How to Make a Stone Ax

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How to Make a Stone Ax
Stone axes were common in the Stone Age. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

The stone axe was an all-purpose utility tool and a lethal weapon throughout the Stone Age. Early societies used stone axes to chop wood, crush nuts and seeds and to fight with in battles. The versatility of the stone axe is surpassed only by its relative ease of construction. You can make it in the comfort of your own back yard. Make a stone axe as a household decoration, an accessory to a Halloween costume or just as an exercise in primitive survival.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • A fine-grained rock
  • A hammer stone
  • A sandstone slab
  • A green branch from a hardwood tree
  • Natural twine or string
  • Beeswax
  • Frying pan
  • Hob or open fire

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Choose your stone. Fine-grained stones such as basalt, granite or quartzite are ideal due their relative hardness and ability to carry an edge. Choose a stone that already has a natural wedge shape to minimise the time needed to shape it.

  2. 2

    Use the hammer stone, which should be a harder grade of stone than the axe itself, such as flint, to gradually chip away the edge of the axe stone. Chip away on both sides of the edge of the stone until you have a sharp, if uneven, edge on the stone.

  3. 3

    Polish the edge of the axe stone on the sandstone slab. Continue rubbing both sides of the axe stone on the sand stone until the rough edge becomes smooth and even and carries a sharp edge.

  4. 4

    Use the axe blade to split the green branch of hardwood down the middle. Once the branch is split, completely break it in two equal pieces.

  5. 5

    Place the axe stone between the two pieces of wood.

  6. 6

    Use the twine or string to tie together the two pieces of wood around the axe stone using a looping criss-cross method. Also tie together the two pieces of wood at several places along the handle.

  7. 7

    Melt the beeswax in the frying pan on the hob or over an open fire.

  8. 8

    Pour the melted beeswax into the spaces between the twine or string and the axe head and the wooden handle. Shape the beeswax with your fingers to create a solid seal around the axehead and the handle, covering the looping cross of the twine.

  9. 9

    Place the axe in an airy dry place to allow the wax to dry and the green wood to harden and shrink around the axe head. This can take up to two weeks.

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