Friday, August 7, 2009

Flint and Steel

A flint and steel would have been a common tool in the 19th century. A steel “striker” is used to strike a piece of chert or flint. The resulting sparks are caught on a piece of charred cloth or other easy to light tinder. A small glowing coal forms. That ember is used to light tiny shavings of wood, which in turn is used to light your kindling. Lighting a fire took patience and skill.
The striker is forged from high carbon steel and is quenched hard. The sparks are caused by the flint scrapping tiny slivers of steel from the striker. Friction heats them up and they burst into flame, making tiny sparks. Those sparks are burning over 2,000 degrees F.
A flint and steel is fun to experiment with, and would still work to light your fire. One of my fellow staff members is shown in these pictures, and uses his flint and steel daily through the winter to light his fire. It took him less than a minute after starting to strike flint and have burning tinder. I envy his skill. I don’t use one as often or well, and am thankful for matches.

1 comment:

  1. Do you sell the steel strikers for flint & steel fire starting?


Blog Widget by LinkWithin