Making Arrowheads from Glass Bottles

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11:37   |   Jun 29, 2018


Making Arrowheads from Glass Bottles
Making Arrowheads from Glass Bottles thumb Making Arrowheads from Glass Bottles thumb Making Arrowheads from Glass Bottles thumb


  • In this video, we're going to show you how to make glass arrowheads using the same technique that native Americans used for hundreds of years.
  • Hey guys! We're here with my friend Clay today and he is going to be teaching us how to make arrow heads
  • out of glass bottles.
  • Nate: Clay, how did you get into this?
  • Clay: I've been into it for quite awhile.
  • Ever since I was a little kid I found a little arrowhead in out yard and thought it was cool and I taught myself how to make them.
  • --Very cool.
  • So, this arrowhead that I have right here is one that you've made previously. Correct?
  • Now, this one is made of ...
  • --Obsidian.
  • So, obsidian is a volcanic glass.
  • It's basically, nearly the exact same as glass bottles.
  • Obsidian is just lava that cooled really quickly.
  • So quickly that it just turned into glass.
  • --Alright. So, why is it we're using glass instead of obsidian rock?
  • --This glass is a lot easier to work with.
  • Obsidian with have all kinds of other stuff mixed in that can make it harder to work with.
  • --So, it's a lot more impure and I suspect it's also harder to get your hands on.
  • --Yes.
  • --Lots of availability for glass, less availability for actual obsidian.
  • But, the principles are the same and it works pretty much the same way?
  • --Yeah. Exactly.
  • --Here's what we're going to try.
  • The bottom of a glass bottle is fairly flat and by using a rock and a piece of a nail,
  • we can press little chips of glass off,
  • shaping it into an arrowhead and sharpening it at the same time.
  • So, what do we need to get started?
  • --Ok. The first thing we need to do is you need to get a bunch of glass bottles.
  • The best ones are the ones that kind of have a flat bottom.
  • So, you want to get rid of all of the curved spots .
  • You don't have to use glass bottles.
  • You can use pretty much any kind glass.
  • Tv monitors, whatever.
  • As long as it's glass and you have a nice flat section.
  • --What's the minimum thickness you would say we need?
  • --I'd probably say, the best thickness is probably somewhere around 1/8ths of an inch in thickness.
  • So, most bottles are about that thickness.
  • --Cool.
  • --So, first thing we need to do is just get the bottoms right off the bottle.
  • --We need to get the bottom off of the bottle.
  • How do you usually, do you just take a hammer to it?
  • --You can take a hammer to if you want or you can actually drop like a heavy drill bit down and then just shake it
  • and then the bottom will just break right off.
  • The first thing you really need is a leather pad.
  • You definitely don't want glass shards getting into your hands.
  • --I don't! You're right!
  • --It isn't really comfortable.
  • The second thing you need is like a round stone.
  • That will help us kind of get a nice edge formed on the bottle and on the arrowhead.
  • And then you also need pressure flaker.
  • So, what we're going to do is we're going to put a nail to a dowel and sharpen the point.
  • That'll allow us to pressure flake off the edge of the glass and shape the arrowhead.
  • The native Americans would us antler for this.
  • We could also do that but I found a steal nail works really well too.
  • Nate: Either nails are a lot harder than I knew or we really need to replace this blade.
  • So, now I need to make these pointy. Right?
  • --Yes.
  • --Pointy, pointy.
  • Nate: That's a good file.
  • --Yeah, the file is better than the saw.
  • --It's not needle sharp.
  • I can press on it and it's not stabbing into my finger right now.
  • But, I can feel it. It's very pointy as I press it onto my finger.
  • So, now we can see I have a slightly more sharp and a slightly less sharp.
  • I assume the shape of my piece of leather isn't really important.
  • --No. Not really.
  • --Alright. Well yours looks better than mine so I'm at least going to trim some of my extra, random extensions.
  • We've got our leather. We've got our rocks. We have pointy tools.
  • Do these have a name? Or do we just call them "pointy tools"?
  • --Pressure flakers.
  • --Pressure flakers
  • I think now we need some glass right?
  • --Yup!
