Drawing: Cobra helicopter Drawing: Cobra helicopter
Chapter 12 - Page 2

Sling Club

A sling club is another type of weighted club. A weight hangs 8 to 10 centimeters from the handle by a strong, flexible lashing (Figure 12-2). This type of club both extends the user's reach and multiplies the force of the blow.

Drawing: Figure 12-2. Sling club


Knives, spear blades, and arrow points fall under the category of edged weapons. The following paragraphs will discuss the making of such weapons.


A knife has three basic functions. It can puncture, slash or chop, and cut. A knife is also an invaluable tool used to construct other survival items. You may find yourself without a knife or you may need another type knife or a spear. To improvise you can use stone, bone, wood, or metal to make a knife or spear blade.


To make a stone knife, you will need a sharp-edged piece of stone, a chipping tool, and a flaking tool. A chipping tool is a light, blunt-edged tool used to break off small pieces of stone. A flaking tool is a pointed tool used to break off thin, flattened pieces of stone. You can make a chipping tool from wood, bone, or metal, and a flaking tool from bone, antler tines, or soft iron (Figure 12-3).

Drawing: Figure 12-3. Making a stone knife

Start making the knife by roughing out the desired shape on your sharp piece of stone, using the chipping tool. Try to make the knife fairly thin. Then, using the flaking tool, press it against the edges. This action will cause flakes to come off the opposite side of the edge, leaving a razor sharp edge. Use the flaking tool along the entire length of the edge you need to sharpen. Eventually, you will have a very sharp cutting edge that you can use as a knife.

Lash the blade to some type of hilt (Figure 12-3).

Note: Stone will make an excellent puncturing tool and a good chopping tool but will not hold a fine edge. Some stones such as chert or flint can have very fine edges.


You can also use bone as an effective field-expedient edged weapon. First, you will need to select a suitable bone. The larger bones, such as the leg bone of a deer or another medium-sized animal, are best. Lay the bone upon another hard object. Shatter the bone by hitting it with a heavy object, such as a rock. From the pieces, select a suitable pointed splinter. You can further shape and sharpen this splinter by rubbing it on a rough-surfaced rock. If the piece is too small to handle, you can still use it by adding a handle to it. Select a suitable piece of hardwood for a handle and lash the bone splinter securely to it.

Note: Use the bone knife only to puncture. It will not hold an edge and it may flake or break if used differently.


You can make field-expedient edged weapons from wood. Use these only to puncture. Bamboo is the only wood that will hold a suitable edge. To make a knife using wood, first select a straight-grained piece of hardwood that is about 30 centimeters long and 2.5 centimeters in diameter. Fashion the blade about 15 centimeters long. Shave it down to a point. Use only the straight-grained portions of the wood. Do not use the core or pith, as it would make a weak point.

Harden the point by a process known as fire hardening. If a fire is possible, dry the blade portion over the fire slowly until lightly charred. The drier the wood, the harder the point. After lightly charring the blade portion, sharpen it on a coarse stone. If using bamboo and after fashioning the blade, remove any other wood to make the blade thinner from the inside portion of the bamboo. Removal is done this way because bamboo's hardest part is its outer layer. Keep as much of this layer as possible to ensure the hardest blade possible. When charring bamboo over a fire, char only the inside wood; do not char the outside.


Metal is the best material to make field-expedient edged weapons. Metal, when properly designed, can fulfill a knife's three uses—puncture, slice or chop, and cut. First, select a suitable piece of metal, one that most resembles the desired end product. Depending on the size and original shape, you can obtain a point and cutting edge by rubbing the metal on a rough-surfaced stone. If the metal is soft enough, you can hammer out one edge while the metal is cold. Use a suitable flat, hard surface as an anvil and a smaller, harder object of stone or metal as a hammer to hammer out the edge. Make a knife handle from wood, bone, or other material that will protect your hand.

Other Materials

You can use other materials to produce edged weapons. Glass is a good alternative to an edged weapon or tool, if no other material is available. Obtain a suitable piece in the same manner as described for bone. Glass has a natural edge but is less durable for heavy work. You can also sharpen plastic—if it is thick enough or hard enough—into a durable point for puncturing.

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Updated: 12 January 2008
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