Make a simple fire piston from off the shelf parts.
For some time now I’ve wanted to make my own fire piston after seeing click springs fantastic version. Unfortunately I don’t have any of the tools that he uses, plus it seemed like a complicated build. After a little research I found that you could make a simpler version with off the shelf parts. Matter-of-fact, you might even have these parts lying around the shed!
For those who may be new to a fire piston, what it does is allow you to ignite char cloth without any form of fire. Once the char cloth is lit, then you can use this to light your fire. It works by compressing and heating air until it reaches temperatures of 260°C (500°F). This is hot enough to ignite the char cloth and create an ember which can be used to light your fire.
In step 7 I go through how to make Char cloth.
Check out this link if you would like to learn more about the fire piston.
It doesn’t take any real skill to make one of these and you only need basic tools. The hardest part is getting the seal right on the push rod. This took me a few goes but I learnt a lot so hopefully you won’t have to waste as much time as I did!
However, it can take some time to perfect using the fire piston. Getting the right action and speed is essential in igniting the char cloth. The last step goes through a few ides to try if your not getting the char cloth to ignite.
1. 9.5mm wooden dowel. You shouldn’t have any issues getting this size dowel at your local hardware store. Don’t get pine as it isn’t strong enough.
2. 12.7mm copper tube. You can find this in the plumbing section at your hardware store. If you can't get this size exact, then close enough will do.
3. 2 X 15mm brass cap. Same place you got the tube from
4. 15mm coupling to 15mm male screw. –hardware store.
5. 15mm female screw lid – hardware store
6. O ring. You can get assorted ones in the plumbing section of your local hardware store. The O ring needs to fit tight around the dowel or check out eBay
7. Small brass eye hook
8. Silicone plumbers grease (this is to lubricate the O ring). You can add motor oil but I've been told that this can break down the O ring. You can buy this at any hardware store (plumbing section)
1. Tin with lid. I use an old tobacco tin
2. Piece of old clothing. Best to use 100% cotton or denim.
3. Solder flux
4. Small blow torch
7. Epoxy glue