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Posted: 3/20/2013 5:52:57 PM EST
Ive never seen these until today, are they novelty or something that could round anyones BoB?
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Posted: 3/20/2013 6:06:06 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/20/2013 6:07:10 PM EST by hawk1]
Very legit


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Posted: 3/20/2013 6:13:05 PM EST
Originally Posted By hawk1:
Very legit




good to know. are they charcloth dependent though? could you use a cotton ball etc?
My thoughts on the basics are have a few modern items, a fall back and a traditional.
So for fire I have a lighter(s), flint striker(s) and will probably consider this for a traditional as opposed to rubbing sticks together etc.
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Posted: 3/20/2013 7:24:11 PM EST
Originally Posted By Solace22:
Originally Posted By hawk1:
Very legit




good to know. are they charcloth dependent though? could you use a cotton ball etc?
My thoughts on the basics are have a few modern items, a fall back and a traditional.
So for fire I have a lighter(s), flint striker(s) and will probably consider this for a traditional as opposed to rubbing sticks together etc.


I looked at them a few months back when somebody posted about them.

Ehhh, they're not exactly cheap and they seem to be a bit of a chore.

I guess if money is no object, sure. $40-$75, IIRC, buys you a lot of $3 refillable lighters and cans of butane.

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Posted: 3/20/2013 7:32:37 PM EST
Originally Posted By ChrisGarrett:
Originally Posted By Solace22:
Originally Posted By hawk1:
Very legit




good to know. are they charcloth dependent though? could you use a cotton ball etc?
My thoughts on the basics are have a few modern items, a fall back and a traditional.
So for fire I have a lighter(s), flint striker(s) and will probably consider this for a traditional as opposed to rubbing sticks together etc.


I looked at them a few months back when somebody posted about them.

Ehhh, they're not exactly cheap and they seem to be a bit of a chore.

I guess if money is no object, sure. $40-$75, IIRC, buys you a lot of $3 refillable lighters and cans of butane.

Chris


very true. price is pretty high, its not on my priority list.
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Posted: 3/20/2013 8:39:12 PM EST
A bic lighter works just as good









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Posted: 3/21/2013 5:02:58 AM EST

Originally Posted By Solace22:
Originally Posted By hawk1:
Very legit




good to know. are they charcloth dependent though? could you use a cotton ball etc?
My thoughts on the basics are have a few modern items, a fall back and a traditional.
So for fire I have a lighter(s), flint striker(s) and will probably consider this for a traditional as opposed to rubbing sticks together etc.

Go to YouTube and search fire piston. You'll see people igniting all sorts of stuff.

Yeah, Bic lighters, firesteels, two sticks, they all work. Acquire and use whatever floats your boat.
No one is saying any one thing is better than another.
Many, and myself including, tend to have more than one way to skin that cat.
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Posted: 3/21/2013 6:15:18 AM EST
My thought is if you can build one yourself sure, but far from worth spending $$ on when you can buy a number of different other firestarting options for a lot less. The fire piston is essentially a little one-shot diesel engine, compression = heat and enough heat = ignition.
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Posted: 3/21/2013 6:27:58 AM EST
remember this is not something I would BEFORE a lighter or a striker/flint type firestarter. I have those already.
on the plus side there isnt anything that really gets consumed with them. eventually you run out of fluid, eventually you run out of strikes etc.
Ill pass on one for now, i was just curious.
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Posted: 3/21/2013 12:15:00 PM EST
Originally Posted By survivorman:
A bic lighter works just as good



I am lighter hoarder...

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Posted: 3/21/2013 6:03:01 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/21/2013 6:03:19 PM EST by Skibane]
Originally Posted By ChrisGarrett:
I guess if money is no object, sure. $40-$75, IIRC, buys you a lot of $3 refillable lighters and cans of butane.


Or a whole butt-load of book matches...

I'm still working my way through one $1.29 box of Food Lion book matches that I bought shortly before Food Lion went out of business locally... over 25 years ago. They've been stored in a Zip-Loc bag - Every one of them still works exactly like it rolled off the factory production line last week.
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Posted: 3/21/2013 6:26:35 PM EST
A fresnel lens is a pretty damned good way to make fire too if you are looking for something that won't break-I wrap mine around my fuel bottle in my pack.

Failing that, the most reliable method I know of for starting a fire is to get a magnesium fire starter, but a 3" piece of hacksaw blade on it (the cheaper the blade, the better, seriously), and then take a small roll of duct tape. The duct tape serves two fundtions: It makes for a sticky surface to catch your magnesium shavings, and it acts as your fuel to start your fire. An alternative is to cut a bicycle inner tube into 1" squares, put a hole in them, and fray one end. They burn long and hot too but stink pretty badly.

Those are waterproof solutions, it doesn't hurt to take a pencil sharpener and use it on twigs to get tinder.
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Posted: 3/21/2013 6:31:47 PM EST
Fire pistons, especially the expensive ones, are not strictly bought for utilitarian purposes. Some people enjoy the craftsmanship and art of utilizing a fire piston.

Its like complaining about someone's $150 hand carved wood duck call... Just something people like.

I personally like to carry at least a couple of methods of starting fire. A couple of lighters and a striker/blast match style are my usual.
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Posted: 3/21/2013 8:53:18 PM EST
Here is a link to a youtube video of a guy making and using a clear acrylic fire piston. He explains how it works but the cool part is that since he is using clear materials, you can see the ignition.
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Posted: 3/21/2013 9:10:21 PM EST
Cool,

I've never used one...

I've always used the mag and strike...or a bic...

