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Ferro & Fire

old4570

John McDouall Stuart
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Was out walking when I spied a nice fallen branch ( Gum Tree ) ..
Now I been wondering how hard it would be to Ferro Gumtree ..
Been nice N wet here in Melbourne , so I suspect the bit of gumtree is at the very least moist !

Still ...

First I messed with the bark ..
Yeah , it was moist and did not want to ferro ..
I had to resort to some processed twisted sisal rope ( tinder at it's best ) .. One strike of the ferro and away the Sisal went ( Burning )
Once the bark got hot enough it burned ..

Once I had stripped the bark , I was into the wood inside ..
Cutting a handful of curly chips ....
The wood inside is very light , like paper when sliced into wood chips ..
But it resists burning .. I was able to get an ember going ! I gently blew this into flames ... Which went out !

I sliced more Gumtree chips , deeper into the branch ( drier ? ) .
And this time the ferro refused to do anything to it ..
I tried scrapping the gum , to make it kind off woolly with the spine of the knife ..
This is very fine wood .. Nope .. Back to the processed twisted sisal ..
No problems ..

Going deeper into the branch , I got me another handful of gum chips ..
This time I got a bit of Fatwood and scrapped it , the fat !
To see what difference it would make .. Yeah , big difference .. Ferro no problem ..

Gumtree ... As long as you can get the gumtree to burn / and get hot ... Then it becomes self sustaining ..
Now the bit of gumtree I had is moist likely a little on the wet side , simply on account of how wet it has been .

In the past , I was a Kero / BIC user , and had no issues starting a camp fire ( for rather obvious reasons ) . I mean , Kero makes for fantastic fire starter and you could buy one litre at the supermarket .. Not sure you can anymore ! Bunnings sells Kero ..

It was an interesting afternoon playing with a bit of gumtree ..
 

old4570

John McDouall Stuart
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Microwaved Gumtree ...

I kid you not , I mad a bowl full of Gum chips ..
Then lit them with my E-lighter just so how they burned ..
Wasn't that impressive ..
So what to do ? This was after chipping them and then leaving them out in the sun for a few hours ..
Why not Microwave the Gum chips ? You know , to drive out the moisture ..
On high ( microwave ) , I gave a bowl full two 30 second runs ...

Did they burn better = Yes they did ..
I even managed to ferro the gum chips ( after a fair amount of effort ) ..
Just got to edit some video ..
 

old4570

John McDouall Stuart
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Ok , I'm going to microwave more Gumtree - For sure !
Maybe nuke the gum a lot harder next time ..

 

old4570

John McDouall Stuart
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Ok , so Nuked more Gumtree Chips !
This time I gave them 2x one minute runs in the Microwave on High .
Then I played with some BBQ grade fatwood .

Lessons ?
Gumtree is not fatwood .
BBQ grade fatwood ? Not that ferro friendly .
Scrapping fatwood , yeah .

Butt !

When you hold the ferro rod too far away .. You are hurting your chances of starting a fire ..
The closer you are , the longer the ferro burns where you want it .

I will have to keep playing with the Gum . Cos this is Australia .
And learning to ferro Gum , might be important (?)

 

Askew

John McDouall Stuart
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Any idea what type of gum tree? I've found there's a lot of variation between different types of gum.
 

old4570

John McDouall Stuart
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Absolutely , but I cant tell one gum from another myself ...
The one the branch fell from is on the large size , but mountain gums are larger .. That's all I know ..
 

old4570

John McDouall Stuart
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Ok , Shaved or scrapped Gum !

By Jove , I think he's got it !

 

old4570

John McDouall Stuart
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More Ferro & Gum

I wanted to see what happened when I left the Gum scrapping on the piece of gum ..
Would the chunk of gum burn ? Would the shaving burn ?
The shavings themselves look to be decent fire starter , and as such have collected a small tin full .
Fatwood is superior , but we live in a country of Gumtrees .
 

old4570

John McDouall Stuart
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Brisa Knife & Ferro

I was playing with the Brisa & Gum ..
And seeing how dry the gum was getting , decided to try and Ferro it !
The Brisa was throwing Ferro all over the place , including at my face ..
Anyways , not sure how many times the ferro lit the gum ? But the wind just kept putting it out .
In fact , the wind just kept blowing out the gum even when I got a decent start with some added Fatwood goodness .
In the end I had to start a Fatwood fire and then dump it on the gum and that got the party started .

Just have to remember a nice lump of shaved gum .. Nothing less will do !
 

old4570

John McDouall Stuart
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More Ferro & Gum

Gum Shavings
VS
Gum Shavings + Gum Chips
VS
Gum Shavings + Gum Chips + Gum Sticks

Results ...
Everything added to the gum shavings retards fire starting ! Yes , just makes it harder to burn ! ( Burn )
Gum can very much be a PITA .. Unless you cheat !
Gum smothers very easily ..

And I think where the shavings rule is they retain oxygen better ( light and fluffy ) .
My cam battery gave out as things got interesting ( 3rd stage = Shavings + Chips + Sticks )
The fire just kept going out ... The only gum that really wanted to burn was the shavings .
But they kept being smothered .

In the end I shaved some FATwood , pilled the gum on top the Fat shavings and snap crackle and pop ... I had a small fire going .
Because the Fatwood burns hard and hot , it was what the gum sticks needed to burn .

