Author Topic: Simple Homemade Strikers for Flint & Steel Use  (Read 5808 times)

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Offline MnSportsman

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Simple Homemade Strikers for Flint & Steel Use
« on: March 21, 2013, 09:10:30 AM »

    I don't think this subject has been discussed much here at B&B, so I thought I would describe how to make a simple striker(s) for flint & steel use, right at home. I was communicating with someone today & I was going to tell them how to do this, when it occurred to me that this would be a good topic for those who would like to make their own striker(s) relatively inexpensively, rather than purchasing one. I have both the type I will describe & own ones that were made for me.The ones I made at home, work just as good as the ones I have purchased, but cost me less being homemade, and were easy to fashion. I like the ones I have purchased, but really other than "looks"/appearance, the work the same as the ones I have made myself. Off times I have someone I meet or know & they want to try this F&S stuff, but don't want to spend a lot of $$ to get into doing it. So I tell them the same thing as I am about to type here. I hope my description is adequate & easily understood, as it will take me longer to type it out than it would for me to make 2-3 strikers.
 ;)


   So here's the simple way to make inexpensive strikers:


----------------------------------------------------------------

How to make homemade F&S striker(s)
    You don't need anything special for a simple striker. An old metal working file made of tool steel,(or a "new" file, if ya want to purchase one for this project),  can be made into a striker...actually up to  2-3 strikers depending on the size of the file & if you want , just make one striker from a file & you will still have a usable file for filing metal with the leftover original file part. After removing just one striker, the file will usually be just a bit shorter than before, but still usable as a file. Suggested tools to do this homemade striker process , are having a hammer, a vise, and a grinder, (either bench top or hand held) or access to them, as this will speed up & simplify the process. If you do not have access to a hammer, a vise or a grinder, I will give you some suggestions below, on optional methods to do this project. A pair of pliers would be very helpful also.A locking/vice type pliers or similar would be an excellent type of pliers to use.
 ;) 


Making the striker blank(s)

          If you have a spare file, or have purchased a new one, all you have to do is take the file, put it in a vise, with the vise gripping the flat sides of the file, while having the file wrapped in a rag cloth with about 2-3 inches of the file end sticking out of the vise. Taking a hammer, hit the flat side of the file to snap it off from the main part of the file. The cloth is to keep the file striker piece from flying away , & to help prevent injuries. You can repeat the above process at least 2-3 times to get 2-3 striker blanks, dependent on the size you want. As I said, this will depend on the files size. Start at the end that you would use to file, not the handle or tang end, if you want to still be able to use the file for its intended purpose. Or simply knock off the tang using the method I described above, & then use the rest of the file for your strikers. Just figure out what size striker you want & divide that length into the file length, minus the missing handle tang. For example, if the file is 9 inches long without the tang, you could make 3- 3 inch strikers.


     Once you have snapped off a piece of file there is another step. Usually when you snap off the file piece, it will have a jagged edge where you snapped it. You will want to grind this end to dull the sharp edge, so you reduce the chance of injury from being cut from a sharp edge. The grinding process creates heat, so you want to do a few things for safety & to keep the metal from losing its' temper. I suggest that you use eye protection of some kind, & some gloves. not a cloth rag. A rag can get caught in the spinning grinder & possibly cause serious injury. Hold the striker piece in a vise-grip pliers, or at least a sturdy set of pliers, if you have a strong grip to hold the piece while grinding it on a bench grinder, or use the pliers of either type when using a hand grinder.  If you have a vise, you can put the piece in the vise & do the grinding while the piece is clamped in the vise. As I said, below, I will mention some optional methods to try if the vise & grinder are not available.


