how did early humans create the first metal tools without metal tools to make them?

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If early humans crafted a hammer or an axe from metal for example. How on earth did they craft the first tool that was used to create that hammer or axe. I know you can create a hammer from natural material like stone and an axe from a sharp piece of stone but how did they forge the first metal tools and even weapons?

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32 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

They would have used stone and wood tools, combined with casting in stone or sand and even wood moulds.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Casting molds in sand. Molten metal fills the mold and cools until solid. Then boom add a wood handle.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Bronze age tools and weapons were sometimes melted and cast in sand or other mold materials, copper and bronze could both be worked that way, and metals could be forged with stone tools on stone anvils or cold worked with grinding stones.

The process of human technology can be described loosely as crude tools making rough tools and rough tools making progressively finer or more complex tools.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The first metals used were made of copper. Copper veins literally just have reasonably concentrated copper sitting there. You pick it up, heat it with whatever fire you’ve got, and use any hammer you have to shape it, because copper is soft.

And then you can get fancy and add a bit of tin, heat it up, and it melts into bronze

Anonymous 0 Comments

Thanks guys. Perfectly clear I don’t know why I didn’t think of casting and pouring the heated metal. I just had a random thought pop in my head and thought I’d ask here haha. Thanks!

Anonymous 0 Comments

The first metal worked by humans was copper. Copper is quite soft as metals go, can be found (or rather, could in ancient times be found) in its pure metallic form on the surface of the Earth, and can be worked with stone tools with effort. It’s difficult and labor-intensive, but it’ll get you a metal tool with a lot of work.

Later on, they figured out how to forge metal using kilns, which were built from brick and ceramic. Even a primitive brick kiln can get up to 1000 C or so, which is more than enough to melt tin (melting point ~400 C) and very close to enough to fully melt copper (melting point 1085 C); a hot kiln could melt copper (in a stone vessel), mix the two metals together, and then pour the resulting mixture into a cast to form bronze. But this was later on; copper was used for a long time before bronze was discovered.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It’s also pretty likely people started off just picking up nodules of metal and polishing them, tying a thread around them and wearing them as decoration. From there you learn to beat the nodule into a better shape, then you realise that it melts when heated, then you put several nodules together and melt them, then comes hot beaten metals, then simple casting.. And so forth. Iron is a big jump as it requires around 2500deg C, but many cultures discovered how to do it, so it seems people figured out the stuff was there. Even the ancient Egyptians had iron, just not much of it, but they knew how to obtain it and somehow work it into iron masks.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Through pit kiln casting we got into the copper age. Basically, you take clay and mold it into the shape of the tool or tool head you need, then you bury it with silt and wood and shit and burn it for a long time. It’s insulated enough that it’ll get hot enough to melt the copper down. Then you let it cool, and chip away the clay mold, leaving just the tool head. It’s pretty easy to see how Neolithic tools were made if you consider they had pottery going (clay molding) for tens of thousands of years leading up to copper tools.

Anonymous 0 Comments

I’ve seen a video of a guy making an iron knife from bo iron, hammering out the knife on a stone anvil with a stone hammer.

But, as said, native copper was the first metal worked.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Molds, pour and get hammer. Use hammer for new esge to cut. Cut new metal with edge. Make mold with better cutting edge to get more definition and precision……..