Leatherwork to my fire starter steel

‘In the next post (hopefully next week) I will show you how I did the leatherwork.’ That how I finished my last post. http://www.thedyslexiccraftsman.com/knife-making-tip-tricks/how-to-make-a-fire-starter-steel/

It was about how I built a fire starter steel. It was some three months  ago. As you can see I was bit optimistic. I won’t bore you with the risen for that, but just to say life is too short,  so I add to prioritize.

Alas. Today is the day that I stop procrastinating  (a word that I used a lot) and so, here is the post about how I made the leatherwork for the fire starter steel.

Instead of going into depth, describing what I do, I will use some of the profession terminology , so you can look at it on the internet for better understanding.

I used a 2.5mm thick vegetable tan leather. I figure out (after lot of trial and error) that I need piece of leather measure 5.5 x 3.5 cm.

I used a Compass for Leather Craft to mark the location for the stitches and to decorate the narrow edge of the leather.  I marked it 3mm from the edge.

Leatherwork to my fire starter steel

I work with number 3 Edge Beveler on the long side of the leather piece, but only on the side that going to touch the fire steel. Don’t do it (as in the photo) on the narrow side of the work piece. Wet the narrow side with water and  burnish the leather edges.

Leatherwork to my fire starter steel

Wet the narrow side with water and  burnish the leather edges.

Leatherwork to my fire starter steel

Now I used a Leather Sewing Overstitch Wheel 4mm for marking the stitches holes.

Leatherwork to my fire starter steel I then used Sewing Diamond Awl that I made myself from O1 steel left over. I used it to do to holes for the needle work. As you can see from the photo below, I did the holes in the leather by following the wheel marks, pushing the awl tilted in  45 degrees to the surface of the leather so, the holes goes in from the top surface of the leather to out near the bottom edge rather the other side of the piece (the photo show plane needle awl, but trust me, I used the diamond shape one that I made).

Leatherwork to my fire starter steel

At this stage I needed to tan the leather (I use Fiebing’s Leather Dye) on all sides of the work piece. Problem was that at a time I run out of the dye. So I didn’t.

Now it’s the time to mould the leather around the steel. Soak the leather in water, worm or cold? I try both but can’t tell if one better than the other. If you discover which,  do let me know. Soak it  for few minutes until the piece is saturated and pat it dry.

Leatherwork to my fire starter steel

Spray the steel with DW40 and rap it with cling foil. Put the steel, loos, in a vice, insert piece of wood inside the steel on top of the vice jaws, put the dump leather under the steel above the wood then, press hard the top of the steel against the wood and clump it.

How to leatherwork

Put the steel, loos, in a vice, insert piece of wood inside the steel on top of the vice jaws, put the dump leather under the steel above the wood then, press hard the top of the steel against the wood and clump it.

leatherwor

Using a protective wood, clump the sides of the leather tight.  Use piece of wood with rounded edge to fold tight the leather edge around the steel. Hopefully you masseur the leather right so both edge meat each other.

Leatherwork

Remove the wood from the steel and use a string to wrap around the leather to tighten it to the steel. And leave it until the leather is completely dry.

Leatherwork

Remove the string. Loosen the leather and remove the foil. If you remove the leather piece from the steel for that, make sure you return it in the same position as it was. If like me you run out of dye. Get one and dye the leather now. Inside and out.

It’s about time to do some needle work. I use artificial sinew string and No’ 22-24 tapestry needles.

I used the Saddle Stitch method for the stitching. Here there is a video on haw to do it   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JW6JFGIblZI . I double look the ends and burn the loos ends.

How to stitch leather

That it basically. All you have to do now is to use a ordinary shoe polish to polish the leather.

Leathework

So, here you have it, as promised, three month later.  On the other end as my wife ask me (when I say that I must do the post), how many  people read your blog? well… I guess not many if at all, but I do it for myself.

Anyway, enjoy.

Ronen

 

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How to make a fire starter steel.

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.

Fire starter steel

I start by making the jig.

Fire starter steel

First I cut all the jig’s part and then obviously connect them together by welding them.

how to make fire starter steelHow to make a fire starter steel

 

 

 

 

How to make a fire starter steelHow to make a fire starter steel

 

 

 

 

 

Now I starting by straighten the suspension coil.

How to make a fire starter steelHow to make a fire starter steel

 

 

 

 

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.

 

How to make fire starter steelHow to make a fire starter steel

 

 

 

 

when the steel get cold I cut it to 180mm segments.

How to make a fire starter steel

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.

How to make a fire starter steelHow to make a fire starter steel

 

 

 

 

How to make a fire starter steel

temper the steel  it will make any deferent for   spark production. It didn’t and tempered or not, the After making number of pieces,   I very roughly  heat treat them . How to make a fire starter steel

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.

How to makea fire tarter steel

In the next post (hopefully next week) I will show you how I did the leatherwork.

Happy forging

Ronen

 

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