The power of imagination makes us infinite.”

~ John Muir


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Primitive Glue Sticks

Native American Glue Sticks


Making a primitive adhesive for attaching blades or feathers

When making replicas of Native American tools or weapons, one is faced with a major decision. Should I take the easy road and use modern tools and materials or use the methods and materials the ancients had available?

The answer in my case is that I use both. Depending on application and/or the request of the customer.

I hope I've made it adequately clear on my website and in my statements in my blog that ALL of the items I produce are 'Replicas', not to be confused with actual ancient atrifacts. My recreations are as close as I can make them to the originals using materials and techniques our ancestors used.

To clarify;

1) I use rock that I've found or bought.

2) I knap it using the same techniques they used.

3) I use both modern and primitive tools to knap points and blades. Click Here for pictures of tools.

4) I use both artificial and natural sinew which I prepare myself.

5) I use materials for arrow shafts that I have harvested and straightened myself as well as manufactured shafts.

6) I use fletching (feathers) that are from birds (usually turkey) that I have harvested myself or were donated by friends.

7) The materials I use for my handles (wood, bone, antler) are mostly local and harvested by me. Some exotic woods I buy.

8) The glues I use are either made by me or commercial glues, depending on the request of the customer.

In a nutshell, if a person is interested in absolutely true replicas, be they functional or not, I use only primitive materials. If the customer wants a non-functional replica for display or as a wall-hanger, I may use such things as JB-Weld, artificial sinew or purchashed fletching. I depend on feedback from the customer using the 'Comments' option or communications via email.

In previous posts I've shown slideshows on how I prepare fletching for arrows, or create a smudging fan and others. Click Here to see a brief slideshow showing the process of making primitive glue.

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