Traditional Flint and Steel Striker - Rookie Needs Help

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Re: Traditional Flint and Steel Striker - Rookie Needs Help

Post by ninja-elbow » Thu Mar 28, 2013 10:06 am

Also of note - I hold my char material on top of my flint. Others think that is weird but it works for me on that flint (as I can consistently... well sort of ... get sparks to fly up). Other times and on different flints I can get the sparks to fly down, so I will hold the char under. That pic I posted is with my best chert and it and my technique make the sparks fly up more often than down. I just put the char where the sparks go most of the time.

"Proper" technique be damed, "proper" to me is what works. :)
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Re: Traditional Flint and Steel Striker - Rookie Needs Help

Post by Woods Walker » Thu Mar 28, 2013 10:25 am

IceMyst wrote:I was just going to start a topic about charcloth and starting fires with both flint and steel as well as with a ferro rod.

I made a bunch of different charcloth recently and so far my favorite is denim. It is thick and takes a spark easily. I still have to figure out how to use the flint and steel better it takes me nearly 20 strikes to catch the charcloth. Tomorrow I shall use the info from this to education myself better!

Once again this forum full of useful information! LOVE IT!

Edit: WW that above video is damn amazing..... I'm in awe... Even with my ferro rod it takes me at least 2 strikes and I thought that was good....... :shock:
Doesn't always go down like that. :lol: Here is a video using the same method for the same charred punkwood but it must have taken 40 strikes. Lots of sparks but they magically avoided the tin. The spark has to travel further in that method making it potentially harder.

Last edited by Woods Walker on Thu Mar 28, 2013 10:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Traditional Flint and Steel Striker - Rookie Needs Help

Post by Woods Walker » Thu Mar 28, 2013 10:33 am

ninja-elbow wrote:Also of note - I hold my char material on top of my flint. Others think that is weird but it works for me on that flint (as I can consistently... well sort of ... get sparks to fly up). Other times and on different flints I can get the sparks to fly down, so I will hold the char under. That pic I posted is with my best chert and it and my technique make the sparks fly up more often than down. I just put the char where the sparks go most of the time.

"Proper" technique be damed, "proper" to me is what works. :)
Putting the tinder on top of the rock is the method I use most.
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Re: Traditional Flint and Steel Striker - Rookie Needs Help

Post by scurvy » Thu Mar 28, 2013 10:21 pm

74 or more wrote: (char cloth...) it feel apart in my hands. I almost had it though!
very cool your learning this method, it's gonna make a ferro rod seem so easy....

next time you brew up some char cloth try a couple of pieces of denim (100% cotton) I find it takes a spark just fine and doesn't evaporate when handled like other materials.

make sure the part of the rock your striking is SHARP, and sturdy (not sharp and thin) remember: your shaving steel.

keep at it, you'll get it... looking forward to seeing the fire you create.
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Re: Traditional Flint and Steel Striker - Rookie Needs Help

Post by 74 or more » Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:58 pm

I took Scurvy's advice and made more char cloth out of some denim and it definitely holds up better. After it was finished cooking I was eager to try it out with my striker. For some reason I could not get it to throw sparks as good as it has been. It was unbelievably frustrating. I had to put it down and walk away from it for now. I now have so much respect for you guys that can do this.

Here's how I was holding it
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Re: Traditional Flint and Steel Striker - Rookie Needs Help

Post by Regulator » Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:21 pm

The hold looks good but the edge on your flint looks pretty dull. The sharper the better as you are actually shaving off tiny pieces of metal when you make your strikes.

