No Charcloth Flint & Steel Fire Lighting.

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Le Loup
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No Charcloth Flint & Steel Fire Lighting.

Post by Le Loup »

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost

http://woodsrunnersdiary.blogspot.com.au/

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Grymm
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Re: No Charcloth Flint & Steel Fire Lighting.

Post by Grymm »

Used punk, King Alfreds Cakes(Crampballs), Horses Hoof Fungus/Amadou (Carried by Ötzi) , birch bark, moss, lichen, dry grass and various fluffy seeds for catching a spark as well as charcloth at various hitorical events, much more satisfying than using me Zippo, 's just charcloth is easiest when doing demos for the school parties as we can make a good supply in our fire at work, plus we can link it into 'recycling' which is big in the school curriculem these days.

Charcloth is fairly old, early Tudor if not even earlier;

Info from my mate Hraefn

From 'Vulgaria uiri doctissimi Guil. Hormani Caesariburgensis' printed in 1519 it's an English-Latin phrase book for travellers, the idea being when in furren parts(!) you find the priest and point at bits of the book whilst shouting ME NO UNDERSTANDEE JOHNNY FOREIGN, aaah the British abroad.

From the section titled Coquinaria/culinatia/mallcellatria/et ea/quea attinet et affinia sunt iis

'Here as a flynt or a nother stone to smyte fyre can nat begote it must be done with rubbynge of II treen pecis to gether.

Vbi silicis aut alternius viui ignigeni suieignarii lapidis non est occasio lignorum attritu ignis eliciendus est

I shall gette me drye tode stoolis or fyne lynnen clothe half brent to make tynder of

Coquiram fungos aridos aut semiustum xilinum ad excipiendas esilicescintillas

we lack matches to take fyre of the tynder

defunt sulphurata ad excipiendos ingnigena semina'

and then it goes on to ask for anirons non smokey wood complains that the chimney doesn't work ask for a fryng pan/brazen vessel and various other bits and pieces to do with cooking a meal tending fire washing up

An interesting snippet is 'Brennynge colis of palme tre kepe fyre longe but geueth lytll heate.'

A handy tip for transporting embers =o)

Not a period method for Westerners 'til the 19thC but I NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED me one of these http://www.firepiston.com/
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Vic James
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Re: No Charcloth Flint & Steel Fire Lighting.

Post by Vic James »

I`ve used `home brewed` slow match for many years instead of tinder. Never failed to catch ,but that says more about
what I`ve drunk :-) Though my musket block and alot of 80year war re enactors in Nederland [ Holland] `swear` by it :-) :-)
vic

Saint Egregious
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Re: No Charcloth Flint & Steel Fire Lighting.

Post by Saint Egregious »

A fire piston. You are evil Mr.Grymm......now I have to make one.
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The Iron Dwarf
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Re: No Charcloth Flint & Steel Fire Lighting.

Post by The Iron Dwarf »

would like to know more about them and how they work

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Re: No Charcloth Flint & Steel Fire Lighting.

Post by Saint Egregious »

“Live every day as if it were your last, because one of these days, it will be.”

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Grymm
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Re: No Charcloth Flint & Steel Fire Lighting.

Post by Grymm »

Saint Egregious wrote:A fire piston. You are evil Mr.Grymm......now I have to make one.
Things of beauty ent they, I think that what you are experiencing is the same thing as Mr Diesel had when he saw one.
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The Iron Dwarf
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Re: No Charcloth Flint & Steel Fire Lighting.

Post by The Iron Dwarf »

simple and effective.
wonder if I will get the other jobs on my lathe finished in time :wink:

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cannontickler
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Re: No Charcloth Flint & Steel Fire Lighting.

Post by cannontickler »

Saint Egregious wrote:A fire piston. You are evil Mr.Grymm......now I have to make one.
but surely you mean to say that field marshal von Grymm is an evil [ genius ] of the most cunning but sometimes lacking in soap.
it was a quick process until they made it efficient .

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Re: No Charcloth Flint & Steel Fire Lighting.

Post by Saint Egregious »

Yes Mr.Grymm is defiantly a most cunning and evil genius of the highest degree. It is no wonder he is master of all the universe and pastry chef to the all powerful great Gozer the Gozerian! No, do not trifle with Mr.Grymm if you know what is best for you.
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Grymm
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Re: No Charcloth Flint & Steel Fire Lighting.

Post by Grymm »

I do a mean trifle too =o)
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Captain Reech
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Re: No Charcloth Flint & Steel Fire Lighting.

Post by Captain Reech »

Always used to use the fine "paper" you can peel from Birch Bark, normally easy to find wherever you are in the country (OK, nowadays you might have to take a walk) Used to work great with a "fire drill" set up when I was a Scout.

