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#209760 - 10/17/10 05:28 AM Fire Making Tools
ChicagoCraig Offline
Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 113
It would be nice to see some of the fire making gear folks have. So here are some of the items in my fire making tool collection.


Match Cases - aluminum and plastic


Wooden Matches - regular, strike anywhere, and storm


Metal Match - There is a fibrous material inside the tube. The match stick removes some of the material which has some sort of accelerant on it. There is a ferro rod which the stick is struck against and the material ignites for about fifteen seconds. I picked this up on eBay for a about $1.50. It will light many many times.


Tinder - petroleum Jelly cotton balls, jute rope, dryer lint, and char cloth.


Tinder - magnesium rod, bar, chips, and bar with ferrocerium rod.


Plastic lens for solar fire starting


Glass lens for solar fire starting


Nylon fire piston


Nylon Fire piston disassembled


fire piston "pen"




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#209761 - 10/17/10 05:31 AM Re: fire making tools [Re: ChicagoCraig]
ChicagoCraig Offline
Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 113

fire piston "pen" disassembled


various mischmetal/ferrocerium rods with some having tubes.


Scrapper 5 LE for wood processing.


The five inch bunker tube.


This is the fire steel I normally carry.


Fire piston with plexiglass tube to hold additional contents


Fire piston with plexiglass tube to hold additional contents

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#209763 - 10/17/10 11:39 AM Re: Fire Making Tools [Re: ChicagoCraig]
Pharaoh Offline
Newbie

Registered: 07/26/06
Posts: 49
Loc: The Hague, the Netherlands.
ChicagoCraig,

About the "metalmatch" in the third pic you posted...

Actually it was designed to be filled with lighter fluid (i.e. zippo fuel). The fibrous material inside serves the same fuel holding purpose as the cotton packing inside a zippo.
There is/ or should be some cotton wick-like material on the end of the "match" and this would be saturated with fuel everytime the unit is closed after use.
Actually there is an O-ring near the threading which prevents the fuel from evaporating from the closed unit very effectively.
While writing this I took out one of mine (I have several) that hadn't been used for over two years because I was curious to see if it would still light. Lit up on the second strike!! Now there is something we can work with cool
As for burn time: expect something like 30 to 40 seconds (way longer than a wooden match) before it goes out and the wick has to be replenished by returning the "match" back to its container where it can soak up some more fuel and be re-used immediately. However, you shouldn't let the match burn until the fuel in the wick is all gone because the flame will "eat" the wick for dessert. cry
All in all a good and reliable bit of kit.

Pharaoh.
_________________________
-Smile and the world smiles with you. Fart and you stand alone-

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#209765 - 10/17/10 01:24 PM Re: Fire Making Tools [Re: Pharaoh]
ChicagoCraig Offline
Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 113
Pharaoh,

I wasn't really sure if the way I was using was correct but it seemed to work. My metal match is exactly how you describe it and at one time did have a wick wink Looks like i'll have to pick up another one from eBay since I've improperly used the one I have. Thanks for information.

Craig

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#209770 - 10/17/10 03:22 PM Re: Fire Making Tools [Re: ChicagoCraig]
ireckon Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 1613
Loc: Northern California
I thank you for the pics! I will post some pics of my stuff after some gear I ordered arrives. I see you have some mischmetal ferro rods from Firesteel.com. Those are my favorite.

When I talk about fire starters on a survival forum, I like to talk about products that will be reliable in extreme conditions. Realistically, there is likely to be at least one person to read this thread and actually need a fire starter for a life or death situation.

The following is my unsolicited opinion to be taken with a grain of salt. I don't have confidence in matches of any kind. I don't want them as part of my three essential fire starters, but matches are so common because everybody knows how to use matches, right? The piston devices that you displayed seem a little gimmicky and overpriced to me, in comparison to ferro rods. The Metal Match that you displayed is cool and fun, but seems like the biggest toy of them all. The Survival Spark (not shown) was appealing to me for awhile, but now that also seems gimmicky. Lighters like Bics and Zippo (not shown) are OK to carry along for starting fires in nice conditions, but they don't inspire high confidence in the reliability department. Again, my mindset is extreme conditions.

Ferro rods, which I own and use, seem to be the best combination of ruggedness, reliability and versatility. Generally, for any situation, I have high confidence in carrying the following: 2 Peanut Lighters, 2 ferro rods, 2 scrapers and pre-made tinder (e.g., cotton balls and petroleum jelly). I also have confidence in flares, but I realistically don't imagine me carrying flares on my person.
_________________________
If you're reading this, it's too late.