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Re: Traditional Flint and Steel Striker - Rookie Needs Help

Post by Woods Walker » Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:55 pm

Regulator wrote:The hold looks good but the edge on your flint looks pretty dull. The sharper the better as you are actually shaving off tiny pieces of metal when you make your strikes.
That. You must knap a new edge if there isn't a sharp one remaining someplace on that rock. Or you will have find a new rock. There is a method involving a complex bushcraft knapping technique known as "drop big rock on small". I am hesitant to show it on an open forum given the advanced nature of the process. :lol: I posted a video in this thread that might help you find a new rock.

http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopi ... 2&t=105403" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Traditional Flint and Steel Striker - Rookie Needs Help

Post by 74 or more » Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:35 pm

Woods Walker wrote:
Regulator wrote:The hold looks good but the edge on your flint looks pretty dull. The sharper the better as you are actually shaving off tiny pieces of metal when you make your strikes.
That. You must knap a new edge if there isn't a sharp one remaining someplace on that rock. Or you will have find a new rock. There is a method involving a complex bushcraft knapping technique known as "drop big rock on small". I am hesitant to show it on an open forum given the advanced nature of the process. :lol: I posted a video in this thread that might help you find a new rock.
haha I've seen the video of you breaking rocks. Your right...very complex :lol: . That rock is actually sharper than it looks but I'm sure I'm wearing it down. I'll start using the other half next time.
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Re: Traditional Flint and Steel Striker - Rookie Needs Help

Post by scurvy » Fri Apr 19, 2013 3:35 pm

waiting for an update and successful fire story..... it's gotta be coming soon,
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Re: Traditional Flint and Steel Striker - Rookie Needs Help

Post by 74 or more » Fri Apr 19, 2013 6:55 pm

I've only tried a few unsuccessful times since my last post. I was getting really frustrated and had to walk away from it. I'll give it a good long go tomorrow. I'm determined to get this down. I know my char cloth is good because I got it to catch a spark from my ferro but I had trouble getting it to ignite some natural tinder I had saved from a day hike. Tomorrow I'm going to pick up some jute twine and try that. I guess I'm putting the cart before the horse as I can even catch a spark from my flint/striker. I can get it to throw sparks but haven't had any luck with them catching on my char cloth. I really appreciate the encouragement though :D
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Re: Traditional Flint and Steel Striker - Rookie Needs Help

Post by WRKNMAN » Fri Apr 19, 2013 7:15 pm

If your getting sparks but having trouble catching them try changing the angle in which your striking some Times that helps and try holding the char cloth closer to the edge of your flint.

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Re: Traditional Flint and Steel Striker - Rookie Needs Help

Post by Kelvar » Fri Apr 19, 2013 8:37 pm

I'm late to the party, but, yeah, decent char cloth is a must and is easy to make. So long as you are generating sparks, you're on the right track. I also recommend having your "nest" of flammable material close by (and, obviously, make sure it doesn't get exposed to any moisture if you can help it). You just need a little glowing speck, a little cooperation from the weather, and a steady approach to breathe some "life" into it.

Admittedly, flint and steel is just an old fashioned version of the Bic lighter, but there is definitely a sense of accomplishment in starting your fire that way.

Good luck and have fun! :D
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Re: Traditional Flint and Steel Striker - Rookie Needs Help

Post by 74 or more » Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:28 pm

Well gentlemen I did it. I actually did it twice. This morning I went out and picked up some jute twine and gave it another go. Actually it was hemp but it worked out the same. Definitely an awesome sense of accomplishment. I really appreciate all the advice. It's kind of hard to document this process with pictures. Especially since I'm working with my cell phone and there is limited time to take pictures. I don't have anything that takes video except for my phone and that's only for a short while. Not long enough to show the process. I had a fire going for a short while in my vargo but for some reason the picture didn't save on my phone. I'll make another fire with my flint/striker just so I can post the picture of the final result but I have to make some more char cloth first.


Instead of putting the char cloth on top of the flint I set it upright in the altoids tin and hit the striker with the flit. This threw the sparks down onto the char cloth.
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Here is my nest. This was the first (and smaller) of the two. The twine works really nicely.
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Spark caught on my char cloth
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Victory celebration
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Eventually I'll get a nice hand held camera that will take some decent video and I'll do a good Woods Walker type post.

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Re: Traditional Flint and Steel Striker - Rookie Needs Help

Post by TheLastRifleMan » Sat Apr 20, 2013 4:05 pm

Well done! For the record, I also hold my char on top of my flint. If my char is dry and my flint sharp, it only takes one to four hits before I get a good hot ember.

I have found denim works great for char cloth but if you can find some old 100% cotton terry cloth towels you have a gold mine for char cloth. I think the denim works because the weave of the threads is so dense and tight. Old tee shirts work quite well, too.

