This Instructable will show you how to make a firesteel. This kind of firesteel was used by the vikings to light a fire. In a later 'ible I will show exactly how to do that. This 'ible will just show how to forge the steel, not how to use it.
Step 1: Tools
Hammer- any hammer at around 500g-1000g will do
tongs - you need something to hold the hot steel while hammering it. A smiths tongs is best, but you can do with a welding clamp or any other tongs with a good grip.
Round tongs - To make the eye on the steel you need a round tongs.
Anvil - any small anvil will do, if you don't have a anvil a heavy hammerhead, some railroad track or a flat stone can be used.
Forge - you need some kind of heatsource to heat you steel. I use a reconstruction of a viking forge. But you can build a simple forge from clay. Or use a gas burner.
Bucket of water - To harden the steel you need some water to quick cool the steel.
Angle grinder - needed to prepare the steel before forging
ear protectors and goggles - I use this when using the angle grinder.
To work the bellows it is best to have a slave or an apprentice :-)
Step 2: The Raw Steel
To make a good firesteel you need some highcarbon steel. It is the content of carbon in the steel that makes the sparks.
The best steel for firesteel have a content of above 1% carbon. My best source of high carbonsteel is old files and car springs.
The carsprings are perfect for forging knifes and other cutting tools. The carbon content in the carspring is around 0.8% -1% and that is a little low for firesteel. The files are all above 1% some 1.5% and that is great for firesteel.
Step 3: Forging
Now heat the steel to forging temperature. The steel needs to be gloving red. When it cools down and the gloving color fade heat it again.
First hammer out a long pointy end.
Heat the end and with the round tongs bend the end to an eye.
Now heat the steel again and bend the rest of the end around the anvil horn.
Then the firesteel is ready for hardening.
Step 4: Hardening and Testing
When the steel have the right shape it is time to harden it.
Bring the steel to glowing red, and dip it in the waterbucket.
The steel will now cool very fast making it very hard.
Dry the steel and find a sharp piece of flint and test if the steel can make sparks.
Some times you need to remove the black surface on the steel before you are able to make the sparks. The black scaling is easy removed with the scraping of a flint stone.
Step 5: Lighting the Fire
When you have practiced making sparks with your firesteel. It is time to make a real fire.
Stay tuned for my next 'ible where I show how to prepare tinderfungus and make a fire The Viking Way.