How to make a fire starter steel.
Apologies to my non millions followers. I didn’t post anything in the last several months. Partly procrastinating and partly the luck of time. Since return from a trip to New Zealand I bee chasing my own tail (as the phrase goes), to finish things.
Alas, finally I got the time to publish a new post.
After realising that bush crafter don’t by expensive knife (maybe rightly so) and that my knives style are not so desire by them. I decided to do some objects that may stand a chance to be bought.
Not long ago I add a student doing my knife making course and he light the gas stove, for making coffee with his fire starter steel. He suggested that I will try and do some to sale in bush craft events.
So I did.
The first thing I found was that in order to do it efficiently, one need a jig. Also what you really want is not to forge it but to construct it out of cut to size stripes of steel.
However, truth to myself I decided to save some money and forge the fire starter out of abounded springs from car suspension that I have in my work shop. The steel is of the 5160 family and have a 0.6 – 0.7 present of carbon in it. presumably the more carbon the better the sparks. Any way the sparks that steel produce is good enough to light a char fabric or better still a 000 grad steel wool.
I start by making the jig.
First I cut all the jig’s part and then obviously connect them together by welding them.
Now I starting by straighten the suspension coil.
ones it is straight enough I start to shape it to size ( In my fire starters case it is 7mm by 4mm) , making sure it is straight all the way trough by squeezing it on both dimensions in a vise wile it’s still red hot.
when the steel get cold I cut it to 180mm segments.
Now the fun part begin. I heat the steel in my forge attached it on to the jig and bend it. first one side then the other end. I guess that if you have a little (or big) helper you can bend it complete all in one heat.
I did try to check if by steel produce the same amount of sparks. But I temper it just for good measure.
As I the design of the fire steel is very simple I decided to wrapped them with leather to give It a good holding grip for the fingers.
So here is the finished result.
In the next post (hopefully next week) I will show you how I did the leatherwork.
Share this post