(Rubbing two Boy Scouts together does not work but if you try rubbing one of them with a Girl Guide things do get a little warmer!)
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Le Loup
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Re: No Charcloth Flint & Steel Fire Lighting.

Post by Le Loup »

Captain Reech wrote:Always used to use the fine "paper" you can peel from Birch Bark, normally easy to find wherever you are in the country (OK, nowadays you might have to take a walk) Used to work great with a "fire drill" set up when I was a Scout.

(Rubbing two Boy Scouts together does not work but if you try rubbing one of them with a Girl Guide things do get a little warmer!)
I have wanted to try paper bark, but it grows closer to the coast & not here on the New England Tablelands.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost

http://woodsrunnersdiary.blogspot.com.au/

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Captain Reech
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Re: No Charcloth Flint & Steel Fire Lighting.

Post by Captain Reech »

Birch bark works well for me in the UK as it not only grows like a weed but it's used a lot in reclaiming landscapes (Old steel works, land fill, exhausted quarries etc) because it will grow quickly in poor soil.
"When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle."
Edmund Burke(1729 – 1797)
Proof that being "Conservative" wasn't always a bad thing.....

Saint Egregious
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Re: No Charcloth Flint & Steel Fire Lighting.

Post by Saint Egregious »

Would birch bark work as well in a firepiston do you think?

(Rubbing two Boy Scouts together does not work but if you try rubbing one of them with a Girl Guide things do get a little warmer!)
Is there a badge for that?
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Le Loup
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Re: No Charcloth Flint & Steel Fire Lighting.

Post by Le Loup »

Saint Egregious wrote:Would birch bark work as well in a firepiston do you think?

(Rubbing two Boy Scouts together does not work but if you try rubbing one of them with a Girl Guide things do get a little warmer!)
Is there a badge for that?
I have never used birch bark as a tinder, because it is not native to Australia. I think one has to scrape the birch bark & use the resulting scrapings as the tinder. Captain Reech is probably a better authority on this than me.
Regards.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost

http://woodsrunnersdiary.blogspot.com.au/

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Captain Reech
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Re: No Charcloth Flint & Steel Fire Lighting.

Post by Captain Reech »

If you peel just the fine, dry, paper like outer bark (This often curls up and strips away naturally) then you have a tinder that ignites well with a number of different methods. I have only tried the fire drill, burning glass and flint and steel but, since the fire drill works on the principle of generating sufficient heat through friction to achieve combustion, I would imagine it would also work with the fire piston but I don't actually know the ignition point for Birch Bark oil so I couldn't say for sure.

I have read that some of the commercial ones work well with tinder fungus (Inonotus Obliquus) as an alternative to charcloth.

Probably worth an experiment in the shed Egrerious, just make sure it's free of flammable vapours or gasses!
"When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle."
Edmund Burke(1729 – 1797)
Proof that being "Conservative" wasn't always a bad thing.....

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Re: No Charcloth Flint & Steel Fire Lighting.

Post by James The Archer »

Just had a "bad thougth experiment" - black powder - to be done at a distance, dropping a weight on to press the piston down and see how fare the the thing goes up :D
Duck the arrows are coming!

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Re: No Charcloth Flint & Steel Fire Lighting.

Post by Saint Egregious »

To my mind there are no 'bad thought experiments' when it comes to exploding something in the name of science and experimentation. If an object is just sitting there all frustrated and bothered like, having all that pent up Potential energy inside it and no way of letting it off, why not give it a helping hand? A gentle push, a small nudge, it's the gentlemanly thing to do. Think how much better it will feel. Ah yes, a small spoonful of potassium nitrate, a sprinkling of carbon and just a dash of sulphur for that added snap, and the said stationary and very frustrated object will feel sooo much better for it! "Oooo just brilliant, I felt the earth move...thank you so much, been wanting to do that for ages!" That's why cannons were invented. People were constantly being annoyed and frustrated by the lackadaisical nature of their balls. Sure they had all the potential in the world but nothing seemed to get them motivated. Again, lots of stored potential energy but not the right sort of stimulation to get them off. They tried everything, music both raucous and soothing, feathers, soft massage, kind words, insults and threats, therapy you name it they tried it but nothing seemed to do the trick.Their balls remained unmoved, and very very frustrated. A frustrated ball is not a pleasant thing to behold. Just cradle one in your hand and see if I'm not correct in this observation. Bad vibes man, baaaaad vibes. So this is where the cannon comes in. The inventor rolls his new creation onto the village green (the inventor is also a very troubled individual, you see he has only one ball, and because of this is constantly made fun of by his peers) and is in a great hurry to get his troublesome ball off. As everyone knows balls come in pairs and are hard to shift off the mantle for dusting. People have for centuries hoisted them over their shoulders and tried to fling them as far as they could just to be rid of them, but the moggie would just nose them back again. Not sufficient kinetic energy. So a solution was needed...the cannon! Yes I know there are counterweight trebuchets and ballista but they just seem to miss the mark when it comes to releasing the true potential of the balls. Yes one needs massive amounts of kinetic energy. Yes nothing quite as satisfying as heated balls flying through the air trailing a smoking fuse behind it! So back to the cannon. All the most exited villagers brought their balls out onto the green and stacked them in nice orderly little pyramids awaiting their turn being rammed down the hot barrel. One after the other they were launched into the blue sky BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, never to be seen again, much to the chagrin of the village moggies what felt it was their sole purpose in life to retrieve the family balls and keep them warm at night by curling up on them and purring so loudly that the vicar could get no sleep.
So the moral of this story is that there is never no such thing as a "bad thought experiment". Anything can be moved with the right amount of incentive. Incentive, how PC of me, who would have thought it? Wouldn't want to offend anyone now would we?

