Making char cloth?

Discussion in 'Fire' started by BCBowtech, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. BCBowtech

    BCBowtech Tracker

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    From what I understand, you just need to cut up an old cotton t-shirt into whatever size tin your planning on keeping it in, put it in a different metal tin with a hole in the lid, and then place over a source of low flame, and when smoke stops coming out of the hole its done?

    Is that pretty much correct on the making of char cloth?
    If it is Ill give it a try today..
     
  2. CivilizationDropout

    CivilizationDropout Guide

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    Thats the general idea! Don't overcook your char, and if you're using an altoids tin don't bother with any extra holes, the hinge cuts work just fine as long as you face them away from the cook fire.
     
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  3. BCBowtech

    BCBowtech Tracker

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    The only metal tin I could find at home was the one my G-shock watch came in... I was gonna throw it out then thought about making char cloth.. Ill have to put a small hole in this one..
     
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  4. gila_dog

    gila_dog BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend

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    You may have to experiment with different kinds of cloth the find what works best. Anything will make char cloth, but some will catch and hold a spark better. And some cloth becomes very fragile after being charred. That's been my experience with T-shirt cloth. Old denim works pretty good for me. I use a Kiwi shoe polish can with a tiny nail point hole in the lid for my char cloth, and haven't found it to be very critical where I put in the fire. I just put it where I can see it well, and then drag it out with a stick when the smoke stops.
    Using a magnifying glass with char cloth on a sunny day works so well I almost feel like I'm cheating when I do it that way. It only takes 2 or 3 seconds to make a nice ember.
     
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  5. Tangotag

    Tangotag Field Gear Junkie Supporter Bushclass I

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    Old denim jeans are my go to for char cloth. Altoid tins don't need a hole in them they leak enough out through the hinge.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    If the sun is out my fire is getting lit via fresnel lense and charcloth otherwise flint and steel.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
  6. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I like 100% cotton terry cloth for char.
    Nice and thick, resistant to crumbling and will reach out and grab sparks.
     
  7. BushSmith

    BushSmith Scout

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    That is correct, but wait until the tin has cooled down before you open it. If you open it while it is still hot, the char cloth will burn up. Good luck and have fun with it!
     
  8. pgvoutdoors

    pgvoutdoors (FMR) Wilderness Guide Supporter

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    Very Nice Horsehead Striker!
     
  9. DavidJAFO

    DavidJAFO Supporter Supporter

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    "Remember, no matter where you go, there you are."
    hello,
    @Tangotag Oh brother I do love your FSK. bashes the "LIKE" button. :4: BTW what's the logo on your oval firesteel? I have a Ray Mears Woodlore Ltd & always interested in one with a logo hoping for a Hudson Bay Company logo or such likes. :)
    Regards
    David
     
  10. Tangotag

    Tangotag Field Gear Junkie Supporter Bushclass I

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    The oval striker belongs to a friend. This is what I found.
    http://www.furtrade.org/store/reproductions?product_id=181
    Not as impressive as the WCF strikers when I tried it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
  11. DavidJAFO

    DavidJAFO Supporter Supporter

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    hello,
    Nice fire steel none the less, I think I'll leave it. :( Thanks for the gen. :)
    Regards
    David
     
  12. Winterhorse

    Winterhorse Supporter Supporter

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    I always just use old jeans for my char although I'm going to give terry cloth a try per @MrFixIt 's suggestion. I have a couple of Altoids tins that I use to cook mine in (no holes). I also have a couple of round tins like shoe polish tins that I drilled a hole through the side where the top and bottom overlap. When I'm making the char I just line up the holes for the smoke to escape and then misalign them to make it a little more water resistant afterward.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
  13. Scotchmon

    Scotchmon Tracker

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    Great tip on the align/misalign holes! I usually use the Altoid tins, or the cans that .177 pellets come in. I don't go through shoe polish quick enough to have any Kiwi cans available, though.
     
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  14. dub

    dub Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    An old cotton t-shirt will stink to high heaven if you use it... At least mine did.
     
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  15. Broke

    Broke Back yard bushcrafting Supporter

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    I have found that old bar towels work very well, can catch a spark very easily. The char tends to be a bit crumbly on mine that I made a couple few years ago. Not sure if that is age or the softer material. I have made a bunch, with more to go, using a 1 pint paint can and stuffing it with squares cut from a 3xl car hart tshirt. This material doesn't catch a spark as readily as the towel material, say 2 or 3 strikes on a steel vs 1 or 2, but it works just as well. It is also not as fragile.
    I have a video of the process I can post if you like.
    Adam G
     
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  16. whtshdwwz

    whtshdwwz Tracker

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    One of the best containers for making and storing char cloth and punk wood I have found is a 1 pint paint can from Lowe's. That and a brad nail hole in the top and all is well.....just my .02 cents.
     
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  17. Bushcrafter420

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    Quart paint can with a wire bail....I also store my cooked char cloth in a clean can they seal air tight.
     
