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Thread: Firestarting Help!

  1. #101
    Junior Member Tokwan's Avatar
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    Okay..let me try on slimwood.
    I'm a Gramp who is not computer savvy, give me a slab and the rock ages tablet..I will do fine!


  2. #102
    Senior Member MrFixIt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crashdive123 View Post
    In order to generate enough heat to have an exothermic reaction calories must be expended. There is simply not enough caloric content in skinny wood to generate the required amount of excitation to result in combustion, therefore fatwood is called for.
    LOL!
    That has got to be the most well thought out scientific reply I've ever read!
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  3. #103
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    Yeah. I'd have to give that response this week's wordsmith award. I thunk you hit the sweet spot on that one.

  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by crashdive123 View Post
    In order to generate enough heat to have an exothermic reaction calories must be expended. There is simply not enough caloric content in skinny wood to generate the required amount of excitation to result in combustion, therefore fatwood is called for.
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  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrFixIt View Post
    I'll extend the same offer to anyone that needs/wants fat wood as I did to Zack.
    PM me if interested.
    Have gallon baggies of shavings, "matches", and chunks.
    I did trade with him recently. Everything went great, in my opinion. I did end up sending him my end of the deal (a bunch of birch bark) a little late, but after all the snow we had not too long ago, I figured that I should let it dry out. Anyway, I'd recommend trading with him in a heartbeat! I'll trade some river-birch bark with any who wants to experiment or get a new type of tinder. Just PM me!
    Last edited by Zack; 02-06-2015 at 10:10 PM.

  6. #106

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    You know swapping out various types of tinders, drills, hearth boards and what not sounds like a cool idea.

    I have been playing with hand drills lately. Horse weed on willow didn't work. Horse weed on red cedar produced the dust and smoke. But, I think we lack the technique yet. Brazilian Pepper on red cedar produced dust and lots of smoke. I have some dog fennel drying for a spindle. I got lots of smoke on some dried out strangler fig for a hearth last night. But, I burned right through it with the horse weed spindle. I may go out and get some black elderberry for a spindle this weekend.

    While we are out gathering these materials, we could gather enough to barter for other materials which may be very common in the areas you frequent. And swap that for something that you don't often have time to go gather at the appropriate time or isn't even available in your area. But, you would like to experiment with it anyway.

    I've got fatwood too. I just lit a fire with some type of birch that was bought at a local grocery store. A guy at work built a very nice fire pit out of arched split stone and made matching benches all the way around. But, he couldn't get a fire started with any real wood. Just those lighter logs. LOL

    So, I showed how he could process a log down very easily and get all he needed from it to start his fire and get the bigger pieces going. I used a lighter and the birch bark put out a similar black smoke like lighter knot.

  7. #107
    Senior Member MrFixIt's Avatar
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    Sounds good to me Batch. I have access to tulip poplar, cedar, hickory, pecan...the list goes on.
    And River cane is abundant in my area, could even set up a swap for crafting materials.
    When all else fails, read the directions, and beware the Chihuahuacabra!

  8. #108
    Senior Member MrFixIt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zack View Post
    I did trade with him recently. Everything went great, in my opinion. I did end up sending him my end of the deal (a bunch of birch bark) a little late, but after all the snow we had not too long ago, I figured that I should let it dry out. Anyway, I'd recommend trading with him in a heartbeat! I'll trade some river-birch bark with any who wants to experiment or get a new type of tinder. Just PM me!
    Thanks for the kind words Zack. I will say the same for you.
    I now have enough birch bark to make a canoe!!
    When all else fails, read the directions, and beware the Chihuahuacabra!

  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrFixIt View Post
    Thanks for the kind words Zack. I will say the same for you.
    I now have enough birch bark to make a canoe!!
    It sounds like you got the package. Sorry it was a little late, but at least it was dry. If you run out, I've got plenty more!

  10. #110

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    You might need to open the tinder bundle more. I had the same problem, but the more oxygen the better. Good Luck!

  11. #111
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    It's not primitive but it works great.

    0000 steel wool will take a spark and burn like nobody's business. Stick a piece of it inside some dry tinder and if you've got the rest of your kindling ready you'll have a fire with one spark. Hold it and blow into it like normal and then set it under the kindling.

    Alan

  12. #112
    Senior Member Antonyraison's Avatar
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    a ferrorod is primitive?
    This is an old thread, anyway for the sake of answering the question
    anything very dry and fluffy usually works
    Very dry grass, sometime certain very dry leaves, certain Bark processed finely. Birch bark, scrape the inner bark into a fluffy power that work with ferro rods.
    Fat wood is simply resin impregnated Pine.
    failing all of that a cotton ball, for longer burn times a cotton ball with Vaseline inside.
    And also dryer Lint works.
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  13. #113
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    In another life I was a teacher. For two years I taught 9th grade science to kids with learning/reading difficulties. We did a lot of "hands on" science. As part of a larger lesson, we used fire making to learn about surface area and volume in chemical reactions. We used bow/drills, trenches, and flint and steel (actual flint picked up in the parking lot and 1/4 inch steel rebar). We tried all the usual suspects including cotton balls, dryer lint, bird nests and an assortment of natural tinder. From those very informal tests we found that dryer lint was the lest effective in catching and holding a spark long enough get a flame. Cotton balls were so so but required a lot of work. There was one group that had their fire going almost immediately. They were the ones using the 0000 steel wool. I was 45 years old at that time, had been camping and starting camp fires for 35 of those years, and had never even given a second thought to the idea that steel wool would burn. It burns, and it burns very well. The manufacturing process that creates steel wool uses a lot of oil. The tiny fibers are coated with a thin film of oil and it is actually the oil that is burning and I'd imagine the steel does some oxidizing as well. Steel wool stretched from one pole of a battery to the other will begin burning also.

