Author Topic: Monthly Project - November 2013  (Read 26068 times)

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Offline WI_Woodsman

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Monthly Project - November 2013
« on: October 31, 2013, 09:46:07 PM »
This month's project will be pretty simple, a lot of you guys think out side the box so it will be interesting to see what is created.   ;)

November 2013 Monthly Project will be to make a custom handle for your Ferro Rod.

I enjoy using Ferro Rod to create fire, I prefer the Swedish made Light My Fire Ferro Rods but when I saw a Coghlan's brand (at the local Farm & Fleet) for pennies on the dollar I snatched it up!  It wasn't a such a bad buy but the handle fell off after a couple dozen strikes.  Ahh... What do you expect it said "Made in China" on it!   :P  So when you get lemons you gotta make some lemonade!  This little mishap gave me an opportunity to make a way cooler custom handle the old one was a small stubby piece of plastic that was difficult to get a decent purchase on!

The guidelines for the project are to make a custom handle for your Ferro Rod!  You can use any kind of material and any size diameter Rod!

For my replacement handle I wanted to use antler.



I selected a tine of stag antler that feels good in the hand.



The saw on my Leatherman Wave is perfect for making clean cuts.  (Always wear a dust mask when cutting antler!)



I'm using a drum sander to knock off the sharp edge from the cut.



I drilled about a 3/4 inch socket for the Ferro Rod.



I got the hole centered pretty good.



I got the old "mad scientist" epoxy syringe.   



2 tons worth of GRIP!  Never coming off again!



Time to give it the test!



Much better than the original!



This was my first time making a custom handle for my ferro rod and I'm quite pleased how it came out!  My only regret is that I waited so long to do this project (I've had the Ferro Rod for a few years now)...   :-[

I'm looking forward to seeing your custom handle!

Offline zammer

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2013, 11:18:12 PM »
Question....can ferro rods be cut to make them shorter, and if so, would a hacksaw be the right blade for the job? thanks

p.s...sweet little drawer set-up
"big fish like to live in bad places, that's how they get to be big fish"

Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2013, 12:52:40 AM »
Question....can ferro rods be cut to make them shorter, and if so, would a hacksaw be the right blade for the job? thanks

p.s...sweet little drawer set-up

You can use a hack saw, and I recommend cutting them underwater. ;)

Offline WI_Woodsman

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2013, 06:55:30 AM »
Question....can ferro rods be cut to make them shorter, and if so, would a hacksaw be the right blade for the job? thanks

p.s...sweet little drawer set-up

Thanks, I can't quite remember how I came across those drawers...   :shrug:

Yeah, for the project the Ferro Rod doesn't have to be a predetermined length, like PW said cutting them seem problematic, take caution what ever you do!
« Last Edit: November 01, 2013, 09:02:07 PM by WI_Woodsman »

Offline OutdoorEnvy

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2013, 07:21:24 AM »
what a coincidence.  I was thinking of making some up for stocking stuffer gifts at Christmas.  It'll be neat to see what people pick for handles.  Nice idea WiW
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Offline wolfy

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2013, 08:31:32 AM »
Zammer, whatever you decide to do......be sure to video the process! >:D
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Offline Moe M.

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2013, 10:31:44 AM »

