th, 2006, 2:46 am

February 14th, 2018, 5:40 pm #4

Check this out. Jim covers the process very well in this primer - From Slab to Stab.
Michael Miller
http://www.FlintKnappers.com
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Papaxfour
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Papaxfour
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Joined: June 4th, 2009, 10:43 am

February 14th, 2018, 5:55 pm #5

deanis wrote:My other concern is running out of material. Any suggestions on where to buy online? I'm in Minneapolis so, not a lot of natural options here. 
There are a lot of you tube videos out there that will give you good info to help in your learning curve. Do not watch just one, but a variety to get several opinions of what works for them. You will develop your own techniques but don’t forget to pressure flake and percussion BELOW THE CENTER LINE.
I also live in an area of no knapping material without traveling over 100 miles. Over the years I have collected quite a lot of material of all kinds. I’ve been thinking about selling off some of my rock because I will not be able to Knap all that I have acquired. I live in the panhandle of FL.


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deanis
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deanis
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Joined: February 13th, 2018, 1:56 pm

February 14th, 2018, 6:09 pm #6

Thanks for the advice all 
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Chippintuff
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Chippintuff
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Joined: January 21st, 2011, 12:25 am

February 14th, 2018, 7:53 pm #7

There are a lot of rock dealers on this site and on the internet in general. Curtis Smith on here is really good. He sells good rock at reasonable prices. He also has a pretty good variety of stone.

WA
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PaleoSoul
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PaleoSoul
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Joined: January 21st, 2018, 4:33 pm

February 17th, 2018, 10:45 pm #8

I sent you a private message

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nogie1717
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nogie1717
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Joined: April 6th, 2016, 2:43 pm

February 19th, 2018, 8:05 pm #9

When I first started, I got a box of Good, Bad and Ugly here - http://www.neolithics.com/good-bad-ugly-1/ 

I'm a big proponent of chip what you want, but when starting out (and then some), you will take a rock that will make a suitable point and obliterate it into gravel.  Cheap, plentiful material like obsidian flakes are a good way to learn platforms, reduction, following ridges, etc., without breaking the bank.  Additionally, the same principles apply from the smaller flakes to the big ones.  Curtis Smith is an excellent resource, both for rocks and knowledge.
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hixton
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hixton
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Joined: December 23rd, 2017, 2:30 pm

February 26th, 2018, 3:27 pm #10

deanis wrote:I've been knapping for a couple months, ordered a starter kit in December. I'm looking for advice on how to thin smaller pieces without taking huge chunks of material. It seems when i'm trying to take off flakes I "gouge" the edge more than I would like. Also would love any advice on how to take larger flakes off when pressure flaking. Another issue i'm having is shaping - How do you guys get these perfect looking symmetrical corners/tips/notches?  

Here are some things i've been working on, I know they're fugly. I'm very excited about knapping and have spent what seems like all my freetime doing it. 
It looks like you are getting some good advice from chippintough among others. I'll add that it helps to watch lots of YouTube. There are some masters at work and I watch their videos over n over. I have been a random flaker, but I agree that a part of the trick is to plan the flakes like setting up shots in a game of pool. Another 'discovery' of mine is that you must not hit a weak or soft edge! It will always fail. So grind and clean your egdes for better flakes. And last but not least, support the piece firmly. If the point is loose in your hand the force from a strike will not travel through the rock and will run short n thick.

Keep your platforms below the center line and keep practicing.

Have lots of fun trying. You'll get better.

Hixton

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hixton
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hixton
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Joined: December 23rd, 2017, 2:30 pm

February 26th, 2018, 4:42 pm #11

deanis wrote:I've been knapping for a couple months, ordered a starter kit in December. I'm looking for advice on how to thin smaller pieces without taking huge chunks of material. It seems when i'm trying to take off flakes I "gouge" the edge more than I would like. Also would love any advice on how to take larger flakes off when pressure flaking. Another issue i'm having is shaping - How do you guys get these perfect looking symmetrical corners/tips/notches?  

Here are some things i've been working on, I know they're fugly. I'm very excited about knapping and have spent what seems like all my freetime doing it. 
I took a closer look at your points. You plat form location is too far back of the center and your pressure angle is too steep. With cut blanks you need to state by "stitching" the edges with steep flakes and the make your angle less steep with each pass of flakes. So you shift from steep to shallow and I'd you follow your flake scars they will run longer with each new set of flakes. Grind your edge each time to make sure you have solid platforms to push on.

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Tapirchik
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Tapirchik
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Joined: March 22nd, 2013, 4:31 pm

February 27th, 2018, 8:06 pm #12

Hi deanis, you can practice on glass, that costs much less than obsidian or knappable rocks. Remember to practice outdoor or use a mask to not breathe silica powder. I didn't knew about the risks of silicosis until I read it on paleoplanet

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catfishwilly
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catfishwilly
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Joined: October 14th, 2017, 3:11 am

February 28th, 2018, 4:06 am #13

Slow and steady wins the race. Examine the countours behind your edge before each flake and beware of incurvature. 
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