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  18. Coryphene

    Coryphene Guide

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    I know this might seem like the 8th deadly sin, but I don't char my cloth anymore. I cut it into long strips and roll or fold it to fit in whatever fire kit I'm taking with me. I then cut a small aluminum foil "sleeve" for the very end about 1 inch wide and wrap around it then mush flat. I then pull out some cloth from inside the foil and use a lighter or other flame to ignite the very edge. I let it burn for a few seconds and then pull the cloth into the foil sleeve and put my finger over the opening to instantly snuff out the cloth without actually touching it. This makes a charred edge that ignites very easily with flint and steel and I can then place this ember into a tinder bundle and blow or, and this is my favorite, touch it to a small piece of uncharred punky wood and then place punky wood into the tinder bundle and snuff out the cloth.

    Basically this is a crude slow match and rather than using some heavy brass pipe fitting or copper tube or cut up a bullet case, I use a little bit of foil.

    This is my amadou slow match but I just place the burning edge between my flint rock and steel striker to snuff out since this is much more durable than cloth so it doesn't need to be babied.
    20161005_222803.jpg 20161006_141704.jpg
    You can sorta see my cotton lamp wick "slow match" with its foil end on the Altoids tin lid. I have since used up the char cloth in the tin.
    20160930_142117.jpg
    I do use squares of worn out blue jeans for burnishing edges on my leather work and when they get too gunked up with dye, saddle soap, and/or beeswax, I char just the edge and add to my fire kit.

    Little squares of cloth with only the edge charred are much more durable and less messy than fully charred cloth. Plus I don't ever need to put my tin in a fire. And I really don't need a metal tin, I can use plastic that is nice and water tight.
     
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  19. BCBowtech

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    I tried making some out of an old t-shirt and it worked pretty decent... Charred up nice, and takes a spark really well.. So Im happy..
    Next time I turf a pair of jeans Ill make sure to cut em up for char..
     
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  20. mainewoods

    mainewoods Maine Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    If you find some monk Cloth it's Awesome for Char-cloth!!
     
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  21. weltondl

    weltondl Sergeant of Marines Supporter

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    What is monk cloth?
     
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  22. Coryphene

    Coryphene Guide

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    It is what the robes of Doctor Who are made of in the beginning of the episode "The Bells of Saint John."
     
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  23. DomC

    DomC Retired Old Scrub Stomper

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    Definition of Monk's Cloth [Courtesy of Merriam-Webster Dictionary]
    1. : a coarse heavy fabric in basket weave made originally of worsted and used for monk's habits but now chiefly of cotton or linen and used for draperies.
    Dom
     
  24. weltondl

    weltondl Sergeant of Marines Supporter

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    I guess I lurnt sumpun today. I'm actually going to go to Walmart today and see if I can buy some of this stuff and try it out. Thanks!
     
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  25. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Nerd...

    :eek:

    :4:
     
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  26. weltondl

    weltondl Sergeant of Marines Supporter

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    It just hit me. I'm going to hit up the local salvation army and goodwill stores first. I might find old fabric in the form of curtains or towels.
     
  27. DomC

    DomC Retired Old Scrub Stomper

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  28. DomC

    DomC Retired Old Scrub Stomper

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    Here is an anecdote:
    I remember one time way back, I was at a local fish camp which was holding a big Cornhole toss contest. Throughout the day some of the cornhole bags ripped open and were throwaways.

    Having the mind of a bushcrafter, I thought to myself I wonder if I can char that cloth? I took some of the bags home and sure enough those cornhole bags charred up wonderfully and caught sparks easily from my f&s!! Some of the best char cloth it was! Prolly was duck cloth? IDK...

    Dom
     
  29. ManyHammers

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    Charred lamp wick works very well.
     
  30. mainewoods

    mainewoods Maine Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    It's 100% basket weave cotton. Tight weave ,but not to tight. Works very well.
     
  31. Tebatoz

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    It is CHARRED cloth not char cloth. Just to be historically accurate.

    cheers
     
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  32. morganbw

    morganbw Scout

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    Really? I have seen reference to scorched Linen but I am searching my mind for the charred cloth. Could you possibly point me in the right direction for the historical part? This is a subject of real interest to me.
     
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  33. Winterhorse

    Winterhorse Supporter Supporter

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    Which period of history? I've always called it "Char cloth" or just, "Char".
     
  34. Tatonka

    Tatonka Young Brave Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Undershorts with holes in them work good, too. :59:
     
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  35. caoutdoorsman

    caoutdoorsman Scout

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    You don't even need two tins to make it, its easy as pie. Load a tin up with old denim or 100% cotton T shirt material and cook it until its all black.
    I use the big christmas cookie tin to make big batches to refill my altoids tin. I leave the big tin by the fireplace at home and take the altoid tin with me.
    20170321_112727.jpg
    I take a machete with me for clearing blackberries anyway, so I've been using the spine as my striker and it works fine.

    I prefer flint and steel to ferro-rods. The slow cloth ember lights moist tinder and greenwood shavings that a spark won't catch.
    20160802_153510.jpg
    20160802_154227.jpg
     
  36. DomC

    DomC Retired Old Scrub Stomper

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  37. Bannertail

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    Daniel Boone and his son Nathan are setting up camp.
    Which conversation do you think you would most likely hear?

    "Hey Nathan, would you pass me the charred cloth?"

    Or.

    "Hey Nate, would you pass me the char?"

    Just my two cents...:)
     
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