Friction Fire aka making fire using friction. Wood to wood, rope to wood, rope to rope, wood to car, car to dog, whatever.
Am I the only one who seems to have enough of it?
In every fire-related Instructable, in every survival video, in every schoolbook and in every edition of the SAS-bible you'll get the same ol' story that hasn't changed a word since, let's say, the last 20.000 years - the start of the last Ice-Age, more or less.
In order to take our species a Big Step Forward I decided to revisit our classic views on fire-making.
If we really want to survive the next Icy Apocalypse we need to be a lot smarter than we were untill now.
Proudly presenting: the first friction fire lighter ever - aka the lighter that'll keep you running (literally).
Cheap, refillable, reliable, waterproof & pocketsized - that's what they say about latest I-phone, also. About pocket-sized, I mean. Not about the cheapness, the refillable-ness, the reliable-ness & the waterproofness.
Winter Is Coming.
But we shall know no fear. Not anymore.
Step 1: Gather & Hunt. and Drink.
To make this crazy device you will need:
- two beared wheels (can be from a skateboard)
- a wooden dowel
- a piece of hardwood
- a piece of steel tube
- a 50mm pvc 'T'
- a few 50mm pvc covers
- 10m paracord.
And a beer. A really good beer.
Step 2: The Concept
In fact, the key-feature of Paleo 3.0 is just a wooden rod that turns on a wooden support, causing friction, heat & thus fire.
Put all that in a waterproof housing & you're done.
In a nutshell:
- in the 'T' is a wooden rod that turns freely in its 2 wheels (upside of device)
- to the rod is winded a lot of paracord (middle)
- a socket is pushed to the rod - which will collect the coal once the rod has gone crazy (downside)
Once you have a coal you can make a fire.
And humanity waited 20.000 years for that.
Step 3: Building the Socket Aka Fireboard
Get a clock drill and drill it halfway into a thick piece of softwood.
Get a paddle drill half the size of the clock drill and go halfway through the board.
Use the clock again to drill all the way though the board.
Result: the weirdest piece of wood ever.
Push it in a piece of steel tube which has miraculously the right size.
Screw both to one of the pvc-covers.
Step 4: Carving the Spindle
Make a pen, push it into the two (for better stability) wheels, wind some tape around both and smash it in the T.
Glue the cover & done you are.
Step 5: Winding You Will
To get the spindle winded you can insert a screw into the cover-side of the rod & then you go HILTI.
If you want to do it less 21th.-century-ish: go manual, your choice.
Whatever. Wind some (10m should be fine) paracord to the rod, glue the last cover and start admiring the most unattended pvc-construction ever made.
Or start wondering what exactly you've just been making.
Step 6: Fayah!
Honestly, the first 3 times I tested this thing I failed gloriously, snapping the cord every time.
Fourth time was the good one. A nice piece of coal appeared - the cutest I've ever seen - and whether or not I managed to turn it into a fire hasn't the slightest importance.
Attach the loose end of the cord to a fix point, push the socket firmly to the pen, get the whole 90° and start running in a straight line.
Smoke will appear and fire you will make.
Next Ice-Age will be fun.
Step 7: Useful Knowledge
As in classic 'manual' friction fire, the choice of the wood species is extremely important.
The old school says that 'it's good to use a hard(er) wood for the spindle and a soft(er) wood for the socket aka fireboard'.
Commercially sold rods are mostly beech - which is a hard(er) wood.
I tried pine, epicea, elderberry, poplar & willow for the socket to see which species gave me the best results. And oak, also, because I'm just a contrary person.
Oak was definitely bad, and so were pine & epicea.
Elderberry was nice, but willow & poplar went just crazy: nice & a lot blackish sawdust and only a couple of runs needed to set the birds nest on fire.
Beech for the spindle, willow for the fireboard. My experience.
Step 8: PALEO 4.0
It's been announced and you were waiting for it: the famous upgrade to 4.0!
Inspired by the pullstart of a lawnmower - thanx jobar007 - I wanted the device being steady while I tried to get that coal - instead of me running like a fool.
So I added a spring to a rope and attached it to the spindle. Next I winded a second rope a few times to the same spindle and fixed the end to a handle (well).
Yes it's a lot less compact, but who cares? It's awesome!!!
The concept is simple: while you're pulling the handle its rope will unwind and wind the spring-rope, putting the last one on tension.
Graphics are on their way - unless you're already getting the picture.
Since I really didn't have time to change the fireboard (they burn fast, you know) and show you a more realistic video I made a small shortcut, sorry.
Match heads in the socket, some elbow-grease and LOOK AT THAT FLAME!!!
With a new fireboard it's almost the same, but longer.
And without those flames.
But almost the same, anyway.