Saturday, December 08, 2007

Flint and Steel Fire

I managed to take a detour on Friday and I've picked up a couple of handfuls of flint pebbles and shards. I'm planning on giving them a bash in the near future to see if I can create any thing with any degree of intent at all - hopefully to make a blade of some description.
In the meantime though I've been playing with a traditional fire steel - that's a piece of forged high carbon steel, not a ferrocium rod. I've made a lot of nice sparks with it so far but haven't got the hang of getting them to land in the right place yet. I've been trying with cotton wool so far without success but having read a bit on the web it would seem charcloth is the way to go.
I'll keep you posted how I get on. The firesteel itself came from line-shack-rider on e-bay and I've had it almost a year but not really played a lot with it until now.


Fenlander said...

Cotton wool will not ignite from flint and steel as the sparks are not hot enough, but if you char the cotton wool first it will then work.

Thanks for mentioning my blog.

Kevin (Fenlander)

Decado said...


I have done it with the char-cloth the last couple of times. Found it was pretty good but it takes patience, (sometimes luck) and NO wind! Last time I tried I could not get it to go and I realized the wind had more of an effect than I thought. Not like the fire-steel, that is for sure.

Good Luck!


American Bushman said...

The trick to using charcloth is to put it on TOP of the flint if you're swinging the striker down on the flint and BELOW the flint if you're moving the flint toward the striker.

Once you've gotten charcloth to go with flint and steel you'll be hard pressed to want to start a fire any other way.

Imagine being able to hold the sparks from your firesteel as long as you wanted...that's what it's like as the charcloth will smoulder until you blow it and your tinder bundle into a flame.

Fantastic stuff.