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Posted: 3/22/2013 2:50:25 AM EST
I wouldn't bet MY life on one. Every once in a while I'm lucky enough to get a spark. A steel works much more reliably imho.
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Posted: 3/22/2013 7:09:20 AM EST
definite novelty item
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Posted: 3/22/2013 9:00:38 AM EST
Originally Posted By MrHunterAZ:
Fire pistons, especially the expensive ones, are not strictly bought for utilitarian purposes. Some people enjoy the craftsmanship and art of utilizing a fire piston.

Its like complaining about someone's $150 hand carved wood duck call... Just something people like.

I personally like to carry at least a couple of methods of starting fire. A couple of lighters and a striker/blast match style are my usual.


A fire piston is a pretty basic shop project if you have a few tools, or a good project to do if you take a machining class at a local tech school.
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Posted: 3/22/2013 10:07:34 AM EST
Originally Posted By MrHunterAZ:
Fire pistons, especially the expensive ones, are not strictly bought for utilitarian purposes. Some people enjoy the craftsmanship and art of utilizing a fire piston.

Its like complaining about someone's $150 hand carved wood duck call... Just something people like.

I personally like to carry at least a couple of methods of starting fire. A couple of lighters and a striker/blast match style are my usual.


No complaining about a fire piston, or the fact that somebody might want one just to have it, but it just seems to me that there's a learning curve and one might not be able to get the thing sparking/igniting the char-cloth in cold and wet conditions, is all.

Also, they're not all that cheap and they do use o-rings to contain pressure and those can go bad over time, so they're not infallible.

Carring an Altoids tin of dryer lint smeared with Vaseline, a magnesium starter, or a ferro rod with a striker, along with a basic BIC lighter, might be more prudent in a stressful situation, is my thought.

Chris

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Posted: 3/22/2013 4:45:32 PM EST
Originally Posted By wp6529:
A fire piston is a pretty basic shop project if you have a few tools, or a good project to do if you take a machining class at a local tech school.


I'm wondering if one could be improvised out of an old lawnmower engine - You'd already have the piston, a reasonably tight seal around it (assuming the rings are still in decent shape), and a cylinder for containing the pressure.

It'd be kind of big and heavy to carry around with you , but for starting fires at the home camp...
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Posted: 3/23/2013 9:12:17 AM EST
New here to the forums. Been playing with fire pistons for about 5 years. Made my first batch of char cloth about 3 years ago with an altoid tin, an old t-shirt, and a golf tee. Its fun to use.
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Posted: 3/23/2013 4:36:02 PM EST
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Posted: 3/23/2013 5:41:17 PM EST
Originally Posted By raf:
Originally Posted By Skibane:
Originally Posted By wp6529:
A fire piston is a pretty basic shop project if you have a few tools, or a good project to do if you take a machining class at a local tech school.


I'm wondering if one could be improvised out of an old lawnmower engine - You'd already have the piston, a reasonably tight seal around it (assuming the rings are still in decent shape), and a cylinder for containing the pressure.

It'd be kind of big and heavy to carry around with you , but for starting fires at the home camp...


I dunno if the compression in a conventional 4-stroke lawnmower engine would do the trick. Seems to me that one would have to have diesel or above compression to get ignition out of char cloth. Of course, there would also be attendant insertion and extraction issues with any 4-stroke cylinder engine........

I think these are interesting, and possibly elegant, if heavy devices. Certainly worth experimenting with.


Spark plug

Originally Posted By ar-jedi:

SO MUCH WIN IN ONE POST IT COULD CRASH ARFCOM !!!
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Posted: 3/23/2013 6:05:20 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/23/2013 6:06:22 PM EST by Skibane]
Originally Posted By raf:
I dunno if the compression in a conventional 4-stroke lawnmower engine would do the trick. Seems to me that one would have to have diesel or above compression to get ignition out of char cloth.


There's no reason why you'd have to limit yourself to the engine's original compression - Could attach a piece of sheet metal to the top of the piston or fill in some of the top of the cylinder head with JB Weld to increase compression.

Of course, there would also be attendant insertion and extraction issues with any 4-stroke cylinder engine........


Originally Posted By thederrick106:
Spark plug


Maybe make an ember holder out of a spark plug, and attach "wings" to the outside of it, so that it could be quickly spun in or out of the head like a wing nut?

Or what if you positioned the ember inside the cylinder head so that it got blown out through the exhaust valve as soon as the valve opened on the exhaust stroke? Remove the muffler and stick a screen across the outside of exhaust port to catch it, maybe? If you continued to spin the engine afterwards, it would pump fresh air across the ember, perhaps helping to fan the flame.

Just spitballin' here...
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Posted: 3/23/2013 6:21:26 PM EST
"The M1 Rifle is the greatest battle implement ever devised." General George S. Patton Jr.,US Army
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Posted: 3/24/2013 4:56:14 AM EST
[Last Edit: 3/24/2013 4:57:00 AM EST by coyotesilencer]
This one seems pretty durable and is about $10 to make.



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Posted: 3/24/2013 2:36:55 PM EST
I've made a couple out of the copper stub outs. It's pretty easy to do but takes a little practice to use. Personally I'd rather carry a fire steel and a lighter (my normal fire starting carry). I usually have a small Bausch and Lomb pocket magnifier with me too since I'm a science geek.
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Posted: 3/24/2013 2:55:44 PM EST
There's a video floating around of an indigenous guy in South America(?) making a fire piston with a machete and a sharpened screw driver. I can't find the video for the life of me, but it was really worth watching.
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Posted: 3/24/2013 3:05:36 PM EST
Mine will at least give you an ember every time. What you do with it from there depends on you.
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Posted: 3/24/2013 5:05:28 PM EST
For the price most of them cost, get two good ferro rods like the LMF Army in my opinion.
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