Now all you need is some chaga. This is a tree fungus found on birch trees. It looks like a big black lump with cracks that is usually about 5 feet or so from the ground on a birch tree. If it is a burnt orange color inside, this is the stuff. After removing from the tree, cut it into chunks and let it dry. You can cut small coin sized pieces as these will dry faster.

To use, catch your spark on the char cloth as usual then touch the ember to the thinnest edge of a piece of chaga and give a gentle blow. The chaga should start to smolder like the char cloth but only much hotter and longer. Place this in your unraveled hemp nest. The sent it gives off is also quite pleasant. Since it burns hot and for a long time, you don't have to work as quickly to get your hemp to catch. Sometimes it is difficult to get the chaga to go out!

Just something to to try. And yes, once you get a fire going this way, the feeling of satisfaction is hard to beat.

BTW, is that a Fuente and if so, what kind?
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Re: Traditional Flint and Steel Striker - Rookie Needs Help

Post by 74 or more » Sat Apr 20, 2013 4:57 pm

Denim does work pretty well. That's what the char in the picture was made out of. I would like to try some chaga but I'm not that good at ID-ing stuff like that. However I thought I found some one time on a day hike. I meant to pick it up but I went a different way home and forgot about it.

I did take a picture of it though. Is it chaga?
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As for the cigar, Its a Saint Luis Ray. Very good 8-)
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Re: Traditional Flint and Steel Striker - Rookie Needs Help

Post by WRKNMAN » Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:42 pm

Awesome that's great

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Re: Traditional Flint and Steel Striker - Rookie Needs Help

Post by TheLastRifleMan » Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:55 am

Those are a good smoke.

Chaga is black with a hard, cracked exterior. It is usually on living trees, although I have scavenged it from fallen ones. And it only seems to like birch trees.

Those are interesting fungi you have in those pics. I have a friend who might know what those are.
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Re: Traditional Flint and Steel Striker - Rookie Needs Help

Post by zenshu » Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:56 pm

I read somewhere once, can't remember exactly where but I think it was a hunter survival course given by the Colorado Department of Wildlife, that if you coat the cotton ball in Vaseline that it becomes a far more viable source of tinder, I havent tried this myself but I do intend to try it out at some point...right now I have more char cloth than I know what to do with, my wife made the mistake of leaving a package of cotton make-up removal pads laying out and I immediately saw char cloth so I snatched the whole package and started cooking....but eventually I will see if I have vaseline in the house and cotton balls just to try out the vaseline coated cotton ball thing and see if I can make it work.
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Re: Traditional Flint and Steel Striker - Rookie Needs Help

Post by Woods Walker » Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:10 pm

74 or more wrote: Instead of putting the char cloth on top of the flint I set it upright in the altoids tin and hit the striker with the flit. This threw the sparks down onto the char cloth.
That is my preferred method for tinder that is too delicate or impossible for placement on top of a rock. Chaga dust, a large chunk of chaga or some charred natural tinder falls into that category. Clearly will work with charcoth as well. Congrats now take it to the next level. Make a natural tinder bundle blowing that into flames using charcoth.
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Re: Traditional Flint and Steel Striker - Rookie Needs Help

Post by Woods Walker » Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:19 pm

74 or more wrote: I did take a picture of it though. Is it chaga?
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No. I think that is some kinda shelf of hoof fungus. Not sure as to the ID beyond it not being chaga. On the flip side bet it would make a nice coal extender if dried.
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Re: Traditional Flint and Steel Striker - Rookie Needs Help

Post by TheLastRifleMan » Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:04 pm

Woods Walker wrote:
74 or more wrote: I did take a picture of it though. Is it chaga?
Image
No. I think that is some kinda shelf of hoof fungus. Not sure as to the ID beyond it not being chaga. On the flip side bet it would make a nice coal extender if dried.
Agreed. I have done just that a couple of times and it does work.
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Re: Traditional Flint and Steel Striker - Rookie Needs Help

Post by ninja-elbow » Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:52 pm

Good job, I bet that cigar and booze were a bit sweeter.
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