Tinder/Fire Starter Tin

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This is my first i'ble in a long while. Feels good to have something to add to this wonderful community again.

So the idea is that I like camping, so I've been checking out peoples various solutions for altoid fire starter kits and I wanted to do my own. Altoids are the perfect size really but I figured that I wanted something slightly bigger so that I could compartmentalize it a little, making it possible to have some dry sticks and possibly char cloth in store. Having it all in one place so to speak. Plus the only altoids-tin I have I've transformed for char cloth-making.

Step 1: Design

The tin is going be holding three compartments

  1. Main compartment - For collecting tinder from the pencil sharpener.
  2. Tindersticks / flint steel compartment - Tindersticks for use in the pencil sharpener and also a fire steel.
  3. Char cloth compartment - Speaks for itself.

I'm going to line the walls with spare pieces of leather, because I like the view and I need to use the scraps for something right.

The separators will be pieces cardboard because that's what I have at home, but I'd like to upgrade them to metal I think.

Step 2: The Lids

To make sure that not everything falls out when accessing the tinder I'm going to need internal lids, especially for the char cloth compartment.

I'm going to need a full cover lid for the char cloth as not to get the rest all messy. For the tinderstick departement not as important so here I can go with two alternatives

  1. Full cover lid - making it more streamlined and symmetrical and aesthetic.
  2. Mesh lid - transition cover from open to closed compartments.

Step 3: The Tinder

The first compartment then. Here I'm going to make a hole the same size as my pencil sharpener at the place where said item is going to be glued in place.

From the picture you can see that I made a marking outlining where the other compartments will go and their respective sizes. This was just something that I needed to do to visualize my idea away from my sketch.

What I actually going to do is to punch a tiny hole where I want the sharpener to so that I can glue it in place and see straight away that the hole I'm going to make won't be too high, too low or too big. After that I trimmed the hole wider and wider until it was as big as the sharpener and then polished the edge to remove any sharp edges and cuttings, to avoid cutting myself on it.

Step 4: The Wall

Luckily for me the scrap leather I had lying around was just the right thickness to fit under the small edge I have on my tin so all I had to do was cut out what is needed.

So I rolled the tin in the leather and cut the part needed. This way I could have some spare leather to trim away to get a nice fit.

Then measure the height inside of the tin to make sure your piece is tall enough and cut it.
Now fit in place and see how much you need to trim away. I realized that here I should have started with trimming out and fit in the sharpener because when I trimmed the length first it ended up being slightly too much so I had to puzzle in another scrap piece in the end.

Trim and fit until satisfied. I managed to do this on my first try, weirdly enough and I didn't feel a need to treat the edges since this will be covered by the tin anyway. Less work saves time :)

Step 5: The Separators and Lid

So my ideal version would be to have metal separators between the compartments but this I don't have any at home and I'd probably would need help fixing them into place.This would also make a more stable base for the compartment lids.

So what I'm using instead is card board pieces, easy to work with and to fit in place. Just measure and cut where your draft lines are located.

Since I'm using card board there's no real reason to put a lid on any of the compartments since the char cloth will have to be kept in a plastic bag to keep it dry (and to keep the rest clean).

Step 6: Clean Up

So before we get all glue happy and fixing everything into their place I'm going to clean up my tin properly, removing any candy sugar residue or what ever it was I had in it last as well as remove the draft lines and notes at the bottom.

To make sure that my separators won't get misplaced I'll use simple tape to mark them from the outside so that when they're in place I can remove them easily without leaving any permanent marks.

Step 7: The Fittings.

Glue everything in place starting with the leather walls and then the separators and then you're done!

Step 8: Finished Piece

So this is what the finished piece looks like including the tinder sticks and char cloths. In the middle compartment you can fit in a fire steel or a fire piston as well as an ordinary lighter or matches. Forgot to add those to the pictures, but I hope you can live with that :)

For tinder you can use e.g. wooden barbeque sticks, used wooden chopsticks from take-out or like me, an ordinary pencil, just snap them into suitable sizes and place them.

Hope you enjoyed this instructable!

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