Problems with Flint & Steel

Muzzleloading Forum

Help Support Muzzleloading Forum:

Joined
Dec 30, 2012
Messages
1,618
Reaction score
2,051
Location
Living in the Past
Good to know, and I’ve been saving cotton dryer lint. My wife and I always save dryer lint. Makes getting the fireplace going a lot faster. And at my camp a wood fire is all I have for heat.
For those that may not know. If you are starting lots of wood stove type fires, save your cardboard egg cartons, add dryer lint to each egg holder piece and paraffin wax. Just cut out a piece and light it on fire. Easiest fire you’ll ever light!
Walk
 
Joined
Sep 22, 2005
Messages
1,374
Reaction score
814
Location
Montana
Today I was thinking about some of the times I've charred material that would take a spark with flint and steel unintentionally, without using a tin. A recent time that this happened was when my son and I were out and I accidentally lit a cotton bandana on fire while using it for a hot pad. The burnt area I put out would take a spark but the smoldering material would go out when it reached the un-charred cotton.

I decided to try charring material with a flame to see if I could make char cloth without using a tin. I dug out that singed bandana and tried it but the material was too thin. When I tried to "cook" it with a flame it would fall apart when handled. Next I used a single piece of denim without luck. It was more durable but I don't think I charred the thick material enough.

I was about to quit when I thought of that pile of used cleaning patches I mentioned in a previous post in this thread. Instead of using a single layer of material like I did with the denim I tried three patches.

No tin char cloth 070.JPG


I couldn't get out to the woods today to do this with a camp fire so I settled for using a lighter. I moved the lighter back and forth across the surface of the patches. I would work both sides and kept rotating the patches so I would char all of them.
No tin char cloth 071.JPG


When they would get too hot and ignite I would smother them for a few seconds with a bandana. Then I went back to "cooking" them.
No tin char cloth 079.JPG


They weren't completely blackened but I felt like they were charred enough to work.
No tin char cloth 081.JPG


Not the greatest pic but the patches took a spark quickly.
No tin char cloth 086.JPG


No tin char cloth 088.JPG


The patches smoldered and performed just like any other char cloth.
No tin char cloth 092.JPG


No tin char cloth 096.JPG


I put it down when it was too hot to hold comfortably. The patches continued to smolder until there was only a tiny fragment remaining. This performed like any other batch of char cloth.
No tin char cloth 102.JPG



I've practiced woodsmanship skills (usually called bushcraft in recent years) all my life. One thing I've learned and believe in is using your current fire to prep for your next fire. Since I always have patches on me when I'm out with a muzzleloader this could come in handy (if I ran out of char cloth, it was ruined, lost, etc.). As long as I have a striker or a carbon steel knife I'll have another option for starting fires.
 
Joined
Sep 22, 2005
Messages
1,374
Reaction score
814
Location
Montana
For those that may not know. If you are starting lots of wood stove type fires, save your cardboard egg cartons, add dryer lint to each egg holder piece and paraffin wax. Just cut out a piece and light it on fire. Easiest fire you’ll ever light!
Walk


I don't usually use them but in 2015 I decided to make these using both an egg carton and a cut down section of paper towel tube. I added some frayed jute twine so they would light easily. I wanted to see how long they would burn. They burned for about 15 minutes directly on snow. Plenty of time to get even marginal wood lit. :thumb:

Egg Pack PT Tube Lint Paraffin Test 005.JPG


Egg Pack PT Tube Lint Paraffin Test 007.JPG
 

beardedhorse

Pilgrim
Joined
Apr 10, 2014
Messages
311
Reaction score
222
PAB, Interesting results with charred cattail fluff. Punky cottonwood (weak enough for child to crush) works great when charred. So does the pith of Jerusalem artichoke or sunchoke stem. Had not heard of titanium fire steel. Though ferrocerrium rods had other chemicals. I have a friend of Scots ancestry who washed his used cleaning patches in a nylon hose and after several uses and washings makes pretty good char with it. Must be a lot of interest in flint and steel fires as this is the 8th page on the thread. Some good points and suggestions made.
 
