5 Ways to Start a Fire, Using Water

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Introduction: 5 Ways to Start a Fire, Using Water

About: Random Weekend Projects

If you thought fire and water were elemental enemies, think again. In this project you'll see 5 ways to start a fire, using water.

Step 1: Watch the Video!!!

WARNING: Under certain conditions, an open flame can grow to an uncontrollable, blazing fire. This may result in serious injury, burns, property damage, forrest fires, grass fires, and even death. Use of video content is at own risk.

Step 2: #1 - Light Bulb

Grab an old light bulb and chisel out the bottom, so you can see down inside.

Pour in a bit of hot water, and shake it vigorously. You'll notice the white coating washes right out.

After you've rinsed it a couple of times, you should have a crystal clear bulb.

Fill the light bulb with water, cap the bottom with a balloon, and voila! You've just created a makeshift magnifying glass.

Use your liquid light bulb to focus the sunlight on a piece of newspaper. It should start smoking immediately, and just a minute later, burst into flames.

Step 3: #2 - Plastic Wrap

Find a small dish and line it with plastic wrap, and push it down so it takes the shape of the bowl.

Add water until the bowl is nearly full, then gather each of the plastic corners at the top. This will form a little liquid pouch, and by twisting the corners together, you can seal the water inside.

You've just formed, a clear liquid sphere, that fits in the palm of your hand.

Put the sun behind you, and focus the light, on a dark piece of paper.

Your tinder should start smoking within seconds, and when enough embers have collected inside, you'll soon have your fire.

Step 4: #3 - Picture Frame

Take a picture frame, and cover it with a layer of plastic wrap.

Suspend it on something that is a couple of feet off the ground.

Carefully pour hot water onto the plastic. As you do this, it will begin to sag. Forming a natural and effective liquid lens.

Gather up something you can use as tinder, and find the focal point of the beam, to concentrate the heat.

When you see your tinder's smoldering, set it down so it rests in the beam.

Now just sit back and watch the elements ignite the fire for you, completely hands free.

Step 5: #4 - Water Bottle

Find a juice bottle, that looks like a giant plastic bubble, and fill it with water. I used a POM bottle my wife got at the grocery store, and took off the label.

Position the liquid filled bubble between the sun, and your tinder pile, until you find the spot where it starts smoking.

Hold everything steady, so the heat will continue to build.

When the smoke is strong and steady, add something like dried grass, to help you lift the pile up, and blow the smoldering embers into a flame.

Step 6: #5 - Elemental Sodium

If the clouds have rolled over, and blocked off your solar supply, you can use a toilet paper roll, and a couple chunks of sodium.

The paper roll should be cut in half. Cut a small piece out of the bottom, and push a wad of tissue into the top.

Use the lid of a jar as your starter base. Cover it with one square of toilet paper, and place the small bits of sodium in the middle.

The paper roll sits over top, followed by a heavier gauge kindling. Like a bunch of straw, or dried grass.

Carefully pour a tablespoon of water into the base, and run away.

In just a couple of seconds, a little flame shoots out, igniting the kindling on top. You can see how this would stoke a blazing fire, in just a matter of seconds.

Step 7: More Project Videos

Now every experiment has it's dangers, so if you try these methods yourself, make sure you have proper safety equipment, as well as adult supervision.

Well now you know 5 ways to use water, to start a fire.

If you liked this project, perhaps you'll like some of my others. Check them out at www.thekingofrandom.com

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    137 Discussions

    On a popular online auction site. You'll likely find the metals there too. Be very careful.

    Salt = sodium + chloride. Elemental sodium is pure sodium and is a bit harder to acquire.

    Decades ago when I was a kid I made sodium by electrolysis of molten salt. I melted salt in a tin can on a gas burner and used a carbon rod from a dead carbon zinc battery with a model train transformer to do the electrolysis. The sodium collected under the salt in the bottom of the can. After a long while I let it cool and recovered my sodium by smashing the can and salt with a hammer. Warning: The electrolysis gave off chlorine gas.

    Another one that is really useful for backpacking is Calcium Carbonate. Put it in an old film cannister or other waterproofcontainer until you are ready to use it. Very stable but when it gets wet, ire releases acetylene. Works great.

    13 replies

    Aside from many places on line. I have found it at military surplus stores west of the Mississippi.

    Just google calcium carbide, im sure you can find it in some online store (amazon or ebay likely) (calcium carbonate is not the stuff you want)

    No. Calcium carbonate does NOT do that. CaCO3 is very non-reactive with water, seeing as how most shelled-organisms/mollusks have an exoskeleton made entirely out of the stuff. Calcium carbonate is chalk. Eggshells. Limestone (mostly). It would not be so abundant throughout nature here on earth, if all it took to react, was water.
    Now, the thing you ARE thinking of is calcium carbide, or CaC2. That one produces acetylene gas (C2H2) and calcium hydroxide (Ca(OH)2) on contact with water (H2O). CaC2 + 2 H2O --> C2H2 + (Ca(OH)2).
    Please research or at least simply google the things you claim to be true before posting anywhere, to help stop the spredding of misinformation. Thank you.

    Nabzim, Thank you for correcting the mistake for the greater community but you don't have to be quite so vitreous in the response. Please don't assume that a response is meant out of stupidity or spite. Make the correction in a nice way and all in the community are enlightened and go away in good spirits. Responses like this tend to shut down the flow of information.

    I kinda already apolagized, but I guess two apologies can't hurt; I'm sorry I sounded harsh, I just personally like to capitalize words to place emphasis on the importance of what im trying to communicate. Some people think this means Im yelling at them or angry or something.... So, sorry again, next time I will consider this. (If you re-read it without any capizalized words, it actually doesn't sound mean or angry at all [in my opinion].)

    Hey man, sorry it was a little early. My bad. You ate correct. It is calcium carbide not carbonate. Our does work great. However I would request that you don't come out of the gate with such a repugnant attitude. Everyone makes mistakes but it's how you respond to that that makes the difference in the community. They're was no intent to deceive or come across as a know it all; just trying to contribute so a simple typo mistake Should not be am offense worth a flame response.

    Nabzim's reply exhibited no 'repugnance,' AND was NOT a flame. It was however, a very 'simple,'' accurate statement of fact in response to what was NOT 'a simple typo'!!! AND, Calcium CARBONATE versus Calcium CARBIDE is not a 'SIMPLE TYPO'!!!

    Sorry, I didn't realize that my comment would come off so harsh. I just wanted to emphasize it, because I the other dude who commented also said carbonate, and I just want to save people the hassle of going out, buying carbonate and having it not do anything. My bad

    Calcium carbonate is also handy for fishing, add some big chunks into a tin lunch a small hole in the lid , then toss the can in the water. When the acetylene gets to too high a pressure it explodes stunning the fish and they float to the surface. So treat that calcium carbonate carefully, it can be dangerous. And blowing up fishing holes will definitely upset anyone fishes there, which is probably more dangerous.