Oh just remembered, I used to partly fill the hollow metal shaft of a hunting or target arrow with black powder and glue a percussion nipple from a black powder weapon into the front of the shaft (the business end of the arrow for them what's archery challenged) and tape on a percussion cap (mercury fulminate explosive detonator). Then launch it down range at some stationary object (something what desperately wants to be moved) BANG!!!!!!! Just watch out as the aft section has a tendency to want to return to it's sender.
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Post by Anthony of the MSS »

Interesting video. Anyone know when the earliest tinderbox came about? Other than dogs with eyes as big as saucers..

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Re: No Charcloth Flint & Steel Fire Lighting.

Post by Saint Egregious »

“Live every day as if it were your last, because one of these days, it will be.”

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Re: No Charcloth Flint & Steel Fire Lighting.

Post by Saint Egregious »

Yet more....you asked for it.

http://england.prm.ox.ac.uk/englishness ... aking.html

http://www.prm.ox.ac.uk/fire.html

http://www.primalconnection.com/

http://www.primitiveways.com/marcasite% ... flint.html

Yes I had to....simply could not resist. You did bring it up after all. So it's your fault, yes it is.
the-tinderbox.jpg
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Post by Le Loup »

Anthony of the MSS wrote:Interesting video. Anyone know when the earliest tinderbox came about? Other than dogs with eyes as big as saucers..
I have no primary documentation on this, but I would say at least as far back as the middle ages in Europe. Even in the 18th century some tinderboxes being used were still made of wood. Some early "tinderboxes" were of the belt purse type with an attached steel. These of course could not themselves be used for making fire within the pouch as done with the metal tinderboxes. Also the term "tinderbox" can refere to the actual items used for making fire, such as a flint & steel, or even a flint gun lock.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost

http://woodsrunnersdiary.blogspot.com.au/

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Re: Re:

Post by Saint Egregious »

Le Loup wrote:
Anthony of the MSS wrote:Interesting video. Anyone know when the earliest tinderbox came about? Other than dogs with eyes as big as saucers..
I have no primary documentation on this, but I would say at least as far back as the middle ages in Europe. Even in the 18th century some tinderboxes being used were still made of wood. Some early "tinderboxes" were of the belt purse type with an attached steel. These of course could not themselves be used for making fire within the pouch as done with the metal tinderboxes. Also the term "tinderbox" can refere to the actual items used for making fire, such as a flint & steel, or even a flint gun lock.
So, I gather that you did not look at any of the above linx then.
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Re: Re:

Post by Le Loup »

Saint Egregious wrote:
Le Loup wrote:
Anthony of the MSS wrote:Interesting video. Anyone know when the earliest tinderbox came about? Other than dogs with eyes as big as saucers..
I have no primary documentation on this, but I would say at least as far back as the middle ages in Europe. Even in the 18th century some tinderboxes being used were still made of wood. Some early "tinderboxes" were of the belt purse type with an attached steel. These of course could not themselves be used for making fire within the pouch as done with the metal tinderboxes. Also the term "tinderbox" can refere to the actual items used for making fire, such as a flint & steel, or even a flint gun lock.
So, I gather that you did not look at any of the above linx then.
Yes I did, but I don't recall seeing any primary documentation on tinderboxes. I did see someone advertising tobbacco boxes & calling them tinderboxes but nothing else of interest. But then my attention span is not what it used to be these days.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost

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Re: No Charcloth Flint & Steel Fire Lighting.

