^ My tools. Clockwise from upper-left: a wooden wedge to split off flakes if needed; a polished piece of slate for sharpening; a rough chunk of quartz for aggressive grinding (not needed here); a shaped sandstone tool for fine grinding. The boulder itself is a very useful grinding surface as well, and has been flattened considerably by my projects upon it.


^ Stone should not be ground dry due to the danger of inhaling the dust. See: silicosis. Here's my source of water.


^ The piece of slate I will be shaping. This broke off a larger piece while hammering out the shape of a spear head. I saved several such useful-looking fragments for recycling into smaller projects.


^ Using a hammer and anvil stones, I smashed off the excess. This is less precise than grinding, but if you are careful where you place your anvil and where you strike, it is not at all a "random" process.


^ Aggressively shaping the base of the point. Slate, being effectively ultra-hard clay, makes the same slimey paste you get from working with clay.


^ Damn, who is that ugly looking guy?! Oh...


^ Knocking some high points off the face.


^ Beginning of the edge.


^ Edge profile taking shape now.


^ Grinding with the sandstone leaves a rather rough face, so I polished it nice and smooth on the slate.


^ Cutting the notches at the base for binding the point to a shaft. This is actually a very quick task because, cutting edge-on into the stone, you can apply a lot of force to a small area.


^ Both notches cut. At this point all the major grinding is done.


^ Sharpening the edge on the slate again. The point also gets special attention. When sharpening slate on slate, one gets much better results sharpening "along" the edge than away from it as when sharpening steel. If you sharpen away from the edge, it tends to chip off tiny splinters as the hard contact snaps the fraigle stone.


^ Ready for binding! This very tiny point would be for birds or vermin.


^ Taking a look along the now-sharp edge. I haven't been able to sharpen slate to the point where it will easily cut skin, but it is VERY close to that point. The slate forms a very fine piercing point however, and doubtless works quite well in this role.


^ Size comparison to earlier points.