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Thread: How I make Char Cloth - the easy way.

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    Default How I make Char Cloth - the easy way.

    Ok, this is my easy, virtually fool proof, way to make Char Cloth.

    I am assuming that everyone here knows what Char Cloth is so it requires no explanation.

    Ok, find that old pair of manky Paint covered jeans you always meant to throw out.
    I use Denim for my char cloth as it is stronger than cotton T-Shirt material and is less likely to break up when you handle it.
    Cut up the jeans and remove all Pockets and seams so you just have flat material.
    Now cut that into 1 1/2 inch squares and stack it neatly.
    Get a standard Altoids tin and make a 1/8" hole in the center of the lid.

    Fire up your Coleman Stove or similar.
    Be sure to do this outside because it throws out a lot of smoke.
    Place six pieces of denim, in layers, into the Altoids tin, close the lid and place it on the Colman Stove.
    Now sit back and watch the smoke rise.

    As soon as the smoke stops, or diminishes to very little smoke, carefully remove the Altoids Tin from the Stove using leather Gloves to make sure you don't burn yourself and immediately place a spare piece of Denim over the hole in the lid and place a stone on it to keep it in place.
    DO NOT OPEN THE ALTOID TIN.

    The reason for putting the piece of Denim over the hole is to prevent air getting in.

    Leave the Altoid Tin alone until it has completely cooled down.
    I learned the trick of putting a piece of Denim over the hole after loosing a batch of Char Cloth as the hole was not covered and the entire batch simply smoldered away.
    Once cooled carefully place the char cloth into a Zip Lock bag and there you are....you made Char cloth.

    I found this to be the simplest way to make Char Cloth and in one afternoon made enough to last me a lifetime.
    But, it is fun to give it to other Survival types especially as you can make so much from an old pair of Jeans.

    I hope that helps someone out there.........


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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Poke a hole in the lid and the escaping gas will ignite. Once the fire goes out the cloth is char. Plug the hole with wax to keep out water. It will burn away the next time you make char cloth. You can also use a soup can inverted into a vegetable can. You can make a ton of cloth using the two can method. Same thing, poke a pin hole in the bottom of the soup can. When the fire goes out the cloth is char.

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    The Point I was making Rick is that you have to keep the air out while it all cools down or there is a high risk that the Char cloth will smolder away

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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Yep - a hole (small) makes it efficient.



    or with the Altoids tin - you can see the escaping gasses burning as Rick described.

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    Senior Member randyt's Avatar
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    that's the way I do it other than I have a all metal chew can with a hole in the lid, like denim too. One of these days I want to char up some cattail fluff and give that a try.
    so the definition of a criminal is someone who breaks the law and you want me to believe that somehow more laws make less criminals?

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    Senior Member tjwilhelm's Avatar
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    I discovered you can also make char cloth in a so-called "wood-gasification camp stove." The idea seemed plausible to me, so I tried it, and it worked:



    For anyone interested, here's a link to how I made the stove: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9bklAIquG4

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    So many ways to do it...she cried

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    Senior Member DSJohnson's Avatar
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    All well and good as long as you do not mind burning up cotton cloth. I am thinking cloth may be pretty darn dear in some scenarios. Have any of y'all ever charred any fungus/tree mold?
    Last edited by DSJohnson; 01-03-2014 at 12:09 PM.

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    I've never covered the hole and never had a problem. Seems unlikely air would infiltrate the can since outside air is cooler that that which is inside the can. In any case, I've never had a problem.

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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Never covered it either - never had a problem.
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    I have never covered the hole either. I use cotton gun cleaning patches (shotgun size) to make char cloth and a round candy/cookie tin about 6 inches in diameter.

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    To be honest I never thought it would be an issue but I found that simply covering the hole in the cooling phase gave me a much better result.
    I put it in the explanation really so that if you do have a problem with the Char Cloth smoldering you also have the solution.
    It's a moot point really as long as you end up with good char cloth.

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    Senior Member gryffynklm's Avatar
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    What is the size of the hole in your container?
    Karl

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    roughly 3/32 to 1/8

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    That's a good point, Karl. I suppose the size of hole could make a difference. I try to to keep mine as small as possible. Generally the size of a pin.

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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    I've never covered the hole and never had a problem. Seems unlikely air would infiltrate the can since outside air is cooler that that which is inside the can. In any case, I've never had a problem.
    I'm in the "no plug small hole" group as well.

    Altoids tins are not air tight, so maybe adding a hole does have too much air when done?

    I use a cookie tin for bulk or , a metal snuff tin/ shoe polish tin, as carry tin as they are air tight, so the hole is used when making, then plugged with wax when carrying.

    Some , I have heard use a small hole in the side of the tin,..... creates an opening for gasses....and by turning slightly cover the hole for water proof-ness.
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    Are we not focusing on minutia Guys?
    Basically, so long as the end result is good usable Char Cloth by whatever means is the end goal.
    As I said, for me covering the hole provided a solution for me and for many it may or may not be necessary. I am beginning to regret ever having mentioned that I covered the hole LOL

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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    You brought it up, and mentioned that you had better results....
    The rest of us just happen to disagree to an extent.

    All good, just expect comments when a subject is posted.
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    I don't think it minutia to toss around different ideas. Someone mentions something that someone else didn't think of. Someone else mentions a different way. No one is suggesting your way is wrong we've just found different roads to the same place and are offering those routes.

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    I agree that it's not minutia. You (we) have to remember that there is a lot of experience on this forum and your mileage may vary from the next person.


    or...........for a lot of us - this ain't our first rodeo.



    Discussions like this may give an inexperienced - or even an experienced member a new way of looking at things.
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