GuardedDig2

Some recent projects I did.

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Apologies if this is in the wrong place or if pictures are out of order. To start off I made a flint striker from a old square Nicholson file. Hardened and tempered at 375 for 1 hour. The little bit softer made much more sparks and didn’t always chip the rock. Made some char cloth to go with it. I also finished my first draw knife. Mild steel with 1095 edge forge welded on and snow quenched. I’m guesstimating at around 62 hrc. Made a new 14” ash hammer handle with it. Not pretty but it’s comfy and works well.  

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I've made lots of firestrikers. 

They're fun to make and you can make them plain or works of art .  Old used files are an excellent choice and the price is right. 

 I don't usually temper the whole thing. I leave the striking edge completely  hard and temper the tight turn where the stem meets the blade shaped portion. That's where it's most likely to break. 

They seem to work better if you thin the striking edge down to about a sixteenth of an inch or maybe an eighth of an inch . 

The flints do need to be freshened up occasionally no matter how carefully you strike the steel. 

You can also char well rotted (puncky)wood and it works fine also. 

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I left it hard and it sparked much less. Then again I’m using chert so it might be a little softer than flint? I edge quenched it and tempered the whole thing in my oven. Very light golden color. This is about 1/4” I think. I’ll thin the next ones out. Thanks for your advise. 
 

I also didn’t have super good sharp Edges On the stone to begin with and they would be ruined after one use. Now I can get a lot of use with minimal damage. 
 

I didn’t have any punk wood and it’s winter so annoying to trudge through 3-5’ of snow to get some. I do however Have old shirts from a few years back When I was around 12 that don’t fit me anymore so perfect for charcloth. 
 

i agree they are quite fun to make. 
 

thanks 

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If you're making charcloth, use only 100% cotton.  FYI, for all practical purposes, chert and flint are the same basic composition, just different names.  Flints, as such, tend to be "cleaner" and of a more consistent coloring.  I live on a hillside in Arkansas, here called "Rockinsaw", covered in chert.  It's not as clean as what is commonly called flint, but it works just as well at making sparks.

Here is an excellent tutorial on flint strikers and striking...best I've seen by far.

 

 

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arkie, great video. Those people on Naked And Afraid should use a flint striker kit if they can. They always seem to have a hard time starting fires. The bow drill thing doesn't work out so well most of the time. I think it's probably too damp when they are in a jungle. He's right, you wife might kill you for using her washcloths. But I will probably use them myself ;). This has inspired me to make a flint striker 

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15 hours ago, CrazyGoatLady said:

. Those people on Naked And Afraid always seem to have a hard time starting fires. I think it's probably too damp when they are in a jungle. 

C.G.L.,

Folks in the Appalachian, Laurentian, and Ozark mountains, can start a fire in the soaking rain.

They find a thick branch or small hunk of wood and split it.

The inside wood is dry and can be used to make kindling, small sticks, and wood bits,  all to make a fire.*

Once a good fire is gong it will dry larger pieces of wood, (logs even),  and it will burn nicely.

Having char cloth will avoid all of the above effort.

Indeed, we were taught, in military school to survive in the wild with as little as a good knife.  With it we could make almost all the tools in order to come out of the bush alive.

SLAG. 

* pine needles make good kindling too.

Personally,  I carried a small  'block' of magnesium,  in my pack,  to start fires.

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Mr. G.D. 2,

I carried a small block of magnesium,  (Mg).

I got it free from, my friend, the head engineer and manager of a mine located up the Ottawa Valley. (it has since closed).

They were mining dolomite,  (CaMgCo3)  and reducing it to magnesium by electrolysis. (Quebec province has an enormous amount of hydro electricity).

I used a steel and some flint or chert to strike sparks. The magnesium ribbon or cuttings, quickly caught fire. and yields an extremely hot flame that lights almost any fuel.

This was years ago, but I have seen magnesium blocks for sale in camping goods stores, recently.

(magnesium ribbon is usually used to ignite thermite mixtures for spot welding.)   (especially train tracks together).

I hope that this entry answers your question.

SLAG.

 

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SLAG, thank you for the information. I was kind of thinking tongue and cheek because those folks can't seem to get a fire going to save their lives. Literally. And they choose the bow drill to take with them. Not me! Plus, a little blacksmithery on the show would be good to see. Some have forged their own knives though

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C.G.L.,

You are welcome.

Did Sam enjoy a cucumber and carrot, Christmas feast during the holiday?

He deserves it.

SLAG.

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Thanks for the reply Slag. I used to carry one of them magnesium blocks with the ferro rod built In (the ones in camping stores) where ever I went so I was just curious if it was the same thing or different. 

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Char cloth works almost as good as magnesium like you scrape off of one of the magnesium/ferrorod combos.

One of the most satisfying things I ever learned was firemaking using as many different methods as I could find. I remember the first time I made a fire with a bow and drill and a"bird's-nest" in the Cub Scouts. I was beaming with pride. 

Pnut

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I remember learning the different methods in cub and Boy Scouts. Good times. I quit Boy Scouts a few years ago when I was in 6th grade because I wanted to do other things but it was fun while it lasted 

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I did as well. Skateboarding and other things had much more appeal at the time, although it was much longer than a few years ago. More like 35. I thought you were older, goes to show you never know. 

Pnut

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I recently had the realization that I'm now more likely to be the guy maintaining the campfire and the coffeepot and ready to dial emergency services than the one belly crawling in 3" of water and mud in an unknown cave for half a mile to see if it ever widens out enough to be able to turn around...My wife has asked me not to do a lot of activities I used to do unless I have someone with me in case I have a medical issue.

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2 hours ago, GuardedDig2 said:

I’m pretty young still I’ll be 16 this spring So definitely more recent for me ha

You're off to a great start. Your forging seems pretty accomplished. Proves that practice makes perfect. 

Pnut

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