Badlands/Black Hills South Dakota

nogie1717
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nogie1717
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Joined: 2:43 PM - Apr 06, 2016

3:44 PM - Oct 11, 2018 #1

I put this in the General Flintknapping forum, but wanted to share a little more over here with the humans that are chipping with wood, antler, bone and stone.  A lot of the Badlands is National Park.  You can't pick rocks there without risking your hide.  I would advise against it.  Mostly because in the adjoining Buffalo Gap National Grasslands, you can rockhound.  25 pounds a day, 250 pounds annually.  There are designated places that are massive expanses of land that you couldn't cover all of it even if you were independently wealthy and had a penchant for the primitive.  And then it rains and it's a whole new landscape.  If you ever need help finding any of those spots, let me know and I can tell you a little bit more than Google.



I put some pics up in the General side as well, but after some sage advice, will start to post my work in here as well.  This KRF Agate Basin is my best point to date.  I hear guys talk about "keeper cases" and I usually don't get why.  But this one means something to me.  The style, the stone I picked and the honest-to-goodness care and thought I put into each flake gives it an intrinsic value.  Unless someone offers my some cash, of course, then I'll just make another meaningful point I guess.

IMG_4712pp.jpg
IMG_4711pp.jpg
IMG_4709pp.jpg
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Forager
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Forager
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Joined: 11:42 PM - Oct 22, 2010

5:18 PM - Oct 11, 2018 #2

Thanks for sharing the extra details here as well as for the Bonus Point not seen in your other post.  Which tools did you use for this?

I have the same sense concerning 'keeper cases'.  A friend actually had to talk me into accepting a few vacant ones which he had no use for.  They sat in my basement until I realized they'd be useful in representing the sort of refined work possible with a traditional toolkit on my regional stone for a lecture/demo I did for my County Historical Society.  The cases were filled with argillite, quartzite, rhyolite and chert, and the smaller one held hafted stone knives - they were quite useful, a visual offset to my sleep-inducing blather and the contrast of finished work to my demo.  Now I get it, they certainly have their place.
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nogie1717
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nogie1717
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6:08 PM - Oct 11, 2018 #3

It was a flake/spall that I used indirect to remove the thickness.  Then I used pressure to refine and then ground the margins on the lower 1/2 or so and picked at it with the deer ulna until it was satisfactorily sharp.

The thing I like most about KRF is that it is strong enough to take microflakes without much or any abrasion.  It is a perfect match for the ulna bone and I would like to think that more than a few of the ancients recognized and admired this quality as well.
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VirginiaKnapper
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VirginiaKnapper
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Joined: 4:32 PM - Mar 13, 2018

6:41 PM - Oct 11, 2018 #4

Could you go into detail about the strategies involved when flaking with the Ulna Radius?
"It's about what you learn, not what you make" - Erret Callahan
"Nothing like busting out a Savannah River out of some gnarly shit." - Robert Godshall, 1st annual ThunderRidge knap in.
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nogie1717
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7:04 PM - Oct 11, 2018 #5

VirginiaKnapper wrote: Could you go into detail about the strategies involved when flaking with the Ulna Radius?
You bet.  I'll start by saying that having a properly seasoned bone is critical.  I've waited only a couple months from harvesting from a deer to using and found that there are still a lot of oils in the bone which make it susceptible to breakage.  Usually, by cleaning it well and leaving in my garage for eight months to a year has given me better results.  I think it might be a good idea to even allow it to season longer, but since it is such a common item in my tool kit, I tend to break them out sooner.  Ultimately, it's a matter of finding the right tensile strength.  Too soon and it is too springy.  An old one found in the field is too dry and doesn't have enough flex.  Think Goldilocks.  lol

Regardless of the age of the bone, it is always going to be weak in comparison to antler.  While it can rip decent flakes from a piece of obsidian, its primary use for me is to take the very last flakes, successively along one face and then the other.  I either gently/lightly abrade an edge or simply brush the tip along the edge until I feel it with hold and then press almost straight down, removing a short flake that is ultimately meant to remove thickness from the edge.  Pushing to much inward on a soft platform is a great way to get a hinge 2mm from the edge.

I keep the tip of the bone slightly domed, less so than a popsicle stick, but not completely flat.  I flake using the bone parallel to the edge of the preform, rather than perpendicular.  The reason being that, IMO, the bone splits easier when using it with the skinny way.  I don't know if that translates well, but think of a flathead screwdriver.  I'm using it with it being turned sideways so it would have a wider contact versus thin/narrow.  But I'm not using the whole width, just a portion of the domed top.  Here is an illustration of what I mean:

Ulna Illustration.jpg
Another thing I try to do is keep the end smooth.  It doesn't take much for it to get a bit ragged.  Rather than filing or grinding, I burnish it smooth on the hammerstone.  This both conserves the bone and, IMO, gives it a touch of added strength.

If I think of it, I will try to shoot a short video discussing this tool in better detail.  Hope this helps!
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VirginiaKnapper
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7:26 PM - Oct 11, 2018 #6

Thanks Nogie! I have quite a bit of Ulna, and I just haven't really used it for this technology, yet. Have you run any trials with utilizing the back, thicker end?
"It's about what you learn, not what you make" - Erret Callahan
"Nothing like busting out a Savannah River out of some gnarly shit." - Robert Godshall, 1st annual ThunderRidge knap in.
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Fortancientpoints
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Fortancientpoints
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Joined: 2:07 PM - May 29, 2008

1:56 AM - Oct 13, 2018 #7

Nice point.
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