Yes , this is gumtree country . So one must learn to ferro Gum .
Fatwood is simply amazing , but is not really naturally occurring . Does Gum - Sap ? Better Question , does it burn ?
Eucalyptus oil apparently becomes a vapour / gas in hot weather and this makes for a serious fire hazard . ( So they say )
 

old4570

John McDouall Stuart
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Scraping stick !
This is what / why I process my Bunnings fatwood down to = Scraping stick !

Scrape / shave your fatwood for scrapings / shavings for much easier ferro & fire .


One scraping stick can start quite a few fires . ( Camp fires ) And just makes life easier .
If the spine of your knife is not sharp enough , just use the edge of your blade .
If your edge rolls (?) , buy a better knife !

P/s This was my BBQ graded wood !
 

OutdoorAcademy

Russell Coight
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Stringy Bark (Eucalyptus Myrtaceae) is my go to tinder for Ferro. The bark when fluffed out takes a spark or ember well and the wood burns hot and long as it is a hardwood. I haven't tried using the back of my knife to scrape up some tinder. I may try that when it stops raining. Then again that is when you need a fire the most so may try tomorrow.
 

old4570

John McDouall Stuart
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Yes , the bark looks to burn better than the wood .
I have been drying some gum for a little while now , and just cut a piece the other day to continue my Gum experiments .
I really want to see how dry bark goes when scrapped .. I forgot to scrape the bark when wet .
 

old4570

John McDouall Stuart
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Gumtree Bark ! ( Woof )
Smoulders .... Scrapped it and Woof , it's bad .
Burns good when you add FatWood .. But that just might be the fat sizzling . ( Burns hotter so the gum bark burns as well )
As a fire starter , the shaved / scrapped Gum might be better . ( But that's just the piece I have to play with )
 

old4570

John McDouall Stuart
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CH3530 D2 Liner Lock Flipper - Is it Bushcrafty ?

A very decent knife with good edge holding .
Edge is easy to maintain / sharpen .
Solid knife .
But aside from testing edge retention and opening a few parcels !
Never did much with this knife work wise .
So , time to do something .
A) Nice sharp knife
B) Can do bushy crafty chores
C) AAAAaaaaaaargh !!!!! The flipper tab gets in the way and is a super annoying hot spot ! ( I thought this might be the case ) To bushcraft this knife , the flipper tab would need to be ground away . It's not the end of the world , but that tab is simply amazingly in the way of a comfortable bushcrafty grip .

The CH3530 is still a good knife , but not very BC friendly .


I had some saw dust from gripping a DIY blade . The wood used is the same that went on the Brisa .
I remember it was some sort of Tasmanian wood (?)
Looks like that saw dust burns ok & ferro's ok .
Though shaved / stripped gum is probably batter . ( Play is play )
 
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old4570

John McDouall Stuart
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QSP Parrot D2 ...

A) Very nice pocketable knife
B) D2 blade with a greater than 90deg spine
C) Makes for a decent bushcrafty pocket knife
D) Ferro friendly
Processes wood well enough , scrapes wood well .
The one thing that is painful , is the thumb studs .
When you scrape wood with the spine , the thumb studs can bit you & it hursts .
I really like the Parrot D2 , but I would dearly love to see this same knife made as a lock back .
Would really like to see a Parrot lock back .
 

old4570

John McDouall Stuart
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Spyderco Paramilitary ...

Comfortable cutter
Finger choil was a hotspot when scrapping Gum with the spine of the knife blade
Felt nice N solid , ferro's well enough .
This knife could be a bushcrafting folder !
 

old4570

John McDouall Stuart
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Opinel No9
Is it bushcrafty at all ?
Surprisingly yes .
It has a very round handle , so I thought it might be a roller . But no . was a reasonably comfortable cutter .
I thought the blade might be too thin ! Yes and no .. Toward the tip of the blade there is serious flexing going on .
But if you do your heavier cuts toward the back of the blade , then it's no where near as noticeable .

The spine is nice and 90 degrees so scrapes wood and throws ferro .

The blade is narrow and thin , which places your fingers very close to a razor sharp edge when supporting the back of the blade .
That could easily turn into a bloody mess ! ( Scrapping wood with the spine )

Is the Opinel a 100+ year old bushcrafty folder = yes !
It is most likely not the best BC folder you could buy , but if your feeling nostalgic and brave .
Use it within it's capabilities and it should serve you well , go DBK on it and suffer the consequences .

 

old4570

John McDouall Stuart
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Civivi Dogma ..
Was never happy with this knife till I hit it with the 60 grit edge .
How will it process wood ( gum )
The spine of the knife is rounded , so ........
I had not choice but to scrape wood with the edge ..
And the edge is a little fine . Blade is hollow ground with not a lot of meat behind the edge .

Most of the blade was ok after scrapping wood , but the hardest hit part of the blade = Lost edge !
Definitely needs more than stropping to restore that part of the blade .
Most of the blade stropped back except for the bit near the handle .

The finger choil was just right for a bit of ferro work and .....................

Obviously not the best choice of knife for being bushcrafty , but in a pinch it will do the job .

 

old4570

John McDouall Stuart
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FT2103 ...
I liked the edge holding on this knife when I tested it .

It scrapped Gum like a champ ( because the spine had a burr )
That burr just ate the wood .
But when I hit the ferro , the ferro wore away the burr ..
So the 2nd time around , scrapping wood was ordinary .
I stoned the spine a little to sharpen it up , Cos this little knife can be a nice bushcrafty folder .
 
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