How-To: Knap an arrowhead from a beer bottle

Craft & Design
How-To:  Knap an arrowhead from a beer bottle

(Image courtesy of Kevin Dunn, whose book Caveman Chemistry, along with a bunch of other cool hands-on projects, contains a chapter on knapping in bottle glass. Thanks Kevin!)

Anybody else read Snow Crash? Remember the big scary Aleut who likes to steal warheads from nuclear submarines using only his canoe and handmade glass knife? Remember how, when you first read that book, you kinda wanted to be that guy? Well, I’m here telling you: It’s not too late to become the baddest mango-farmer in the world. After all, even Raven had to start somewhere, and apparently chipping an arrowhead out of bottle glass is the “hello world” of the flintknapping user community. Mike Melbourne and Tim Rast’s venerable tutorial shows you how.

12 thoughts on “How-To: Knap an arrowhead from a beer bottle

  1. DU says:

    That book probably deserves a post on it’s own, if not an article in the paper magazine. It’s great resource.

  2. clvrmnky says:

    My SO, an anthropologist, says that a prof of hers would refuse surgery that used a metal blade. Some surgeons use obsidian blades, which make much cleaner cuts, and don’t leave small amounts of metal cruft behind.

    1. ben says:

      snow crash was so awesome…

  3. Tim Rast says:

    I’m really glad that people are still getting some mileage out of that beer bottle tutorial. Stop by my blog or website and see where you can go from there!

    Tim Rast

  4. Vance Bass says:

    That URL is way outdated (GeoCities?!).

    But the site has been rescued and rehosted here:

    1. Sean Michael Ragan says:

      Bah, sorry! Thanks for the updated link. Fixed it in the post.

Comments are closed.


I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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