  • --Alright. You said that we want to choose a glass bottle that has a mostly flat bottom to it.
  • Does the color make any difference?
  • --The color doesn't make any difference whatsoever.
  • --So just choose your preference.
  • --Mmhm
  • --Alright. Let's go outside so that all of our glass is not in the workshop where I'm going to end up cutting my hands on it later.
  • [Deep pitch] Cutting my hands on it later.
  • That is stabbed into my finger.
  • It's obviously stabbed through the glove.
  • I'm just telling you, it's also stabbed into my finger.
  • Glass is sharp, kids!
  • And adults.
  • It's really sharp.
  • It doesn't matter if you're a kid or an adult.
  • AH!
  • After cracking a couple of our glass discs in half we grabbed a couple more bottle and we're just going to do the same thing.
  • Clay: That didn't quite work.
  • --Well, it broke.
  • Alright, here's a stone.
  • Oh. There we go.
  • And there you've got the bottom.
  • So, I was worried with the drill bit since this was a large flat bottom that if it hit in the center then it would crack lengthwise instead of breaking
  • the bottom off.
  • Alright clay. We both have our glass bottle bottoms.
  • What's the next step?
  • --So, the first thing we need to do is make a nice edge along the base of the glass here.
  • --Are we just going for round or are we trying to get the arrowhead shape already?
  • --We're just trying to get rid of this curved edge along the bottom.
  • --Okay. So like all of the ridges and stuff.
  • --Exactly.
  • So, for that, we kind of want to use eye protection.
  • I've gotten glass in my eye once. It's not fun and not worth it.
  • --Doesn't sound fun. Now, the goggles I have are very, very stylish.
  • These are welding goggles and it would be too dark but, don't worry.
  • It pops up like that.
  • So, I get to look full on mad scientist.
  • [Whispering] Yeah!
  • Nate: I'm not really able to break it right.
  • What am I doing wrong?
  • To get it to go all the way around that curve more?
  • --So, what I would do on this one ...
  • You've already kind of got an edge.
  • I might even just go straight to the pressure flaker on this one.
  • You use your tool and you just push against the edge
  • and then the glass, it will flake off.
  • --This little lip where it turns back up.
  • We're still trying to remove that curve.
  • --Exactly.
  • --So you recommend I push on this side.
  • --In that way.
  • --That driection
  • --Yeah.
  • --To get rid of that edge.
  • --Mmhm
  • --So, I have taken off most of that edge but, I now have almost like a different curved edge that I've put into it.
  • --And that's okay.
  • --Do I just go at it from the other side now and kind of take it down way?
  • --Exactly. That's what I would do.
  • So, what you really want to do is actually dull the edge but, also, you want a nice platform for you to make pressure flakes on.
  • So, in order to do that you want a curved edge on the opposite side that you're actually going to be pushing.
  • But, you want to be convex curve instead of concave which was kind of right here.
  • So, you can kind of see what I'm doing?
  • --Yeah you're just kind of scraping down the sharp edge.
  • So, it's a flat rough surface.
  • --You can actually just kind of grind it down because what happens it when you try to pressure flake on a sharp edge,
  • it'll just kind of break the edge off.
  • But, if you have a dull edge then you can grab more of the surface and then pull large flakes off.
  • --Make it dull so you can make it sharp.
  • --Exactly.
  • --And if you are in a real survival situation, you know, you found a chunk of obsidian or just a piece of glass somewhere
  • you didn't have this nice nail in a stick.
  • --With a small stone you could still kind of make a nice cutting edge for, I don't know, if you had to cut up some game or what have you.
  • --And right now we're kind of working on making arrowhead type pieces.
  • Can the same principle be used for making knife type pieces?
  • I assume?
  • --Yeah. Yeah exactly.
  • --Just need a bigger flat piece and more time.
  • --Yeah
  • --At this point I've gotten my piece of glass to - most of the curve removed and there's a jagged edge going all the way around.
  • I've napped across most of the surfaces, the concave and what used to be convex surface.
  • So, what's my next step?
  • --Dull the edge like you've been doing and kind of make a platform on one side.