Grinding (Both methods should be read before doing this part of the process)


Bench grinder method:


                 Taking the striker piece in the pliers, slowly & carefully bring the end of the piece onto the working platform of the grinder. Slowly & gently touch the grinder spinning stone & round off the edges a little bit at a time. Do not leave the piece up against the stone for too long, as the heat of the friction can take out the temper of the steel, & you will have a more difficult process to make your striker. So, just grind a bit, then take the piece away for a short time, & then grind again, & keep repeating the process until the edges have been dulled. You can dip the piece into water to help cool it, but it is not necessary if you are careful & take the time to let the steel keep cool. Once you are finished with the broken end(s), you will want to adjust your plier grip, to hold the piece sideways on the flat sides, with the ends sticking out equally from the pliers on each side, but keeping the pliers tips in from the narrow edge about 1/4 inch to prevent hitting the pliers on the grinder. You can do this using your hands, instead of pliers, but I do not recommend it. Once again, repeat the process that you did for the ends but this time, move the edge of the piece from side to side against the spinning grindstone slowly & gently, taking the file teeth off the narrow edge of the file. You can repeat this second grind process on the opposite narrow side if you like, or just leave the files edge teeth on one narrow side for using it as a "mini file/saw" if needed. I also do not recommend grinding off the teeth of the flat sides. Leave them with teeth to help hold the file when striking & to use as a "mini" file if ever needed. Make sure that you try to "evenly" grind this narrow edge, so that it keeps as straight an edge as possible. If you grind too much you will have an uneven surface when you are striking the steel & get less contact with the stone & thus less sparks. You do not want it to be too concave, or too convex either , as the same lack of sparks flying will result.


Vise & hand grinder method:


                   After clamping the piece into the vice firmly, with the sharp end(s) you want to grind, sticking out far enough so that you can grind the sharp end(s), without grinding the vice. Follow the same process as described with the bench method, only you are bringing the grinders stone to the piece, instead of bringing the piece to the grinder. Once the end(s) are dulled, remove the striker from the vice & re set it for the narrow side(s) to be ground. once again follow the same process as the Bench grinder method.
Note: you can also grind by holding the piece in a pliers & then grinding with the hand grinder to do this, although it is not really very safe to do it. Take extra safety precautions, for one example, like not having someone near you , unless behind you, if you try using the pliers & hand grinder method. Safety comes first.


If you have completed the above processes, you now have a striker, or strikers.
 :)


Optional methods:
 
      No vice?
       
         You can use your body weight, or some other weight & do the breaking part. Just place the cloth wrapped part you want to remove, in between two stones, bricks, blocks etc., as "clamping devices like a vise. Put the weight( body or otherwise) on the top  "clamping device" you are using, & give it a whack with the hammer, to break off the piece(s) you want. It sometimes takes more than one whack. If you have a vise grip pliers, you can try holding the striker in the pliers jaws against a rock or hard enough surface & try to snap it that way with a hammer.


    No hammer?   


             Use a good sized rock or something like that.


    No grinder?


        You may have a difficult task ahead of you, as you are going to have to remove the narrow edged teeth, by hand grinding the striker against a rough surface like concrete, or hard stone, or continual striking against a stone that is harder than the steel like your flint type stones. Any stone that will scratch a glass surface is a good indicator of the hardness necessary for this striking & also for making sparks, as it is the rock removing part of the steel that created the spark. Removing the teeth from the narrow edge make for more surface contact when you strike the rock & steel together producing more sparks. To get the edge to the flat point by hand will take some time & effort, if you to not have the electric powered bench or hand grinder, but it can be done. Dealing with the sharp end(s) can be accomplished the same way as grinding against a hard surface as mentioned before.




   There are certainly other added optional methods to do this I am sure, but I know this process I have tried to explain will work to get yourself at least one working striker to use for your flint & steel efforts. I hope I explained it well enough through written words. I would like to make a video to show the process & perhaps I will later. But hopefully taking the time to type this out will help & encourage someone to go & try doing this, if they haven't done this before now.
 :) 


Here are a few pics of what they look like when complete, with a Leatherman multitool for scale. They are about 3 to 3-1/4 inches long:





------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If I do make a video of this process I will add it here later.