  A quick story about my first experience in making a new handle for a Ferro Rod,  I had traded for pair of BHK's with natural Micarta scales and made a couple of new sheaths for them that included Ferro Rod sleeves on the sides of each sheath.
 The only Rods I had already had those plastic thumb handles on them,  so I had to free the rods from their existing handles,  my idea was to use something that would somewhat match the color of the Micarta knife scales,  I chose a couple of deer leg bones which I shaped and sanded to the Right size but still retained the ball socket of the bone like a pommel,  then drilled the end for a leather lanyard, and dyed them a near match to the knife scales.
  My first idea to remove the plastic handle from the ferro rod was to cut it off flush at it's existing handle,  so I screwed the plastic handle into the jaws of my hobby vice,  place a folded paper towel on my bench top to catch the saw filings and give it a go,  it only took one pass with the saw to set the paper towel on fire from the ensuing sparks.
  OK, next,  no problem,  I'll just heat up the rod with my propane torch and melt the plastic handle enough to pull it out,  well the rod started to get red in no time flat,  so I took the heat away figuring it was good enough,  but the rod turned from a dull red to a glowing cherry color,  and then took on a hint of straw color ( this thing was now heating itself up) and it started to slowly droop,  lucky for me I had emptied my pack and had laid my small 6" inch cast iron skillet on the end of my work bench,  I grabbed the skillet just in time to place it under the drooping fire rod as it broke away from it's handle and headed for the carpeted floor of my work shop,  as soon as it hit the cold cast iron it started to throw sparks and shrivel up,  looking like a piece of cat scat.
  For anyone not accustomed to how ferro rods react when heated,  they act very much like willie peter, you can't put it out once it starts burning,  and if you think throwing it away from you is a good idea,  are you ever in for a surprise,  the stuff explodes violently.
  A few months later at one of our bushcraft meets I mentioned what had happened with the ferro rod to one of our regulars and he started to laugh,  then he asked if anyone had a bic lighter they didn't need,  someone did and he took it apart to rescue the flint (which is actually a small ferro rod) and the spring that the flint rests on,  then he stuck the flint into the spring as a holder and took another lighter and used it to heat up the flint,  it didn't take long to get the piece of flint glowing,  then he threw it at a good sized boulder and it, as small as it was, exploded like an M-80 sending a huge ball of sparks in the air,  the point is,  don't fool with ferro rods if you don't know what they are capable of doing.
 I did end up freeing the rods from the holders by sticking them in boiling water for a minute or two and the came out easily,  I then used epoxy to bond the rods to the bone handles,  they came out looking very good,  but my not knowing how to treat ferro rod material could have ended up bad if I hadn't been so lucky.   
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2013, 11:38:52 AM »
Very good story of lessons learned, Moe. And I'm still trying to get the coffee out of my nasal passages.  :lol:
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Offline zammer

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2013, 12:42:47 PM »
I must admit I wasn't even thinking about the sparkage factor, but I will be now. Thanks for the tips and suggestions folks, don't worry wolfy the camera is usually never far off... 8)
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Offline Moe M.

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2013, 02:00:37 PM »
Very good story of lessons learned, Moe. And I'm still trying to get the coffee out of my nasal passages.  :lol:

  It's funny now,  but I'll tell ya,  when it started getting hotter on it's own I felt very much like the kid who has gotten too close to the fuse on an M-80 with a lit match in his bedroom,  you know it's going to go off and you can't put it out,  but you don't know what to do with it.
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2013, 02:31:16 PM »
Very good story of lessons learned, Moe. And I'm still trying to get the coffee out of my nasal passages.  :lol:

  It's funny now,  but I'll tell ya,  when it started getting hotter on it's own I felt very much like the kid who has gotten too close to the fuse on an M-80 with a lit match in his bedroom,  you know it's going to go off and you can't put it out,  but you don't know what to do with it.

"Ferro rod flaccidity". I'm still laughing......
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Offline Moe M.

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2013, 06:53:28 PM »
Very good story of lessons learned, Moe. And I'm still trying to get the coffee out of my nasal passages.  :lol:

  It's funny now,  but I'll tell ya,  when it started getting hotter on it's own I felt very much like the kid who has gotten too close to the fuse on an M-80 with a lit match in his bedroom,  you know it's going to go off and you can't put it out,  but you don't know what to do with it.

"Ferro rod flaccidity". I'm still laughing......

  If nothing else,  I've always got a good story in my experiences to relate.    :thumbsup:
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Offline MATT CHAOS

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2013, 07:52:15 AM »
I've made a few along the way and I will post the ones that I have pictures of still.

Unfortunately that's the only photo I have right now. I will try to take a picture of a few more.
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Offline WI_Woodsman

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2013, 08:46:13 AM »
"Stocking stuffer gifts at Christmas," I like the cut of your jib OE!   ;)  This project was relatively easy to crank out, guess what my brothers and uncles are getting for Christmas?