  • So, like at this point I would make a platform probably on this side and push flakes across this direction.
  • Or vice versa.
  • And just keep doing that.
  • Like I would do that on this edge here, and then I would do it kind of on this edge here and maybe over here and eventually you're going to end up with kind of an arrowhead shape.
  • --Well I was making my arrowhead and things were going really nice and then somehow I managed to drop it.
  • Tip of the arrowhead broke off.
  • I think I'm just going to finish it up as though it were the same size so I can at least just like place the tip of it next to it and
  • see what it looked like when it was in-tact.
  • Now what I need to do is add some notches on the back where I can use a cord or something to attach the arrowhead onto an arrow.
  • The notches are going to be put in about the same way we've been doing the rest of the shaping which is just to chip off, flake off little bit at a time
  • and just sort of tunnel your way in.
  • Chip a little bit on one side and then chip a little bit on the other side.
  • I'm trying very hard not to break the back of the arrowhead off.
  • Which, I will try.
  • I haven't done this before.
  • So, we'll see how it goes.
  • Made from glass bottles, we now have a couple of completed arrowheads, native American style.
  • --Well, other than they're from glass bottles.
  • --Did the native Americans not have glass bottles?
  • --They did not.
  • --I've got to study history a little better.
  • So, yeah, they used obsidian or flint or other types of rock that did tend to chip in a similar way.
  • We have the advantage of glass which, while it breaks in a similar method, it's often a lot cleaner and more pure in its formula,
  • so it breaks predictably making it a better thing to practice on.
  • Mine, of course, as I showed the tip of it broke off.
  • I just used a small drop of super glue and glued it right back on.
  • The two pieces of glass fit together so nicely, you can't hardly even see the divnisioning line.
  • Probably not as good for hunting at this point, but it looks good.
  • --So, one really cool thing about glass is when it breaks, it actually is sharper than steel.
  • It will almost go down to the atom scale when it breaks.
  • So, these are actually really effective points even though they're quite fragile and would probably be only single use.
  • --Now, clay, you've got a bunch of different varieties of glass.
  • So, you don't always use a glass bottle for this, do you?
  • --No. You can actually use just about anything that will break.
  • So, these are obsidian pieces.
  • This is actually pieces of from like an old tv screen.
  • Some, artificial man-made glass as well.
  • This one's got glitter. Pretty!
  • And then I've got some custom mixed pieces.
  • --Interesting swirls of color.
  • Psychedelic arrowheads right there.
  • Some nice, clear, blueish glass.
  • This would be a pretty good one, I think.
  • It's a good thickness.
  • --It's pretty easy to hit up your local thrift store and find some old glass dish-ware.
  • --Very cool.
  • Right here, I've got and olive oil bottle that not only has a fairly flat bottom but, the sides of it are also flat.
  • So, you could probably break this up and get several arrowheads our of it.
  • --Yeah. This one, you could probably easily get eight or nine arrowheads just from the sides.
  • --Glass jars from food can also work really well.
  • --Just no tempered glass.
  • That's the only thing that really wouldn't work for this.
  • --It would just shatter into a bunch of pieces, huh?
  • --Yeah.
  • --Okay.
  • Special thanks to our friend, Clay, for coming out and showing us how to make arrowheads out of glass bottles.
  • Clay has helped us out on a couple of our previous rocket videos and we hope to collaborate with him again in the future with some more rockets.
  • --Exciting.
  • --Should be good stuff.
  • Guys, there's still more for you to see.
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  • Talk to you then.

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Today we've got our buddy Clay here to show us how to create arrowheads from glass bottles!

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This video is only for entertainment purposes. If you rely on the information portrayed in this video, you assume the responsibility for the results. Have fun, but always think ahead, and remember that every project you try is at YOUR OWN RISK.

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