Nov 20 2007

River Rocks

Published by at 8:25 pm 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.



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5 responses so far

5 Responses to “River Rocks”

  1. Sam_acwon 20 Nov 2007 at 9:49 pm

    Do you keep a supply of rocks with you for expedient tools when your out or just make a tool and then keep it with you?
    Metal tools may cut better but you can’t just make one to your needs at the time!

  2. adminon 20 Nov 2007 at 10:05 pm

    Hi, sorry I didn’t spot you in the chatroom. I was off softening a skin.

    I usually carry a hafted biface, but if I don’t, and for tasks I don’t want to waste the edge on my biface on I use rocks I find. Flint is actually sharper than metal, the edge isn’t as sturdy though, but a biface is pretty damn close to a metal knife in efficiency. You can’t whittle with it or batton it of course. 🙂

  3. Sam_acwon 20 Nov 2007 at 11:54 pm

    What is so special about a biface then? From what I’ve read they are more robust but not as sharp as a flake.

  4. Marcon 21 Nov 2007 at 2:51 am

    other uses for such stones, when they are dry at least, is to use them for cooking
    they can heat excellent and one can make a great oven with them,
    in a pitch in the ground, covered with moss for example
    and they also do good use for ‘medical support’ –
    if you warm them up and lay them on spur places if your back hurts for example
    the stones also help with energybalance, they absord negative energy in your body
    last but not least I think they have great character in their appearance

    but yes, making tools of them is an excellent use of them as well
    as you showed us with the axe earlier this week…



  5. adminon 21 Nov 2007 at 11:16 pm


    Bifaces are indeed more robust, but can be equally sharp when first sharpened. The serrated edge removes some of the need to sharpen it as soon as it gets duller though. I rarely sharpen mine. I know many use them as saws; I don’t, because that’s the quickest way to dull a biface. Sawing can be done with flakes or specialised saws.

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