Lol, I wish I could have been a fly on the wall of your work shop Moe!   :lol:   

Offline zammer

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2013, 08:53:34 AM »
I like the cut of your jib OE!   ;) 

LOL... henceforth WI W you shall be addressed as,  Mr B..... :cheers:
"big fish like to live in bad places, that's how they get to be big fish"

Offline WI_Woodsman

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2013, 08:57:42 AM »
I like the cut of your jib OE!   ;) 

LOL... henceforth WI W you shall be addressed as,  Mr B..... :cheers:

(...I may regret asking this) why Mr. B?

Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2013, 09:02:03 AM »
My retail outlets here are pretty limited, but can anyone give me a clue who, or what type of store might carry plain ferro rods? I've looked on-line, and most are sold in bulk. Also, I'm thoroughly confused by all the grades and brands.

Other question. How brittle are they?  Could a 1/4" or 5/16" rod be cut with bolt cutters?
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Offline zammer

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2013, 09:27:26 AM »

(...I may regret asking this) why Mr. B?

 :shocked:    It was a classic line from Mr Burns in the Simpsons....

Homer:You in charge here?
Mr. Burns:Yes.
Smithers:I'll call security sir.
Homer:If you want the kind of employee that takes abuse I'm your man. You can treat me like dirt and I'll still kiss your butt and call it ice cream.
Mr. Burns:Hold the phone Smithers. I like the cut of your jib.
Smithers:But sir this man not only failed the aptitude test he got trapped in a closet on his way out.
Mr. Burns:I don't care. I haven't been this impressed since a young bootlick named Waylon Smithers.
Homer:You mean?
Mr. Burns:Son you're hired. What's your name?
Homer:Homer Simpson.
Mr. Burns:Simpson eh? I'll remember that name.
Homer:WHOO HOO! Only in America could I get a job.
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Offline hunter63

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2013, 12:38:16 PM »
Have cut a few with a hacksaw.....just don't do it over something flammable....same a grinder that throws sparks.
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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2013, 10:22:57 PM »
This is an appropriate thread for me. I seem to have lost my ferro rod that I normally carry in my pocket some time in the last month or so. Can't fathom where I lost it. It might or might not turn up. Anyhow I need to make another one.

Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2013, 10:31:57 PM »
I want to do this, and I have plenty of antler laying around. I just need to come up with a ferro rod without having to go out and buy a new one to dismantle. I can't even steal on from my kids. They all carry Coughlins.
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Offline WI_Woodsman

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #21 on: November 03, 2013, 07:33:07 AM »
I just want to reiterate that if you don't have antler you certainly can use another material like bone, stone, wood, metal, micarta or what ever you may have on hand...

Hey O.P. you can buy single quality Ferro Rods from FireSteel.com (pardon the misnomer)...   

Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #22 on: November 03, 2013, 08:05:47 AM »
I just want to reiterate that if you don't have antler you certainly can use another material like bone, stone, wood, metal, micarta or what ever you may have on hand...

Hey O.P. you can buy single quality Ferro Rods from FireSteel.com (pardon the misnomer)...
Thanks for the link. I'll bookmark that for future reference.
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Offline jontok

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #23 on: November 03, 2013, 08:55:07 AM »
this is the last one I did (a while ago)... Have to give it a try again.
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Offline Moe M.

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #24 on: November 03, 2013, 01:06:02 PM »
I want to do this, and I have plenty of antler laying around. I just need to come up with a ferro rod without having to go out and buy a new one to dismantle. I can't even steal on from my kids. They all carry Coughlins.

  Maybe I'm just lucky but I've never got a bad ferro rod,  I have some that I paid $15.00 for and a few that I paid a $1.95 for at Cabella's  and two Caughlins that I bought at Dick's Spts. for a few dollars,  they all spark fine.
  I think that all the hype about different quality in brands is a myth,  I find it's got more to do with the striker,  sharpness of the edge being used to drag across the rod,  and the technique of the user.
  My advice is buy the cheapest ones you can find or steal your kids Coughlin and use boiling water to get the hanle off.

  Oh yah,  I have a fettish for ferro rods,  I can't walk by a sporting goods isle without buying a new one if it's on sale.    :doh:
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #25 on: November 03, 2013, 01:13:23 PM »
...
  I think that all the hype about different quality in brands is a myth,  I find it's got more to do with the striker,  sharpness of the edge being used to drag across the rod,  and the technique of the user.
 
