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Pyrite Help

Discussion in 'Fire' started by TexasPrimitive, Sep 4, 2017.

  1. TexasPrimitive

    TexasPrimitive Supporter Supporter

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    I'm always looking for new ways to make fire. And the Pyrite + Flint method seemed interesting. So I bought some pyrite, but it was pretty horrible, small nuggets that barely held together. I couldn't get anything at all out of it, and I even tried doing it in the dark to make sure I wasn't missing it.

    I tried striking Flint/Steel style and grinding like some of the videos had. Nothing.

    Anyone out there with a successful fire from this stuff? Also what should I look for in the pyrite itself? Big chunks, small, etc.
     
  2. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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  3. DavidJAFO

    DavidJAFO Supporter Supporter

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    hello,
    @TexasPrimitive thanks @MrFixIt for the heads up. As you have described you have bought the iron pyrites was it iron pyrites (fools gold) or iron pyrites (see Ray Mears link)? there is a form of iron pyrites from Cumbria (England) & it is very crumbly. I have some & use it as a primitive dye much alike to ochre mixed with water or oil. If you follow the YouTube link provided 'watch & listen' (keywords) to the description & method Ray Mears uses to create fire. I've had relative success from small nodules of proper iron pyrites harvested from the Jurassic Coast (England). These are solid iron stones, they resemble more a piece of hardened molten iron & have a very distinct rusted iron smell. Ray Mears also describes such as similar to a lighter flint being struck, minus the flame. Trying this neolithic method BTW requires a lot of patience. I took a file to a piece of iron pyrites to remove the outer rusted coating & chipped away with a piece of black English flint. The sparks shewed are so small, great care has to be taken directing the sparks onto the prepped tinder. I've tried fuzzed amadou, charcloth, powdered chaga & mugwort. These tinder's each will take the slightest spark but it has to be gently nurtured into an ember. This primitive method of fire lighting would not be my primary method by choice, there is a knack to it & I know some Bushcraft peeps who do use it as a primary resource within their FSK. It is a very interesting method to learn. Keyword = Perseverance. :)
    Regards
    David

    Iron Pyrites.JPG

     
  4. TexasPrimitive

    TexasPrimitive Supporter Supporter

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    Thank you for the video @DavidJAFO I'll check it out.

    This is what I have, about 1 inch long -
    pyrite.jpg
     
  5. DavidJAFO

    DavidJAFO Supporter Supporter

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    hello,
    @TexasPrimitive that you have is iron pyrites (fools gold), works just as well with a steel striker. I GAW a small box of that to BCUSA forum member @ChrisOCLM in trade. If you strike the fools gold & it crumbles, direct the residue towards the prepped tinder as it may contain fine dull sparks too. :)
    Regards
    David
     
  6. TexasPrimitive

    TexasPrimitive Supporter Supporter

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    Thanks @DavidJAFO . Sounds like it's ok that it is a bit crumbly. I wondered if I needed new stuff, or just more patience. And with this kind more of a striking motion like F/S, the grinding/scraping motion, or the (for lack of a better term) stabbing/hard strike?
     
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  7. DavidJAFO

    DavidJAFO Supporter Supporter

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    hello,
    Just striker the iron pyrite as you would flint or agate with your steel striker, make sure the sparks/residue are directed onto the prepped tinder. Aye remember the key word is PATIENCE using these primitive neolithic ways to create sparks. ;)
    Regards
    David
     
  8. ChrisOCLM

    ChrisOCLM Knife Addict Supporter

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    I've made quite a few fires by striking fools gold/iron pyrites with a steel striker.

    There are many different types of it, the crumbling type with smaller crystals, some with bigger more solid crystals, and some that is nearly solid. They all break apart, just some faster than others.

    I like the iron pyrite better than chert/agate/flint etc etc myself, as there is no need to prep a sharp edge to strike, you can strike successfully on any edge. Sharp flint edges will make more sparks sometimes however.

    I kind of strike it in a more dragging motion that a direct strike like I would flint or chert.

    Hope this helps some!

    Also, I've also gotten successful char cloth ignition with just striking iron pyrites and flint. It takes a lot of patience however and isn't as easy as ray mears makes it look...
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2017
  9. TexasPrimitive

    TexasPrimitive Supporter Supporter

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    For what it is worth, I'm on the iron pyrite and flint train. Definitely not as easy as it looks, but when the next batch of flint gets here I'll be back at it. Everything I have has worn to a dull nub. Like a golf ball...
     