If anyone would like to add to this, or show me a better way to describe this process(s), or even a better way to get an inexpensive home made striker, please...Do tell.
 :D


Note: This took me about an hour to type...I may need to return & edit this later. I think I got everything right,but sometimes it takes me a few "reads" to catch them all. BTW... I could have made a lot of these strikers in that hour...lol
 ;)
« Last Edit: March 21, 2013, 10:57:02 AM by MnSportsman »
I love being out in the woods!   I like this quote from Mors Kochanski - "The more you know, the less you carry". I believe in the same creed, & think  "Knowledge & honed skills" are the best things to carry with ya when you're out in the wilds. They're the ultimate "ultralight" gear! ;)

Offline Nature Boy

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Re: Simple Homemade Strikers for Flint & Steel Use
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2013, 09:59:29 AM »
Deja vu here! Was at work last night and while cleaning out from under a die press I found a large piece of broken file. It was big enough to make 2 3 inch strikers after I snapped it in two. I used a hand grinder at the maintenance dept to smooth the edges and rounded the corners. I kept one and gave the other to the wife. All we have is quartz in our neck of the woods, but the strikers throw decent sparks. Would love to find a couple of pieces of flint or chert, and see what they can do.

Just read your post this morning and had to smile. Going to look around and make a flint & steel kit to go with my Roycroft pack frame set up. I still keep more fire starting stuff in my kit (matches, lighter, firesteel). But F & S is more 'fun' and challenging, especially when looking around for tender to make a decent birdnest. Oh and keep plenty of charcloth handy too. Going to have to experiment on other 'natural' materials for spark catching.

Ramble over....crawls back into my hole...
« Last Edit: March 21, 2013, 11:25:18 AM by Nature Boy »
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Offline kanukkarhu

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Simple Homemade Strikers for Flint & Steel Use
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2013, 10:13:47 AM »
Awesome post Mn! I gotta try this (right after I shake this flu... :P )

Thanks for taking the time and writing a very detailed and helpful post man!

Like I said, awesome! Now with these instructions and the 'sparky rocks' you sent me, I'll be F&Sing any time now!


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Offline RBM

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Re: Simple Homemade Strikers for Flint & Steel Use
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2013, 11:45:25 AM »
Many new files on the market today are made from an "alloy", not tool steel or hardened carbon steel. Alloys don't work. It must be tool steel. Check the product material to make sure its tool steel or hardened carbon steel. Lots of brand name products that used to make files in tool steel have changed to alloys because its a cheaper material. Don't get snookered with an alloy.

Finding a new tool steel or hardened carbon steel file these days isn't easy because of the market switch to alloys.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2013, 11:55:41 AM by RBM »
Robert

Offline wolfy

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Re: Simple Homemade Strikers for Flint & Steel Use
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2013, 03:11:22 PM »
That reminds me of a source of GOOD files that I have tapped.  There are lots of farm sales and auctions around here that have flatbeds full of junk that they always sell off as quickly as they can, at the beginning of the sale, while the whole crowd is there and eager to get to the good stuff. 

Usually there are old paint cans filled with bent screwdrivers, stiff paintbrushes, AND old rusted dull files.  Those files are made from the GOOD stuff and are usually made by the Nicholson company in the good ol' U.S. of A. 8).  I have been the high bidder a couple of times on a dozen or so at a time for $.50 or less! 8)
« Last Edit: March 21, 2013, 04:06:30 PM by wolfy »
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Offline Daywalker

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Re: Simple Homemade Strikers for Flint & Steel Use
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2013, 03:19:31 PM »
The bestIi have used are Nickolson, Black Diamond. Great post. Peace
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Offline Bearhunter

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Simple Homemade Strikers for Flint & Steel Use
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2013, 04:03:01 PM »
I've actually thought about that before, but haven't tried it JB.
Lord knows that I have plenty of old files lying around. 
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Offline RBM

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Re: Simple Homemade Strikers for Flint & Steel Use
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2013, 04:07:38 PM »
The "new" files made from Nicholson now are made in Mexico and I doubt they are tool steel. Probably an alloy. I don't know since they don't list the file product material they used to make it.

I got a few old Nicholson files I thought might be good ones at a flea market once. When I snapped one end off it wasn't solid steel in the middle. Most likely an alloy. It wouldn't spark either. They were probably newer alloy ones that just looked like the old hardened carbon steel ones. So I am just saying be careful choosing files.

I agree though the old Nicholson and Black Diamond files were good old tried and true files in hardened carbon steel.

Better yet just find an old leaf spring and you got loads of strikers off that.
Robert

Offline wolfy

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Re: Simple Homemade Strikers for Flint & Steel Use
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2013, 04:13:38 PM »
The "new" files made from Nicholson now are made in Mexico and I doubt they are tool steel. Probably an alloy. I don't know since they don't list the file product material they used to make it.