My favorite striker is a hacksaw blade. One came with a ferro-magnesium starter with a stag handle I got at a rendezvous. Maybe that's why everything goes *POOF!* when a person tries to cut a ferro rod with a hacksaw?  :-\
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Offline Moe M.

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #26 on: November 03, 2013, 05:52:04 PM »
...
  I think that all the hype about different quality in brands is a myth,  I find it's got more to do with the striker,  sharpness of the edge being used to drag across the rod,  and the technique of the user.
 
My favorite striker is a hacksaw blade. One came with a ferro-magnesium starter with a stag handle I got at a rendezvous. Maybe that's why everything goes *POOF!* when a person tries to cut a ferro rod with a hacksaw?  :-\

   Same here,  my fixed blade users all  have the spine squared and a rolled edge for striking sparks on a ferro rod,  but I have an edc kit set up on a spring hook that has a ferro rod on it and I have a wood/metal small Saws-All hacksaw blade as a striker,  I ground off the paint on the spine and squared it,  then I put two layers of friction tape over the saw teeth to keep from cutting myself,  so if ever I need a handy saw in a pinch I got one, and as a striker it's hard to beat a hacksaw blade.
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Offline hunter63

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #27 on: November 03, 2013, 05:57:20 PM »
this is the last one I did (a while ago)... Have to give it a try again.


Very nice.....great work....Thanks for posting.
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Offline WI_Woodsman

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #28 on: November 03, 2013, 06:05:17 PM »
this is the last one I did (a while ago)... Have to give it a try again.


Very nice.....great work....Thanks for posting.

+1

Is that burl wood Jontok?

Offline hunter63

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #29 on: November 03, 2013, 06:29:35 PM »
Christian, do you have a vice for that drill press?....sorta gives me the willies seeing ya hold the antler in your hand like that......just saying.
BTW working with antler, drilling sanding or cutting in the basement is not advised if DW is having a Home Interiors party.....just speaking for past experience.....LOL
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #30 on: November 03, 2013, 06:38:16 PM »
Christian, do you have a vice for that drill press?....sorta gives me the willies seeing ya hold the antler in your hand like that......just saying....
Vice? We don't need no stinkin' vice!  Real men can only count to 9, anyway. BTW, I found out the hard way what an "orbital sander" really was. Orbital velocity is a lot less than we've been told!
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Offline hunter63

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #31 on: November 03, 2013, 07:12:31 PM »
.....and a Craftsman belt sander, up side down in a vice, locked on....can be a real treat as well.......
Geezer Squad, Evoking the 50 year old rule..First 50 years, worried about the small stuff, second 50 years....Not so much

Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #32 on: November 03, 2013, 08:03:27 PM »
.....and a Craftsman belt sander, up side down in a vice, locked on....can be a real treat as well.......
LOL! Been there, done that. Isn't that how the catapult was invented?
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Offline jontok

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #33 on: November 04, 2013, 01:42:07 PM »
Hunter63: Thanks for the compliment. :)

WI_Woodsman: Yep, I believe it was birch burl... Or was it oak burl...?
Intercrafting: The art of venturing out on the internet, and finding pics of things you can't be bothered to do in real life. :D  -Me

Offline JTD

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #34 on: November 05, 2013, 10:20:26 PM »
I whipped up a few things tonight.. Decide to use a hand drill for all the holes.  Twas a good little project to get my mind off things! 





BLO rub



Lanyards

   

Thanks  :D

Offline JTD

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #35 on: November 05, 2013, 10:32:29 PM »
I got mine straight from China.  I believe this was the seller.   

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Lot-8-Ferrocerium-5-16-Flint-Fire-Starter-Magnesium-Rod-kits-lighter-Survival-/150797014504?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item231c33d5e8

LMF of course are the best, but for the price, I'd rather have 8 cheapos to play with.  I've never actually worn out any ferro rod I've ever had, this is mostly do to losing them..  :-[ 

Offline wolfy

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #36 on: November 05, 2013, 11:05:20 PM »
Well, that was an evening well spent.....very nice craftsmanship, too! :thumbsup:   As far as the quality of the Chinese ferro rods vs. the LMF goes, I couldn't really ever tell any difference. :shrug:   I bought several to give away with some old antler scraps I had laying around and I thought they worked every bit as well as the higher priced ones. ???
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Offline JTD

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #37 on: November 06, 2013, 04:23:44 AM »
Thanks wolfy.

