Observations: Magnesium firestarter with a Light my Fire striker to scrape\strike
From my experience, a magnesium firestarter works great as long as you can scrape a big enough pile from it to light tinder and small kindling. Problem is that is always slow and tedious doing it with a knife and using it will dull the blade. So I went to a cut up hacksaw blade a while back and that was an improvement, but it still seemed to take a while to get a pile of shavings big enough to light the tinder reliably.
So a couple of days ago I decided to use the side of the steel striker from Light My Fire Scout firesteel on my magnesium block to scrape magnesium shavings and whammo! I could scrape a half-dollar sized pile of shavings from the mag block in less than 2 minutes, which then easily ignited using the front side of the LMF scraper with just 2-3 strikes on the flint.
The way the LMF metal striker is stamped out seems to be the key to how well it shaves the magnesium. I'm sure I could get close if I tried to make one, but I don't have the resources and machinery to stamp out the metal, which is part of the reason it works so well as it leaves an extended edge sticking off the bottom of the striker. I also found that the LMF striker more easily ignites the magnesium when striking the flint as well, so it is a homerun for me.
If anyone knows where to buy Light My Fire replacement strikers please share as I would like to pick up a few of these to attach to my magnesium firestarters. With these attached I feel way more confident in using a mag block to quickly start fires in bad conditions.
If anybody here has both please try it and post your results!
They don't have Light My Fire striker but they do sell strikers.
I recently ordered some rods from them, and was looking for the flat stamped steel strikers and couldn't find them. I don't think they sell them anymore. They now have plastic handled carbon steel strikers, but they don't have the "burr" on the edge that coloradowildman is having such success with.
Originally Posted by yoclif
The sharp edge on the strikers is just the burr left from the stamping out of the piece in a blanking die. For most purposes, the workpiece is tumbled or dressed on a sanding belt o de-burr it, but these ones are purposely left that way .
At a pinch, head down to your nearest stamping and pressing shop and see if you can scrounge a few slugs from one of their turret punches out of the scrap. These will have a decent burr usually, and although they will be unlikely to be hardened, will work.
You can use a piece of an old hacksaw blade as a striker and it works better than the one that came with it. The strikers from firesteel.com are good too, I have some of each on my fire steels.
I read (and saw on his site) that Joh McCann says that the Corona blade sharpener is suppose to throw some hellacious sparks (oh and it can sharpen stuff too). Anyone here ever try one?
Are you familiar with a Sandvik scraper? This is a woodworking tool for finishing planed surfaces. It looks like a piece of steel about the size of an index card and is made from high-carbon steel and is somewhat flexible. You stone the edge to square it off, put it on the edge of a table and use a burnisher (or the shaft of a screwdriver) to draw the metal down. The process is repeated to the other face to form a burr which is then used to remove fine shavings from wood. Consult a book on woodworking with hand tools for a better explanation. You could improvise a striker using an old saw blade and produce the burr using a similar technique. I haven't tried it, but I don't see why it wouldn't work. I have been using the back of my knife to scrape magnesium off my Doan bar and it is certainly tedious.
that is sometimes called a flat scraper. You can take a piece of steel and burnish the edge with a hardened rod. this will give it the rolled edge you are looking for.
I have better luck sparking my LMF steel if i use the handle part of the striker to scrape it.
The section you're supposed to use that looks kinda like a key is really not optimal.
I just got a striker like the current Firesteel.com ones...it's awesome.
I can toss balls of sparks accross the room with that thing...