Firesteels

bagman

Tenderfoot
Aug 6, 2003
62
0
Oxon
Where do you get yours please?

I thought I could pick a couple us at Bisley back in May but did not make it in the end.

Best place to buy please?
 

harry

BCUK Test Account
Jun 18, 2003
48
0
55
UK
Murphy’s Law, I post a gripe (30 seconds ago) about Ray Mears site being way too pricey :oops: :oops: But for fire steels I think they are a good price £8.50 can't remember if they have postage on top of that, they didn't used to but??
 

alick

Settler
Aug 29, 2003
632
0
Northwich, Cheshire
The large firesteels, such as from Ray Mears, are very much more substantial than common small one. They should last many times longer for only a couple of pounds additional cost.
Alick
 

bagman

Tenderfoot
Aug 6, 2003
62
0
Oxon
I picked one up last week from our local surplus shop in the end as I just happened to be in there :wink:

I gave it a quick try out at the weekend, what lovely sparks :-D
I will have to practise some more as I could not get the tinder to catch but was just doing it in a hurry as I was in the (small) back garden at the time and if my wife catches me lighting fires on the patio I will be for the high jump :-D
 

Tony

White bear (Admin)
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Apr 16, 2003
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I may be telling you to suck eggs :-? but.....Make sure it is the fire steel you draw across the steel, if your using a knife hold it steady, bearing down a little on the firesteel, then pull the firesteel, you will find you can aim the sparks much easier and there is little chance of you knocking into your tinder with a moving knife! :oops:

What are you using for tinder?
 

Martyn

New Member
Aug 7, 2003
5,252
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staffordshire
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Well I feel all glowy, cos I worked out that method all myself too. Listed to Tone, he's speaks the truth.. :notworthy

Harvey, try practicing your aim with cotton wool balls, soak em in vaseline if ya need too.
 

gurushaun

Forager
Sep 12, 2003
212
0
54
Modbury, Devon/Cannock Staffs
I got my last two Large fire steels from Bagheera on BF, he's a great Dutchman to deal with, all funds going to his local Scout group. A month ago I got two large firesteels for 15.00 inc carriage and he threw in five good sized lumps of Maya wood and some french wax impregnated paper tinder as well.

(BF=Blade Forums, a US based web forum)

Cheers

Shaun
 

sargey

Mod
Mod
Sep 11, 2003
2,685
6
cheltenham, glos
bagheera is organising another fundraiser at the moment. i think i got 3 for twenty quid last time. plus all the associated gizzits. he's a pleasure to do business with.

i think he's doing the large ones for about 13usd, including shipping.

cheers, and.
 

bagman

Tenderfoot
Aug 6, 2003
62
0
Oxon
Tony - I was sort of doing what you described but still could not get the sparks to go where I wanted.

Big pile of tiner (well not really big :roll: ) and the b****y sparks land all the way round instead of in the middle of it :-(

I was just using what I could scrounge up in the garden, dry leaves, very small dry twigs etc.

Martyn - i will have yo try the cotton wool balls bit (that reminds me of a joke but far too rude for here :-D )
 

Tony

White bear (Admin)
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Apr 16, 2003
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sounds to me like the tinder is too big and maybe not dry enough. Leaves and twigs are no good, although I suppose if the leaves were really dry and then crushed up they might work. You really need something very fine. If the twigs are dry you might get it going if you were to scrape them to form some dust. Have you got any birch around where you can peel some of the loose strips off, they go up well.
It really does need to be fine to take a spark, or something like char cloth, tinder fungus etc.

To get more control of your sparks try only using the end 1/4 - 1/2 inch of the fire steel, hold the steel as close to the end as you can allowing just enough room for the blade to scrape.
 

Gary

New Member
Apr 17, 2003
2,603
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from Essex
A good way to get used to the fire steel is to practice on cotton wool - this will ignite easily.

If your tinder is well prepared the sparks should catch ok - one thing i see alot is students sparking on to tinder from to far away or leaping back as if expecting it to explode - take your time and dont panic or be afraid of getting burn because you wont - the initial flame is very small and only grows when fed.

Once you have the technique mastered then move on to natural tinders - peelings of silver birch work well but be careful not to gave paper birch instead as thats hard to ignite with a spark.

Downy seed heads work well but flash over so mix them with grasses or similar.

Finely shaved feather sticks and even candle wicks can also be lighted but that takes finesse and practise.

If you use char cloth or tinder fungus remember these only smoulder and need to be blown to life in yor tinder bundle.

Practise makes perfect.
 
O

othello

Guest
On the subject of fire steels mine has developed ridges along the side where i have been using it, is this normal? thanks in advance othello
 

gurushaun

Forager
Sep 12, 2003
212
0
54
Modbury, Devon/Cannock Staffs
Yup... wist the stick round each time you use it and you'll get a nice even wear rate ( if its a portion that has never been struck before you'll need to run your striker along it a few times to remove the protective coating. BTW if you don't intend to use your steel for a while then a quick coat in nail polish will protect it as they are VERY prone to oxidize in a moist enviroment).

Cheers

Shaun
 

tenbears10

Native
Oct 31, 2003
1,220
0
xxxx
I've only just joined bushcraft so sorry if this thread is a bit old.

I just received a fire steel from ray mears £8.50 inc. post making it cheaper than ones on ebay.

Having been playing with it without too much success I tried it on the serrated blade of my leatherman wave (the back of the blade of course) and it works like a dream!! Also I got a nylon sheath to keep the leatherman in with a slot for a AAA maglite, now due to some leaky batteries the maglite is dead but guess what the firesteel looks like it was made to fit. It even takes upside down shaking and stays put.

Just wanted to share this discovery. :)
 
I have recently acquired one of the larger model fire steels. Initial experiments were dissapointing, however after reading your comments regarding the use of your knives I have now discarded the supplied scrapper and have been using the back of my Gerber saw with much better results. Also, following Tones advice, I have found that shreds of yellow birch bark ignite quite easily. I have also been able to ignite fine wood shavings, but not as reliably. Fine fibers such as oakum and flax ignite in a instant ball of flame.
 

bigjackbrass

Nomad
Sep 1, 2003
470
3
Leeds
The BCB "flint and steel" comes with a striker very much like a small hacksaw blade, which I always thought was a good touch for a survival item. The actually flint rod is not as good as the Swedish ones, though.
 

Jack

Full Member
Oct 1, 2003
1,264
6
Dorset
Forget Fire Steels. try a BlastMatch, one handed operation and no need for any tinder, you are not going to need it as it will light all most anything!

Try keeping peanuts with you as you can crush them up and they make great tinder as they are full of oils, which make them water proof and because of the oil they burn wonderfully!


Cheers.


Jack.