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Earthwalker.
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10,288 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I made this video today.

Some folks like to use char cloth which works well enough but I found that charred cotton wool works the best for me and takes a spark a lot quicker that charred cotton cloth.

I like to make a tinder nest and have used jute cord for this demo but you can find plenty of natural tinder's that will work just as good.

The steel I made from a file.

I was asked by a few people how to prepare jute as a tinder so I made a video on the process a couple of weeks ago.

The main thing with making fire from flint & steel is preparation.

Heres the video on preparing the jute.


lighting a fire with flint & steel.

 

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i am used to using the Swedish flints or ferro rods. From you picture I am trying to figure out what your bent metal is? and what the flat piece is that you strike it against? Is that a homemade piece?

Nice video. Thanks for the post
 

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Earthwalker.
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
The bent metal is a strike-a-light steel and the flat piece is natural English flint.

Yes I forged the steel from an old file,you water quench them but do not temper the striking edge.

From Wikipedia

From the Iron Age onwards, the use of flint and steel was the most common method of fire lighting prior to the invention of the friction match. More recently the term 'fire striker' has become synonymous with so called 'artificial flints' which are metal rods of varying size composed of ferrocerium, an alloy of iron and mischmetal (itself an alloy primarily of cerium) that will generate sparks when struck. Iron is added to improve the strength of the rods. Small shavings are torn off the rod with either a supplied metal scraper, a piece of hacksaw blade, or, commonly, the back of a knife ground at a suitable angle. These shavings then ignite at high temperatures, and they are much more effective than their historical equivalent.

Traditionally a flint and steel were used; however, the flint was not the important part. With a proper striker, you can get sparks using any hard, non-porous rock that has a sharp edge, even petrified wood. The spark comes from chipping small pieces of steel off the striker; finely divided metals ignite immediately in air, with steel burning at yellow-white heat.

Charcloth is usually used as an intermediate step between the striking and the tinder, in order to more easily catch a spark.

Various designs of steels.
 

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Maximus
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12,320 Posts
Traditionally a flint and steel were used; however, the flint was not the important part. With a proper striker, you can get sparks using any hard, non-porous rock that has a sharp edge, even petrified wood. The spark comes from chipping small pieces of steel off the striker; finely divided metals ignite immediately in air, with steel burning at yellow-white heat.

Charcloth is usually used as an intermediate step between the striking and the tinder, in order to more easily catch a spark.
Yeppers, most people think it is the flint that sparks. They are supprised when I tell them it is actually the iron in the steel. When iron hits air, it oxidizes. This processes causes heat (that is how hand/feet warmers work). Now when a fresh and small piece of iron hits a lot of air, the heat caused by the oxidation will ignite it. So the sparks you see are actually iron fragments. The flint/quarts/harder steel etc just breaks off those small pieces of iron to expose it to air.
 

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Earthwalker.
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10,288 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Heres some of the other steels I've made.

Mini steel that fits In a cherry bark container that I made.


A batch I sold on ebay.


Another of my tinder boxes with a home made steel thats a little more basic.


A couple I made for a Friends sons.


My main user.




Something a little more fancy.


I made the The larger steel for the Hog.


A knife steel.


necklace or key chain steels.




 

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Thanks for all the pics, really helps this visual learner. So how does one "water quench" steel? Any of you guys have some good basic blacksmithing resources that I can glean some of this info from - or from your own knowledge?

Thanks again for all your input.
 

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Earthwalker.
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the pics, really helps this visual learner. So how does one "water quench" steel? Any of you guys have some good basic blacksmithing resources that I can glean some of this info from - or from your own knowledge?

Thanks again for all your input.
For starters you need good carbon steel,I use old metal workers files.

I anneal them in a fire for a couple of hours which makes the steel workable,then I cut them into strips.

Heat them up to cherry red and bend them to shape.

Then I heat them to non magnetic and dip them into water and move the steel up and down in the water so the bubbles created from the heat don't create a barrier between the steel and water.

Then they are good to go.
 

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Earthwalker.
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
How much do you sell them for? Do you have any more?
Not at the moment,I generally do a batch once a month.

But I should imagine that you could get them cheaper in the USA as shipping from England would bump up the price considerably.
 

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Earthwalker.
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the info. Out of curiosity, how much do they sell for?
Depends on which ones,the necklace one sell for $7.50.

The ones I sold on ebay sell from £10 -15

The one I use would sell for around £25

I don't know what the exchange rate is between the British pound and US dollar as Id have to look it up.
 

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Depends on which ones,the necklace one sell for $7.50.

The ones I sold on ebay sell from £10 -15

The one I use would sell for around £25

I don't know what the exchange rate is between the British pound and US dollar as Id have to look it up.
Thanks for taking the time to answer my request. It is much appreciated. You do great work. Not only do yo make them look like works of art - they're exceptionally useful too.

Keep up the good work!
 

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veldskoen no socks
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Very good vids Bru and the collection of steels is good.
Takes a bit of art to get then to the right temperature for producing the sparks, great work.
Like the fire kit.
 

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Earthwalker.
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10,288 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for taking the time to answer my request. It is much appreciated. You do great work. Not only do yo make them look like works of art - they're exceptionally useful too.

Keep up the good work!
Anytime:thumb:

Thank you very much.:eek::
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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I used to do a lot of muzzleloader rendezvous. Making fire with flint, steel and char cloth was pretty much how everyone did it. Takes practice and expect a surprising share of cuts from the sharp flint. I finally, after my share of nicks and cuts, got where I can do it reliably. But it wouldn't be my number one choice for fire making in today's world.
 

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Earthwalker.
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10,288 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I used to do a lot of muzzleloader rendezvous. Making fire with flint, steel and char cloth was pretty much how everyone did it. Takes practice and expect a surprising share of cuts from the sharp flint. I finally, after my share of nicks and cuts, got where I can do it reliably. But it wouldn't be my number one choice for fire making in today's world.
I also keep a slow match in my tinder box,great for lighting my pipe:thumb:

Flint and steel is still my most used method,I know it takes a little more effort than a ferro rod which I also carry but its fun and Im never in a hurry and always set my tarp up first so rain is not a factor.:thumb:

On my last camping trip I even showed my Brother-in-law this method and after a few striking adjustments he had fire.:thumb:
 

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Earthwalker.
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Pardon my ignorance, but what is a "slow match"?
Its very similar to the powder igniter on a match lock rifle.

Its a wick which is placed in a brass tube,you can get an ember using the same method as lighting char cloth although it take a little more effort.

Then you can use the glowing wick to ignite your tinder nest or light your pipe,once you are finished with it you pull the wick into the tube and hold your finger over the end to put it out.

Here you go,I took a photo of the one I have in my tinderbox.



 

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Found a cool Youtube Video that shows you step-by-step how to make the Strike-a-light steel. Very cool! I wish I had the blacksmithing set up to be able to try it out.

 
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