Could you fashion a workable axe with no metal tools – not even a metal knife – to assist you? Of course you could. Humans did such things for thousands of years. All you need is time.
If someone told you to build a shelter, what is the one tool you would most want in order to complete the task? Many people would choose an axe. Good choice. But here’s the rub. If you want an axe, you’ve got to make that too.
Time and patience, and a knowledge of the natural materials around you, these are the qualities one must have more than anything else. With these, a human can accomplish almost anything.
This fellow has done some amazing things, including building an impressive walled and roofed shelter with the help of this stone axe.
The manufacture of a stone ax including the handle from using only primitive tools and materials. It is a celt (pronounced “selt”), a type of ax with a polished stone head wedged into a hole or mortise at the end of a wooden handle. The head took about a week and a day to make as I chose to make it from a particularly large piece of basalt. This involved hammering, pecking, grinding and polishing the head into the final shape. The handle took a day and a morning to make. A chisel was made from stone and a mallet made from a log. These were used to cut the tree for the handle and shape it once down. Fire was used to harden the wood and also to help shape the mortise. The ax was then used to cut down a tree the day after the handle was a tree itself. It is a more efficient tool for felling trees than the hand ax I made and at the time of uploading this video has cut down 4 trees which I will use later.
And in response to a question about the possibility of accidentally chipping the stone head during the process, he replied:
It is time consuming, and hours of work can be undone in an instant. In one part of the video a huge flake of stone came off and I thought it was ruined. But I just worked around it. I assume in ancient times people did this when not busy, like how people knit today. You can bet that for every good stone tools their was a pile of broken ones. Use hand axes till you make a good polished one for hafting I reckon.
His reply speaks to the kind of flexible and creative thinking one must have to live and work in survival and pre-digital conditions.
If you can build yourself a stone axe with which to chop down trees and build a home, well, you can do just about anything.
SEE MORE: How to Make Fire with a Hand Drill