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I love char cloth... but it blows around and can be a pain to handle sometimes. So... I came up with something new (as far as I can tell) and both easier to make and store. In addition you can carry more of it in the same space!

Here is my first video on what I call Char Cord / Char Rope
 

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I built mine and, not to be cocky or anything, think it is the cat's meow... It is lighter, stronger, cheaper, easier to build and works more reliably than most I have seen...

I sleeve it with an aluminum arrow shaft and use a carbon fiber arrow shaft as the plunger rod. An arrow tip insert is glued in the end and I machine a field point into the piston/cup (this is the only "hard" part but can really be done with a file and drill w/ 20-30 minutes of time). I used a yellow cedar dowel as the body and epoxied the whole thing together. As an added bonus, the piston can be unscrewed to hold a thin metal pick which I use to get the ember out if it gets stuck. I use a black rubber o-ring and some braided fishing line as a seal-breaker so it can be collapsed for storage. I wrap the whole thing in para-cord just for kicks. Carbon fiber is super tough - aluminum tube is super smooth. I hunt with a bow so I use broken or slightly bent arrows - this stuff costs me nothing which is why I say "cheap".

O yea almost forgot - I went through a lot of lubricants trying to find the one that worked well for me- I ended up using common Glycerin (aka glycerol) - doesn't eat the rubber o-ring and is super slick. In the bush I have used the oil on my nose which works (rub it up and down the corner of your nose - gets the job done in a pinch).

I'll see about making a video and starting another thread for this - will link to it here when / if I get around to doing it.

Thanks for all of your interest - we're all in this together.

-XexorZ
 

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Spooky
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I saw some plans for DIY fire pistons and was wondering why they always suggested using Vaseline on the O-ring. Vaseline will break down rubber. Glycerol is a good suggestion I hadn't thought of. I was planning on using silicone stick but I was worried it would be too sticky.

The fire piston I'm working on uses a brass nipple sealed at one end along with a long hex bolt fitted with an O-ring.
 

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Just South of Sane!
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I got some rope out in the yard... I'll have to talk to the wife..... LMAO ( I hate that clothes line.)
 

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YouTube - Char Cord / Char Rope - Superior to Char Cloth

I love char cloth... but it blows around and can be a pain to handle sometimes. So... I came up with something new (as far as I can tell) and both easier to make and store. In addition you can carry more of it in the same space!

Here is my first video on what I call Char Cord / Char Rope
Dude, I'd love some. Let me know what you want for a small roll of it. I like the density and apparent resiliency.

Glitch
 

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Ive used that befor but I would add a tube that way you can light it and walk from 1 site to the other without having to get a new spark..
 

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Prep and be calm
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Very interesting. I'd just made some char cloth today -- my first -- but this looks even better. I wonder if you can char wool. It is a natural fiber and seems to have some considerable substance to it. Its rough texture would likely catch sparks. I happen to have tons of felted wool around that I'm trying to think of uses for -- its a pity to just pitch it -- (old sweaters, old wool pants, etc).

Any one know? For that matter what fibers can be charred besides cotton?
 

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The wikipedia page on char cloth only mentions vegetable fibers. I have no idea what wool is made up of, but if it's primarily hydrocarbons, you should be able to do it.

Charring is just the heating of hydrocarbons to the point where they, first, are rid of all their moisture and, second, release H2 and CH4 so they are very high in carbon content.
 

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Prep and be calm
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Wool = sheep! Natural but not vegetable. I guess I'll just have to try some. Wool has an unpleasant smell when it burns but . . I would think it would char. The reason no synthetic is it just balls up into a gooey mass when heated. That is one of the ways you can tell a synthetic fiber from a natural one, if you take a match to a small bit of it and it does NOT ball up -- its natural fiber.
 

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Prep and be calm
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So I tried felted wool -- no go. It did not hold up.

This afternoon I'm making char cloth from used terry cloth towel. It does very well and the fuzzy texture would hold a spark even better I think.
 
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