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Thread: Show us your Home made fire pistons

  1. #41
    Otaku/ survivalist wannab ravenscar's Avatar
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    that is a lot of space taken up........
    It bothers me how someone with new shoes can come up to me asking for money.


  2. #42
    Junior Member dixieangler's Avatar
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    I use this around the house as a novelty. I would not carry it into the woods or if I did it, I do not consider it a reliable fire making tool given its limitations and requirements, O-rings, lube, and char. It is fun to play with.

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    This is the best fire piston I have used bought or made. This one is shorter than the original in the link below overall in tube and piston by about three quarters of an inch. It took about four hours to build and was easy. It does work very good. All the parts cost about ten dollars including the ten pack of O-rings. The shoe polish tin or tinder box about four dollars and the Chapstick lube about one dollar. It should not bottom out as the air pressure is very high making the piston rebound in the tube. Here are the instructions for the build in pdf file format.



    I use a friction set like this when out in the woods. Friction firebow sets are very reliable as long as the parts are the right parts from good friction wood that is standing, free of sap, and dry. Of course it helps if you have practiced and have experience using it. I am constantly testing woods that are new to me for friction. The best way is using the fingernail test to see if the wood etches before using it.

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    I always carry in my pants pocket a mag stick (magnesium block/spark ferro rod) for wet days when dry friction wood may be tough to cut down into or get to. Also a pocket sharpener, cord, bandana, and SAK (Swiss Army Knife Hiker model). I also wear eye glasses that can work for solar fire starting if need be.
    Last edited by Rick; 01-23-2011 at 11:20 PM. Reason: Removed copyrighted material
    Robert M.

  3. #43
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    I got a kick (don't know about the legalities) of the pdf file you linked to. It starts off "First off i want to thank you for purchasing thise instructions.

    Nice fire piston and bow drill sets too.
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  4. #44
    Junior Member dixieangler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crashdive123
    I got a kick (don't know about the legalities) of the pdf file you linked to. It starts off "First off i want to thank you for purchasing thise instructions.
    LOL Me either but it is available right now so I figure it would not be available if illegal. Either that or somebody messed up. lol
    Robert M.

  5. #45
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    The ops piston looks good.

    I have made and bought fire pistons and used them. I do not feel they are reliable enough to take up room in my BOB. Much easier means to make fire in the wilds. At home to start the fireplace, I just use "Lint Rope," and any kind of sparking device (I have an old bic lighter top hanging at the fireplace) on a bead chain.

    Lint rope is so easy to make.... dryer lint and SLIGHT candle wax scraped infused, you just make a piece of rope from the lint/dry wax using the tri "Rolled Lint cord," (lint cord is made by just rolling the lint with wax chips on a flat surface, make three of these to what ever disered length and then twist into a rope) to make a rope of sorts. Just either braid or twist into a rope. Upper right hand cord, twist left as you twist all three cords to the right. To use, cut a 2" section, fluff it, spark it and have tinder ready as well as fuel. The rolled lint rope will burn about 3 minutes depending how tight you make the rope. Tighter burns longer & smaller, loose burns larger & quickly.

    I make fire faster this way at the fireplace than I can with a match or lighter.

    I would NOT advise to use lint rope in the field (Too humidity touchy) as a survival method, but is fun to make stuff from junk and make useful.

  6. #46

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    You could actually make one from a Mini Maglite, a project that I'm now working on. Here's a link to a tutorial on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-djD2n2YSv0 There are other great videos about these, but this was the original.

  7. #47
    hunter-gatherer Canadian-guerilla's Avatar
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    firebows are more in line with my " think primitive " outdoor philosophy than a fire piston
    .
    Knowledge without experience is just information


    there are two types of wild food enthusiasts,
    one picks for enjoyment of adding something to a meal,
    and the second is the person who lives mostly on ( wild ) edibles

    Lydia

  8. #48

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    Interesting. I have never heard of these before, but I never had a problem with plain old Matches. I'm not familiar with Charcloth. I've stuck with wood shavings, dry Bark, Grass. Leaves etc.

