Magnesium powder for fire starting ?

Discussion in 'Fire' started by moses the armenian, Aug 11, 2018.

  1. moses the armenian

    moses the armenian Tracker

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    Does any one here carry magnesium powder in there fire kit to use as an accelerant when trying to make a fire?
    If yes what grade or consistency are you using and where are you getting it?
    I was thinking about picking up some magnesium powder and then at the time I would like to start a fire take some cotton balls rub some of the Magnesium powder in the cotton ball and then hit it with a fire Steel.
    What are you gentlemen's opinion on that?



    Thanks !
     
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  2. DomC

    DomC Retired Old Scrub Stomper Supporter

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    You dont need our endorsement about this. Why don't you answer your own question by experimenting with your idea yourself? Document the results and share your findings with the community.....good luck!
    Dominick......
     
  3. CSM1970

    CSM1970 Scout

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    There is a good reason the military issued magnesium in solid bar form. It just almost cannot be ignited in a solid form making it safer to carry and store. Doesn't take much to scrape off just a little to make a fire. Just don't buy Chinese made Mg bars; they like to dilute it with aluminum and it makes it very difficult to ignite. Buy a genuine Doans.
     
  4. gohammergo

    gohammergo I like sharp things.... Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I have a few of these magnesium bars and never think to use them. The first ferro fire i built was using one of them in a snowstorm almost 20 years ago.

    I should take one out and give it a tryout again. :)
     
  5. RiceOnSuede

    RiceOnSuede Hobbyist Hobbyist

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    Its easier to buy a box of mag shavings off ebay and carry a small baggie of shavings. I do from time to time, quick easy big fire
     
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  6. moses the armenian

    moses the armenian Tracker

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    How large are the magnesium shavings? I would think that since the powder is a finer consistency that it would ignite easier
     
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  7. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I’ve read that mag shavings corrode and become useless.
    @RiceOnSuede ?
    And @CSM1970 is correct, go with the actual DOAN bar.
     
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  8. Spork

    Spork Supporter Supporter

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    I've had that happen...scraped a film can full and a few months later the surfaces were oxidized. I suppose it might be a good ideal to add a few drops of mineral oil to coat the shavings. Once you've figured out how to scrape a block the right way, it's not really a chore to get a pile of fresh shiny magnesium shavings...or a fluffy pile of fatwood.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. CSM1970

    CSM1970 Scout

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    Magnesium is a very reactive metal and will react with water or air very agressively. As MrFixit said, it corrodes, or oxidizes, quickly.
     
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  10. RiceOnSuede

    RiceOnSuede Hobbyist Hobbyist

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    0811181751.jpg 0811181752.jpg



    Strange, I never had that issue. I bought this bag about 7 years ago, have used a little over half the bag. The rest still looks as good as new. They work perfectly. Drop a pinch or handful, one strike of the ferro rod, instant fire.
    Theyre shavings from a machinist. They dont feel like they have any oil on them but there maybe something that he used during the drilling that is keeping it fresh? I really dont know, but this giant bag was only like $25.
     
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  11. RiceOnSuede

    RiceOnSuede Hobbyist Hobbyist

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  12. JC1

    JC1 Guide

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    What happens in water?
     
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  13. DomC

    DomC Retired Old Scrub Stomper Supporter

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    Nothing, Magnesium does not react with water to any significant extent. This is in contrast with calcium, immediately below magnesium in the periodic table, which does react slowly with cold water. Magnesium metal does however react with steam to give magnesium oxide (MgO) (or magnesium hydroxide, Mg(OH)2, with excess steam) and hydrogen gas (H2). (Courtesy of Google-Fu)
    To be honest I consider magnesium as a flash tinder and not worth the hassle of dealing with the fly away characteristics in a steady, heavy crosswind. So I dont carry it anymore. HYOH.......
    Dominick........
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018 at 11:12 PM
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  14. JeffG

    JeffG Tracker

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    I carry small bags of fine shavings. Just for the sure thing in wet weather.
     
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  15. Kyle363

    Kyle363 Supporter Supporter

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    I used to do this and found myself only ever using it for fun. I would buy a magnesium anode from amazon and then throw it on the mill to make tons of shavings very fast. I would then stuff a film canister with as much as I could pack in. I now favor things that burn for much longer and are just as easy to ignite. Pine fire products were a favorite of mine before they closed down. I tend to rely on fatwood and birch bark to get any fire going in any condition.
     
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  16. Sloany

    Sloany Supporter Supporter

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    Hi Dom. Put the shavings / powder on a piece of tape.
    I also tried it years ago just for fun. I have a couple of military mag bars floating around. I use it now to show the scouts another type of a fire starting aid.
     
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  17. DomC

    DomC Retired Old Scrub Stomper Supporter

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    Yeah I know that trick..... I've used Gorilla brand duct tape with mag shavings before but I dont carry magnesium anymore. Nuff said!:mad:;):dblthumb:
    Dominick........
     
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  18. RiceOnSuede

    RiceOnSuede Hobbyist Hobbyist

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    Yeah i pretty much only use the stuff for fun too. Prefer fatwood, and I live in the pine barrens so it's everywhere here.

    Its a lot of fun to find a hollow log, fill it with magnesium shavings, throw it in the fire pointing at your buddy. Before he knows it he's got a rocket shooting at him!
     
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  19. RiceOnSuede

    RiceOnSuede Hobbyist Hobbyist

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    Heres one i pointed at a friend






    "Did I drool on myself?"
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018 at 7:04 PM
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  20. Gumbi

    Gumbi Guide Bushclass I

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    This was my experience as well. Yes, it burns really hot, but it burns up so quickly that you need a pretty good fine tinder anyways. Also, the magnesium shavings are SO EASILY scattered by the smallest puff of wind... to me, it's just not worth carrying and using magnesium.
     
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  21. DomC

    DomC Retired Old Scrub Stomper Supporter

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    MY sentiments exactly!! Nuff said!!;):35::dblthumb:
    Dominick.........
     
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