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Old 03-30-2012, 03:47 PM
Grahamis Grahamis is offline
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Default starting a fire with a magnifying glass

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Ive tried starting a fire with a small magnifying glass that can fit on a key chain, and no matter how still i keep it and how well i keep it aligned it doesnt start a spark. I aimed the Mag glass at a dry piece of paper btw so i know that wasn't the problem. Is there a specific size mag glass i should be using?
Old 03-30-2012, 04:00 PM
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I dunno, but I have found that if I concentrate the beam on small piles of finely shredded dry grass or other fine tinder and then blow gently when it starts to smoke then I'll get a good little ember to start a larger fire. I think getting it to directly spark would be very hard, most of the time your going to have to use it to start an ember pile and go from there.

Meh, I'd probably just buy a lighter and save the mag glass experiments for frying plastic army soldiers. I dont think the size of the mag glass matters however.
Old 03-30-2012, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Grahamis View Post
Ive tried starting a fire with a small magnifying glass that can fit on a key chain, and no matter how still i keep it and how well i keep it aligned it doesnt start a spark. I aimed the Mag glass at a dry piece of paper btw so i know that wasn't the problem. Is there a specific size mag glass i should be using?
The one I use is a 4.5 inches in diameter, and it start and ember in about 10 seconds.

If it burns the paper it should work. What are you using for tinder?
Old 03-30-2012, 04:05 PM
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I've used a small 2.5" magnifying glass and it worked fine. I did find that you need to make a little dark spot on something that it light in color. I found that it took quite a while to light a white piece of paper, but after putting a little pencil mark or even a smudge on it, it would light in under a minute. I think lighting something dark to begin with, like jute or char cloth would work even better.
Old 03-30-2012, 04:11 PM
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It's gotta be you. When I was a kid and discovered the magic I lit up everything I could find. Never had a problem no matter what glass I used.
Old 03-30-2012, 04:12 PM
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Try a small fresnel
lens I have a big one and it is soooo brite you can not look at it.They are the lenses that come from big screen tvs. or you can get a 7x10 from office max or office depot. Happy fire starting. try JT
Old 03-30-2012, 04:14 PM
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make sure you get the beam of sun as small as you can to concentrate the heat. Try shredding up the paper it leaves tiny little hairs of paper on the edges which should ignite easier. And make sure you hold it in the same spot dont move it around. Hope that helps
Old 03-30-2012, 04:39 PM
Grahamis Grahamis is offline
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I stopped after using it on paper.
Old 03-30-2012, 04:50 PM
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I have a magnifying glass, however without the Sun it's kinda worthless. A few weeks ago I orderd some Flint and Steel from a company on line. They came yesterday. The set came in a tin with jute twine and Char cloth. I am more than pleased with the sparks I get from this set. Last night I was practicing in the Bathroom sink. This weekend I am going to start a real fire.
Old 03-30-2012, 04:52 PM
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I have a B&L hand lens that is about 1/2 by 1/2 I think it is 10 power and it will start fires. The bigger the lens and the higher the power the faster it start fires. A small weak lens might not be enough. A good lens will work forever, can't say that about a bic.
Old 03-30-2012, 09:18 PM
flyingmonkey flyingmonkey is offline
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i found that if using a mag glass like key chain or neck less size char cloth is almost a must and its so easy to make its something i keep in the bob and truck at all times. just take a old pair of jeans that are trash cut them up into a size that when roiled or folded hardly fits into a Altoids tin then punch or drill a small hole in the top put the jeans in side the tin through on a fire and when it stops smoking just plug the hole, let the fire die, and their you go. chair cloth.
Old 03-30-2012, 09:40 PM
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Bigger the lens the better it works. I would rather now have a 5 inch 4x power lens than a 20x power smaller one. The reason, I think, is that the large one heats up more of an area than the smaller one I think. As with lighting anything on fire, the more you raise the ambient temperature of the surroundings, the easier it is to light the material on fire.
Old 04-02-2012, 04:44 AM
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go buy one of those wallet card mag's from any drug store. no it wont work in a suless day or at night but thats why you carry more then one way to start a fire. i carry a mag as well as one of those firesteel and mag blocks and the best of all is my mini bic. i dont always carry all 3 but the meg lens is always with me as it is in my wallet


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