Equipped To Survive Equipped To Survive® Presents
The Survival Forum
Where do you want to go on ETS?

Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#2698 - 11/25/01 07:15 PM My first attempt with flint and steel
Anonymous
Unregistered


After reading about the Blast Match and similar products this morning I decided to try my hand at making fire without matches or a lighter ( How hard could it be?). So, off to to the fireplace I went with my military type flint and magnesium firestarter and the 3' bit of hacksaw blade I keep taped to it. <br> To start with I shaved off some wood slivers from a piece of kindling and made a neat little pile abount 2 inches in diameter. Next, I grated off some magnesium from the fire starter with my hacksaw blade until I could see the tiny metal speckles on the wood. At this point I stood back and swept the blade down the flint rod towards the wood/metal mixture expecting it to erupt into an inferno. Well, this didn't happen! There were a lot of bright flashes from the flint and magnesium but no residual flame or even glowing embers.<br> I continued experimenting for about 45 more minutes before I achieved some success. The key things I discovered were: 1. I needed a pile of magnesium shavings that was about 3/8" in diameter and 1/8" high. 2. The wood shavings needed to be about as thick as a toothpick and there needs to be a lot of them. 3. Once you manage to get the wood to light you need to start gently blowing on the flame and embers as you add larger pieces of wood.<br> Keep in mind that while I was eventually successful I was also indoors with no wind and was using seasoned kindling. On the other hand, I also didn't use any tinder such as paper or candle wax which may have made things easier.<br> The lessons learned here were that I need to practice this skill and hopefully improve my ability, and to investigate better equipment for the job.<br><br>Chris

Top
#2699 - 11/25/01 08:03 PM Re: My first attempt with flint and steel
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
The best teacher will always be testing even "written in stone gospel" for ourselves. The military even went as far as producing a magnesium frame, wire strung snowshoe. I get enough funny looks from snowboarders with my wood and rawhide traditional pair. I tried these once, and passed them off to a "Survivalist" friend. He threw them on the fire in disgust. We sat there for the evening until time to turn in. is last comment before falling asleep was " Chris,do you carry a magnesium firestick? No Pat. Oh,O.K."

Top
#2700 - 11/25/01 08:40 PM Re: My first attempt with flint and steel
Anonymous
Unregistered


Wow. It must have been a heck of a fire when he threw those in. Some of the early Volkswagon beetles had magnesium in the engine blocks. It was quite a show when they caught fire. When I was in the VFD we had to try and put one out. We managed to keep the rest of the car from burning but had to wait for the block to consume itself.<br><br>BTW: What do you suggest for tinder if I get a Blast Match?<br><br>Chris

Top
#2701 - 11/25/01 09:29 PM Re: My first attempt with flint and steel
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
Actualy,getting magnesium to ignite in a large block is impossible. They just sat there getting hot. A VW has gasoline to create the high temp necessary for ignition ( lousy people's car fuel line was the culprit). I carry the small sparklite tool and a good supply of of the tinder. It looks like a cigarette filter. This material when pulled open has never failed me.Many of the other trioxane, firepaste and other tinders will degrade when exposed.You can buy the 10pk tinder seperate ( I patronise Major Surplus N Survivor, or you can order direct from Four Seasons and Barry at Blue Line may also carry them). Another good secondary tinder are the German Esbit pocket stove fuel tabs. They look like white ceramic blocks, have a good burn time and are impervious to all but a smashing blow from a rambo Knife. " God didn't make Rambo, I made Rhambo"-Richard Crenna. Know we know who to blameLOL.

Top
#2702 - 11/26/01 09:34 PM Re: My first attempt with flint and steel
billvann Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 05/10/01
Posts: 780
Loc: NE Illinois, USA (42:19:08N 08...
I tried my MFS for the first time this spring, and I was shoked how easy it was! I think the tinder is the key difference between our two experiences. I used a hunk of dryer lint I carry in my fanny pack. I used the file from my "el-cheapo" multi-tool (discontinued Al-Trade, $10 at Ace. The WAVE is on my X-mass list) to create the filings. I'd file down a bunch onto the lint, then pick up the lint and worked them deeper into the tinder, then I added some more on top. My very first strike caught fire and I was able to build a fire in a few short minutes.<br><br>Of course I also had a good supply of kindling (toothpick up to pencil thickness) and fuel (pinky, thumb & larger sizes) at hand, sorted into piles so I could easily build the fire up. I found it harder on subsiquent attempts when I didn't spend as much time filing off the MFS. Oh, it was outdoors, but it was a beautuful spring day with a slight breeze.<br><br>So I would advise folks to:<br><br>1. Practice on beautifu spring days so you become profecient before an emergeny appears.<br><br>2. Collect and prepare your tinder, kindling and fuel before you strike the first spark. Collect twice as much tinder and kindling as you think neccesary. You don't want to run through the woods at the last second trying to find more while your first fresh fire sputters in hunger for fuel.<br><br>3. Spend twice as much time scraping, filing or shaving magnesium as you think is needed. It's quicker to spend a few extra minutes making magnesium filings than it is to search for more kindling and trying it a second time because your tinder didn't last long enough.<br><br>BTW, besides the ability to catch sparks and ignite the tinder, magnesium also has the advantage of burning very hot, which will help ignite the kindling. So spending a few extra minutes shaving more magnisium into the tinder also makes the job of building the fire easier.<br><br>BTW II - The toothpick, pencil, pinky & thumb descripions are what I have used with Boy Scouts when helping them start their first fire. They all want to run out and gather logs when they search for firewood, but none come back with enough of the small stuff to get the fire started. They also come back to the campsite with armloads of leaves. Arrrgggg!!!!<br><br>
_________________________
Willie Vannerson
McHenry, IL

