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Jurassicz

How do u split large flints

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Jurassicz

So i find alot of flint in my local spot. But they are pretty big. Flint is super hard. I read about flint knapping. Will this be useful to reveal fossils? If Not what hammers and chisels will help?

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Fossildude19

While fossils do occur in flint, it is pretty hit or miss, depending on localities. 

Chert/flint does not split well on bedding planes, but rather in conchoidal fractures, which is why it is so good in tool making. 

A sledge/crack hammer and good hard cold chisels might work to break it apart. 

 

 

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TOM BUCKLEY

I once exposed some nice Orthid brachiopods in a hunk of chert (flint) which I pulled from the Stissing Dolomite, Lower Cambrian,  Orange County, NY.

I noticed the edge of a brachiopod on the surface but there were no cracks to split. A decent sized sledge  did the trick. Good luck. 

 

Tom 

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Phevo
On 13.10.2020 at 1:35 PM, Jurassicz said:

So i find alot of flint in my local spot. But they are pretty big. Flint is super hard. I read about flint knapping. Will this be useful to reveal fossils? If Not what hammers and chisels will help?

 

It's rare that fossils are preserved inside the flint nodule, usually what you see on the surface is what you get, and maybe 5mm into the nodule or so (this is my experience from the other side of Øresund in Denmark at least)

 

What I have done to reduce the size of nodules is either to use a hammer and chip away at the block on the edges, or if I want to be certain to keep the fossil intact take it home and cut it with a rock table saw

 

PS. be extremely careful of your eyes, flint is almost 100% silica (the same as glass)

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Johannes

Hammering on flint can result in very unpleasant injuries. If you want to reduce flint matrix around a fossil, you should have experience with flintknapping, which usually costs more than some drops of blood.

 

(If it's worth the effort, I personally use the hammering tools I use in Flint Knapping: Red Deer or Antler Hammers an Chisels, and smaller and medium sized well rounded gravels of Basalt or Lepites (+ safety goggles and thick leather protection for vulnerable body parts))

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