    We never did get a fire started with the bow/drill or the trench. Those methods require a perseverance and dedication to the task that was not present in my classroom. But they did provide excellent demonstrations of how friction generates heat.

    Oh, the final exam for our project was cooking and eating hot dogs and marshmallows.

    Alan
    Last edited by Alan R McDaniel Jr; 07-05-2017 at 09:09 PM.

  14. #114
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    I spent ten minutes writing a post. When I posted it a message came up on the screen that didn't stay long enough for me to read. It began "Thank you for posting. Your post ….." then it went off and my post was gone….

    Alan
    Last edited by Alan R McDaniel Jr; 07-05-2017 at 08:54 AM.

  15. #115
    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan R McDaniel Jr View Post
    I spent ten minutes writing a post. When I posted it a message came up on the screen that didn't stay long enough for me to read. It began "Thank you for posting. Your post ….." then it went off and my post was gone….

    Alan
    That may have been the spam software, nothing to do with you..... sometimes send posts to moderators to review....
    After 10 posts a lot of that stuff stops getting in you way....
    You are close...try again.....
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  16. #116
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Yep, it went to moderation. That happens from time to time when you have less than 10 posts. The post is now visible to all, and you shouldn't run into that issue again.



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  17. #117
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    Thanks. That's 11. I'm home free now!

    Alan

  18. #118
    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan R McDaniel Jr View Post
    In another life I was a teacher. For two years I taught 9th grade science to kids with learning/reading difficulties. We did a lot of "hands on" science. As part of a larger lesson, we used fire making to learn about surface area an volume in chemical reactions. We used bow/drills, trenches, and flint and steel (actual flint picked up in the parking lot and 1/4 inch steel rebar). We tried all the usual suspects including cotton balls, dryer lint, bird nests and an assortment of natural tinder. From those very informal tests we found that dryer lint was the lest effective in catching and holding a spark long enough get a flame. Cotton balls were so so but required a lot of work. There was one group that had their fire going almost immediately. They were the ones using the 0000 steel wool. I was 45 years old at that time, had been camping and starting camp fires for 35 of this years, and had never even given a second thought to the idea that steel wool would burn. It burns, and it burns very well. The manufacturing process that creates steel wool uses a lot of oil. The tiny fibers are coated with a thin film of oil and it is actually the oil that is burning and I'd imagine the steel does some oxidizing as well. Steel wool stretched from one pole of a battery to the other will begin burning also.

    We never did get a fire started with the bow/drill or the trench. Those methods require a perseverance and dedication to the task that was not present in my classroom. But they did provide excellent demonstrations of how friction generates heat.

    Oh, the final exam for our project was cooking and eating hot dogs and marshmallows.

    Alan
    And a good post it was...Good teaching tool.

    That experience reflects most of these attempts.....and results are pretty much alike.

    It's tough to collect natural material and components.... in the wild, under all conditions in all locations....that work.

    I like trying as many methods as I can....but I don't plan on depending on the real primitive ways ...unless I have to.

    If you have to bring materials with you, dryer lint cotton balls, changa, fuzz sticks, fat wood......along with flint, ferro rods, steels, steel wool, para-pord, roller skate bearing for the bearing block....for bow drills
    to get it to work...many people will not consider this a primitive methods...

    Fact is,... early man carried his favorite gear, and methods with him for this reason......The same was we carry a Bic, Zippo, and road flares.

    Just good to know different ways.
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  19. #119
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Dang it. Now I have to go delete one. And I'll bet my ice cream melts!

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  20. #120
    Senior Member Antonyraison's Avatar
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    Nice Teaching Alan,
    that sounds like an awesome class, far better than any science class I attended.

    I am rather lucky Where I live, the year round conditions make for awesome natural tinder
    we usually have a dry arrid climate most of Southern africa, and our normal grass found anywhere, even elephant grass, works like a bomb, one spark from a ferro- rod On that grass gets you a flame very fast... we also have various trees whoms bark is very dry and fiberous, which well is good for cordage and tinder.
    I have hardly found a place in South africa that I cant find something that will catch light with a ferro-rod, the only issue is if It has rained and things are damp and wet that it doesnt work, although slighty damp works okish with bow drill, just you really have to have a big coal and blow slowly for long, the coal dries out enough of the surface of the tinder for it to form even a bigger coal, eventually igniting.
    I been practicing a lot with bow drill and yeah i have managed to make a set in the Magoebaskloof jungles of tzneen with materials I found there and got it to work, didnt have a roller blade wheel, but use my friends knife that had a bow drill divit..
    we managed to get a fire rather quickly with that.
    But yes, most primitive people would not just make a set on site or find the flint,etc
    they generally always carry around a set that they always use from materials that they collected and processed beforehand... and take that.
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