Flint & steel



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Cortharyn
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Flint & steel

Post by Cortharyn »

Am I being too heavy handed with the striking here? I have pieces of "flint" (I don't actually know what the stone is) flying everywhere.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/r9wJGMe3bp4[/youtube]
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Elleth
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Re: Flint & steel

Post by Elleth »

Edited response:

I think in some of your strikes, your strike is coming it coming in at too perpendicular an angle to the steel, and causing the edge of the stone to crush/flake against the metal. Try shifting your blows to "shave" more than "strike" and I think you'll have less chipping. (or alternately, hold stone and charcloth in one hand and strike with the steel)

... not that I'm an expert or anything. I throw my own share of oops-chips. :mrgreen:
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Re: Flint & steel

Post by ForgeCorvus »

I hold a bit of charcloth on top of my flint with my thumb, hold the steel in the fingers of the other hand and stroke the striker over the edge of the stone.
I use a little 'finger steel' though, what you have is a 'knuckle steel' and is best held like it was a set of brass knuckles.
The final common type is a 'hearth steel', those have arms curving away from the main body and are used in the same way you are in your video.

I've only made a couple of hundred of the things over the years however it was only ten years or so back that I actually tried lighting a fire with one

Once got a chip stuck under my nail...... Bled like an Ork on a skewer
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Re: Flint & steel

Post by Jack »

I'll Second what Elleth and ForfeCorvus said and say

1: its definitely your striking angle, you want to (quickly and deliberately) skim the steel but not hack at it

2: holding the flint (or in your case chert) and char static in one hand while using the steel to strike (or again, skim) your chert is definitely easier more me and maybe for you as well

This method allows your steel sparks to be caught almost immediately by your char rather than cascading down in a wide pattern, allowing for more precision and requiring smaller pieces of char.

Remember that a lot of this is essentially the same concept as a ferro rod only the components are both harder and the sparks smaller and cooler hence the need for char. But in both cases you are scraping rather than chopping into your steel. Hope that helps.
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Cortharyn
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Re: Flint & steel

Post by Cortharyn »

Jack wrote: Fri Jun 17, 2022 10:55 pm I'll Second what Elleth and ForfeCorvus said and say

1: its definitely your striking angle, you want to (quickly and deliberately) skim the steel but not hack at it

2: holding the flint (or in your case chert) and char static in one hand while using the steel to strike (or again, skim) your chert is definitely easier more me and maybe for you as well

This method allows your steel sparks to be caught almost immediately by your char rather than cascading down in a wide pattern, allowing for more precision and requiring smaller pieces of char.

Remember that a lot of this is essentially the same concept as a ferro rod only the components are both harder and the sparks smaller and cooler hence the need for char. But in both cases you are scraping rather than chopping into your steel. Hope that helps.
That is actually very helpful. Thanks.
That method is seemingly too popular to be wrong. I can't wait to make it happen.
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Cortharyn
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Re: Flint & steel

Post by Cortharyn »

Elleth wrote: Fri Jun 17, 2022 6:46 pm Edited response:

I think in some of your strikes, your strike is coming it coming in at too perpendicular an angle to the steel, and causing the edge of the stone to crush/flake against the metal. Try shifting your blows to "shave" more than "strike" and I think you'll have less chipping. (or alternately, hold stone and charcloth in one hand and strike with the steel)

... not that I'm an expert or anything. I throw my own share of oops-chips. :mrgreen:
I'm definitely going to do the chirt and char in one hand next time. It sounds similar to everything else as far as angle. Sharpening, Ferro rod slice/scrape. Not bang/smash. Thanks
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Re: Flint & steel

Post by Cortharyn »

ForgeCorvus wrote: Fri Jun 17, 2022 7:11 pm I hold a bit of charcloth on top of my flint with my thumb, hold the steel in the fingers of the other hand and stroke the striker over the edge of the stone.
I use a little 'finger steel' though, what you have is a 'knuckle steel' and is best held like it was a set of brass knuckles.
The final common type is a 'hearth steel', those have arms curving away from the main body and are used in the same way you are in your video.

I've only made a couple of hundred of the things over the years however it was only ten years or so back that I actually tried lighting a fire with one

Once got a chip stuck under my nail...... Bled like an Ork on a skewer
I've not heard of a finger striker. But I like the sound of it. I had no idea there were any different kinds. Let alone 3 types. Now I want to try them all. Thanks
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Re: Flint & steel

Post by Jack »

It took forever just to upload this 10 secs of video ( apparently i accidentally shot it and uploaded it in 4k? lol) but I made this to kind of show you the technique being described.
you probably already knew what we were talking about but just in case this helps...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MycnSDJpBg4
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Re: Flint & steel

Post by ForgeCorvus »

Jack is using a finger grip, but I can't see exactly what shape his Steel is.
Mine is a little over two inches long and is made from an old file..... I might even have a picture of it around here somewhere.
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Cortharyn
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Re: Flint & steel

Post by Cortharyn »

