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Flint & steel
6 April 2012, 21:01,
#1
Flint & steel
Spent a few hours today making up a nice flint & steel set. Used an old quality flat file. Sheffield steel stamped on it. Tested a few against a piece of flint until a good sparking one was chosen. Ground most of the rough file surface off except on the striking face. Thinned the width. Annealed it. Reheated & forged it bent double around my vice handle. This leaves enough space for the fingers. Deburred it. reannealed it. Differential tempered it in cold water. the striking face was tempered at blue heat for hardness and the handle part was tempered softer. Made a mini forge expedient oven out of a Lyles syrup tin that was lying around in the workshop. Propped lying on its side, this retained & localised the flame so the workpiece was heated to red heat evenly.
Was going to cut the file tang off but decided to leave it on & turn it into a spike/flat awl. Filed the tang to profile. Annealed & tempered it to deep purple - the same as chisels. This was tricky & took 3 attempts due to the narrow tapering shape/mass.
Split a flint cobble. Selected a suitable angled piece & tried out the result. Excellent!

Will post photo of this at same time as water purifier photys
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6 April 2012, 21:12,
#2
RE: Flint & steel
I just bought one because it's 100 times less effort.
Dissent is the highest form of Patriotism - Thomas Jefferson
Those who sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither - Benjamin Franklin
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6 April 2012, 21:20,
#3
RE: Flint & steel
Nice one Timelord, Good to see your experiments been documented for the time when we can't just order from amazon :-)
“Subtle and insubstantial, the expert leaves no trace; divinely mysterious, he is inaudible. Thus he is master of his enemy's fate.” Sun Tzu
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6 April 2012, 21:23,
#4
RE: Flint & steel
(6 April 2012, 21:20)Stokey Wrote: Nice one Timelord, Good to see your experiments been documented for the time when we can't just order from amazon :-)

I'm stocking up now, haha.
Dissent is the highest form of Patriotism - Thomas Jefferson
Those who sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither - Benjamin Franklin
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6 April 2012, 21:23,
#5
RE: Flint & steel
Ha Ha, Me to :-)
“Subtle and insubstantial, the expert leaves no trace; divinely mysterious, he is inaudible. Thus he is master of his enemy's fate.” Sun Tzu
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6 April 2012, 21:25,
#6
RE: Flint & steel
It took me 2 hours, cost almost nothing and now I have the experience to make more. The last commercial one I saw a month ago and belonging to a friend, had the striking surface polished smooth for some bizarre reason. the vendor said he had done this for the customer. I still can't work that one out. Anyway I modded it and cut v.v.shallow hacksaw grooves across the face, increasing in number towards the end part of the strike.

I like making my own kit if possible, because then I understand it, can repair it or remake it, mod it or improve it as I see fit. A lot of the commercial stuff is made to a price and the quality can vary considerably. It's just me and I know its not for everyone. It takes many years & skills to be able to do this. Maybe I could have done something else, who knows. Regards, TL.
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6 April 2012, 21:30,
#7
RE: Flint & steel
I like making my own kit if possible, because then I understand it, can repair it or remake it, mod it or improve it as I see fit.

As a newbie to the site without any real experience of Prepping, I find your way pretty interesting, Stocks, Supplies and tools will run out, The person who knows how to fashion new tools really does have the edge.

“Subtle and insubstantial, the expert leaves no trace; divinely mysterious, he is inaudible. Thus he is master of his enemy's fate.” Sun Tzu
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6 April 2012, 21:31,
#8
RE: Flint & steel
That's a fair point TL.

I'm going to go to the hardware store (or more likely the pound shop) tomorrow to get a couple of hacksaw blades and experiment with making a better striker as well.
Dissent is the highest form of Patriotism - Thomas Jefferson
Those who sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither - Benjamin Franklin
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6 April 2012, 21:43,
#9
RE: Flint & steel
(6 April 2012, 21:31)Scythe13 Wrote: That's a fair point TL.

I'm going to go to the hardware store (or more likely the pound shop) tomorrow to get a couple of hacksaw blades and experiment with making a better striker as well.

Don't buy cheap hacksaw blades. I did this for years and they don't last 2 mins + snap for fun. Teeth rip out and it is all just a waste of time & money (CHINESE CRAP!!!)

Look on ebay & order a set of 5 or more quality bimetal blades. I ordered Bahco as I know these are v.good quality + all their other kit & it is not prohibitively expensive like some other hyped brands.

Even with one of these, due to the striking surface being hardened, it was only able to cut towards one end hardly at all. I do not know if the blade was wearing ou due to the excessive material hardness, but I suspect not. It was probably just that the striker(steel) had been tempered very very hard towards this end. I could have annealed it, reworked the grooves & retempered it, but It was quite satisfactory as it was.
You only want v.v.shallow grooves and with no real 90 degree edges on the finish. You are not looking to rip into the edge of the flint, merely to create an irregular sudden surface to the flint edge.
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7 April 2012, 09:49,
#10
RE: Flint & steel
i buy all my spark strikers, either on ebay or in camping shops, i also have a huge stock of disposable lighters, i've also got a spark striker which is a over the fist shaped piece of metal and you just carry or find a piece of flint to go with it, as i wear spectacles i can also use these to start a fire-old schoolboy trick-but only on a sunny day!!
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