Fire Steel





Introduction: Fire Steel

Many people take a lighter or matches camping with them, in the past i've always found these to be unreliable. Whether its forgetting to refill your lighter or damp matches, i find that a fire steel and striker is much better. From lighting the gas stove to lighting a camp fires its my preferred method, it doesn't matter how windy or wet a modern fire steel will still produce sparks at 3000ºC and it won't run out of fuel.  

I spotted a stack of fire steel blanks in an outdoor shop and thought id have a go at making a handle for one. I had the choice of deer antler or birch burl. I decided on the antler as it was a nicer shape.

Ferrocerium rod (fire steel blank)
Deer antler


Sander (Dremel)
Engraver (Dremel)

Step 1: Sanding Off

I wanted a nice smooth effect for the handle of my fire steel, though you could just as easily leave it in its natural rough state.
I used the sanding piece on the dremel to remove the rough outer layer and sand in a thumb shaped dip so that the polished antler doesn't slide out of my hand when i strike it. This was all done with a rough sanding to P60.

Step 2: Drilling Your Hole

A fairly simple step. Choose a drill bit thats slightly bigger than your ferrocerium rod and drill a hole that goes deep enough for it to sit in without falling out.

I used an epoxy resin to glue my rod into the hole, but only because thats what i had around, most glues would suffice.

I placed the rod in the hole, wiped of any excess glue, clamped it in a grip and left it to dry for a few hours.

Step 3: Sanding

To give a better finish i used a variety of sandpapers (P100 to P250) to smooth of the antler. I also drilled a small hole in the top of the handle to tread a piece of leather through. 

Step 4: Engraving

As a final little bit of decoration i thought i would add an engraved rune on the end of the handle. I chose the eldar futhark rune Kenaz (torch or fire) as it seemed appropriate.

Using a fine edged engraving bit on the dremel i carefully engraved the rune into the antler. 

To fill in the shape of the rune i melted the end of a wax crayon, using a lighter, and dripped the wax into the rune. After scraping off the excess wax and fitting the leather strap and your good to go.

To use your fire steel simply run a hard metal edge (like that of a knife) down the length of the steel whilst applying some pressure. 


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This looks great.

I should have thought of that before, it is a good idea. Although, you probably shouldn't be doing the drilling, and gluing part on your laptop. For anyone who wants to know where to get a flint rod go on Ebay, you can get a flint rod like the one shown, for about $5, so it is kind of expensive. sells them for around 1.5$ a piece if you take 4. free shipping...

good tip. I bought one including a scraper for 1 euro at a local shop works perfect.
I love aliexpress

I did one of these a few years back,the flint came unglued from the magnesium stone so I drilled a hole in a leftover piece of deer antler,put a little E-6000 on it.Mine has been doing its job,and looks nice too.Good job on yours also..

A 1 1/2 inch piece of fine toothed hack saw blade will make the best fire scraper you can get. also if you use your knife, as a scraper, use the blade side, but the part right next to the hilt, that part of knife rarely gets used at all

A 1 1/2 inch piece of fine toothed hack saw blade will make the best fire scraper you can get.

How much does a steel blank cost you? Is there anything I might have laying around that would work as a replacement?

The fire steel blank was £9 i think, though you could probably pick them up cheaper online.
Being a very specific man made alloy ferrocerium produces a much hotter and more efficient spark than the alternative which would be old fashioned flint. Ferrocerium is used to make the strikers for welding torches though im not sure that would be a useful shaped piece for something like this.
I cant think of anything else that would be a viable alternative, sorry. sells them for around 1.5$ a piece if you take 4. free shipping...