I have a theory that Anglo-Saxons were very skilled at making things with minimal tools. Most people had a seax (knife) of some sort. It set me to wondering if you could make a nalbinding needle with only a knife and an antler? I had forged a warriors seax previously and decided to give it a try.
I started with a piece of antler. This time I didn’t bother soaking it first to soften it.
I guess I did use a hammer to strike the back of the seax. I could have used a piece of fire wood or a stone and it would have had the same effect. I did saw the antler… cheated again. It would have split just as well had I not used a saw (but I would have wasted the antler tip that I use for making knives).
It was pretty easy to split the antler this way.
I then split each piece up further into something about the size of the needle I wanted.
I was surprised at how well it split along the grain. It took only a few minutes to get a handful of blanks.
The seax was sharp enough to cut the antler down into a needle shape.
Using the knife as a scraper kept the needles flat and smooth.
Continuing with the scraping it was easy to shape the needle.
The sharp, pointy tip of the seax made it easy to drill a hole by rotating the blade.
The hole was easy to make.
Rounding off the head of the needle by carving.
One needle ready for final smoothing. It was a quick process, maybe 15 minutes?
I used a stone to ‘sand’ the needle. A final scraping with the seax made it very smooth.
A collection of needles all made at the same a seax.