I got a few old Nicholson files I thought might be good ones at a flea market once. When I snapped one end off it wasn't solid steel in the middle. Most likely an alloy. It wouldn't spark either. They were probably newer alloy ones that just looked like the old hardened carbon steel ones. So I am just saying be careful choosing files.

I agree though the old Nicholson and Black Diamond files were good old tried and true files.

......and that's why I suggested the stashes of OLD files from the days of yore that no chintzy old farmer ever throws away, but saves in old paint cans.....JUST IN CASE! :shrug: :rofl:
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Offline MnSportsman

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Re: Simple Homemade Strikers for Flint & Steel Use
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2013, 04:54:02 PM »

Folks,

  I have removed the content of the post I made here originally. I saved the old post content & changed the content to what is below the dotted line.
-------------------------------------------------------



   I tried very hard working on the Original Post, & took some time out of my life to try to help folks & pass on something that they could do, without too much effort, to make something at home that they could use, to do something themselves, or with their family, kids, friends, etc.

    Occasionally, when a person tries to do something helpful, there are times when they feel as though they wasted their time. Now is one of those times for me.

  I am not the best at communicating thru written word. I do know one thing. "If you ain't helping...or staying out of the way.... you are hindering...".

   If I put some type of misinformation in the OP, then set me straight. That is helpful.  I would appreciate knowing it. Criticism that is constructive, is always helpful. Criticism that is not constructive is not helpful & only creates hard feelings  can often cause confusion & hesitation for folks who are not sure of what they are seeing or reading. If ya like what ya see, or read, & then comment that you enjoyed it, that is helpful also. Since your doing positive comment, becomes motivation for someone to keep on trying to help others. But when a person comments & doesn't add to the discussion, but only detracts from it, then it is not helpful at all, but becomes a hindrance to the positive intent of what was being passed.

   If you want to do it, making a striker at home, rather inexpensively, is not all that hard. Finding materials that are of good quality to do this, is not that hard either.
     Please do not let some who are not able to find quality materials in their area, or do not have the motivation to do this type of project,  prevent you from attempting to do things that may be easy for you to accomplish, in your area, with your own efforts, & skill sets.

   It is not that difficult. Give it a try. You may be surprised at what you end up with.
 :)





   
   






   

   
« Last Edit: March 21, 2013, 06:50:30 PM by MnSportsman »
I love being out in the woods!   I like this quote from Mors Kochanski - "The more you know, the less you carry". I believe in the same creed, & think  "Knowledge & honed skills" are the best things to carry with ya when you're out in the wilds. They're the ultimate "ultralight" gear! ;)

Offline RBM

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Re: Simple Homemade Strikers for Flint & Steel Use
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2013, 04:57:46 PM »
The "new" files made from Nicholson now are made in Mexico and I doubt they are tool steel. Probably an alloy. I don't know since they don't list the file product material they used to make it.

I got a few old Nicholson files I thought might be good ones at a flea market once. When I snapped one end off it wasn't solid steel in the middle. Most likely an alloy. It wouldn't spark either. They were probably newer alloy ones that just looked like the old hardened carbon steel ones. So I am just saying be careful choosing files.

I agree though the old Nicholson and Black Diamond files were good old tried and true files.

......and that's why I suggested the stashes of OLD files from the days of yore that no chintzy old farmer ever throws away, but saves in old paint cans.....JUST IN CASE! :shrug: :rofl:

If you find some then shoot me a PM. Because I have been batting zero around here for a long time.
Robert

Offline MnSportsman

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Re: Simple Homemade Strikers for Flint & Steel Use
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2013, 05:16:11 PM »

I "modified" this post also... like the post I made before this one. I am working on my method of communicating here. It is difficult, but I think I am getting better at it.
Sometimes...
;)


------------------------------------------------------

I would like some of you folks to know... 
   I make these type of strikers quite often, & give them away to folks who are interested. I don't even charge them a dime. Cub scouts, Boy scouts, kids & adults who just are interested in trying F&S.   I give them sparking rocks, & I often give them char-cloth also. Sometimes I give them some of the natural stuff you can find out there  in the local area. I show them how to use the stuff they are given, & how to find what they need if they get out & look for it.... I like doing it...Passing on knowledge. Good knowledge.
 :) 


