Some recent hand made stuff by Mr Skalla

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posted on Aug, 19 2013 @ 08:05 AM
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Hi all, i've been away from this site for a while pretty much as i grew tired of banging my head against the wall of political and religious "debate", and if i aint got anything nice to say then it's best to keep shtum. I think ATS is a real cool place in lots of ways but when it tires me, i find it best to hang elsewhere rather than just come here to either bore myself or get exasperated and be an ass


So i've been making a bit of stuff and sharing skills elsewhere in web-land... so as at least a partial return here i thought i'd open things by sharing a bit of what i have made which is in line with other work i've posted here before: all hand made by my fair self, with natural materials and no power tool shenanigans.

So firstly, my main love, crafting wise - walking sticks that are good for whacking ruffians with. This developed from my interest in making clubs and cudgels. I find it very hard to do them justice photographically as i'm strictly amateur with a camera, and can never show the grain of the wood in the way that i would like but here goes:



going from left to right, they are all made from Hawthorn bar number four, which is Sycamore (Acer Psuedoplanatus) for folk from the uk but you peeps over the pond probs call it a variety of maple iirc?? Number one is finished in Danish Oil, all t'others just with Beeswax.

I took some closer pics of the heads/handles too......





and another Hawthorn stick, unfinished as yet and i'm branching out (ho ho) into carving the heads too, this one being a snake holding an egg in it's mouth - i'll probs do more work/finishing on this before i'm happy with it





Another Hawthorn stick.....



and a Beech one:





again, all finished in beeswax, though the last was darkened slightly with Sesame Oil too.


I love to practice "primitive" skills too, particularly knapping. However i've ignored Flint for too long in favour of TV Glass which i had a large store of, making stuff such as this:



but returned to the hard stuff recently and have struggled with it though i am persevering - trouble is that when ever i try to do this:



Which while effective is kinda wonky, i usually end up with this:



but meh - that's flintknapping all round: unforgiving, and learned via breaking stuff!

so... rather than just turn my entire store of the grey stuff into rubble, i've also been working in other stone, such as Slate rooftiles. I've been making some Ulus, traditional women's knives from the various tribes/groups of first peeps in the northern Americas. Easily made, and fabulous tools, far more durable than many may expect:





Besides this, i've tried my hand at bone blades:



Just made from a bone bought at a pet shop, in a holly handle, secured with pine glue and sinue. You really would not want to be on the wrong end of this - it's nasty sharp!

Thanks for looking, and thanks to woodsmom for unwitting encouragement to post this




posted on Aug, 19 2013 @ 08:29 AM
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Neat stuff, I got to try how to knap rocks. I have lots of rocks around here that have been split by someone long ago, I can try to figure it out from them. I am just interested in making usable items, not necessarily fancy ones. The indians around here were more interested in practical tools than fancy ones, although there were a few creative stone workers.



posted on Aug, 19 2013 @ 08:29 AM
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Nice work. Kudos to both of you.

Do you use real or synthetic sinew?

Do you boil your pine pitch down or use it fresh? Or do you use purchased pine tar?

ETA: I can't stand the smell of bone when I am working it. Even slowly filing it, it gives off that burning protein odor. Plus, I seem to have bad luck whenever I do work with it. (slightly superstitious, I guess)
edit on 19-8-2013 by butcherguy because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 19 2013 @ 08:49 AM
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reply to post by rickymouse
 


Thaks for the reply - i've only been knapping on and off for a couple or three years and made nowt but a mess untill i got John C Whittaker's book on Making and Understanding Stone Tools which really helped me to understand what i was doing and why. As a brit, i find the stone tools of the Americas fascinating as it reached such a high art and has so many archetypal forms - plus it didnt require Arhaeologist to work it out thanks to them still being made in modern times.

It's great to make simple blades and scrapers from rocks and then use them.... check this out




reply to post by butcherguy
 


I was about to make a detailed reply but my boy just turned up - i'll be back later etc



posted on Aug, 19 2013 @ 09:44 AM
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reply to post by skalla
 


I'm interested in the diabase tools, I have some blanks that were created by ancient people and want to make my own. I have access to the stone just a short walk away, I have another big rock it appears they used for sanding these down. They seem to have left me the resources. I can't find the technique that they used for tempering the diabase, lots of references but not sure of the exact procedure. I'm not sure if they should be under the fire as I found them under the ashes, or part way exposed to the fire. I guess the indians do it traditionally yet, maybe I can find an indian tool maker to teach me. I like the styles of tools they made here. I have to find the completed tool stash instead of the blanks so I have something to compare them too. The rocks they made them out of have a lot of metal in them, I can find them with a metal detector.

