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Magnesium Fire Starter

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Magnesium Fire Starter

Postby tigger2 » Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:23 pm

How do you actually use one? The instructions are really vague. The fire starter came with a piece of a hacksaw blade on a chain. There is a metal rod on the back.
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Re: Magnesium Fire Starter

Postby TheLight » Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:58 pm

Use the hacksaw blade to shave the block (which is the actual magnesium). Do this till you have a nice sized pile in/on your kindling. I usually take 5 minutes worth of shavings working at a slow pace. Then, take the hacksaw blade and hold it over the pile. Put the ferrocerium rod against it firmly and pull the rod back. This should send a shower of sparks against the magnesium. This should cause it to ignite.
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Re: Magnesium Fire Starter

Postby Earthbound » Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:23 pm

I have not been impressed with the Mg shavings. Take that striker and rod and send the sparks to a cotton pad coated with vaseline. If possible let that light a roll of waxed cardboard which burns long enough to catch the logs. If you have split, dry logs the cotton pad may be enough but the cardboard is better for igniting whole logs. Save the Mg only as last resort.
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Re: Magnesium Fire Starter

Postby Roknrandy » Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:11 pm

FAILURE TO PLAN ON YOUR PART DOES NOT CONSTITUTE AN EMERGENCY ON MY PART
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Re: Magnesium Fire Starter

Postby Patriot Prepper » Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:06 am

I have several of the type shown in the video. They work and are inexpensive. I also have some magnesium sticks that are softer and you can scrape a pile of magnesium in a matter of seconds. It costs more, but works great, can't remember the name of the company.

And I have a blast match that works well but is much more expensive.
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Re: Magnesium Fire Starter

Postby TheLight » Sun Jan 30, 2011 9:10 pm

Blast match isn't magnesium, it's a ferrocerium rod. They're truly awesome. I really like the blast matches formfactor too. It makes it much easier to send the sparks where you want them to go.
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Re: Magnesium Fire Starter

Postby repsfo » Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:32 pm

Most fail to ignite becaues the pile of shavings is too small. It should be about the size of a quarter.
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Re: Magnesium Fire Starter

Postby cityhomesteader » Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:44 pm

I want to learn to make a fire without the gadgets.. I have the Swedish Match..I like it and I have made fires with it. Simple little bugger and easy to use if you know how to build a fire. My issues are what if you don't have the ability to use an artificial means of making a fire. You are screwed..

I thing a Bow and a drill are easy to make from what is available..I need to get used to making a fire with that material
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Re: Magnesium Fire Starter

Postby medic72 » Mon Apr 18, 2011 6:58 am

the bow drill is a great way once u master it. takes ALOT of practice, keith and i practice alot with it. my problem in the begining was i didnt leave enough space for the coal to accumilate. oh and have your tinder bundle CLOSE :)
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Re: Magnesium Fire Starter

Postby ke4sky » Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:21 am

The key to igniting magnesium shavings is having the proper tool to produce fine shavings. The best tool for the purpose is the Aircrew Survival Knife produced by Ontario Knife Company
NSN 7340-00-098-4327 as used by US Armed forces. Its 1095 carbon steel blade produces more sparks in striking a ferro rod than will stainless steels. The saw teeth on the spine of the blade are designed to efficiently shave fine magnesium fuzz from the Doan Machinery Corp. fire starting tool and to produce precise notches on wooden sticks in constructing trap triggers for deadfalls and they do this better than almost any other tool. Use about 1/4 teasoon full of magnesium shavings to boost the flame initiated by sparking a few drops of JP, diesel or avgas with your Doan tool. The resulting hot fire will reliably ignite a tire to start a signal fire. I recommend carrying cotton balls infused with petroleum jelly as a sure-fire, wet or dry tinder. A dozen or more of these will pack with your Doan tool in an Altoids tin. Sew this into a pocket of your flight vest. First task after initial size-up is to cut three brick-sized slices of tire and prime with Vaseline-cotton balls ready with mag shavings stuck in the Vaseline so they won't blow away, spaced 50 ft. apart to light quickly when you hear the SAR bird. Then if you are lucky you will be able to jump up and down waving your VS-17 over your head as the slick to comes in to get you.
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Re: Magnesium Fire Starter

Postby tommyboy4090 » Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:50 pm

One of the best advice I know that i can give is get a good magnesium rod. I use a Kodiak brand one and it works great.
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Re: Magnesium Fire Starter

Postby mule » Sun Nov 27, 2011 1:08 pm

Both the magnesium block and the blast match have pros and cons. It is very easy to create grooves in the flint of the magnesium block, making it harder to get a good strike. The shavings are also very fine and can easily be blown away. The blast match is more expensive, heavier and has more potential to break than a magnesium block. However, it is much easier to aim sparks in the direction you want them with the blast match and can be used one-handed. It also requires no fine-motor skills. As a test, I have gotten so cold to the point of shivering and was still able to use the blast match. I wasn't as successful with the magnesium block. My vote is the blast match.

A few have mentioned the art of primitive fire craft. My two-cents is that it is very important and useful to be familiar with at least one of the many ways to create fire with out the use of a device. However, it is a very difficult skill to learn and even the people who have been doing it for decades still struggle with it. Watch an episode of Survivor Man, Dual Survival or Man Woman Wild and study how they make a primitive fire. THEY STRUGGLE TOO.

My point is, don't let a primitive fire skill be your only way to light a fire. Yes, matches, lighters, a magnesium block or a blast match will run out eventually. My suggestion would be to use your fire building skill like a tool in a tool box. Don't use a hammer to fasten a screw.

If you have fantastic conditions and are in no hurry to make a fire, use a primitive method. It will conserve other resources and the worst case scenario is that you fail and few strikes of flint will get the job done.

If you have really bad conditions and are in a hurry to make a fire (Jimmy fell through the ice and needs to warm up, its dark and cold, its raining or at least damp, etc) you may want to consider using your lighter, match, magnesium block, blast match, etc.

Whether you prefer a magnesium block or a blast match or any other device to help you build a fire, it really doesn't matter. What matters is that you are effective and efficient with several ways to start a fire.
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Re: Magnesium Fire Starter

Postby TomcatPC » Thu Nov 15, 2012 7:50 pm

I have a couple of the Magnesium Fire Starters, but have not yet used one. From what I have heard from a few people online is that they have had good luck with them. I got one fire starter for less than $3 at a local Harbour Freight shop a few months back. I think I might go back and get a couple more.
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Re: Magnesium Fire Starter

Postby OC357 » Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:11 pm

medic72 wrote:the bow drill is a great way once u master it. takes ALOT of practice, keith and i practice alot with it. my problem in the begining was i didnt leave enough space for the coal to accumilate. oh and have your tinder bundle CLOSE :)


Yeah, I needed a LOT of practice. Then I used a magnesium fire starter and needed a LOT of practice. Finally got it down pat.

But one time I got so frustrated I just got a road flare out of my pack in the jeep and used that.(it was raining too and it just fired up the campfire...haha )

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Re: Magnesium Fire Starter

Postby Das Sheep » Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:35 pm

You can pre shave the magnesium and press it onto duck tape. Abd then roll it up. This way you have some ready to go when you need it, and the wind won't blow it away either.
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