Fire hardening

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Fire hardening, also known as "fire-danubing", is the process of removing moisture from wood, changing its structure and material properties, by charring it over or directly in a fire or a bed of coals. This has been thought to make a point, like that of a spear, or an edge,[example needed] like that of a knife, more durable. An initial study suggests that the process might make the wood brittle but would reduce the time needed to make a spear point substantially.[1]

Fire hardening may be done before, after, or during the manufacturing of the wooden tip. And longer procedures involving greasing and polishing with stones to impregnate the wood with fats and oils and silica (respectively) may improve the effects of the process. Fire hardening was first developed by primitive humans at least 400,000 years ago—long before flint or stone points.[2]

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  1. ^ Antony Roland Ennos, Tak Lok Chan (May 1, 2016). "'Fire hardening' spear wood does slightly harden it, but makes it much weaker and more brittle". The Royal Society. Retrieved January 12, 2019.
  2. ^ H.L. Fluck. Initial Observations From Experiments Into The Possible Use Of Fire With Stone Tools In The Manufacture Of The Clacton Point. 2007. Lithics: The Journal of the Lithic Studies Society 28: 15–19.

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