Tinder Cord Question...
Just wondering if anyone out the has made one of these tinder cords to be used with the flint and steel?
Just have a few questions...
1. What size of cotton rope to you use? Which size is ideal?
2. How do you keep from knocking all of the charred stuff of the end of the rope, while trying to light the fire?
3. How long is the metal tube supposed to be?
4. What is the purpose of the metal tube exactly?
Haven't really found a comprehensive write up on tinder cords. If there is one on the site, I'd appreciate be redirected to the info. Been picking bits and pieces...
Thanks in advance!
Bush Class Basic Certified
perhaps you should look up " slow match" or " match lock" .this should help . you mite also search selfmade gear.
Last edited by carnivor way; 01-15-2012 at 11:03 AM.
i have made char-cord before with cotton rope. when i got it to ember it held it for a long time but it was alot harder to spark than char-cloth for me anyways. i have not tried with flint and steel just a ferro-rod
I use a 3/8” cord. I’ve used smaller, but they don’t produce as much heat or char and can be difficult to use for igniting tinder. In its heyday the tinder tube was carried as a quick and convenient way to light pipes and cigarettes more than for lighting fires.
I consider it incorrect to call it a Slowmatch because most folks use untreated cord for their tubes. A proper Slowmatch is actually a type of fuse chemically treated (potassium nitrate or lead acetate) to burn slowly at a controlled rate. A Blackmatch or Quickmatch is the type of fuse you see used for lighting fireworks.
The tube is for snuffing the cord and protecting the char. I find it best practice is to retract the cord when it is well lit and smoldering…covering the end to produce more char as it is snuffed, otherwise there may not be enough char for the next lighting.
Thanks for all of the feed back. I went through all of the posts and wrote a 2-page summary page of the ideas there. Wanted to be able to print it off to show others how to make these.
Was going to attach it here to make it available for others, but it says that the file is too large (1.42 MB)
OK then will make a few posts below
Last edited by Survive; 01-15-2012 at 04:09 PM.
Tinder Cord, Tinder Tube
What is it?
Is a piece of 100% cotton material that can be charred. It is used in conjunction with flint and steel or a firesteel to catch a spark to help in lighting fires. The tube is used to snuff out the spark, when finished, and to protect the charred end for future use.
Tinder Cord – “The Cord”
• Bring a lighter with you when you go shopping to see if your potential rope burns or melts. Anything that melts is either plastic or mixed fibers which you don’t want.
• Make sure that it is 100% cotton, as mixed fibers will melt and not char, thus defeating the purpose of the Tinder Cord.
How long should it be?
Not too long. 5” to a foot is good. Must take into consideration gear size and weight.
Sources for Cotton
• Standard Cotton Clothes Line.
• Cotton Filler Cord
o Check Walmart or Fabric stores
• 100% Cotton Mops
o Check Dollar stores
o Can braid together enough lengths to fit your tube
o Can do a 4-strand braid:
How to Tie a Four Strand Round Braid by TIAT ("The Easy Way") - YouTube
• Cotton lamp wick
o It is meant to burn and leave a charred end.
o Can "unfold" and lay flat on your flint like char cloth.
o Some also come round and will fit right into the tube.
• Household cotton twine.
o Stuff for tying up poultry or a standing rib roast, etc.
o Can make 3 strand twisted rope with it or use as many pieces as needed to get the desired diameter
o Can twist 15 strands using drill
• Tie the ends together.
• Separate it into 3, 5-strand bundles.
• Twist each bundle clockwise with a drill clockwise (Can make a hook using a piece of metal coat hanger)
• Then combine the 3 ends while they were still under tension and twisted them counter-clockwise.
Tinder Tube – “The Tube”
What is it for?
The purpose of the tube is to snuff out and protect the charred end.
Any metal tubing will work.
• 1 ½ - 2 inch long is average
• Suggestion for longer tubes – can be used as a blow/poker tool
• 2" of aluminum Arrow Shaft
o Works for ¼ inch cord
• Copper tubing
o 1/4 flexible copper line
o Check plumbing sections
o From the back of refrigerators
• AC Tubing for a car.
o Just cut out a few straight areas.
o Look for their Aluminum Slurpy Straws
• Fired Cartridge Cases
o Drill out the Primer wide enough for the cord and make a cap from another one.
o You can make two one for the butt just bell them out, attach a wire around the top cap so you can pull it out
• Custom Fit Copper
o If do not have the correct diameter tubes can make own tubes.
o Anneal some copper tubing and form around a mandrel to the desired size.
Other Tube Tips
• Can cover tube with leather to protect fingers from hot or cold
• Can cut a small lengthwise slit in the side of the tube.
o Can use “Dremel” cut off wheel.
o You can then use that slit to pull the cord or wick back out with the tip of your knife blade
Tinder Tube Tips
• Cotton absorbs moisture so keep your tinder cord protected from the elements
o Plastic baggie or container is good
• Can put screw into cord to facilitate pulling cord out of tube
This summary is taken from:
A Youtube example:
Tinder Tube - a Fire Steel's best friend - YouTube
My document has pictures with it... but don't know how to post it, due to it's size