Does anyone know how to make a tomahawk?
I know the basics, you gotta flintnapp a stone, and then drive it into a stick. But beyond that, I’m not sure.

Something taking that much abuse should probably have a blade made of heavier stone than the sort that you knap. Hard, fine grain rocks are probably good, and instead of knapping you would grind it down.

But I would still use a prettu thin rock right? Not so thin that it breaks apart, but thin enough that I can drive it into a stick right? How would I grind the rock down? Use another, harder rock?

But I would still use a prettu thin rock right? Not so thin that it breaks apart, but thin enough that I can drive it into a stick right?

The ones I’ve seen have typically been a bit bigger than, say, a metal axe. Mostly, they’re thicker, especially the back of the blade. One method of hafting involves chipping a groove around the blade, and wrapping part of the handle around the top.

How would I grind the rock down? Use another, harder rock?

Exactly. :slight_smile:

The shape of stone axeheads ai’ve seen is like this (===] . Imagining that the equals signs are much wider of course and that the bracket is the sharpened edge. Also the back, rounded side is rather ovular. Hope that helps :P.

To further elaborate on that groove that gets chipped, I’d add to chase’s little diagram.


The line would be a straight groove worn or chipped into the blade, around which you wrap part of the handle. There are a few ways to do this, such as thinning out the top of a still-green handle, and wrapping it back downwards to the thicker part, and finally wrapping that with sinew or willow or something. When everything dries, you should have a good axe that will last awhile.

That’s what I was missing the first time I tried to make one, a groove.
And how would you aquire the willow for wrapping? Would you peel strands off a branch, or would you just use really thin branches?
I’m assuming willow is really flexible.

not to sound like an asshole, but i’m fairly certin the stone tomahawks of old were more akin to rounded war clubs you may have seen.

i am also fairly certin that before the natives had access to metal tools, they would have used different techniques for taking trees. fire, stone saws, etc. the “tomahawk” recreations of modern flint knappers are trying to emulate what a metal tomahawk looks like made out of stone, and i don’t think these ever actually existed. i could be mistaken.

i think alot of people cite the flint “hand axes” we know so well, saying that perhaps these were mounted onto handles for a more axe/hatchet like tool. but i think that’s fubar.

this is what i believe the “hand axes” were most likely used for.

my advice to you is buy a metal tomahawk head, and spend your creative hours carving a decorative handle for it. remember to use a dense hard wood that is 100% dry if you intend on using it at all.

(edit:) shit made this nice post and missed the point all together! what i’m trying to say is that a knapped stone tom wont work and will most likely shatter to pieces when your trying to use it. just trying to save you some time i guess.

Hmm… alright. I guess the real reason why I want to make one of these is 'cause I really want to make something that can cut through wood, bone, and what not. I know the natives used to use tomahawks for a variety of everyday purposes, as well as warfare. Now I’m starting to wonder if there is a better tool I can make for such a task (cutting).

Ai dont buy that at all. There were plenty of people who used and still use stone axes for a variety of hard uses. Couple of stuff ai found on the Tube:

Yea, stone axes can definitely stand up to the same abuse as any other axe. In The Best of Woodsmoke, Paul Hellweg describes axes standing up to repeating beatings, even when made from thin, intertwined willow. One type he describes, the Celt axe, is not just solid but the head secures itself more tightly in the handle each time it strikes something.