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#209773 - 10/17/10 05:17 PM Re: Fire Making Tools [Re: ChicagoCraig]
rebwa Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/25/09
Posts: 295
I carry Doug's kit with the included spark-lite and tinder and a few storm and strike anywhere matches. I find the fire steels a pia. My preferred method is to have a couple or more good old Bic lighters on me as well-they give me the flame as well as the spark!

For tinder I like Wetfire and a little mayo dust or small chunk of fat wood. If handy a little bark from a cedar tree added to the mix.

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#209775 - 10/17/10 06:35 PM Re: Fire Making Tools [Re: ireckon]
Paul810 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 1428
Loc: NJ, USA
Originally Posted By: ireckon
The Metal Match that you displayed is cool and fun, but seems like the biggest toy of them all.


Metal Matches are actually, IMO, very good fire starters. If anything, I like it better than a zippo. This is because fuel doesn't evaporate nearly as quickly and, because you are striking the ferro-rod long ways (as opposed to just at the end) it's possible to get more sparks. Therefore, if the fuel does run out, it's a bit easier to get a fire going by spark.

The downside though, is that no one seems to make a real high quality version. Most of them are cheaply made mostly-plastic imports with small ferro-rods and difficult to hold-onto striker/match parts. If someone put some real thought into designing a well-made modern version, I would definitely buy a few.

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#209776 - 10/17/10 06:53 PM Re: Fire Making Tools [Re: ChicagoCraig]
frediver Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/17/04
Posts: 213
Loc: N.Cal.
You could repack the wick in the striker of your "wet" match, you should find a metal tab that is removable to hold the new material. Twist up your own cotton yarn or try using cotton gauze or maybe even cotton butcher string.
Try a few different materials, it could be a survival need .

BTW
where did you get all the different fire pistons and how well do they actually work? I would not consider one as an actual survival
device but I'm still interested in the collector aspect.

Thanks

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#209777 - 10/17/10 07:02 PM Re: Fire Making Tools [Re: ireckon]
Byrd_Huntr Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 1145
Loc: Land O' Lakes & Rivers - MN, U...
Originally Posted By: ireckon
I thank you for the pics! I will post some pics of my stuff after some gear I ordered arrives. I see you have some mischmetal ferro rods from Firesteel.com. Those are my favorite.

When I talk about fire starters on a survival forum, I like to talk about products that will be reliable in extreme conditions. Realistically, there is likely to be at least one person to read this thread and actually need a fire starter for a life or death situation.

The following is my unsolicited opinion to be taken with a grain of salt. I don't have confidence in matches of any kind. I don't want them as part of my three essential fire starters, but matches are so common because everybody knows how to use matches, right? The piston devices that you displayed seem a little gimmicky and overpriced to me, in comparison to ferro rods. The Metal Match that you displayed is cool and fun, but seems like the biggest toy of them all. The Survival Spark (not shown) was appealing to me for awhile, but now that also seems gimmicky. Lighters like Bics and Zippo (not shown) are OK to carry along for starting fires in nice conditions, but they don't inspiring high confidence in the reliability department. Again, my mindset is extreme conditions.

Ferro rods, which I own and use, seem to be the best combination of ruggedness, reliability and versatility. Generally, for any situation, I have high confidence in carrying the following: 2 Peanut Lighters, 2 ferro rods, 2 scrapers and some pre-made tinder (e.g., cotton balls and petroleum jelly). I also have confidence in flares, but I realistically don't imagine me carrying flares on my person.


I agree with almost everything you say here, with one exception; the lighters. I tested some lighters in the dead of winter by leaving them out in my unheated shed for weeks in very cold weather. As expected, they sparked but did not light at first. After about five minutes inside my glove, they worked just fine. Although I have never had a lighter fail due to cold, snow, or rain, I realize that it could happen. I also am unsure of the effects of altitude on them if any. I have no hard stats, but even if you figured a 5% failure rate for lighters, two of them would bring it to under 1%, and three of them would require some technical calculations above my pay level. Even a dead lighter still sparks. Total investment? $4.00 for 3 lighters and $3.00 for a military surplus ferro rod for that tiny chance.
_________________________
The man got the powr but the byrd got the wyng

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#209778 - 10/17/10 07:29 PM Re: Fire Making Tools [Re: Byrd_Huntr]
Paul810 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 1428
Loc: NJ, USA
One of the nice things about Bics is that they're cheap and easy to find, so it's not a big deal to have multiples of them. I have a bunch in my various kits and gear bags and then I put one in every jacket I own. I figure, if I'm going somewhere cold enough to require needing a jacket, then I should have some way to make fire with me as well, just in case. (I don't rely on it exclusively though, I also have a BSA hotspark on my keys and a magnifying glass in my wallet.)


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