Jack wrote: Sat Jun 18, 2022 1:06 am It took forever just to upload this 10 secs of video ( apparently i accidentally shot it and uploaded it in 4k? lol) but I made this to kind of show you the technique being described.
you probably already knew what we were talking about but just in case this helps...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MycnSDJpBg4
Holly shit! That was spectacular! Thanks I'm definitely going to work on that.
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Cortharyn
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Re: Flint & steel

Post by Cortharyn »

Jack wrote: Sat Jun 18, 2022 1:06 am It took forever just to upload this 10 secs of video ( apparently i accidentally shot it and uploaded it in 4k? lol) but I made this to kind of show you the technique being described.
you probably already knew what we were talking about but just in case this helps...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MycnSDJpBg4
What kind of stone is that? Where can I get it?
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Cortharyn
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Re: Flint & steel

Post by Cortharyn »

Jack wrote: Sat Jun 18, 2022 1:06 am It took forever just to upload this 10 secs of video ( apparently i accidentally shot it and uploaded it in 4k? lol) but I made this to kind of show you the technique being described.
you probably already knew what we were talking about but just in case this helps...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MycnSDJpBg4
That definitely works better. Thanks for the video. That was most helpful. I just have to keep practicing the striking part.
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Re: Flint & steel

Post by Jack »

Cortharyn wrote: Sun Jun 19, 2022 3:45 pm What kind of stone is that? Where can I get it?
Its just another piece of chert, I dont really know where to buy ready made flint/chert but the way i aquire mine is to find it is among the ubiuitous brown "river rock" sold and used in lots of commercial and residential landscaping if youre up for a little bit of scrounging and flint knapping... (nothing that requires skill like an arrowhead, i'm talking about the most basic primitive "Homo Habilis" level of knapping)

I can make a video on the knappingtechnique later if necessary but its basically the same motion I demonstrated in my clip, hold the rock you want to fracture steady in your left, and with a stone on your right you want to barely smash the edge in a downward motion to knock a flake off the bottom (mind the shards and your eyes)

To choose a rock look for one that is smooth-ish (essentially not sandstone or granite) relatively uniform in color and brown
At this stage it helps to look ahead to when you'll be using it and find one large enough to feel good in the hand so you can use it comfortably later.
Also the flatter it is (think like a good skipping stone) the easier this will all be and the less space it takes up in your kit.

To test it break off a flake using the technique i mentioned and remove a section of the cortex to see the stone beneath
You're looking for smooth faces, not anything granular like sand stone, and if you see conchoidal fractures thats a good thing, if the edge feels good and sharp give it a strike with your steel and if it throws sparks congratulations you have a Mohs hardness of 7 and most likely chert and even if it isn't chert it doesnt matter because you have a stone that works lol
At that point its ready for use or you can continue knapping more sides off it to create more usable edges.

If you dont get any sparks or if you ruin it while trying to knapp more edges, just rinse and repeat with different rocks until you find a suitable one.

Its pretty common and easy enough to find or else i wouldnt recommend this whole process lol
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Re: Flint & steel

Post by Cortharyn »

Jack wrote: Sun Jun 19, 2022 5:25 pm
Cortharyn wrote: Sun Jun 19, 2022 3:45 pm What kind of stone is that? Where can I get it?
Its just another piece of chert, I dont really know where to buy ready made flint/chert but the way i aquire mine is to find it is among the ubiuitous brown "river rock" sold and used in lots of commercial and residential landscaping if youre up for a little bit of scrounging and flint knapping... (nothing that requires skill like an arrowhead, i'm talking about the most basic primitive "Homo Habilis" level of knapping)

I can make a video on the knappingtechnique later if necessary but its basically the same motion I demonstrated in my clip, hold the rock you want to fracture steady in your left, and with a stone on your right you want to barely smash the edge in a downward motion to knock a flake off the bottom (mind the shards and your eyes)

To choose a rock look for one that is smooth-ish (essentially not sandstone or granite) relatively uniform in color and brown
At this stage it helps to look ahead to when you'll be using it and find one large enough to feel good in the hand so you can use it comfortably later.
Also the flatter it is (think like a good skipping stone) the easier this will all be and the less space it takes up in your kit.

To test it break off a flake using the technique i mentioned and remove a section of the cortex to see the stone beneath
You're looking for smooth faces, not anything granular like sand stone, and if you see conchoidal fractures thats a good thing, if the edge feels good and sharp give it a strike with your steel and if it throws sparks congratulations you have a Mohs hardness of 7 and most likely chert and even if it isn't chert it doesnt matter because you have a stone that works lol
At that point its ready for use or you can continue knapping more sides off it to create more usable edges.

If you dont get any sparks or if you ruin it while trying to knapp more edges, just rinse and repeat with different rocks until you find a suitable one.

Its pretty common and easy enough to find or else i wouldnt recommend this whole process lol
I would prefer this than buying it. I'll get on that this week. I asked because the piece I have is very small and awkward to hold on to. The piece you have looks much better. Thanks.
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Re: Flint & steel

Post by Jack »

Cortharyn wrote: Sun Jun 19, 2022 5:42 pm I asked because the piece I have is very small and awkward to hold on to. The piece you have looks much better. Thanks.
Yeah that'll certainly make learning the skill harder than it needs to be. Best of luck.
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