homemade fire piston

Discussion in 'Self-made Gear' started by mountain joe, Sep 15, 2010.

  1. mountain joe

    mountain joe Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2010
    Messages:
    508
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    South Central Alaska
    I made this fire piston with a few modifications from what you normally see. It's made from a 6 inch by 1/4 inch copper pipe nipple with a piece of steel rod for the piston. I made the recess for the fuel in the side of the end instead of the end like most pistons. It's MUCH easier to get the lit ember out this way. Because of the side hole though I needed to utilize the full 6 inches of the pipe nipple instead of the 4 1/2" recommended for the standard design. Also on the other end of the piston for a handle, I mounted a small aluminum water proof container. It comes in handy as a storage for my fuel (chaga or true tender fungus). below is a video demo of this fire piston.

    YouTube - Homemade Fire Piston Demo
     
  2. Sgt. Mac

    Sgt. Mac Elder Staff Member Administrator Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II Bushclass Instructor

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Messages:
    53,184
    Likes Received:
    63,757
    Location:
    Land of Lincoln
    Thats a pretty darn slick idea! Well done. Maybe you could put a little nail in the storage tube to help you get the Chaga out, that way its part of the kit and you'd always have it with ya
     
  3. desertp1

    desertp1 Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    Messages:
    452
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    california
    i think i will try and make a fire piston today. i have been convinced.
     
  4. Scooter

    Scooter Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Messages:
    364
    Likes Received:
    18
    I made one out of a copper plumbing stubout about two years ago after reading an article in the Backwoodsman. It works great but I need to get around to covering it with bamboo or wood so it looks more abo.
    Mine was made from about $5 worth of part's from Lowes. All you need is a stubout, some dowel, an O-ring and a little time to make one.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2010
  5. Dano

    Dano Banned Member Banned

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Messages:
    2,780
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Morristown, In
    Slick! That seems to have taken the least amount of force to get started that I've seen so far, great job!
     
  6. FifeB

    FifeB Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2009
    Messages:
    657
    Likes Received:
    0
    Excellent job! Thanks for the ideas. Mac's idea about the nail or pin in the case to get the ember out is a great idea.
     
  7. mountain joe

    mountain joe Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2010
    Messages:
    508
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    South Central Alaska
    Great idea about the nail but in our area at least, it seems there is always a little twig thats handy nearby for the purpose.
     
  8. mountain joe

    mountain joe Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2010
    Messages:
    508
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    South Central Alaska
    Yes I've seen that style also and would like to try to put one together sometime. Fire pistons are just really neat devices no matter what design they are.
     
  9. Chena

    Chena Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2008
    Messages:
    274
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Outstanding! Thank you for the video.
     
  10. Shaughnessy

    Shaughnessy Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    MN
    Thats very cool. I have one that was milled out of titanium, but havent had a chance to use it yet. Might anodize mine, but I like the idea that you can make your own for the cost of the parts....

    Larry
     
  11. walkabout

    walkabout Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2009
    Messages:
    1,828
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    This thread really makes me want to give this a try, i never knew that they could be so easy and cheap to make!

    most of the ones i see cost a fortune and the prices would turn me off, thanks for posting such an idea, you can never have enough ways to procure a flame in the bush!
     
  12. mainewoods

    mainewoods Maine Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    Messages:
    15,044
    Likes Received:
    804
    Location:
    Central Maine
    Thanks Mtn.Joe
     
  13. p moore

    p moore Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    819
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    MiSSiSSiPPi
    Nice job on this one. Thanks for sharing.

    Paul
     
  14. Skab

    Skab Staff Staff Member Super Moderator Vendor Bushclass I Bushclass Instructor

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    15,538
    Likes Received:
    617
    Location:
    Nebraska
    I may have to try the hole thru the side, but I find I can get a pretty good size piece of char cloth in the end of the one I made a while back.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. mountain joe

    mountain joe Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2010
    Messages:
    508
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    South Central Alaska
    Nice job there skab0311. I made one just like yours but I was having trouble getting my lit chaga ember out of it. Char cloth must be a lot easier to get out. I personally prefer to use things found in nature such as the chaga or true tinder fungus. I have cut the chaga right off the tree and put it in the fire piston and lit it. That is a rare situation though. It usually has to be dried first.
     
