Friday, October 23, 2015

Cheap Arrow Points
 
I wish I knew how to knap.  Unfortunately I haven't taken the opportunity and I am intimidated by what appears to be a mysterious, almost magical art.  It is irrational to look at it this way, I know, as humanity has been doing it for thousands of years.  However...
 
I still value self-reliance.  In defiance of the rampant commercialization that is warping people's perceptions of what hunting is truly about, I have been experimenting with making my own arrows and fitting them with homemade metal points.  This has been entertaining, and I believe it is still in-line with the spirit of the past, as Native American peoples often utilized scrap metal when it was available to make points, blades, etc.
 
I stole this idea either from Backwoodsman or Primitive Archer magazine (the old version that hadn't sold out yet!). 


I began with a cheap stainless spoon from a second hand store. 

Using a propane torch I heated it up to a cherry red.











I then went to the anvil and pounded it flat. 


I had to do this twice as after flattening the bowl of the spoon, I found that the handle projected at an angle.  Since the handle is to be ground down to be the spine inserted into the arrow shaft, having it straight is important. 
 
I did the shaping with a bench grinder, stopping frequently and dunking the tip in water to prevent it from getting too hot. 







I have heard that this is important when cold forging tool steel that is already tempered, but I don't know about a spoon. I doubt it, but I did it anyway.  This could be done with a file if a grinder is not available.  I then cut the handle off at about an inch and a half with tin snips, and ground what was left to a point.



Once I had the basic shape, I began trying to put an edge on it.  The metal was rather thin and light, though stiff.  This presents a problem with making a double beveled edge.  The first two tips I made this way were difficult to sharpen with the tools I had available.  The third tip I sharpened on one side only (single bevel).  This worked much better. I sharpened the tip to a chisel shape, as a simple point might bend or break upon hitting bone (or, as is more likely for me, a rock;).


 Next submission I will fasten it to a shaft.





 

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