 If you can't find the right materials. Or the tools, Or if ya need some help doing this project... Then ask around. Maybe someone who has been around for a while, can lead you in the right direction to find what ya need, or help ya. Don't listen to just "anyone". There is good stuff still out there. And good people.
 :)


   I hope some folks who read about doing this type of project, will give this project a try... if ya have the inclination. It is a fairly easy project & then if ya want...Pass it on how to do it, to others. Never hurts to share knowledge that may , at some time, make a difference.
 :D
« Last Edit: March 21, 2013, 06:46:04 PM by MnSportsman »
I love being out in the woods!   I like this quote from Mors Kochanski - "The more you know, the less you carry". I believe in the same creed, & think  "Knowledge & honed skills" are the best things to carry with ya when you're out in the wilds. They're the ultimate "ultralight" gear! ;)

Offline wolfy

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Re: Simple Homemade Strikers for Flint & Steel Use
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2013, 06:00:28 PM »
I've also heard that some of the Chinese files at Harbor Freight wouldn't spark worth a hoot, either.  I wouldn't know......I only buy my files in paint cans! 8)
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Offline greyhound352

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Re: Simple Homemade Strikers for Flint & Steel Use
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2013, 06:28:45 PM »
Great thread MnS!

This one was gifted to me at my first Kracaneuner event by Daywalker.



I have a made a few from files that work great! Here is a few pic.




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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Simple Homemade Strikers for Flint & Steel Use
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2013, 07:53:42 PM »
Yep great topic!


With regard to newer cheap files I have read that some of them are case hardened. So even though the steel might be capable of sparking, after grinding the teeth off there might not be much hard steel underneath.


The good news is used old files are so cheap (or free) that you can simply test it on a flint and if it doesn't spark, scrap it and try a different file.


This is a good thing to try and might be a good project for the May monthly Project. (April's project is already decided.)


There are other hardened tools besides just files that can produce sparks. No reason not to try them as well.
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Offline diogenes

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Re: Simple Homemade Strikers for Flint & Steel Use
« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2013, 08:51:16 PM »
This is awesome! Thanks for this. I've been wanting to do something like this for a while.
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Offline OutdoorEnvy

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Re: Simple Homemade Strikers for Flint & Steel Use
« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2013, 07:12:17 AM »
Thanks for the info MNS, I was just thinking the other day I need to give flint and steel a try, I haven't messed with it too much and don't have a striker.  I might have to get creative with a dremmel tool I have :)  I have a couple really old files that should work great for this.

Thanks for breaking it down for me.  This makes it sound much easier and makes me think I should just give it a try and stop putting it off :)
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Re: Simple Homemade Strikers for Flint & Steel Use
« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2013, 07:40:29 AM »
Greyhound:  That is a nice looking kit. 
MnS:  This is a good post.  I have made several file strikers and have had great success with them.  I plan on forging some "fancy pants" ones in the near future pending how my forge turns out this spring............
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Offline greyhound352

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Re: Simple Homemade Strikers for Flint & Steel Use
« Reply #18 on: March 22, 2013, 07:43:27 AM »
Greyhound:  That is a nice looking kit. 
MnS:  This is a good post.  I have made several file strikers and have had great success with them.  I plan on forging some "fancy pants" ones in the near future pending how my forge turns out this spring............

Put me down for a MESH striker.
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Re: Simple Homemade Strikers for Flint & Steel Use
« Reply #19 on: March 22, 2013, 08:01:11 AM »
Greyhound:  That is a nice looking kit. 
MnS:  This is a good post.  I have made several file strikers and have had great success with them.  I plan on forging some "fancy pants" ones in the near future pending how my forge turns out this spring............

Put me down for a MESH striker.

