Flint, Steel & Tinderbox.

Discussion in 'Primitive Tools and Weapons' started by Keith H., May 9, 2016.

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  1. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member

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    Flint & steel fire lighting is a sustainable method of making fire, & has been in use for hundreds of years. Flint is a hard siliceous rock that given a sharp edge is able to cut minute pieces of metal from the high carbon steel. This method produces hot sparks which can be captured as embers in a suitable tinder. Flint is not the only siliceous rock that can be used, in fact the majority of original tinderboxes found contained agate, not flint. Chert is another hard rock suitable for flint & steel fire lighting, & even quartz will work just fine. There are other rocks that are suitable & you may find some in your travels.
    The fire steel much contain a high level of carbon in order to perform efficiently, many original fire steels & steels still being made today are made from old metal files. I even made a whole bunch of fire steels for a local Scout group from chainsaw files.
    The tinderbox is used to contain the tinder, it is also used to prepare tinder that needs charring. You can add uncharred plant tinders to the tinderbox, & it will become charred when making fire. Plant tinders that need charring are charred directly in the fire, then placed in the tinderbox & the lid closed to smother the smouldering embers. With flint & steel you will never be without fire.
    A part of my collection of fire steels & various siliceous rocks.
    My brass tinderbox containing plant tinder & a musket flint.
    My original 18th century English fire steel. As you can see it has had a lot of use over the past 300 years, but it is still working fine.
    My greased leather fire bag in which I carry my tinderbox to keep it dry. It also contains a beeswax candle stub to aid in making fire with damp kindling.
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