I guess I have to just get off my lazy butt and start doing this, it isn't going to get done on it's own.



posted on Aug, 19 2013 @ 10:32 AM
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reply to post by skalla
 
Long time no see! Glad to see you back around!

I always love seeing whatever you have been working on lately. Such craftsmanship has become nearly extinct in this age so I'm very happy to see that you're still busy at it. The bone knife is my favorite.


Hope you stick around for a bit skalla, I've missed your sense of humor tremendously!



posted on Aug, 19 2013 @ 11:09 AM
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reply to post by butcherguy
 


It's real sinew from Muntjac Deer, given to me dried by an old work mate... for all i know you've processed sinew for such jobs, but if not i have photos of the process and just ask, i'll be happy to do a "how-to"... Muntjac are pretty tiny so i had to splice the fibres and i'd never worked with sinew before either but a bit of trial and error and a few hours later it was sorted.

The pine glue was processed - it did boil which ideally it should not (just heat it to release some of the VOC's)but i was doing too many things at once over a camp fire and this resulted in an over brittle mixture but it still works very well, i just added more charcoal and fibres to the mix and it's ok, i've tested the haft extensively and it's extremely strong to perpendicular force. For the fibres i used lint from my clothes drier but i've used ground up dung from sheep, cows and goats in the past - Lint works a treat btw. The pitch was gathered fresh but some folk buy Rosin from the net if they dont have a natural local source, be that from marine suppliers or rosin for violin bows.

And bone does smell when working it, but if it's well dried then it's not so bad - i hack sawed this stuff to shape then just sanding it as if honing a steel blade - it seemed to take ages but was probably just an afternoon's work all told.

reply to post by rickymouse
 


I Know squat about Diabase tools in the US (except for it being a type of basalt, which can be ground to shape or roughly knapped)... however i know a few folk who do


Diabase search at Paleoplanet

Stone Axes, Diabase included

reply to post by littled16
 


Thanks! i did miss the place but i got pretty annoyed at some stuff a few weeks ago and didnt want to over react or get too wound-up, so a holiday seemed the best solution... plus i'm not very funny when i'm annoyed, i can be a real vicious tonged a-hole when i'm like that, and i'd rather not be
anyhoo, it's jolly nice to see you too, i figure i'm back for a while but will choose what i get involved in (or even open!) quite carefully for the meantime. Thanks for the kind words, and i think the bone knife is my fave too, i'll be sure to make more



posted on Aug, 19 2013 @ 11:18 AM
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I would love to see what could happen with a diamond willow stick in your hand , or one of the 200 pound birch burls that we have here.
I like the ulus, they really are a great tool that belong working, rather than cluttering up all of the souvenir shops. A lot of times they come with a square cutting board with a bowl like depression that conforms to the ulu blade, and that just make them more practical and easy to use. I appreciate your art too, thank you for sharing it with us!



posted on Aug, 19 2013 @ 11:49 AM
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reply to post by woodsmom
 


Sadly we dont get Diamond Willow here in the UK either as the bacteria/fungus doent get here or due to natural resistance in British Willow varieties - but i have seen some beautiful walking sticks in particular made from the stuff. And as for 200 pound birch burls... i wish! Birches tend to be fairly small here, and burls of any sort are still on my to do list which just grows rather than shrinks.

I'm about to start making my first primitive bow (or trying to, at least), which has been a project that's been shelved for way too long, then i just need to sort Tanning and i'll be a real cave-boy! I figure if i can work wood, make string and glue and knap arrowheads then it's dumb not to be able to make bows (i own one already, but it's modern).

Ta for stopping by



posted on Aug, 19 2013 @ 11:19 PM
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This is awesome man, glad to see you sharing your hard work here. I would love to start learning how to work with wood, stone and bone, but unfortunately I don't seem to find the time to start. I rarely ever comment on ATS, but threads like this should be appreciated.



posted on Aug, 20 2013 @ 04:25 AM
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reply to post by Puzzuzu
 


Cheers dude! You are right about needing to find the time and that can be a challenge sometimes, but it's bloody rewarding and often i do this kinda stuff to relax in the evening when i can, or just in the odd moments i can spare, sometimes just five minutes at a time etc... the cool thing is it does not really require much in the way of cash to do this stuff and you can get started with the simplest of tools and scavenged raw materials, and the net has heaps of info on how to do certain techniques etc.