Thanks I will let you know when they are done.  I am waiting on the weather to break.  One day it is just starting to get ok temps (mid 40s) the next day it's back in the low 20s. 
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Offline MnSportsman

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Re: Simple Homemade Strikers for Flint & Steel Use
« Reply #20 on: March 22, 2013, 07:01:04 PM »
Thanks for all the positive posts!
 :)


I thought the OP would be useful, as I do not remember ever seeing any description on how to do this before. Maybe there are others, but this original one is at B&B now. No where else. Might bring visitors to bladesandbushcraft. com, if it is part of someones use of internet search engines on the topic. At least that is useful,eh? <positive thinking comes in handy sometimes, doesn't it.... Even if to make a point.
 ;)


Thanks again for the good responses.
 :)
I love being out in the woods!   I like this quote from Mors Kochanski - "The more you know, the less you carry". I believe in the same creed, & think  "Knowledge & honed skills" are the best things to carry with ya when you're out in the wilds. They're the ultimate "ultralight" gear! ;)

Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Simple Homemade Strikers for Flint & Steel Use
« Reply #21 on: March 23, 2013, 03:01:09 AM »
You should add a link to this thread in the tutorials sticky thread. ;)
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Offline xj35s

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Re: Simple Homemade Strikers for Flint & Steel Use
« Reply #22 on: March 23, 2013, 04:39:39 AM »
Great tutorial. Easy to understand and do. I seriously appreciate all the time you put into it. I see no problem with your communication skills.

I pick up pieces of steel on the road sides and parking lots. I'm a welder fabricator and often they become little brace parts or fillers. I always hope one will spark easily.

I have been trying this steel and flint thing. I was gifted a kit and I get a small spark once in a very great while. Maybe I need more practice or better chunk of rock. More time would help a great deal too... :P
pessimist complain about the wind. optimist expect the wind to change. realist adjusts the sails.

Offline buzzacott

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Re: Simple Homemade Strikers for Flint & Steel Use
« Reply #23 on: April 01, 2013, 04:18:35 AM »
Awesome tutorial MnS. Thank you.

I have had luck with a 1990s vintage Chinese-made file. I didn't want to destroy any of my old Australian, American, British or German tools so I broke an old Chinese file into three pieces, rounded the edges and stripped the striking surfaces with the bench grinder. I left the serrations on the flat sides mostly intact for better grip. We don't get flint around these parts, so my Chinese file striker works with local quartz.



Just about everyone says to use a vintage file for this application, but I think it's worth trying it out on some Chinese-made junk before smashing up a solid American file. It worked for me.
Don't kill unless for the pot. Don't fell a green tree for a pole if there are dry poles nearby. Study the bush, learn to read its secrets; watch the mason fly building and go to the ant for another lesson... then you'll realise the bush is your friend.
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Offline John Van Gelder

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Re: Simple Homemade Strikers for Flint & Steel Use
« Reply #24 on: November 08, 2013, 08:30:03 AM »
buzzacott

Same here, no flint so my kit has a cheap file fragment and some quartz flakes. 

Offline Moe M.

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Re: Simple Homemade Strikers for Flint & Steel Use
« Reply #25 on: November 08, 2013, 01:22:36 PM »

  For those having trouble finding flint,  Dixie Gun Works sells bags of flint and chert shards that are plenty big enough for fire striking,  some are so big they have to be split,  the price is right and the pieces spark great.
In youth we learn,   with age we understand.

Offline John Van Gelder

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Re: Simple Homemade Strikers for Flint & Steel Use
« Reply #26 on: November 08, 2013, 01:28:40 PM »
Moe

I have quite a supply of quartz, but might order up some flint from Dixie, the only down side there is that if I have a bunch of flint, I may feel the need for a flintlock rifle. 

Offline Moe M.

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Re: Simple Homemade Strikers for Flint & Steel Use
« Reply #27 on: November 08, 2013, 02:50:51 PM »
Moe

I have quite a supply of quartz, but might order up some flint from Dixie, the only down side there is that if I have a bunch of flint, I may feel the need for a flintlock rifle.

  LOL,  I'd advise against it,  I bought my first rock sparker in the late seventies,  the following year I sold all my percussion guns save for one,  a Hawken that I built myself,  since then I've added eight more,  six rifles and two smooth bore fowlers,  as you can see they are terribly addictive.
  Of all my toys,  the last that I would part with is my flintlock long guns.
In youth we learn,   with age we understand.

