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Making fire; what am I doing wrong?

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Using my lint from my dryer, which I know is normally a good ignition source.

I've semi-boundled it (not too tight). Held the magnifying glass on it, with direct sunlight. It gets hot, smokes, and even leaves a black/burn spot. However, it does not start fire. Just smokes for a few seconds. I move it around with the same results.

What am I doing wrong?
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RESET CONGRESS!!
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Hiya Shrink!
You're not doing anything wrong... you're learning a few things that don't work, that's all.
Dry-dryer lint will work. Fires need 3 things... fuel, oxygen, and and adequate ignition/heat.
I'm just guessin, but your heat source is inadequate. Can you light the lint with a match or lighter? Ah-ha! Look into another source of heat/spark.
Dryer lint should be a good fire tinder. I use it, or 'real' cotton balls, with little Vaseline (adds to the burning time and some waterproofing), or char cloth,and ignite it with a match, lighter, firesteel, ...but not a magnifying glass (not very useful at night).
 

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Maybe your drier link contains too many polyesters and not enough cotton.
Plastics usually melt long before they catch fire.
Also, many fabrics contain a fire retardant.
 

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Kibitzer
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Using my lint from my dryer, which I know is normally a good ignition source. What am I doing wrong?
One of the outdoor/fishing magazines did a piece on dryer lint.
They tried to ignite lint with a spark from firesteel, no luck.
Then they found out they were using non-cotton lint.
Got some cotton lint from towels and spark lit it every time.


Lens work needs blowing on. You can burn a 2x4 with magnifier lens and it will just smolder. I used to "brand" my name in wood with mag lens.
 

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Using my lint from my dryer, which I know is normally a good ignition source.

I've semi-boundled it (not too tight). Held the magnifying glass on it, with direct sunlight. It gets hot, smokes, and even leaves a black/burn spot. However, it does not start fire. Just smokes for a few seconds. I move it around with the same results.

What am I doing wrong?
That is an impossible question to answer unless we could see it in video but even then it would be hard to tell.

Starting, maintaining and manipulating fire is an art. Maybe you should start with learning how to get a fire going from a tiny coal/ember and then move to this - that should teach you how a fire starts.

Also, with the lint, it may not have enough mass to hold heat which is often the case with very fluffy things.
 

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Maximus
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take a bit of Vaseline and rub it into the lint....
The Vaseline does not help initial ignition. It actually makes ignition harder. What the vaseline does do is give additional fuel to the material allowing the flame to last longer.

Using my lint from my dryer, which I know is normally a good ignition source.

I've semi-boundled it (not too tight). Held the magnifying glass on it, with direct sunlight. It gets hot, smokes, and even leaves a black/burn spot. However, it does not start fire. Just smokes for a few seconds. I move it around with the same results.

What am I doing wrong?
Try using lint from a wash of white cotton tees or blue jeans. If you want to test your lint bundle, put a match to it and see what happens. Does it sizzle or flame up? If it sizzles, then you have too much non-flammable blends in there. If it flames up, that means your lens technique needs some work.

If it is your lens work, try using a larger beam at first to warm up a larger area. Then switch to a focused beam to get the ignition going. Blow on it soft and smoothly when you see it smoking good. By warming up the area surrounding the focused beam, you are making the fuel more ready to ignite.

Try those things and see if it is better. If not, try a larger glass lens :D:
 

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I agree with the folks suggesting your lint may have polyester in it. Try it with pure cotton lint. Also, when it starts smoking really good, blow on it gently. Sometimes that's all it takes to get a glowing spot to break into flames.
 

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Think about this, where are you going to find dryer lint if you are out in the woods? What happens if there's no sun(behind clouds)? Ya might want to try the flint and steel method. Use crushed dry woody weed stalks for starter. Flint can be found in creek beds(you can smash it with a larger rock to break it into sharp pieces) and you should always have a good high carbon steel knife on your person. Or you can make sure you have a fire kit in your possibilities bag. Here's mine:
 
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