Joined
Apr 2, 2022
Messages
59
Reaction score
91
I watched this video 10 years ago, bought a ted cash box and never looked back


Last weekend I added brimstone matches to the kit.



My kit
 

Attachments

  • 20221020_174752.jpg
    20221020_174752.jpg
    1.9 MB · Views: 0

toot

32 Cal.
Joined
May 9, 2013
Messages
6,739
Reaction score
3,267
I don't usually use them but in 2015 I decided to make these using both an egg carton and a cut down section of paper towel tube. I added some frayed jute twine so they would light easily. I wanted to see how long they would burn. They burned for about 15 minutes directly on snow. Plenty of time to get even marginal wood lit. :thumb:

View attachment 169783

View attachment 169784
what did you use to ignite them with. I like it.
 
Joined
Dec 4, 2021
Messages
103
Reaction score
137
Well, I finally got it to work. I’d never had problems getting my char cloth lit, my steel throws plenty of sparks and I can usual get it smoldering in just a few strikes. Turns out my problem was that I didn’t have proper kindling. I used some really fine dried grass to make a bird nest and I had flame after blowing on it 2-3 times.
 

Snake Pleskin

54 Cal.
Joined
Apr 22, 2022
Messages
1,913
Reaction score
2,282
Location
AIken, South Carolina
I don't usually use them but in 2015 I decided to make these using both an egg carton and a cut down section of paper towel tube. I added some frayed jute twine so they would light easily. I wanted to see how long they would burn. They burned for about 15 minutes directly on snow. Plenty of time to get even marginal wood lit. :thumb:

View attachment 169783

View attachment 169784
Remember the old boy scout fire starter? A piece of cardbaord, covered with paraffin , rolled up into an old tuna can? They worked quite well!
 

Red Owl

45 Cal.
Joined
Jan 26, 2021
Messages
856
Reaction score
768
Location
Florida
Couple of things. It is really important to spend enough time to make a good "bird's nest" QUESTION, I think my piece of flint isn't as sharp as it should be and I only shoot percussion so not too flint capable. How do you sharpen the edge of the flint? Thanks.
 

Snake Pleskin

54 Cal.
Joined
Apr 22, 2022
Messages
1,913
Reaction score
2,282
Location
AIken, South Carolina
Couple of things. It is really important to spend enough time to make a good "bird's nest" QUESTION, I think my piece of flint isn't as sharp as it should be and I only shoot percussion so not too flint capable. How do you sharpen the edge of the flint? Thanks.
I would like to know too. I need to sharpen my flints for my firearms and never seem to get it right?
 
Joined
Sep 22, 2005
Messages
1,374
Reaction score
814
Location
Montana
what did you use to ignite them with. I like it.


Its been a few years but I probably used a ferro rod. I've never had luck lighting paraffin saturated jute twine with a carbon steel striker. I'll have to try it with a titanium striker.

Remember the old boy scout fire starter? A piece of cardbaord, covered with paraffin , rolled up into an old tuna can? They worked quite well!


Yep! Years ago I stumbled across a copy of the book Roughing It Easy that reminded me of the tuna can burners. These days you want to burn the cans first to get rid of the "plastic" lining inside the can. :thumb:
 
Joined
Dec 4, 2021
Messages
103
Reaction score
137
I don't usually use them but in 2015 I decided to make these using both an egg carton and a cut down section of paper towel tube. I added some frayed jute twine so they would light easily. I wanted to see how long they would burn. They burned for about 15 minutes directly on snow. Plenty of time to get even marginal wood lit. :thumb:

View attachment 169783

View attachment 169784
We do a lot of RV “camping” and my wife makes a supply of these every year. They work great.
 

toot

32 Cal.
Joined
May 9, 2013
Messages
6,739
Reaction score
3,267
I don't usually use them but in 2015 I decided to make these using both an egg carton and a cut down section of paper towel tube. I added some frayed jute twine so they would light easily. I wanted to see how long they would burn. They burned for about 15 minutes directly on snow. Plenty of time to get even marginal wood lit. :thumb:

View attachment 169783

View attachment 169784
what did you use to ignite them with? char cloth?
 

Latest posts

Top