Top
#2703 - 11/26/01 09:40 PM Re: My first attempt with flint and steel
billvann Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 05/10/01
Posts: 780
Loc: NE Illinois, USA (42:19:08N 08...
I almost forgot to add that I was very impressed with cotton balls and petrolium jelly as a tinder. We tried it at our campout last weekend. I even screwed up by using synthetic "fluff" balls instead of cotton. I'm sure 100% cotton would ignite easier. <br><br>I'm going to get some of the real thing, impregnate them with a thin coating of jelly and prefiled magnesium. Then stuff a bunch into an empty 35mm film canister.<br><br>Does anyone know if there's a problem or hazard with preloading the balls with magnesium and carrying them aound?
_________________________
Willie Vannerson
McHenry, IL

Top
#2704 - 11/26/01 10:59 PM Re: My first attempt with flint and steel
Anonymous
Unregistered


So long as you aren't breathing it in for a long time, and have it shielded from static shock, none that I can think of.<br><br>BTW, if people want to save time and thier arms, alumimum flake that you can get from auto body supply stores for paint is about as effective as magnesium, in my experince.

Top
#2705 - 11/27/01 02:39 AM Re: My first attempt with flint and steel
Anonymous
Unregistered


Thanks for the tip on the tinder. I'll put them on my xmas list.<br>As far as the VW engine though, I have to disagree. The block can catch fire if a portion of it is heated to its boiling point and the resulting gas is ignited. An impinging flame from a gas line could cause this.<br><br>Chris

Top
#2706 - 11/27/01 02:39 PM Re: My first attempt with flint and steel
billvann Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 05/10/01
Posts: 780
Loc: NE Illinois, USA (42:19:08N 08...
Regarding aluminum, here's an excerpt from a boy scouts Magic Fire Starter document compiled by Scouter Stewart Bowman, 8th Whitby Scout Troop, Whitby District, Lakeridge Region, Ontario, Canada, November 1992<br><br>>>>3] Crush 1 teaspoon of iodine crystals to a very fine powder, then mix with 2 teaspoons of powdered aluminium. IT IS CRITICAL THAT THIS MIXTURE REMAINS ABSOLUTELY DRY.<br><br>Place this mixture in the fire lay on a piece of plywood, forming a volcano shaped mound. When the participants are gathered around the campfire, ask if anyone has a canteen of water in case the fire gets 'out of hand' (you may want to set this up beforehand). Pat your pockets as if looking for a match, but finding none, ask to borrow some water. Sprinkle it on the fire lay (ensure a few drops hit the iodine/aluminium mixture) and you will be greeted by billowing purple smoke, followed by deep red flames. Someone is bound to ask, "OK. So how do you put it out?" Simply tell them you'll throw matches on it!<br><br>Note: The powdered iodine "evaporates" very quickly. As a result this mixture must be used within about 10 minutes of preparation. <<<<br><br>There are other interesting techniques, many are fairly well known. I'd be happy to email the full text to anyone who's interested. Send me a private email if you'd like a copy.
_________________________
Willie Vannerson
McHenry, IL

Top
#2707 - 11/27/01 07:49 PM Re: My first attempt with flint and steel
tfisher Offline
Member

Registered: 01/29/01
Posts: 186
Loc: Illinois, USA
Be careful mixtures like this nowadays can be considered terrorism. ;-)<br><br>Ted Fisher<br>VCSAR
_________________________
If you want the job done right call "Tactical Trackers"

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >



Moderator:  Alan_Romania, Blast, chaosmagnet, cliff 
May
Su M Tu W Th F Sa
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31
Who's Online
1 registered (Jeanette_Isabelle), 602 Guests and 1 Spider online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
Explorer9, GallenR, Jeebo, NicholasMarshall, Yadav
5368 Registered Users
Newest Posts
Silver
by Jeanette_Isabelle
Today at 06:24 PM
Hoover Stew
by brandtb
05/19/24 03:45 PM
New Madrid Seismic Zone
by Jeanette_Isabelle
05/17/24 03:49 PM
EDC Reduction
by Jeanette_Isabelle
05/16/24 07:59 PM
Any shortages where you are?
by adam2
05/16/24 09:49 AM
Bird Flu (H5N1) found in cattle -- are Humans next
by dougwalkabout
05/10/24 01:28 AM
My Doug Ritter Folder Attacked Me!
by dougwalkabout
05/04/24 02:30 AM
People Are Not Paying Attention
by Bingley
04/28/24 03:24 AM
Newest Images
Tiny knife / wrench
Handmade knives
2"x2" Glass Signal Mirror, Retroreflective Mesh
Trade School Tool Kit
My Pocket Kit
Glossary
Test

WARNING & DISCLAIMER: SELECT AND USE OUTDOORS AND SURVIVAL EQUIPMENT, SUPPLIES AND TECHNIQUES AT YOUR OWN RISK. Information posted on this forum is not reviewed for accuracy and may not be reliable, use at your own risk. Please review the full WARNING & DISCLAIMER about information on this site.