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Thread: new to punkwood

  1. #1

    Default new to punkwood

    for as much as i"ve done bushcrafting i"ve never done punkwood.
    so for those who have done so here,
    could you tell me the best way to to get it going.
    and it's time once again to make some charcloth.
    that i do know how to make.
    coyotes listen to them, like children of the night what music they make.


  2. #2
    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    First thing is that you need good punk wood. You want real soft punk and not brittle termite infested rotten crap wood.

    Raw punk will catch a spark if you have a strong steel. The advantage of using it is that it is not as delicate as char cloth and it is available in the woods as a natural substance.

    Then realize it works best when treated just like you make char cloth. Break it up into lumps the size of a .22 bullet and put it in your char tin and turn it into a soft fine charcoal. It will catch sparks just like char cloth only it will hold the spark for longer and it will not crumble into powder if you try to move or handle it.

    You will also need to throw sparks into the char punk rather than holding it against the flint and striking it like some do char cloth. Send a shower of sparks into a pile of char punk and pick up the piece that catches the spark.

    You can also bury a good sized piece of punk wood under the edge of a campfire and bake it into charcoal for your next fire.

    It is an excellent source if you are looking at more natural methods of fire starting.

    BTW, you can do the same thing with wasp nest paper. Wasp nest paper is more likely to catch a spark without being charred first too.
    Last edited by kyratshooter; 06-08-2018 at 12:17 PM.
    If you didn't bring jerky what did I just eat?

  3. #3
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Just maker certain the wasps are gone before you put the nest in your possibles bag.

  4. #4

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    KYratshooter,
    When you mention sparks in your post, are you only referring to sparks from F&S? (aka Percussion Fire Ignition) I was not aware that wasp nest "paper" was a NUT. ("NUTs" is a term I coined many years ago to describe Natural Uncharred Tinders that will catch the sparks from Flint (the rock) and (high carbon) Steel, producing an ember.) Interesting.

    Hayshaker/All,
    They say the Inuit have 27 words for snow. We could use about that many for punkwood! The main dichotomies begin with White Rot vs Red Rot. (Note: some refer to Red Rot as Brown Rot.) The next would be age, or degree, of rot. Hardwood vs Softwood matters as well.

    The main thing to remember about White vs Red rot is: White is for embers, Red is for smoke.

    The main thing about age is the lighter, more crumbly (easily crumbled with bare hands) and more styrofoam-like, the better it will burn. (Charred or uncharred.)

    Softwoods tend to have White Rot. Hardwoods tend to have Red.
    Last edited by Dux; 08-27-2018 at 11:47 AM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    I have discovered over the years that folks worry too much about the condition of their char cloth, punk wood and quality of their fire steels to no end.

    I know of one 10 year old that burned his house down using an empty Bic lighter and another that did the same with a magnifying glass.

    I have a couple of dozen high carbon steels lying around the house and any of them will start a fire using a good shard of flint and using toilet paper as tinder.

    One of my favorite things to do in fire building demonstrations during reenactments was to start a fire using a strip of cotton cloth clamped in the pan of my flintlock rifle. No char, no powder, just clamp the end of a frayed strip of cloth in the pan and snap the trigger. Works even better with a pinch of black powder added to the pan.

    During the flintlock era hardly anyone carried a F&S. That came about mostly during the percussion era, just before real matches were developed. During the flintlock era most woodsmen used their rifle to start their fires and even had a feather to shove into the touch hole so they could strike a fire using a loaded firearm.

    It worked real well with lamp wicking like you use in a kerosene lamp. Wicking also works well with a regular F&S. It is even difficult to put the ember out once it is started in the cloth.
    If you didn't bring jerky what did I just eat?

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