Flint and Steel Questions

Discussion in 'Fire' started by TangoFoxtrot, Feb 13, 2019 at 10:53 PM.

  1. TangoFoxtrot

    TangoFoxtrot Supporter Supporter

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    I have been teaching a survival/primitive skills/outdoors class at my kid’s homeschool co-op for the last 4 years. Sadly unless something major changes I am moving. The Air Force has decided I have been in one place a bit too long.


    Since this is my last semester to teach I am wanting to give the kids something. I am thinking strikers made from old files and some flint.


    Two questions from the group.


    One, do I need to do anything to the old files other than cut them into manageable pieces. I’m going to the local flee market this weekend to see what I can find.


    Two, what’s the best place to get flint? I have looked a bit online and seen a little out there. Any preferred places? I tried to find it locally but haven’t had much luck.
     
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  2. goon

    goon Tracker

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    You can make a striker from a good, hard file if you can grind the edges smooth. Or buy one with one edge already smooth - like some Nicholson files are.

    You could also get strikers from one of the vendors here, and they’ll probably throw some flint in for free. Steels will also spark on quartz type rocks that show up around streams if you break them to expose a sharp edge. So far, my favorite strikers are from AngryDaddyBird on here and Darrel Aune (who sells on eBay).
     
  3. Winterhorse

    Winterhorse Supporter Supporter

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    Grind one or both edges smooth and flat.
    If flint is scarce in your area there are places on line that you can buy flakes pretty cheap.
    I passed through the flint hills a few months ago where I could have picked up a couple of tons worth. We did stop and picked up a few pieces but I’ve already given that away.
    Try rocks around where you live or even landscaping rock.
     
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  4. TangoFoxtrot

    TangoFoxtrot Supporter Supporter

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    @goon I would love to buy them all a really nice striker but there is 18 in the class. That adds up fast so files it will be.

    @Winterhorse I never thought about landscaping stones. So obvious. This is why I ask, because the obvious escapes me.
     
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  5. goon

    goon Tracker

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    Yeah - that is a lot of strikers!
     
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  6. Red Yeti

    Red Yeti Mostly Harmless Hobbyist Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Sounds like a good project. Any hardened file with work as a striker. You can cut them into pieces with an angle grinder and a thin cutting wheel. A torch will probably soften the steel too much and a saw is going to be pretty frustrating. Many prefer a smooth striking surface, but a rough one, even with the teeth still on will produce a spark.

    There are a few members here that are very generous with their local supplies of flint and chert @svh is one that come to mind

    Good luck!

    :38:
     
  7. Not Sure

    Not Sure Supporter Supporter

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    Some really good advice given here already. I will toss out one more that may or may not work for you.
    I got a package of cheap "carbon steel" Hacksaw Blades at Ace Hardware today.
    $3.00 for two blades, makes about eight strikers, four per blade.
    Put them in a vice and bend back and forth to break them,
    Grind off the teeth and round the corners, clean off any coating on the spine.
    The only down side I can see is they are not as big as a file,and maybe harder to hold for small hands.
    You can get about sixteen strikers for +- $6.00.
    Good on you for teaching this skill...........
    Pics of blades.

    IMG_0017.JPG
     
  8. Staleym

    Staleym Supporter Supporter

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  9. svh

    svh Supporter Supporter

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    I can help you out with the rocks. PM incoming.
     
  10. goon

    goon Tracker

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    Maybe - you’d have to try first - solar with dollar store magnifying glasses or fresnel lens might work if you can’t figure the flint and steel out. I’m not sure what your area will be like with solar rays this time of year. Could be iffy... but maybe.
     
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  11. stevens6gsm

    stevens6gsm Tinder Gatherer

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    I just got a 2 pound box of flint on Etsy for $14.00. Shipping is included in that price. Really good quality and nice size pieces too. I believe it was from a lady in Pennsylvania.
     
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  12. Silvuhboolit

    Silvuhboolit Florida Feller Supporter

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    @svh Is the chert guru...seriously, he’ll fix you up with some sparky rocks.
     
  13. HP500

    HP500 Guide

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    I've had very good luck with old Nicholson files. All I did to make different sizes was to secure them in a vise where I wanted it to break and the whack it with a hammer. It saved cutting time.
    I also ground the edges smooth on the striking surface, but I don't know if that was necessary.
     
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