Is there a good way to prep a flint edge for firestarting?

Discussion in 'Fire' started by sticks&rocks, Jul 16, 2019.

  1. sticks&rocks

    sticks&rocks Tracker

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    Hey folks, I've been getting ready to teach a Boy Scout troop flint and steel. I noticed that I chewed up the sharp edges on my flint while making and testing strikers. I KNOW my guys will be bashing away for a while before they get the hang of it.

    Is there a simple way to re-touch those sharp edges?

    I have a copper pressure flaker but the spalls are pretty rough hewn and it seems that might be too thin of an edge. Thanks!
     
  2. halo2

    halo2 Curmudgeon in Training Supporter

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    EDIT: maybe just tap them with the pressure flaker to take down the really thin parts?

    Obligatory warning to get some eye protection and leather. Flint can make some serious cuts.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
  3. Tennessee

    Tennessee Guide Supporter Bushclass II

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    All that is needed is a sharp 90 degree angle.
    I usually just tap them with a hammer stone, and break them into smaller chunks, getting at least two good edges out of one.
     
  4. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead LB#42 Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    I use the striker itself as a pressure flaker/hammer.
    And like @halo2 says, wear PPE.
     
    Barry J, BBizy, halo2 and 1 other person like this.
  5. HipJackRafter

    HipJackRafter Tracker

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    I'm going to be teaching primitive fire starting to the local Boy Scout troop also. I'm an Eagle Scout, I like the idea of "giving back."


    A fellow named Vern makes and sells a striker you may be interested in, several people on this board have his strikers and speak highly of them.

    His strikers are just a simple ‘C’ but the design lets them sharpen rocks too.

    Here’s his website:
    https://vernsflintandsteel.net/index.html

    Take a gander at his video, he demonstrates sharpening a stone with his steel.



    I made a couple of strikers from old pawn shop files. I cut a pair of small (a skinny 1/8" wide,) square notches in their ends with an abrasive grinding blade in a circular saw, to tie a lanyard to. (If I had it to do over I'd put the notches in the (soft) tang end. DOH!)

    When I saw the above video I had a WOW! moment. I tried the lanyard notches on my steels, sure 'nuff, they work great on small / thin / acute angles to flake off small bits and work the stone back into sharpness. As Vern noted in his video, they aren’t as effective on larger angles.

    And they sharpen ON THE FLY! ... just flip the steel around when the rock becomes dull, give the rock a few whacks with the notch, never break cadence.


    On a related note, I have a steady supply of chert. If you can't find any sparky rocks near you PM me, I'll send ya some. A charitable, anon. donation to your troop.

    Jack

    PS
    How to keep your flint and chert sharp for flint and steel.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2019

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