How To Make a Glass Arrowhead

C. Davis
By C. Davis February 15, 2016 10:32

How To Make a Glass Arrowhead

When talking about arrowheads, glass is not exactly the first thing that comes to mind. However, it’s a more widely available resource than flint for instance. And it’s much easier to work with.

When making a glass arrowhead, you want to use the bottom of an empty bottle since the glass is thicker in that area. A simple method to separate the bottom from the rest of the bottle is by putting a big nail inside the bottle. Cover the top of the bottle and shake it, and in no time, the bottom of the bottle will lay at your feet.

What you need to do next is obtain a flat piece of glass. Remove all the edges that might have remained. A stone is a great tool to do that. What you need to do is level the two sides so that you can eventually obtain a perfectly flat, straight profile. In order to do that, you must flake the concave side by grinding the edges. You can use the same stone and apply pressure on the edges. You need to flake the edges until the piece of glass is perfectly flat.

The next step is to create the arrow shape. You must flake all square edges in a zigzag pattern; that will sharpen them. You must alternatively flake the two faces of the glass piece and keep the zigzag, and in no time, you will obtain the sharp edge you are looking for. During the process, you will also give the piece of glass the triangular shape of the usual arrowhead.

Once the triangular shape is obtained, it’s time to use a pointed-head flaker; that will allow you much more precision. Upon continuing to flake the glass, you will notice the edges get thinner and thinner and, of course, sharper and sharper.

Once the point is finished, you need to strategically create the notches. A flat surface is recommended for this phase, as it offers more precision and control. You will continue with the pressure flaking, until you crunch out a little indentation. A right-sized tool is essential in this phase of the project, so you avoid breaking the base of the triangle. It’s basically the most delicate phase of making the arrow head, since breaking the base might mean you need to start the whole process all over again.

In the end, the final product might look pretty small, but don’t let yourself be fooled by this appearance. The glass point and edges can be extremely sharp and thus efficient for hunting both small and medium-sized animals. Once the arrowhead is put in place, you need to be extra careful to avoid accidents.

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C. Davis
By C. Davis February 15, 2016 10:32
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  1. chasf65 February 15, 13:45

    I’ve always wanted to try knapping out an arrow head. Flint deposits are not easy to come by around here. You find an occasional stone in a gravel pit but not any deposits of any size. The glass idea is interesting. Thanks

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  2. Danbo11B February 15, 23:10

    You can also substitute porcelain. Just use old toilet tanks and/or lids. When finished, just dirty it up a bit and they look like antiques that you would find in the ground.

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  3. the huntress October 12, 16:02

    A good hand knife in roughly the shape of a capital D with a slightly rounded curve on the straighter side and sharpened along all of the curved side will skin and cut up an animal very well. I used ones I’ve found at old Native campsites and a few I’ve made. Obsidian (volcanic glass ) were the sharpest and I’ve found worked points where there were large deposits.

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    • Montana knapper. January 19, 17:16

      As a knapper, you can use several different kinds of rocks. Obsidian, guartz, sandstone, milstone, granite, petrified wood, basalt, jasper, and chert. There are several others, but these are some of the easiest. Look around your area and you will find some of these materials. In the past I have also collected the (flakes) of the 5000+ year Indians and made lots of arrowheads. Stay intetested and you will soon be a good knapper.

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  4. Sheena February 9, 06:08

    I remember as a young girl watching my father make arrow heads out of glass or flint using a deer antler and a piece of leather.

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  5. red March 13, 05:48

    this is a great survival piece! It’s been a long, long time since I did anything like this. Never tried glass, tho it’s cool. Obsidian, yes, and it’s basically glass. Bone is OK, if cooked first to harden it. It’s too light for big game, but is good in defense. Small bones are good for dart tips, atlatl and blowpipe. For defense, chili oil makes a very painful wound. niio

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