Offline John Van Gelder

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Re: Simple Homemade Strikers for Flint & Steel Use
« Reply #28 on: November 08, 2013, 03:17:16 PM »
Moe

A good "flinter", would eliminate any problems with percussion cap shortages, and a bit of char cloth in the pan would make a good fire starter.

Offline hunter63

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Re: Simple Homemade Strikers for Flint & Steel Use
« Reply #29 on: November 08, 2013, 03:38:25 PM »
Have several strikers made from file segments as well........in a previous life in a factory, we would buy files by the dozens of boxes at a time, old dull file when into a 5 gal bucket, then to a 55 gal drum......to be scrapped.

One of the things I am wishing I would have "borrowed" more of...... before the plant closed.....LOL

Used to carry one in my pocket while walking around on roofs in my HVAC phase....service guy.
You would be surprised to see how many "rocks" that spark, as well a fossils and other cool rocks can be found on a rubber bladder and rock roof.

All this looking and making stuff, requires a lot of keeping it in mind at all times, so to take advantage when a source presents it self.
You just need to tune your mind into it.

For those that can't find an old file.........You don't go to yard sales, flea markets, and auctions enough.
The more you know, the less you have to carry...or get a bigger truck

Offline wolfy

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Re: Simple Homemade Strikers for Flint & Steel Use
« Reply #30 on: November 08, 2013, 03:55:39 PM »
You're right on there, h63.......every old hayrack at farm sales will have a couple of old gallon paint pails filled with old rusty files. :thumbsup:   Perfect medium for making FIRESTEELS! :stir: :rofl:
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Offline hunter63

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Re: Simple Homemade Strikers for Flint & Steel Use
« Reply #31 on: November 08, 2013, 04:06:17 PM »
Not only that, but the old hay rake tines have the perfect steel to form the "C" shaped strikers that you find at rendezvous.......fr iend make them.
Just turn you mind into "search mode" always.....
The more you know, the less you have to carry...or get a bigger truck

Offline John Van Gelder

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Re: Simple Homemade Strikers for Flint & Steel Use
« Reply #32 on: November 08, 2013, 04:28:22 PM »
I carry a bit of quartz in my pocket and when rummaging around old junk piles try things to see if I can get a spark.  One thing that I was sure would spark was a broken tine off of my landscape rake, spring steel, it just doesn't spark.

Offline kanukkarhu

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Re: Simple Homemade Strikers for Flint & Steel Use
« Reply #33 on: February 14, 2014, 10:02:24 AM »
Just re-read this. An excellent post, Mn, and worthy of a bump.

I'm gonna do this next time I have some free time - and when I'm not supposed to be working, like I am now... :rolleyes:

An excellent OP.
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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Simple Homemade Strikers for Flint & Steel Use
« Reply #34 on: February 14, 2014, 10:52:02 AM »
I carry a bit of quartz in my pocket and when rummaging around old junk piles try things to see if I can get a spark.  One thing that I was sure would spark was a broken tine off of my landscape rake, spring steel, it just doesn't spark.

A spring temper is probably too soft to spark well. If you heat it up to non-magnetic then quench it, it might give a spark. Also if steel has a thick patina or oxidation on it, you should remove that before testing.
Turning Outdoors Knife and Tool

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Offline John Van Gelder

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Re: Simple Homemade Strikers for Flint & Steel Use
« Reply #35 on: February 14, 2014, 12:10:24 PM »
PW

I usually take what ever I find back to the shop and grind an edge on it before testing, or at least scrape it clean and shiny on a piece of basalt, which I have in great quantities.

Offline rtaylor129

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Re: Simple Homemade Strikers for Flint &amp; Steel Use
« Reply #36 on: February 18, 2014, 12:50:40 AM »
Thank you MnSportsman I made mine today the VERY hard way I had no vise or grinder :( can't get into my shed it is totally frozen shut right now :( so I had my wife stand on the file while I broke off the tang. Used concrete to knock off the edge that was broken off. That part took forever! But I have a 3 1/2 inch steel now I need to find flint or something like that. I have never seen flint here in western pa I am sure it is here somewhere but I will now have to wait for a massive thaw to happen to try and find some. Right now I have exactly 13 inches of snow and ice in my backyard now :(


