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There are a lot of things you may find yourself needing after TEOTWAWKI. These could be things that did not make your list in the first place or things that were lost in the shuffle. Regardless of how their absence came to pass, there may come a time when you have to improvise to get the job done. One group of items in particular that can be improvised is tools.

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Since building materials will probably not be readily available in the uncertain future we face, creating or even simply repairing a shelter or structure can be quite difficult. Without the traditional items we would use for these jobs, we will have to scavenge for items that can pull double duty. Lucky for us, things such as sticks and stones are usually plentiful in nature. Rope, however, is not, but hopefully that is one thing that will have made it intact through the waves of change.

With a stick and some leather or paracord, there are quite a few tools that can be easily made. One such tool is a hammer. To make a stone hammer, you will need a rock and a medium sized stick. Hafting the stone is unnecessary so you can move right to attaching the rock to the stick. By splitting the stick and placing the rock in the split before securing it in place, you will create an additional source of friction that will help hold the rock in place. Be sure to tie your cord tightly both below the and above the stone to close the split where the stone sits as that will help secure it snuggly. If splitting a piece of wood is not possible, tying a piece of rock securely to the side of your stick is also feasible.

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To make a stone axe, you will first need to find a stone large enough to serve as an adequate blade. Once you have a stone, you will need to sharpen an edge into a cutting surface. This can be done by chipping small pieces off of the edge to create a blade. Once you have an adequate blade edge, carefully lash your stone to a strong stick with paracord or leather. Before you set out to use this, keep in mind that its effectiveness will not rival a store bought axe. Expect slower progress and coarse cuts, but even that is better than no progress at all.

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Much like an axe, rocks will be need to be shaped into a blade to create a knife. Sometimes you can get lucky and find a sharp enough rock for the task, but odds are you will have to make or break one. If you find a rock that has sharpness potential, chipping away at the edge until it becomes sharper might work for you. On the flipside, if you find a smooth rock, you may have to break it into pieces to get something useful. You can do this by setting it atop a hard surface, such as another rock, and striking it from above with yet another rock until it shatters, hopefully in pieces that are of use to you and can be secured to a stick handle for a makeshift knife. When you have a piece that fits the bill, slide it into a split wooden handle and secure with paracord or leather around the handle tight enough to close the split and hold the stone in place.

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Always use caution when attempting to break rocks. Sharp fragments can fly into eyes and even puncture skin so be sure to use protective gear. Rocks that are best for tool making have a higher pitch when struck-think 'ting' as opposed to 'thud.' Shale or flint rocks are especially useful.

Man has been creating tools of stone for an extensive amount of time. In the beginning of time, making tools of stone was what it took to survive. Since we may someday be faced with yet another new beginning, planning ahead and learning ways to improvise tools of stone may very well be what you, in turn, need to do to survive. If we adopt the thinking of our ancestors, perhaps we will also adapt and survive as they did.
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