I had seen a couple of professional flint knappers shape specific types of stone into many useful things including stone knives, arrowheads, spear heads and even axes. Of course at the time I knew next to nothing about flint knapping techniques, let alone what types of rocks are good to use. All of that aside I thought we’d try to make a primitive stone axe.
Before we show you how to make a stone axe, make sure to wear protective clothing, eye wear etc.
I want to remind you that I’m not a professional flint knapper and I’m by no means trying to teach the technique to you. I’m merely showing you what worked for me when I came across a rocky stream.
Supplies you’ll need to make the axe :
- Rocks/Stones, the heart and soul of our tool.
- A branch, preferably not rotten, you wouldn’t want the axe to break.
- String, just a precaution, for fixing the head of the axe in place.
1. Rock and a hard place.
To begin with, finding sharp rocks is no easy task so the best option I had was finding something that I could use for an axe head. I threw a bunch of rocks at some boulders by the stream until I finally had the perfect fragment. Now common sense says that throwing heavy rocks around with the intention of fragmenting them can be dangerous so if you’re going to try this yourself do it as safely as possible. Don’t go throwing rocks at your feet and remember to wear protective clothing and eyewear etc. A more responsible way of doing this is finding a slim rock and sharpening it using another rock of some kind. You can add some gravel between them in order to create friction, thus speeding up the sharpening process. This takes some time, which I most certainly lacked, that’s why I had to rely on smashing rocks together in order to acquire a head for my axe.
2. Branching out.
Anyway the fragment that you want needs to be sharp, the one I selected was very keen and I was quite happy with how well it cut, it made a rather useful tool. I then realized that it wouldn’t be that much harder to make a stone axe using a fragment so I broke off a small live branch from a young tree to use as handle. Get yourself a branch.
Split the stick in order to create a crack, it shouldn’t be bigger than 1/4 of the stick size. Soak the end of the branch in water for a few hours and then wedge a smaller twig into the crack to help split the twig at the end. Now you can use your sharp rock as the axe head, secure it using your shoe laces or some kind of string and you are one step away from your axe.
After doing so I noticed the stone blade was sharp enough and it easily sliced through slim dead trees. I think it would be a perfect tool to help out in a pinch of a survival situation and it also worked great for chopping small pieces of wood. However while using it on wood it started chipping away at the stone and the blade quickly became too damaged to use but for a first try I was quite satisfied with what I was able to come up with.
Just a little did-you-know : the stone axe is also known as a celt.
If you have any doubts about this you can check out some other tutorials, WikiHow seems to have a solid idea of how to make yourself a stone axe, have a look here. If that still hasn’t got you convinced I guess you could give YouTube a shot, I suggest watching this :
Primitive Technology is a YouTube channel about outdoor survival and living, from creating tools to building a shelter to living a decently comfortable life in the wild. It provides amazing content and you could learn a thing or two while you’re at it.
There you have it folks, crafting a makeshift stone axe is not impossible but I highly advise you to be cautious and use protection if you decide to do it. It may take a while to finish the work but when it’s all said and done you’ll feel like a hipster cave man!