  16. Sgt. Mac

    Sgt. Mac Elder Staff Member Administrator Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II Bushclass Instructor

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Messages:
    53,184
    Likes Received:
    63,757
    Location:
    Land of Lincoln
    You guys got me itchin to get or make on of these. I've never used one before
     
  17. Skab

    Skab Staff Staff Member Super Moderator Vendor Bushclass I Bushclass Instructor

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    15,538
    Likes Received:
    617
    Location:
    Nebraska
    I carry char cloth with my flint and steel, but I can also make char material from cat tail fluff and milkweed seeds as well as numerous other plants that grow locally, I don't have any tinder fungus around.

    But I don't carry the fire piston, was more of a see if I can do it and get it to work kind of deal.
     
  18. desertp1

    desertp1 Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    Messages:
    452
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    california
    i tried to make one and totaly failed. i have no idea why. but i saw some other way and i will try it tommorrow. my failure only cost me like 9 bucks though.
     
  19. red

    red Guest

    Blog Posts:
    0
    great job on that!! believe it or not, i was considering a similar design with that pill fob you used.. but i gave up on it as i couldnt figure out how to attach it to the piston... can you take some pics of the nuts you used to mount it?
     
  20. mountain joe

    mountain joe Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2010
    Messages:
    508
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    South Central Alaska
    I used a steel rod and threaded the handle end of the rod. Next I cut off the end of the pill bottle that had the key ring attachment so that it now had a flat top. i then drilled a hole through the top of the pill bottle. Now I threaded a nut onto my threaded end of the piston and inserted the threaded end into the pill bottle cap. now I threaded a nylock nut on the end of the piston that was now on the inside of the cap and tightened it down to sandwich the cap top between the nuts. Hope that made sense.

    IMG_0242.jpg

    IMG_0243.jpg

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2010
  21. red

    red Guest

    Blog Posts:
    0
    it makes perfect sense, thanks for posting that!!!
     
  22. Eddie

    Eddie Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2009
    Messages:
    719
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    Yahoo! Messenger:
    eddiecar2000
    Skype:
    Eddie.Car
    Nice job...way to think out of the box and add the pill bottle/tinder handle.
     
  23. Old Forester

    Old Forester Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2009
    Messages:
    803
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Southeast Tennessee
    I tried one with a 4" nipple. Couldn't get it to work at all.
    Your 6" tube would produce higher pressure/ heat. Also your cross drill design looks as if it would hold, several times, the amount of tinder, while allowing better airflow.
    Thank You,
    O.F.
     
  24. mountain joe

    mountain joe Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2010
    Messages:
    508
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    South Central Alaska
    Yes it is a bigger volume tinder compartment then I would be able to fabricate if I had put it in the end
     
  25. petrifiedwood

    petrifiedwood Guest

    Blog Posts:
    0
    I bought one from ebay a while back, it was made from brass pipe with an aluminum piston, and a cabinet knob on the end.

    I replaced the cabinet knob with the biggest, flattest knob I could find at walmart and it made it a lot easier on the hands to operate.

    It works great with good char cloth. I have tried other tinder materials unsuccessfully. The closest I got using alternative tinders was with cotton. The cotton was slightly charred brown, but most of it was still white, and I didn't get an ember even after several tries.
     
  26. HillbillyBushcraft

    HillbillyBushcraft Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2009
    Messages:
    730
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Hott ole Fl
     
  27. mountain joe

    mountain joe Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2010
    Messages:
    508
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    South Central Alaska
     
  28. crashdive

    crashdive Banned Member Banned

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2010
    Messages:
    866
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Florida
    Very well done. I've made one, but I like yours much better. Here's my first one.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  29. mountain joe

    mountain joe Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2010
    Messages:
    508
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    South Central Alaska
    looks like it works fine though. Great job with inexpensive materials.
     

Share This Page