Stone and shell adzes, axes, knives and chisels were used for thousands of years to cut and shape wood into useful items such as: framework for houses, bowls, masks, tool handles, carvings for houses and much more. All of these tools are based on prehistoric artifacts found on archaeological sites.

The grooved stone axe first appeared about 5,000 years ago in North America. A groove was pecked (hammered) in the stone, and a wooden handle was wrapped and tied around it. Later, about 2,000 years ago, the celt, or ungrooved axe, was invented. The stone head is wedged into a hole in the handle. Celts require much less maintenance than grooved axes.

All of these woodworking tools are made to use. Their design is based on archaeological specimens backed by years of experience in cutting and shaping wood and are designed for efficient cutting. Every tool comes with background history as well as use and maintenance information. Use them for demonstrations and hands-on programs. They really cut wood!

Shell Adze

Shell_AdzeThis wood working tool was used to shape objects such as bowls, masks, and carvings. If the prehistoric people had good hard rocks around, shell would not have been their first choice – but they did great things with what was available.

Shell tools are used on the southeastern coast where stone is a rare commodity.
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Shell Axe

shell_axePrehistoric people had lots of things to build – like houses and walls around the village. They used this wood working tool to cut lengths of logs and cut down small trees. This tool is amazing – it cuts wood better than you could ever imagine – try it and find out!

This is a wood cutting machine! You will be amazed how well it cuts. A very common tool found on archaeological sites on the west and east coasts of Florida, and along the coast of the Carolinas and southern Virginia.
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Stone Celt

Stone Celt stone-axeUsed for cutting down trees. Celts were a technological improvement over the old style grooved axe.
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Shell Celt

shell_celtShells were plentiful for prehistoric people living along the coast. They ate the snails that lived in the shells and then made tools, like this celt, from the shell. It was a great tool for cutting down small trees and cutting wood pieces to length.

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Shell Chisel and Mallet

shell-chisel-and-malletPrehistoric people hit the top of the chisel with a mallet to carve out wood.  It was ideal to cut intricate designs into wood.
Large-$240.00 Limited supply - while supply lasts.
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Chert Axe

Chert-AxeOccasionally, chert axes were made when igneous rocks, the preferred axe material, or marine shell was not available.

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Stone Adze

Stone AdzeAdzes were used to shape wood into bowls, tool handles, stakes and large woodcarvings. They came in many sizes depending on the size of the job.

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Grooved Stone Axe

Grooved Stone AxeThe first stone axes had a groove all around the stone. The handle wrapped completely around the groove. Later, people in the eastern United States changed the style to a partial groove on the top and sides, but full grooved axes continued to be used in much of the Southwestern United States.

This was a great chopping tool for cutting down trees. This axe design was a technological advancement around 2000 years ago. Here’s why – the celt head is tapered so with every chop of the axe, the head wedges tighter into the handle.

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Shark Tooth Knife

Shark-tooth-knifeThe long handle gives leverage and control. The prehistoric woodworker held the tool firmly with both hands to scrape, dig and carve wooden objects. Some well-preserved wooden boards were found with striations in them that matched those of shark teeth.

The shark tooth knife is good for intricate carving and smoothing a finished product. Many of these were found at the Key Marco site on Marco Island in South Florida.
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