A LIVING HISTORY BLOG.

18TH CENTURY LIVING HISTORY IN AUSTRALIA.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

A Closer Look At Flint and Steel Fire Lighting. Part One.

Despite my best efforts to explain in words and show with pictures, there is still some misinterpretation by some students. I can understand this, but it had not been brought to light before my new book was published or before I made my latest fire video. So I will address some of those problems here.

In this image you can see the charred tinder in the tinderbox. Sparks are struck from the steel with a piece of flint or similar rock directly onto the tinder in the tinderbox.
Here you can see two different plant tinders, the top piece is a bracket fungus, the lower two pieces are Punkwood/Punk wood.

 Although technically Punk wood is wood, it is a special kind of wood. It is dry-rot wood, very soft to the touch with a spongy feeling. NOT just any piece of wood will do, it must be Punk wood. Punk wood is usually found in the base of fallen trees.


In this image I have turned the plant tinder upside down so that you can see that the tinder is not charred right through, only the outside is charred, and in this case I have only charred one side completely. As you use the tinder in your tinderbox it will continue to char itself, AND it will char any uncharred tinder that you may add to the tinderbox.

Charcoal will not work in the sense that the charcoal is charred ordinary wood. If you use anything other than properly prepared plant tinder in your tinderbox you are doomed to failure, and this can be dangerous in a survival situation.

5 comments:

Vieuxbois said...

Great! You enlighten me this time! It is so more clear with pics for a French speaker! Many thanks Leloup!!!

Salutations,
Vieuxbois

Le Loup said...

Buzzard, you are welcome. Thank you for the feedback.
Keith.

Le Loup said...

Thank you Vieuxbois, and again, thank you for the feedback. Glad it helped.
Keith.

Buzzard said...

Quick question please Keith with regard to the bracket fungus tinder,is there a particular fungus that was used or one that you recommend? In Ireland we tend to use ganoderma (artists conk) treated with saltpeter.

Le Loup said...

Buzzard. Ammadou, also known as German tinder is mentioned in regard to what could be purchased in towns & cities, & likewise this too was treated with saltpeter.

But when it comes to what was used in the woods or wilderness, it seems that punk wood was the popular tinder. But there are other plant tinders available. You should have cattail in Ireland. Char the seed heads when they are dry & before they start to shed.

Take note of what these tinders look like & feel like, then do some experimenting of your own next time you are out in the woods.
I will post a video in Part 4 which may give you some ideas.
Regards, Keith.