One Cent Arrowhead




intro: in this instruct-able, I will show you how to make an arrowhead for one cent. 

Step 1: Materials

Step 1: Gather Materials
you will need
1 Hammer
1 Set of scissor-like incredibly strong  cutting device. (must be able to cut a penny)
1 Penny
Vice (semi-optional, you can probably get it to work without, but it makes life easier)
flat head screw driver

Step 2: Making the Arrow Head

       use the hammer to flatten the penny as thin as possible without tearing the metal
besides making it sharper it work hardens the metal, making it stronger.
      cut the penny into a sharp wedge shape, about 30 degrees.

Step 3: Making the Arrowhead 2

Cut of the round bottom of the arrowhead.

Step 4: Making the Notches for Attachment

Using the Flathead like a chisel, make to notches on either side of the arrowhead to wrap string through for the attachment to the shaft

Step 5: Sharpening

using the whet stone sharpen the edges at about a 27 degree angle. pay special attention to the tip. 

now your ready to attach the arrowhead.



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    42 Discussions

    Using tins snips would make cutting the penny much easier and will also protect your scissors.


    5 years ago

    I've seen this before and when I tried it I couldn't get the penny right. So I used a quarter and just cut it without hammering it. Worked great.


    5 years ago

    Melt and mold it into an arrow shape and will look much better and easier to shape, use a torch and pennies. It's not illegal to destroy coins to harvest the materials that make them

    There's a fun discussion of the relative merits of pennies versus nickles (if i remember correctly) as arrowheads toward the end of George Stewart's post-apocalyptic novel _Earth Abides_. Your Instructible made me think of a favorite book I haven't thought of in like 20 years.

    1 reply

    6 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for mentioning the URL, it has nothing to do with coins minted by the Treasury Department. That particular code only relates to Federal Reserve Notes and similarly paper issued by other private banks (even the so-called "Federal" Reserve Banks.)

    Here's the pertinent part:

    "§ 333.  Mutilation of national bank obligations.
    Whoever mutilates, cuts, defaces, disfigures, or perforates, or unites or cements together, or does any other thing to any bank bill, draft, note, or other evidence of debt issued by any national banking association, or Federal Reserve bank, or the Federal Reserve System, with intent to render such bank bill, draft, note, or other evidence of debt unfit to be reissued, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.
    [Codified to 18 U.S.C. 333]"

    Federal Reserve Notes (so-called dollar bills) are "evidences of debt" and although they are denominated in dollars, they are actually a "note" which is the same as an I-Owe-You promise to pay.

    Coins are minted by the united states and are not the same as "national bank obligations."
    Your mileage may vary, and as always- DO CONSULT WITH AN EXCELLENT CONSTITUTIONAL LAWYER IF YOU INTEND TO MODIFY A COIN. (Your busybody neighbor might just start an investigation that will leave you fighting to prove your innocence.)


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I don't see the point of wasting one's time doing this.

    There's a classified ad in Backwoodsman magazine which sells trade point arrowheads made from banding steel. The steel strapping they use to bind loads to trucks, pallets and railroad cars.

     You're far better off using steel banding, which you could probably get all you want for free just for hauling it off from a local business like a lumber yard.

    All you do by hammering on soft metal like zinc and then filing it to shape is waste your time making an inferior item.

    2 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    I've had my own experience with banding steel, and to be honest, most of it is too thin to really be that sturdy, and bent up, too. Besides, while banding steel is cheaper in cost, for most a penny is much more convenient. I realize steel is superior to copper for this job in general, but a penny is thicker and sturdier.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Pennies aren't made of copper anymore. They're made of zinc with a thin copper plate.

    I mentioned the steel banding specifically because it's used to make arrowheads by the primitive archery community.

    The best way to be successful is to copy someone else's success.

    tech hamster1101

    6 years ago on Step 3

    i noticed that wen the peny was hit alot its edges turn bright silver

    Ah. I see. If that's the case, maybe you could make an arrow head that costs 5 cents (In the form of a nickel, obviously) and get a more traditional silver color.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    it may be thicker, but it would provide a better arrowhead. it'd just be a little more work.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    but would the increase in quality be worth the increase in work? one of the reasons a penny works so well is that copper and zinc both have low melting points, meaning that they can be shaped easily. if you find a way, please, tell me.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Specifically, it's only illegal to deface money in an attempt to make it appear more valuable' e.g. trying to pass a penny as a dime.