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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I know you can purchase magnesium fire starts with the flint striker just about anywhere but does anyone know of a source of scrap magnesium I can use to make my own fire starters?

Also, does all magnesium burn the same way or does it have to be of a specific grade?

I just want to cut some 1/4 x 1/4 x 3 inch blocks of the stuff to add to some small fire kits.

Thanks for your help!

HikerDad
 

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Ephemerally here
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Most Magnesium you run into is alloyed with other metals, and won't spark anywhere as easily as the pure stuff. The pure magnesium scraps you will want will most likely be covered with a thick coating of white oxide.

I would choose to save my time and money elsewhere, and would buy the magnesium fire starters available commercially. Just my choice. YMMV.....
 

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Militant Normal
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Only source I know would be engine side covers from 1980's KTM dirt bikes, and accessory section castings from WW2 Pratt & Whitney radials. Magnesium isn't used much, except where there is an obsession with weight, because is corrodes so fast. It's also too soft to have much strength. And it's dangerous to machine, because the chips are so flammable. Now that engineers can get titanium forgings, magnesium has pretty much disappeared.

Only alloy of magnesium I know that would not work for your fire starters would be Elektron, which was used by the British in aircraft engines. Belly pan of the famous Merlin V-12 engine was Elektron. About 50-50 aluminum and magnesium if I remember right.
 

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reluctant sinner
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All magnesium isn't the same as it is usually an alloy. The Doan Manufacturing mag blocks are good, some of the china ones not so much.

Some of the really old VW blocks would burn nicely.

+1 HandLoad.
 

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In Memory
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You can buy ingots of nearly pure Mg.
But, they are not cheap.
Easy to cut with a sawzall

Check eBay

 

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I found an old old(early/mid 60s?) mag wheel that has enough mag. in the alloy to use in my firestarters(pine pitch, alcohol and mag), but I don't think it would be good for using alone like you're after.
I'd go with a commercial mag block, or artist's mag. pigment in a pill bottle.
 

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The sacrificial anode in electric water heaters is Magnesium. If you can find some old electric water heaters, remove the anode from them if there is anything left. They are about 5/8" diameter and about 3 to 4 feet long. I have used this as a source for fire starters.
 

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We are a cathodic protection company and manufacture some of our own Anodes..we use high purity Mag... I have buckets of end pieces 2" Dia. x 4" .... the dust and shavings from cutting makes good fire starter burns white hot..
 

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If you ever find a 1984 Pontiac Fiero in a junkyard, the engine grilles are magnesium. Burned one in a bonfire once...bright as the sun on a pitch black night.
 

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Chef,cook & bottle washer
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Not sure as I havnt tried it, but mercury outboards/drives and various marine applications use magnesium anodes for freshwater applications. I have more than a few set aside as they are replaced regularly.
 

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reluctant sinner
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Bob Lazar is United Nuclear. Mg oxidizes very quickly (turn to white Mg0) and becomes effectively inert, you need to a have shiny metal from being freshly scraped. The thin roll stuff would be good to wrap around something else for compact storage, larger bar stock would be better suited for normal use.
 

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In Memory
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Easy to DIY & very effective.







A bunch of Mg curls, mixed into a tinder nest, LIGHTS RIGHT UP with Ferro sparks.



Best of both worlds, Mg tinder rod on one end, Ferro rod on the other.
 

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Well, one source I found accidently was old Samsonite luggage from the '70's. the metal frames are magnesium. found that out when I burned some in a bonfire cleaning out a house. was so bright I nearly got flash burned. lit up the entire area like military flares...had to shield your eyes and got sunburned at night from the UV...

I have seen old luggage at yard sales and goodwill, usually nobody wants them so now you know there is some hidden value...
 
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