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Offline MnSportsman

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Re: Simple Homemade Strikers for Flint & Steel Use
« Reply #37 on: February 18, 2014, 01:48:25 AM »
  Yes... That is the hard way. I know.
 ;)


Make sure you make the side you are going to use to strike the rock is smooth, & doesn't have any teeth left, or you will have a difficult time getting decent sparks.
 ;)


   You should be able to find chert or quartz in your area. If you do not have any ,or difficulty finding some let me know by PM & I will see about sending you some.  Or you can ask someone else here for some "Flint". (< which is just a different type of chert.When chert is formed in chalk or marl sediments, it is usually called "Flint". )
 :D
I love being out in the woods!   I like this quote from Mors Kochanski - "The more you know, the less you carry". I believe in the same creed, & think  "Knowledge & honed skills" are the best things to carry with ya when you're out in the wilds. They're the ultimate "ultralight" gear! ;)

Offline MnSportsman

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Re: Simple Homemade Strikers for Flint & Steel Use
« Reply #38 on: February 18, 2014, 01:57:25 AM »
  BTW.. This won't make ya very happy, but you may want to shorten that striker down if you decide you want to carry it in some sort of a "tin". You may end up having to use a pouch, which is fine... since the length of 3-1/2" may be a bit long for most tins that folks like to use.
 ???



Or, just make another striker in the Spring.
 ;)


Also carry that striker around in your pocket & when you see a rock that looks like it might be a good candidate you can test it. Look for places that have rocks as landscaping. Many hospitals & office building sometimes use rocks & you can sometimes find chert or quartz. Another place to look is rip rap by bridges & impoundments. Also.. good to remember...any rock that will scratch glass is a good candidate for a striking rock.
 ;D


OK.. typing to much info... better stop & let someone else chime in...





I love being out in the woods!   I like this quote from Mors Kochanski - "The more you know, the less you carry". I believe in the same creed, & think  "Knowledge & honed skills" are the best things to carry with ya when you're out in the wilds. They're the ultimate "ultralight" gear! ;)

Offline rtaylor129

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Re: Simple Homemade Strikers for Flint &amp; Steel Use
« Reply #39 on: February 18, 2014, 02:06:26 AM »
Thanks bro I appreciate all the info as always :)


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Offline diogenes

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Re: Simple Homemade Strikers for Flint & Steel Use
« Reply #40 on: June 27, 2014, 09:34:48 PM »
Finally got around to this. Partially smoothed out one edge, but I'll have to finish it later since I don't have a bench grinder at home. Oddly, I seemed to get better results with the chert than with the flint (so maybe it's not really flint?) but we'll see how it goes once I finish the striker. :-\

Anyway, got 'er sparkin' and got a little fire started.

Yay! It works! 8) I've been wanting to do F&S fire for a long time.



Throwing sparks.




My first F&S fire.


Thanks, Mn, for the instructions/inspiration. This really is a fun way to get a fire going. :D
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Offline wolfy

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Re: Simple Homemade Strikers for Flint & Steel Use
« Reply #41 on: June 27, 2014, 09:51:54 PM »
 :banana: :banana:CONGRATULATIONS! :banana: :banana:

                      :fire2:
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Offline MnSportsman

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Re: Simple Homemade Strikers for Flint & Steel Use
« Reply #42 on: June 28, 2014, 08:07:21 AM »

Thanks, Mn, for the instructions/inspiration. This really is a fun way to get a fire going. :D


Conratulations!
:thumbsup:


I am glad to have been of some help!
:)


  It is my favorite method, as most here know, so I am a bit prejudiced on my opinion of F&S, but I can assure you that, for some people, it can get addicting to use F&S for lighting fires of any kind!
;D
I love being out in the woods!   I like this quote from Mors Kochanski - "The more you know, the less you carry". I believe in the same creed, & think  "Knowledge & honed skills" are the best things to carry with ya when you're out in the wilds. They're the ultimate "ultralight" gear! ;)

Offline OhCanada

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Re: Simple Homemade Strikers for Flint & Steel Use
« Reply #43 on: July 05, 2014, 06:18:32 PM »
I have two forged strikers but they are a bit weighty so I'll keep a look out for old thin files. I have some monster thick files when I thought I gave them all away, the things just follow you home.
BushCRAFT, it is what you do, not what you buy.