Post by Grymm »

How do you know that they are 'baccy boxes? That's what TDC (The company who make the repros) call them but they could be either, I've seen no primary documentation that they are tobacco boxes OR tinder boxes....mebbe just a handy box.

Making Fire and Light in the Home, Pre-1820 by John Caspall has some English 'dug out' boxes from the 16th & 17thC and several iron and copper alloy ones from the 18thC which ent a million miles from the ones sold by TDC.
Fire Steels by CacciIandra & Cesati shows some of the fancy small 17th & 18thC ones with the steel built in/onto the box.

bottom part on LH side

Image


The VOC used to sell these as tinderboxes and as tobacco boxes

Image

A tin 'household' one 18thC
Image

Some from the Bryant and May collection, the one bottom left here is called a tinderbox but equally could've been a snuff or baccy box.

Image
Last edited by Grymm on Sun Nov 20, 2011 6:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Le Loup
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Re: No Charcloth Flint & Steel Fire Lighting.

Post by Le Loup »

[quote="Grymm"]How do you know that they are 'baccy boxes? That's what TDC (The company who make the repros) call them but they could be either, I've seen no primary documentation that they are tobacco boxes OR tinder boxes....mebbe just a handy box.

Because I am an 18th century living historian and I do a lot of research. The idea of the burning glass in the lid is so one can light one's pipe when the sun is out. The tinderbox is used for making fire and preparing tinder. If you were to use this tobbaco box in the same manner, then it would foul the burning lens. There is no reason why someone could not store tinder in this box, but it seems to me to be a waste of space and extra weight. Better off with a proper tinderbox and carry a seperate reading glass or specticles.
Image
Image
The Hudson Bay Tobacco Tin/Box.
Here is the original tobacco box right at the end of this video on the top shelf: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-Y_oinz ... re=related

Not all your images loaded, but the ones I can see are very clear. Thank you. Wish I could afford to be a collector!
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost

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Re: No Charcloth Flint & Steel Fire Lighting.

Post by m. demetrius »

I have one of those Hudson Bay boxes with the lens. I use it to carry charcloth, flint and striker. The lens will put a spark on the charcloth instantly when the sun is shining. To keep the charcloth from crushing, I sewed a very small, wax-dipped deerskin flat pouch. Works just fine.

I suppose the lens would light a pipe, too, but I don't think the box is big enough for a tobacco box. There would only be a very few pipefulls in a box that small.
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Le Loup
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Re: No Charcloth Flint & Steel Fire Lighting.

Post by Le Loup »

m. demetrius wrote:I have one of those Hudson Bay boxes with the lens. I use it to carry charcloth, flint and striker. The lens will put a spark on the charcloth instantly when the sun is shining. To keep the charcloth from crushing, I sewed a very small, wax-dipped deerskin flat pouch. Works just fine.

I suppose the lens would light a pipe, too, but I don't think the box is big enough for a tobacco box. There would only be a very few pipefulls in a box that small.
Are you refering to a clay pipe of the 18thC.-19thC. or a modern pipe?

Have to go catch a plane. Will catch up next month some time.
Regards to all.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.
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Grymm
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Re: No Charcloth Flint & Steel Fire Lighting.

Post by Grymm »

Grymm wrote:How do you know that they are 'baccy boxes? That's what TDC (The company who make the repros) call them but they could be either, I've seen no primary documentation that they are tobacco boxes OR tinder boxes....mebbe just a handy box?
Le Loup wrote:[Because I am an 18th century living historian and I do a lot of research.



:thumbup: Ditto Keith, in fact the same is true for quite a number of the folks on here (Although I mostly concentrate on the the 16thC & 18thC I occasionally wander back as far as 1stC AD and as late as WWII)

I'm with you on making tinder/charcloth in the *Hudson Bay box the lens would kak up and/or crack but some of the others, like Image I've used for making charcloth in on a number of occasions (Golden Syrup tins work best for me but they's not very period :D )


* With the HBTB the repros at least are, not that brilliant at providing a light at this time of year though, I'm at 51° 38' 24" North (In the south of England)



Le Loup wrote:The tinderbox is used for making fire and preparing tinder.


Some and some and some, some you can make tinder in, some have a section for the actual starting of the fire( this is true of the wooden dug out and plank constructed household ones which often have a section, with snuffer, for making fire in) but others are just for carrying or holding the fire lighting gear in, like this Wooden Dutch bottle shaped one.
Image

Le Loup wrote:Not all your images loaded, but the ones I can see are very clear. Thank you. Wish I could afford to be a collector!
Hopefully fixed the missing images :D and I'd love to have the scratch to afford some originals too, heigh ho my own fault for doing this history lark rather'n getting a proper job.
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