The Rope Or Trench Lighter

Discussion in 'All Resources About Fire' started by TexDanm, Apr 4, 2019.

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  1. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    I ordered one and got it in today and it is really cool and works great.
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    The way it works is basically a simple flint and steel throwing sparks on charred cotton rope. There is no fuel and no flame just an almost instant red hot ember on the end of the rope. They were used and common in WW1 as cigarette lighters in the trenches. When you pull the ball up it exposes the end of the frayed cotton rope that you have already fired once. that chared cotton catches the spark and with a couple of gentle blows it spreads and you can light your cigarette or start a fire. To snuff it you tug the bottom of the rope and it pulls the rope in and pulls the metal ball down tight on the end of the rope pipe. The cotton rope is common and I bought lighter flints by the hundred when I was using a Zippo lighter.
     
  2. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    I have done a simpler version of this in the past. I took some cotton sash rope and charred the end of it. I took an about 1 1/2" / 4 cm long piece of copper pipe that the rope fit in snuggly but not tight. I pinched the end close and soldered it. You could probably get by just pinching it flat. When you want to make fire you strike a spark on the end of the rope and blow. You use it to light the fire and then snuff out the charred end of the rope by covering it with the little piece of pipe.
     
  3. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    A 19th century invention if I remember correctly, good choice, well done. Even if the ferocerium flints break down in time, you can still use this with flint & steel.
    I believe these were originally called tinder tubes, the early ones of course did not have a serrated wheel as on cigarette lighters & were used with flint & steel.
    I thought you might be interested in seeing some of the original forerunners of your tinder tube, with & without wheels.
    Keith.
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  4. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    VERY cool! I really like this because there is no fuel to run out of. You can SEE the rope and know when it is about to be used up. I like the old ways. They turned almost anything that they used a lot into almost a piece of art. Let's face it a Bic lighter isn't very special looking.
     
  5. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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  6. GrizzlyetteAdams

    GrizzlyetteAdams Crap Creek Survivor
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    I learned something new and useful today thanks to you, Tex and Keith!


    .
     
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  7. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    Well on behalf of Tex & myself, it is our pleasure.
     
  8. TMT Tactical

    TMT Tactical The Great Lizard !
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    Well darn, I was so excited and went hunting for them, I forgot to thank the folks that brought the topic and the pictures. My moma would hang her head in shame at my poor manners. Thanks Keith and TexDamn for the postings and GA for reminding me to behave better. :( :(
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2019
  9. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    I do have more images of tinder tubes if anyone is interested.
    Keith.
     
  10. Ystranc

    Ystranc Master Survivalist
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    Yes, I'm interested. This is a fascinating thread, thanks Tex and Keith.
     
  11. Bishop

    Bishop Master Survivalist
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    I have a old fox hole lighter that works really good like char cloth in a string.
     
  12. TMT Tactical

    TMT Tactical The Great Lizard !
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    Well dang folks, if you got things to share, get them out and share. Us (me) city slickers need more educating.
     
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  13. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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  14. randyt

    randyt Expert Member
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    in a book by Dana and Ginger Lamb, authors of Enchanted Vagabonds there is reference to a trench lighter. It's not the Enchanted Vagabond book but another thy wrote about searching for a lost city. They were using a bow drill and one of the locals they met turned them on to the trench lighter. I've been wanting to make one since I read about it.
     
  15. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    Well as you can see from the images above randy, all you need is a piece of pipe & some cordage. You can use cotton or linen cloth & roll it up to use as the matchcord.
    Keith.
     
  16. randyt

    randyt Expert Member
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    I was thinking about putting one together with a spark wheel but like you said a tinder box, flint and steel is more efficient.
     
  17. TMT Tactical

    TMT Tactical The Great Lizard !
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    Keith, remembering my manners this time, thank you for the pictures and the article. Very well done Mate.
     
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  18. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    Thank you, & you are very welcome mate.
    Keith.
     
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  19. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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  20. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    Wow! I agree, great price! You can't lose at that price. Good find Tex.
    Keith.
     
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  21. Oldguy

    Oldguy Master Survivalist
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    Had something similar once as a kid, never knew what it was and no one I asked knew either. Lost it some time way back.
    Glad to finally know what it was, thanks
     
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  22. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    Sorry to hear you lost it, get another one! Sounds like fun & could come in useful:)
    Keith.
     
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  23. coffee

    coffee Expert Member
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    I love these, Thanks a ton, guys. They will make great gifts. and survival items.
     
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