No "charcloth" Flint & Steel Fire Lighting.

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Logcutter

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IMG_20190112_214605(1).jpg I drink a cup of chaga tea every day. Heres a few pieces I have now. This is enough to last 5 months at least. Its best if you let it dry before you use it. That takes a week or so. Store it in paper bags, not plastic. I live in North west Pa. and I can find this very easily. Birch trees near streams or creeks is the best place to look. Only take chaga from live birch.
 

Centurion

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That is the way it was done originally jrm.
Keith.
"We might make tinder by burning: some linen rag, and putting it in & close box: but we have unfortunately none to spare and therefore, the best thing for us would be to find ... Johann David Wyss, Johann Rudolf Wyss - 1818

"Shall I instruct you in the practical science of getting a light with flint and steel? The first thing is to make your tinder, by burning or rather scorching a piece of rag. Toast it or char it till it is tenderly made into tinder. Neither do it too little, nor too much; cook your rags to a turn. Be very mindful to keep your tinder dry as a bone; for a spark will be of no service if it does not fall where it will be nourished; and the least damp will kill it. The sparks of temptation would be harmless if it were not for the tinder of corruption in our hearts. Good teaching is also lost unless it falls upon a mind prepared to receive it: so that the metaphor can be used either way.
Having secured your tinder, you had next to know how to strike your flint and steel so as to create sparks. Many a knock of the fingers would you get if you did not look alive. Possibly you would also bark your knuckles if you did know the art, if the weather was cold and your hands were half frozen. So is it in your dealing with men's consciences: you may give a hard knock and fetch fire out of them, or you may break your own knuckles by bringing upon yourself personal ill-will.
If you were so skilful or so fortunate as to cause a spark to drop into the tinder, you had to blow upon it very gently; just as the first sign of grace in any heart needs encouraging with the fostering breath of sympathy. How often have I seen a servant go down on her knees to blow at a coal which seemed to have a little life in it! Let us do the like with those persons concerning whom we are somewhat hopeful.
When the spark had become fairly prosperous in the tinder, then you applied the point of your brimstone match. You do not quite know what I mean. Well, mind you do not make a brimstone match when you get married. The brimstone, at the sharpened point of the match, would take fire when it touched the spark, and then your labour approached its reward. When you had your match flaming, and smelling, you lighted your candle; and having done with your elaborate apparatus, you popped the flat lid of the box upon the tinder to put it all out".

http://www.spurgeon.org/misc/candles2.htm

Loup, that link doesn’t work. Do you have another source for the Spurgeon quote?

don
 

Bugman

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Would someone properly identify what "punkwood" is? I know in Florida, there is a specific tree called punk tree. I've seen the term mentioned on here a good bit, but never defined.
 

Kansas Jake

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I think punk wood has a funny hair cut and weird clothes. Actually as I understand it is soft partially rotten wood from a dead tree or large branch. In our area cottonwood trees are a good source of punky wood. The wood is almost soft to the touch and will compress a little.
 

Carbon 6

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Would someone properly identify what "punkwood" is? I know in Florida, there is a specific tree called punk tree. I've seen the term mentioned on here a good bit, but never defined.
Punk or punky wood is a soft, rotted area, usually in the center of a tree or log. This condition is usually caused by fungal infection, The fungus eats the wood in a way that make it light, spongy and porous. Punk wood will take a spark without being charred and is near impossible to extinguish by blowing. When carbonized or turned into char it makes the best spark catcher/ fire starter there is.
 

Tom A Hawk

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Yes, punkwood is decayed, spongy, rotten wood. But please be aware that not all wood varieties perform the same. Members living in the more northern latitudes will find that hard maple punk will catch a spark as it comes from the tree after drying. No charring is required.

On alternative tinders - https://www.muzzleloadingforum.com/threads/using-natural-tinders-alternatives-for-charcloth.114322/

Maple punk video ( scroll down ) https://www.muzzleloadingforum.com/threads/demonstration-videos.113777/
 

Carbon 6

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Most of my fire kits contain only 3 things.
Punkwood
Fatwood
Candle stub.
Those 3 things will start almost any fire.
 

Jacobeen

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I live far away on a different part of the island with Le Loup. Certainly appreciate the education offered by C6, T.A.Hawk, Logcutter and Spence.
 
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May have been mentioned but horseshoe fungus not true tinder fungus if sawn the dust will easily catch a spark from a flint and steel or magnifying glass. No chatting required. I like to use a non-pc hc folding saw for easier handling.
 

Carbon 6

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Do you guys make birds nests ?

I try not to as much as possible. That's why I like things like charred punkwood which burns really hot, Fat wood, candle stubs and sulfur spunks. I want a fire going as fast as possible with the least amount of effort in the worst of conditions.
 

beardedhorse

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If there is indeed a punk wood NUT (naturally untreated tinder) I would like to get some. The punky willow, alder, cottonwood we have in Colorado must be charred. It must be soft enough to crush with just hand pressure. Fomes fomentarius is a tinder fungus that must be pounded and stretched and looks and feels like brain tan buckskin. It was used as a lining for ladies" hats. It works best with marcasite - an iron pyrite (ferrous sulfate) struck by a sharp chisel made of flint pine pitch hafted to end of hollowed antler. Otzi, the Ice man had such a tool but possibly chaga instead. Chaga is a true tinder fungus growing on the side of birch trees. It's scientific name is Inonutus obliquuous. It has different sections to it. The good part will catch a spark from a flint and steel (different from ferrocerium rod) that you have to cut away or douse with spit or water to extinguish. There is a only a short period in the fall when milkweed ovum works and I don't care for it at all. Chaga is sold in health food stores and has skyrocketed the price of it. Too expensive to use the powder to light fires with. The bark of paper birch and river birch work even in wet weather due to the oil in betula. If I need a fire from materials I can gather in the woods I will go for friction fires. You would be hard pressed to find suitable flint and steel untreated tinder here but a plethora of good friction fire woods.
 

Tom A Hawk

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If there is indeed a punk wood NUT (naturally untreated tinder) I would like to get some. The punky willow, alder, cottonwood we have in Colorado must be charred. It must be soft enough to crush with just hand pressure. Fomes fomentarius is a tinder fungus that must be pounded and stretched and looks and feels like brain tan buckskin. It was used as a lining for ladies" hats. It works best with marcasite - an iron pyrite (ferrous sulfate) struck by a sharp chisel made of flint pine pitch hafted to end of hollowed antler. Otzi, the Ice man had such a tool but possibly chaga instead. Chaga is a true tinder fungus growing on the side of birch trees. It's scientific name is Inonutus obliquuous. It has different sections to it. The good part will catch a spark from a flint and steel (different from ferrocerium rod) that you have to cut away or douse with spit or water to extinguish. There is a only a short period in the fall when milkweed ovum works and I don't care for it at all. Chaga is sold in health food stores and has skyrocketed the price of it. Too expensive to use the powder to light fires with. The bark of paper birch and river birch work even in wet weather due to the oil in betula. If I need a fire from materials I can gather in the woods I will go for friction fires. You would be hard pressed to find suitable flint and steel untreated tinder here but a plethora of good friction fire woods.
As I have explained, Hard Maple ( Sugar Maple ) punk will catch a spark without charring.
 

Gooba Jones

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Too bad this guy doesnt seem to post anymore. Looks like he has a ton of historical knowledge.

Gooba Jones
 

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