Too Stoned to Make an Axe: Hittin’ it too Hard

One of my goals for this week invovles making and hafting a stone axe. I have selected 3 potential rocks, I don’t know what kind. Today I broke the first one. Check out the photos & story.


I chose this rock for its shape. It looks like an axe (at least to me). I can guess I need this shape for the best axe anyway. To make an axe out of a rock seems simple: Peck a groove for a handle, abraid the end into a sharp point. I began pecking on the rock with another rock. The rock I used to peck the axe fell apart, as you can see in this photo:

The grain on the axe felt harder than the pecker… Did I just say that? Anyway, I pecked for hours to no avail. The axe would not get groovy. So I went in my tipi and search through a pile of rocks and found this one:

It worked like a charm. With a harder rock I found I could chip the groove in a matter of time. It still felt time-consuming, but I could at least see the progress:

I ground the edge of the axe against a stone near my tipi and found that it sharpened rather quickly.

Then today as I worked on it in Willems yard, tragedy struck:

All those hours! Willem thinks that maybe it broke because I hit it directly and that a curved strike may work better. We shall see…


*I wrote this blog in E-prime.*

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3 Comments on “Too Stoned to Make an Axe: Hittin’ it too Hard”

  1. Hey man, I’m making a ground stone axe myself and I busted the shit out of my finger today! Blood blister and everything haha but I had the same problem with the hammer stone, it was too fragil to peck away at the axe. I too need to go in a tipi to find a granit stone to do the job; but while I’m in the tipi might as well pass the peace pipe a few times 😉

  2. Try pecking the stone at an angle instead of perpendicular to the stone. You are courting fate if you continuously peck perpendicular to the stone. It is bound to break in half. Also, hold it in our hand while pecking and not on the ground or any hard surface. It looks like you are using a type of sandstone for your axe material. It’s great for making mashers, but it’s not a good material for making axes. Try using igneous rocks, like a fine grain basalt, or a dense metamorphic rock. Your pecking stone should be harder than your axe material.

    Check out the axe and adze photos on:

  3. Hey Dino,

    I love your site. Been checking stuff out on there for years! Thanks for the advice!!! I have a hard time identifying geological stones. I’ve never found a good book for it. When people say Basalt, I don’t know what they mean. Do you have any good recomendations for identifying stones?