Custom Handmade Firestarters

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Introduction: Custom Handmade Firestarters

About: My name is Troy. I'm a Mechatronics and Aerospace Engineering graduate. I like to make things and spend time outdoors (especially SCUBA diving). I am a Community Manager for Instructables.

I made these ferrocerium rod firestarters as a simple and elegant gift for friends and family. They are easy to batch out and are a great way to use up some old scrap wood. Throw them in your bug out bag, camping supplies, or anywhere you may need a waterproof way to start a fire easily.

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Step 1: Tools and Materials

Materials:

Tools:

Step 2: Glue Blank

Cut strips of wood to whatever thickness you desire. I made versions ranging from 1/8 in. to 1/4 in. This version shows 1/8 in. strips that are 1 in. wide and 3 in. long. Apply enough glue that it squeezes out when clamps are applied. Let dry overnight.

Step 3: Drill Hole in Wood Blank

Drill a 21/64 in. hole 1 in. deep. I used the drill press with a home made jig to hold the blank in place.

Step 4: Glue Ferrocerium Rod to Blank

Mask off 1 in. from the end of the rod. Using coarse sand paper, scuff up the finish on the rod. This will ensure more surface area for the glue to hold onto. Apply cyanoacrylate glue to the rod and insert it into the wood blank until the edge of the masking tape reaches the edge of the wood. Apply activator to the glue to hold it in place. Allow 24 hours to dry.

Step 5: Turn Wood Blank

Insert your ferrocerium rod into the lathe. Turn the blank almost round. Mark the center of handle about a 1/4 - 1/2 in. from the end. Hold the rod in a clamp on the drill press to ensure it is square. Be sure to use scrap wood behind the handle to prevent blowout.

Step 6: Create Brass Insert

I couldn't find any brass tubing the size I needed for this project. If you can't find any either, you can create your own tubing by drilling out the inside of a brass rod. I used an inch of 1/4 in. brass rod with a 5/32 in. hole drilled through the middle on the lathe. Any wood lathe should be able to manage this with no problem. Be sure to use cutting fluid and something on top of the bed to collect all metal filings and cutting fluid.

Step 7: Glue Insert in Place

Scuff up the surface of the brass tube and glue in place with more cyanoacrylate glue. Once dry, cut off the excess tubing using a hacksaw or rotary cutter.

Step 8: Turn Handle

Chuck up the handle once more. Use a file to bring the surface of the brass rod down to the surface of the wood.

You can now turn the handle like normal wood. Be sure to take light passes over the brass to avoid catching your tool and breaking the glue bond between the wood and ferrocerium rod.

Step 9: Apply Finish

Apply whatever finish you like. I used regular shellac and they look great!

Step 10: Create Striker

I cut up an old hacksaw blade to use as the striker. A 10 in. blade cut into four pieces works out well. Be sure to cut the blade slowly to avoid losing its temper. Use sandpaper to remove all (or as much as you like) of the paint and drill a 5/16 in. hole toward the end.

Cut 16 in. strips of suede or paracord to attach striker to the ferrocerium rod.

Step 11: Assemble

Tie the suede to the ferrocerium rod. Slide the end through the hole on the striker. Bring the loop around the end of the striker and pull tight. This will ensure the ferrocerium and striker are always together when needed. You can separate them anytime you need them to start a fire.

1 Person Made This Project!

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18 Discussions

0
kodonnelko
kodonnelko

6 weeks ago

This is a nice and easy way to make a fire starter! Nice easy to follow Instructable. And they look pretty cool too. Another way I've seen these made was with an old bullet casing. Definitely perfect for people who are into firearms.

0
tytower
tytower

2 months ago

You forgot to tell us how to use these?

1
SienkRJ
SienkRJ

Reply 2 months ago

You scrape the striker (in this case, the hacksaw blade piece) along the ferrocerium rod to create sparks that fly into your tinder - much like with flint and steel, only easier to master.

0
tytower
tytower

Reply 8 weeks ago

Yep thanks . Always better to say so in the instructable

0
cedar101
cedar101

2 months ago

They are perfect for camping!!

0
hjsiegel29
hjsiegel29

Question 2 months ago on Step 11

WHERE DO YOU PURCHASE THE FERROCERIUM ROD?

0
tomatoskins
tomatoskins

Answer 2 months ago

I placed a link in Step 1, but alternatively, you can google search Ferrocerium Rod and purchase anything available there.

0
kc cabinite
kc cabinite

2 months ago

I'm a little confused, you said the blanks are 1X3 in. Yet in step 3 you say to drill a hole 21X 64, 3 1/4 in. deep. Wouldn't that be through the handle lengthwise, or am I just reading this wrong?

0
tomatoskins
tomatoskins

Best Answer 2 months ago

Sorry for that typo! I drill that hole 1 1/4 inch deep. That allowed for some extra space behind the 1 inch of rod being placed in the hole for excess glue to pool up.

0
wclapie
wclapie

Answer 2 months ago

At a guess? I would say it was meant to be 3/4 of an inch from the pics and tape mark. Up to about an inch to give you sufficient surface area for the glue to bond to the rod.

2
SienkRJ
SienkRJ

2 months ago

Great project! Where do you obtain your ferrocerium rods?

0
carbonunit6
carbonunit6

Reply 2 months ago

......under "Materials"

0
SienkRJ
SienkRJ

Reply 2 months ago

Thanks! I didn't see the embedded links on my handheld device. They show up fine on my desktop.

0
carbonunit6
carbonunit6

Reply 2 months ago

.....and THAT right there.....is the reason why I never ever use my cell phone as a PC. My desktop provides me with everything I want, my (cell) "telephone" provides me strictly with "telephone calls" and texts and of course, also used as an mp3 player, with a few photos and nothing more! Considering the lameness of "ball-n-chain" hand-helds that can only provide 10% efficiency of what a full desktop can do.

0
kc cabinite
kc cabinite

Reply 2 months ago

click on ferrocerium rods in the materials list and it sends you to ordering site.

1
Uncle Kudzu
Uncle Kudzu

2 months ago

Nice project with good info. Thanks for sharing!

2
jessyratfink
jessyratfink

2 months ago

These might be the classiest looking firestarters I've seen :D