Archive for November, 2007

Nov 22 2007

Knackered Again

Published by under Uncategorized

Thanks to Ian for his kind donation.

I’ll be back tomorrow, with full force probably on Sunday.

No responses yet

Nov 21 2007

Burdock Experiments

Published by under Foods

I have yet to try cooking burdock roots, but I hear it’s delicious. Next time I might take some roots back home with me to give it a try. Where I come from burdock is virtually nonexistant. I have seen it once I believe, but it doesn’t grow there anymore. So when I found a few plants here in Trondheim I decided to gather a bunch of seed heads to cultivate it back home.


The seed heads are spikey and will attach to clothes and fur, which is their spreading strategy. The seeds will drop out while you walk, potentially dispersing them over a wide area. Instead of burying the whole seed heads, I decided on separating them. I found that rubbing a whole bunch of seed heads between my palms would make them stick together and release the majority of the seeds after some pulling and crushing. The chaffes would lock together so I put them together, I think this might be the new in kettle brushing… hehe. Plenty of seeds here, according to, they are best sown in situ in the autumn, but I’ll see if I plant them in December, if there isn’t frost in the ground that is.


2 responses so far

Nov 20 2007

River Rocks

Published by under Stone Working

Major rivers with a degree of natural fluctuations will usually have quite a lot of exposed rocks on the bank. Weaker rock, like flint and quartz will usually be destroyed by the movements in the river, but hard and shock absorbant rock such as quartzite, will only become rounded and often gain desirable shapes. This is why I always look for axe stone here. You will quite frequently find stone that is not layered and homogenous in colour and texture. Among them you will occationally find shapes that resemble axes or hammers. Good stone requires minimal pecking and grinding to be usable.


On this photo you can see some different types of stone found in a river nearby me. The left one is of a very coarse grained type. I use it for abrading platforms when knapping. The four other are of mediocre quality, small axe blanks, maybe except the one furthest down. The three to the right is greenstone.


5 responses so far

Nov 19 2007

Flint Knife

Published by under Animal Materials

As I recently have gotten more and more in love with the hafted biface, I decided to haft a knife I made from a preform I got from Scott on paleoplanet. Most of the shaping had been done, so all that was left to me was pressure flaking. To save on flint (an obsession of mine, living in an environment low in knappables) I didn’t sharpen it at the tip, but will do that as I sharpen it after use. The flint is Knife River flint.


For the handle I chose a section of antler in my ever expanding cut-off basket. The section was about as long as a knife handle should be, previously cut off by grooving and breaking.

Leave the blank for a while in water, that will soften up the pith. Start digging in the soft pith with a flake until you have a large enough cavity to accommodate the blade. I recommend using square bottomed blades or making some serrations right underneath the top of where the blade will meet the handle.


I always wash the flake I use in some water. The scraps from the scrapings I tuck between the pith and the flake. They seem to work as a ready made hide glue, further binding things together. If the fit is proper, when everything dries the blade should sit securely in the handle. I will also wrap this one with sinew and seal the wrap with pitch.


Remember to to have look in the chatroom.

6 responses so far

Nov 18 2007

Stone Axe Modified Part One 2

Published by under Stone Working

The majority of the work involved in constructing this type of axe is clearly the stone work. Today I went out and found some really flexible birch saplings to use as a handle.


The first sapling is bent around the groove, very tightly so it will not come loose. Bind the lower end with some willow bark to keep it together.


Take another branch and wrap in the same fashion behind the first one, only from the opposite direction. Use the narrowest end of the sapling to wrap around the top of the shaft to keep things together. Wrap together the saplings to a shaft with willow bark.


It chops beautifully, on small saplings almost as well as a metal hatchet in fact.


3 responses so far

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