  10. DavidJAFO

    DavidJAFO Supporter Supporter

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    hello,
    @TexasPrimitive golf ball you say? (left to right of image) iron pyrites (Jurassic coast), iron pyrites (fools gold BB round), chert, central of the image is my penny nail striker given to me by @Stone & foreground amadou tinder. The BB round shape iron pyrites (fools gold) I did have a few samples of such given to me by a "stone kicker" in trade from Glasgow (Scotland). These BB rounds are solid & don't crumble very easily & do shew awesome sparks. I was intending to cut in half these BB rounds at the time, they may take a bit of cutting? they are easily enough worked to a flat edge striking surface using a file but not really necessary. I have asked the same peeps to keep me informed of any more iron pyrites (fools gold) round BB finds. :)
    Regards
    David

    Image 1.jpg
     
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  11. TexasPrimitive

    TexasPrimitive Supporter Supporter

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    Unfortunately it is the flint that is shaped like a golf ball from striking and re-edging for a few thousand strikes. New stuff should be here in a few days.

    Been working on a couple of projects that are rough on the flint, this being one of them, strike strike strike strike.

    Killer picture!
     
  12. DavidJAFO

    DavidJAFO Supporter Supporter

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    hello,
    @TexasPrimitive have a browse at this link which should be of some interest. http://www.primitiveways.com/marcasite and flint.html :)
    Regards
    David
     
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  13. TexasPrimitive

    TexasPrimitive Supporter Supporter

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    thanks @DavidJAFO
    of note, the article mentions "“Fire Making Apparatus in the U.S. National Museum” by Walter Hough" which is absolutely outstanding. PDF available free on the web at the link you provided.
    I bought a reprint of it in hardback and it was really nice.
     
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  14. TexasPrimitive

    TexasPrimitive Supporter Supporter

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    Hmm. After reading a) my marcasite looks way different and b) "Although charcloth is the norm for flint and steel, I have not found it lends itself well to flint and marcasite."
    Anyone have thoughts one way or the other on those two issues?

    And, I really appreciate all the help. I love troubleshooting bushcraft stuff, makes me think... But it was clear I was getting no progress at all so I had to call the cavalry.
     
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  15. DavidJAFO

    DavidJAFO Supporter Supporter

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    hello,
    @TexasPrimitive I wouldn't confuse the matter further. In some cases, Bushcrafters may find variations of tinder that work well for some, but not for others. :( It's a learning process, what works right for you. Just my tuppence (2 cents) worth, remember I live in a different climate (Scotland) altogether from the USA. I've had to learn to light a fire in variable cold & damp (freezing at times) conditions 4 seasons in one day, wait 15 minutes & the weather changes again. There are some things that work yours side of the pond that don't this side, visa versa. It can be frustrating I know. Just think of all them agates, rocks, stones etc.. that have been kicked, then picked up in both trial & error to find something that shews a spark for fire lighting & in days of old used in place of flint in muskets. The art of creating & shewing sparks onto charred material or other delicate tinder takes some thought, remember this is a minute (extremely small) spark you have created & has only nano seconds (I haven't personally timed such) before it cools & burns itself out, so the host (charred material or other delicate tinder) has to be both prepped in advance, then followed by nurturing the spark on contact with the surface to create an ember. A quote to remember from the movie "The Outlaw Josie Wales" Lone Watie, ""Endeavour to Persevere." ..then again Lone Watie, "All I have is a piece of hard rock candy. But it's not for eatin'. It's just for lookin' through". I myself might have taken my steel striker to such.. :D
    Regards
    David
     
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  16. Sloany

    Sloany Supporter Supporter

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    :35::35::35:
    Hello my brother from across the big pond :35:.
    Just a reminder for something that sometimes gets lost when talking F&S and fine char material.
    Moisture in the air ( humidity) and in the material. Also the moisture in ones breath can also have an adverse effect when trying to nurture a low temperature spark and fine char. ( Caution Single Malt Consumers ).
    Hmmm! So now I know the Dragons secret ! WOW !
    I hope all is going well with you and yours David. :57:
    Ken
     
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  17. DavidJAFO

    DavidJAFO Supporter Supporter

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    hello,
    Ken EXACTLY Single Malt breath & a spark do not mix. :eek: spark.. spark.. WOOF!!
    Regards
    David
     
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  18. TexasPrimitive

    TexasPrimitive Supporter Supporter

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    Oh so I get it now. I need more single malt.
     
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  19. DavidJAFO

    DavidJAFO Supporter Supporter

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    hello,
    NO.. You need more practice, pass me the Single Malt & I'll pour myself & @Sloany double doubles & we'll watch YOU practice. :) LOL
    Regards
    David
     
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  20. Sloany

    Sloany Supporter Supporter

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    I`ll second that ! :14: :35: :57: :42:
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017
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  21. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Y'all gonna kill yourselves drinkin' that drain cleaner...
    *ducks and runs like the wind*

    :18:
     
  22. Sloany

    Sloany Supporter Supporter

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    Should we be drinking Grape Nee-hi Radar ! :18: :32: :D :57::42:
     
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  23. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    [​IMG]

    :5:

    :42:
     

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