The only thing I noticed with the cheap rods is they seem softer than a LMF to me.  So I guess if you'd like your spark stick to last that could be important, but then again they could be exactly the same.  I tend to abuse my cheap rods ie, scrap so hard it drops molten lava onto the ground while standing up, cut off shaving into tinders, use saw blades on them, etc.  Then I usually lightly scrape the swiss steel, just so it sparks..    Either way they both start fires! 
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Offline crashdive123

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #38 on: November 06, 2013, 08:12:22 AM »
I had a little material left over from a handle I'm working on, so - finished this up today.










Offline JTD

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #39 on: November 06, 2013, 08:17:24 AM »
Very nice CD!

Offline OutdoorEnvy

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #40 on: November 06, 2013, 08:19:34 AM »
Nice work JTD and crashdrive

JTD's antler work is pretty good, I'm still rockin his giveaway kit from awhile back that had an antler ferro rod and an antler handled knife with a bowdrill socket.  Good stuff man and it's still much appreciated! 
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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #41 on: November 06, 2013, 09:40:11 AM »
Well done guys! I need to get on this one soon. Maybe today if I can catch a minute or two out by the lathe... ;)

Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #42 on: November 06, 2013, 09:55:16 AM »
Just a thought. I've seen a lot of fire starters made with the ferro rod epoxied onto a magnesium bar (e.g., the Coughlin style). How about setting the ferro rod into one end of a magnesium rod? The Mag rod would be the handle.
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Offline WI_Woodsman

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #43 on: November 06, 2013, 04:01:36 PM »
Christian, do you have a vice for that drill press?....sorta gives me the willies seeing ya hold the antler in your hand like that......just saying.


I do not...   :(

In hindsight I should have put a disclaimer to that image, maybe that wasn't the safest way to drill a hole in the antler.  However, I can assure you that my digits weren't in harms way, thanks for your concern though John.   ;)

I had a little material left over from a handle I'm working on, so - finished this up today.




 
Love the grain pattern on this handle Crashdive!   ;D

« Last Edit: November 06, 2013, 04:07:52 PM by WI_Woodsman »

Offline hunter63

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #44 on: November 06, 2013, 04:06:42 PM »
That handle just seems to be on fire in the first pic, Crash.....
JTD and Crash, nice work.
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Offline WI_Woodsman

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #45 on: November 06, 2013, 04:10:39 PM »

BLO rub



The Boiled Linseed Oil gives it a nice sheen I'll have to give this a try...

Offline crashdive123

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #46 on: November 06, 2013, 04:42:21 PM »
The funny thing about mine is that the scraps that were left over were so small that I would normally just toss them in the trash.  The starting pieces weren't much bigger than what you see - so it did take 4 of them to make the handle.  This monthly project has caused me to re-think that when I have some interesting handle material. 

Offline diogenes

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #47 on: November 10, 2013, 06:42:13 PM »
A couple experiments tonight. I'm not quite ready to hack up my army firesteel yet, so I knocked the rods out of a couple crappy Chinese mag sticks. (I hate those things so might as well...)

A cork-handled one that would presumably float if dropped in water and a mini ferro rod that you could put on a keychain or on a knife's lanyard:



Some really nice custom jobs, guys.
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #48 on: November 10, 2013, 06:50:13 PM »
I like the cork idea! I have about 50 corks laying around from my wine making supplies.
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Offline WI_Woodsman

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Re: Monthly Project - November 2013
« Reply #49 on: November 10, 2013, 07:39:59 PM »
Cork handel?  Brilliant idea, it floats, perfect size to get a decent purchase on, it's grippy and it doesn't suck the heat out of your hand on a biter Wisconsin winter.  I must admit Diogenes, I will be stealing this idea in the future...   ;D