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#171676 - 04/20/09 01:58 AM Re: A defense of the Doan [Re: erehwon]
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
The reason they get a bad rap is becuase they dont' work well as well with the sharp side of a stainless steel knife. And doing so screws up your edge. *eyeroll* That being said, one of my favorite strikers for any ferro rod is the awl in a SAK, so...

But if you have one, carry a didcated striker, or even better, a nice, short, high carbon steel bastard file. It will get the flakes off, and it will strike. After that, a bit of cheapo hacksaw blade.
_________________________
-IronRaven

When a man dare not speak without malice for fear of giving insult, that is when truth starts to die. Truth is the truest freedom.

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#171678 - 04/20/09 02:12 AM Re: A defense of the Doan [Re: ironraven]
erehwon Offline
Newbie

Registered: 04/19/09
Posts: 28
Loc: Keystone State
Chris, I suspect I spelled out BS. My fault. I'll be careful in the future not to fudge up the forum with darn profanities! thanks for being understanding.

And thanks everyone for your comments.

Yeah, Ironraven I think I use my awl for that more than almost anything else.


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#171679 - 04/20/09 02:46 AM Re: A defense of the Doan [Re: erehwon]
SwampDonkey Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/08/07
Posts: 1268
Loc: Northeastern Ontario, Canada
Hi all,

I use a Mag Block/Ferro Rod combination occasionally but have only used the Coghlin version. I have read that the epoxy holding the rod on is weak, other than that is there any other difference compared to the Doan Mag block? Is the Doan made of softer Magnesium because the Coghlin version seems hard?

Thanks,

Mike

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#171683 - 04/20/09 03:55 AM Re: A defense of the Doan [Re: SwampDonkey]
MDinana Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2184
Loc: Deep south... Carolina
I really don't like them b/c I've had numerous issues with the mag not being that good - in other words, barely worth the effort. I'd rather throw a Hotspark into a 35mm tin with vaseline gauze. Presto, you're own striker/tinder block.

Blowing away mag shavings? Yeah, ok, it happens. My thing is using a file, or peeling off shavings with a knife, either way they go up so freaking quick that my other tinder doesn't have a chance to catch. I've personally had better luck with regular old birch bark. though I suppose I could try the mag shavings on the birch and see what happens.

My other big gripe is that with the big bar of mag, I find it hard to aim the flint easily. Resulting in awkwardly-aimed sparks.

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#171689 - 04/20/09 05:50 AM Re: A defense of the Doan [Re: Chris Kavanaugh]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2738
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Okay, idiot question:

What's the difference between the DOAN and the Coghlans magnesium fire starter (with which I have a love/hate relationship)?

Light me up (with wisdom, not FMJ+tracer, thanks).

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#171691 - 04/20/09 08:59 AM Re: A defense of the Doan [Re: dougwalkabout]
scafool Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 1534
Loc: Muskoka
I had ones made by Coghlan's and ones made by Doan.
The only difference I could see was the Coghlan's had Coughlan's stamped into them and came in a blister pack while the Doans were loose in a bin at a surplus store and cost about me about half as much as the Coghlan's did.

Like I said, my only complaint with them was that the spark rod wore out.
(I think you guys who use the cutting edge of your knife for spark striking should file or grind a small section of the back to a square edge and use that instead.)
_________________________
May set off to explore without any sense of direction or how to return.

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#171695 - 04/20/09 11:48 AM Re: A defense of the Doan [Re: scafool]
Hookpunch Offline
Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 128


What I don't understand about the criticism about the magnesium shavings blowing away is that does not the same thing apply to most tinder?

The popular ones are cotton ball and vaseline or lint and vaseline which seem to me to those blow away fairly easily as well.


Maybe you find them easier after they blow away?

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#171700 - 04/20/09 02:21 PM Re: A defense of the Doan [Re: Hookpunch]
Paul810 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 1428
Loc: NJ, USA
Originally Posted By: Hookpunch


What I don't understand about the criticism about the magnesium shavings blowing away is that does not the same thing apply to most tinder?

The popular ones are cotton ball and vaseline or lint and vaseline which seem to me to those blow away fairly easily as well.


Maybe you find them easier after they blow away?


It's typically a lot easier to keep a single interconnected "bird's nest like" ball of cotton tinder from blowing away, than a few individual small flakes of magnesium that need to be kept together to work to their full potential. With that said, it's not impossible to loose a ball of cotton, nor is it impossible to keep a pile of magnesium flakes together.


Anyway, I've got a magnesium block fire starter that belonged to my uncle. He gave it to me when I was a kid and taught me how to use it. It was well used when I got it and is probably over 30 years old. I keep it in my truck as part of my vehicle kit. Last time I took it out and tried it, it worked just fine to light an outdoor campfire under normal conditions. Would I rely on it as my only fire starting method? Nope. Is it worth keeping around? In my experience, yes. Your mileage may vary, so to speak.

I think a lot of people buy these things from military surplus stores, have no idea how to use them, and expect them to easily light a fire under just about any condition. Suffice to say, it doesn't work like that. It's like any survival tool; you practice with it until you can use it in your sleep, you learn its limitations, and you decide if it's worth carrying, keeping in your backup gear, or just getting rid of it. Everyone has different experiences with various tools and supplies, you have to decide what works for you. smile

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#171702 - 04/20/09 02:39 PM Re: A defense of the Doan [Re: ironraven]
billvann Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 05/10/01
Posts: 780
Loc: NE Illinois, USA (42:19:08N 08...
Originally Posted By: ironraven
But if you have one, carry a didcated striker, or even better, a nice, short, high carbon steel bastard file. It will get the flakes off, and it will strike. After that, a bit of cheapo hacksaw blade.


The file on my Wave makes quick work of getting nice filings. And you can use the edge to strick parks. In fact, almost any sharp edge can be used. I've generated sparks with small rocks and broken pieces of glass.

BTW, regarding white corrosion due to humidity. Apply a coating of clear nail polish on the mag bar to prevent contact with the air. The coating scraps off easily when the bar is needed.
_________________________
Willie Vannerson
McHenry, IL

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#171713 - 04/20/09 06:00 PM Re: A defense of the Doan [Re: erehwon]
Roarmeister Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 09/12/01
Posts: 897
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
I've never really cared for them. As far as the ferrocium rod goes, that's OK but I've always struggled with getting a decent amount of magnesium filings scraped off to do any good. For me the time spent making a decent bird's nest of natural tinder outweighs the effort to scrape the mag block and gather the filings. The greatest thing the mag block is in my mind is that it provides a convenient holder for the ferrocium rod and that's about it.

JMHO, to each their own on this one. There are other fire starters out there with other types of tinder (cotton balls /w vaseline, dryer lint, commercial tinder, etc.) that are more worth while than the mag block. If it's the ONLY thing you have, then you make do with what you have. Otherwise plan and use your best tools.

The other fire starter I never really found much use for was the fire piston. Yes, it does work, yes it produces a small amount of burning embers but the amount of ember is small and is less valuable that other fire starting methods but again, it its the last thing you have, then you make do.

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