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Thread: Mullein pith with flint and steel

  1. #31
    Guide Bush Class Basic Certified RoadLessTraveled's Avatar
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    I've tested materials' ability to hold an ember by using an existing fire/ember, exactly according to your logic. When experimenting with new materials, it saves a lot of time to prove whether or not there's any reason to hope that the weaker spark of flint rock and steel will succeed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RoadLessTraveled View Post
    I've tested materials' ability to hold an ember by using an existing fire/ember, exactly according to your logic. When experimenting with new materials, it saves a lot of time to prove whether or not there's any reason to hope that the weaker spark of flint rock and steel will succeed.
    I agree, it's nice to have a way to test for an ember before trying to catch a spark off of the flint and steel. I've been playing around with some natural tenders using a fresnel lens. Quick and easy way to test, as long as you have sunshine. Good tinders light really quick, as soon as you focus the lens. Good way for noobs, like myself, to practice preparing their birds nest, transferring the ember, and getting a flame, as well.

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  5. #33
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    The placenta inside a gourd works very well! Not the lining, but the part in which the seeds are embedded. Domestic and wild (buffalo and coyote gourds from tje desert) gourds both seem to work. This is one I have never seen before...

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeHedgepeth View Post
    The placenta inside a gourd works very well! Not the lining, but the part in which the seeds are embedded. Domestic and wild (buffalo and coyote gourds from tje desert) gourds both seem to work. This is one I have never seen before...
    You're right George. I discovered this a couple of years ago in a crossbred squash that laid out in my garden all winter. The outside had turned into a hard shell similar to a gourd. The inside had a fibrous honey comb that worked well in the fire piston also.

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    Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us! You never know how every piece of info like this might make a big difference to somebody some day.

    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeHedgepeth View Post
    The placenta inside a gourd works very well! Not the lining, but the part in which the seeds are embedded. Domestic and wild (buffalo and coyote gourds from tje desert) gourds both seem to work. This is one I have never seen before...

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  11. #36
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    Has anyone here ever tried the pith inside a corn stalk?

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  13. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeHedgepeth View Post
    Has anyone here ever tried the pith inside a corn stalk?
    Yup.

    Corn Stalk Pith in a Fire Piston - YouTube
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  15. #38
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    How about corn stalk pith with flint & steel?

    Don't see too much corn growing here in Austin TX, or I'd harvest a few and try it myself.

    I got milkweed ovum to catch the flint rock & steel spark. I'm drying out another mullein stalk right now and will continue to try to get its pith to catch a spark. I've suspected that piths of other plants would probably catch a spark, so I'm on the look out for such.

    Also, since corn stalk has such a good pith, I wonder if the stalk would be good for the hand drill or bow drill.

    George, thanks for raising the initial question. Skab, you're awesome! Thanks for the demo!

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    JCL MD did a post on him using corn stalk for bow drill here:

    http://bushcraftusa.com/forum/showth...ght=corn+stalk
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    The cottonwood trees in my area are releasing their seeds. I've seen the posts about using un-charred milkweed down as tinder, so I thought I'd experiment with cottonwood fluff. Sure enough, it takes a spark from flint and steel. It stays lit for a good amount of time, too. One should be able to add it directly to a tinder bundle. I tried, but I should have prepared the tinder bundle better. This is another tinder that needs to have the right amount of fluffiness versus compactness to work right. I got two coals from cottonwood fluff yesterday, but haven't been able to do it again since.

    Some other un-charred natural tinders I've read about and want to experiment with are cottonwood inner bark and elderberry pith.

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