Introduction: Paleo Lighter - UPDATED!

About: Failure is not the opposite of success, it's part of success.

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.

Wanna see it in action?

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.

Easy peasy!

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.

Brave the Elements Contest

Second Prize in the
Brave the Elements Contest

Make It Glow! Contest

Participated in the
Make It Glow! Contest