posted on Aug, 20 2013 @ 07:33 PM
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Originally posted by rickymouse
reply to post by skalla
 


I'm interested in the diabase tools, I have some blanks that were created by ancient people and want to make my own. I have access to the stone just a short walk away, I have another big rock it appears they used for sanding these down. They seem to have left me the resources. I can't find the technique that they used for tempering the diabase, lots of references but not sure of the exact procedure. I'm not sure if they should be under the fire as I found them under the ashes, or part way exposed to the fire. I guess the indians do it traditionally yet, maybe I can find an indian tool maker to teach me. I like the styles of tools they made here. I have to find the completed tool stash instead of the blanks so I have something to compare them too. The rocks they made them out of have a lot of metal in them, I can find them with a metal detector.

I guess I have to just get off my lazy butt and start doing this, it isn't going to get done on it's own.


i missed your reference to fire earlier as i was kinda hurried - i expect that they were heat treating blanks for the purpose of making them easier to knap. Ground axes (ie: grinding them to shape on another rock) are usually knapped into a rough shape/blank and then ground/shaped on a sandstone block with water added to make an abrasive slurry - a fairly lengthy task so knapping to shape saves a lot of time, and grinding makes for a smoother blade that penetrates further and is far more durable.

The heat treating makes the rock more glassy/less grainy and improves knappability in many rocks... usually blanks were buried a few inches under soil or ash and then a big fire started on top and kept burning for about a day. Modern folk layer blanks in an oven tray and cover them in sand and then bake them for a day in an oven at between about 350 and 500 degrees iirc - it's a widespread practice amongst US knappers of which there are hundreds of considerable skill - they hold knap ins and love to share skills too so that could be an avenue for you. The site i linked earlier if full of info on these various topics, but if you have trouble finding what you are looking for i could probably find some links and vids etc so let me know if you'd like me to do that, i'd be more than happy to.
edit on 20-8-2013 by skalla because: so many typos, so little time



posted on Aug, 20 2013 @ 11:26 PM
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reply to post by skalla
 


Wow, your helpful. The one Indian I know was telling me they could flake the tool by hitting it and explained about the tempering. He had never actually seen the process though, he learned about it from some kind of Indian cultural training he went to. The white ash layer above these things was about two feet down. There is a big rock there that has chip marks on it and what looks like a cement nose added to it, it has fallen over, it appears to have been on some sort of pipe of some sort but the round hollow tube looks more like a reddish cement now. I think it was an elevated anvilstone of some sort but it fell over long ago. Many little Indian gift packages are buried around the area, stones in three or four combinations. The Indian elder told me there were probably four but one could have been bone and it is gone.

I actually like going to the people who know the most, the Indians, they have been very helpful. Two archeologists looked at them and said they were blanks, not finished and not worth much. I guess there are a lot of them out there. I wonder why they were never finished. I suppose they abandoned the site when the springs quit coming out of the top of the hill because of a shear in the earth a little way from here that opened up a new spring a little lower.

Maybe to the archeologists they are not impressive, but to me I think they are great. It makes me want to make some tools of my own.
edit on 20-8-2013 by rickymouse because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 06:16 PM
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reply to post by rickymouse
 


Check out Paleoplanet - lots of indigenous folk from North America there still practicing (or trying to learn) their ancestor's ways and sharing what they know. It a mine of information and discussion on that kind of stuff



posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 06:26 PM
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reply to post by skalla
 


Do you do commission work?



posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 02:49 AM
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reply to post by beezzer
 


I've done quite a few "face to face" as such but i'm not really set up for internet based coms at present, though for the right customer i'd be happy to talk things over etc



posted on May, 28 2014 @ 09:28 AM
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Impressive!

I love a good walking stick - very nice work.

The knapping has always been of interest to me but I've never tried it for myself. I've seen it demonstrated with flint, and it is a true skill, one that I admire. I'm glad that in our high tech world people still remember and learn these earlier, highly skilled technologies. (Our ancestors were no slouches!)

Thanks for sharing!

- AB



posted on May, 28 2014 @ 10:09 AM
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a reply to: skalla


Really good stuff mate, really impressed.



posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 06:04 AM
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a reply to: AboveBoard

Many thanks - knapping arrowheads from the bottom of beer bottles can be a great and surprisingly easy to learn way to try it out, as well as being highly addictive....i posted a vid on this in a knapping thread i did a while back.


a reply to: blupblup

Glad you enjoyed!






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