  9. #49

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    I saw a fire piston on a survival show. None of my friends or family knew what a fire piston was. When I get an idea in my head sometimes there is only way to get it out. I immediately went down to our local big box hardware and purchased the parts just before they closed. I'm still obsessed with the results and plan on hunting down so tinder fungus tomorrow. It was quite a process because once I made the fire piston I didn't have char cloth so I had to make that too. I didn't have a good way to heat the cotton to make the char cloth so I also ended up making an alcohol burner out of coke cans. Eventually I got my first fire piston to work flawlessly. So of course I made another one and I decided to try making one out of oak as well. I'm not having as much luck with the oak. I probably wouldn't want to rely on a fire piston entirely with the other available options but for me it has it's own enjoyment.

    Aluminum tube 1/16" thick 1/2" x 36" long
    Aluminum Rod 3/8" diameter 36" long
    #5 o-ring 3/8 O.D. x 1/4" I.D.
    PIC_4541.jpgfire piston.jpg
    Last edited by crashdive123; 10-25-2011 at 08:11 AM. Reason: Removed video

  10. #50
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    cool looking i am still learning diffrent methods

  11. #51
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Gigcass - I had to remove your video since it listed your website. Websites cannot be listed or linked to in the body of posts. You can however include it as part of your signature if you wish.
    Can't Means Won't

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  12. #52
    Senior Member Thaddius Bickerton's Avatar
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    I saw one made using a small screw driver that had been sharpened up to make the drill

    after making it out of wood, the wood needs to be sealed with something like varnish. the fellow who made the one I saw used "super glue" to seal it up.

    used something like jute twine to make a gasket then put some grease of some type on it.

    after digging a hole in the end of the stick he put some fungus of some type in it and boom made a coal.

    whole thing took him about an hour to make, although he had roughed out the outside already.

    ****

    I always mean to make me one, but so far haven't. Somewhere I saw a list of copper parts you could get at the hardware to make one that looked much easier than the primitive one I saw made. I may do a bit at getting one made.

    It would be fun to pull it out to light my pipe when some folk who had never seen one were around. They already think me using a firesteel to light a piece of Q-tip dipped in vasaline to get a fire is some kind of magick. LOL

    Imagine people wanting to light a birthday cake candles and not having a match in the house and the stove being those glass topped kind and not even willing to put a rolled up piece of paper to their precious stove, then me making a "match" from a q-tip and vaseline that their daughter gave me from her make up kit.

    It was sad but funny.

  13. #53
    Senior Member WalkingTree's Avatar
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    This thread is old but I thought I'd throw this in here anyway to help in case someone is curious later...this point is made but it doesn't get mentioned or thought about nearly as much as other factors so I want to emphasize it again here. I've seen this one fundamental design goal overlooked, believe it or not.

    One of the reasons why someone's fire piston won't work which they don't think of often while being concerned with the gasket or the charcloth...is that it needs to be made such that it has a 25:1 compression ratio. A person might just follow a recipe of measurements for the parts and make it, but not make sure that those plans result in the finished product having that vital 25 to 1 compression ratio which makes all the magic work. This of course means that you need to design in a little more compression ratio than that, to allow for not slamming in the piston perfectly all the way or having some micro-leakage due to an imperfect gasket or the materials. Having a little more than 25:1 means that things like a gasket which isn't quite perfect won't matter. You'll still get some ignition. Plan on it never working absolutely perfectly and giving it the potential for more ratio. You can have your exact 25:1 ratio and it'll never work, because reality can have more factors than theory. This means simply adding a half inch or something like that to your cylinder and piston lengths.
    Last edited by WalkingTree; 08-25-2015 at 09:19 PM.
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  14. #54
    2%er Erratus Animus's Avatar
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    Well all of that sounds good but I too saw the video of a fellow make one with a machete , screwdriver and plant fibers and it worked first time , made from green wood, even lit his cigarette with it. Pretty sure whatever the tolerances are he knew how to overcome them as it was all done under 9 minutes. I have made them and sold them for several years and never used any formula other some basic guides on piston depth and bore size. The long skinny one and the short fat one all light with ease. I have used string, rubber gaskets, homemade leather washers and homemade rubber washers. Even made one so strong on compression it blew the osage body apart. Most I make now are copper liners with sweated bottoms and double rubber gaskets.
    Its the bits between birth and death that define a life well lived.

  15. #55
    2%er Erratus Animus's Avatar
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    lol I forgot I even started this post lol. I was sent two Vulcan fire pistons 2 years ago and use them for demos and as conversation pieces. They are pretty reliable but I now have a fire steel and bees wax soaked cotton with me anytime I am out.
    Its the bits between birth and death that define a life well lived.

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