Author Topic: punk wood for fire starter  (Read 1452 times)

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Offline hayshaker

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punk wood for fire starter
« on: December 31, 2016, 06:05:05 PM »
one thing is punk wood good to have on hand in the fire kit or is it so so.
and does it resemble a dried almost cork like apearence?
honestly i've never used the stuff. so some ideas would be helpful
where to find i have a dead cherry tree that keeled over the lower trunk
where it broke off is bone dry and a almost cork ike apearence.
is that punk wood?

Offline SIXFOOTER

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Re: punk wood for fire starter
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2017, 07:27:40 AM »
Punk wood is good for fire making, if its dry. It will take a spark, burns nice and its light so you can carry a bit in th kit no problem.
It does look a bit corky but its not near as dense
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Offline hayshaker

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Re: punk wood for fire starter
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2017, 08:26:41 AM »
good i'm gunna go grab a piece and try it out,
thanks six footer,

Offline wolfy

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Re: punk wood for fire starter
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2017, 09:53:17 AM »
It helps if you char a portion of it before trying to catch a spark.  The charred area has a lower kindling temperature, so it more readily catches even a weaker spark.  Charring just a smaller portion of the punk seems to help the durability when carrying it around in your tinder box........on the other hand, an Altoid tin full of charred and crumbled punk catches sparks more readily than the other form.  Your call. :shrug:
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Offline RoamerJo

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Re: punk wood for fire starter
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2017, 03:19:55 PM »
Yeah it's good stuff. Back in Georgia I used to use it with Flint and steel and friction fires as a coal extender. But there were better things so I didn't use it all that much really. Now that I'm here in Alaska I went back to it for more experimentation. Can get it to straight up burn with a ferro rod but it will still catch a spark and smolder. But I might be doing something wrong.

Offline Quenchcrack

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Re: punk wood for fire starter
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2017, 09:26:33 AM »
Not much left to burn in punky wood but I do like it for F&S tinder.  I keep an altoids tin of it in my primitive fire kit. We dont have chaga down in Texas but we have a lot of punky wood.
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Offline Keith H

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Re: punk wood for fire starter
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2017, 02:19:04 AM »
one thing is punk wood good to have on hand in the fire kit or is it so so.
and does it resemble a dried almost cork like apearence?
honestly i've never used the stuff. so some ideas would be helpful
where to find i have a dead cherry tree that keeled over the lower trunk
where it broke off is bone dry and a almost cork ike apearence.
is that punk wood?




Keith.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference. Frost.

Offline duxdawg

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Re: punk wood for fire starter
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2018, 03:33:39 PM »
They say the Inuit have 27 words for snow. We ought to have at least that many for punkwoods.

First and most importantly there are the red rots and white rots.

Red rots are for smoke. This makes them useful for smudge pots for insects, smoking hides, signal fires, etc. Reds need much more tending than whites. Left untended long enough red rot punkwoods go out.

Whites are for embers. They will not only hold an ember, they will grow it. (I call materials that funtion like this "coal extenders" or CEs.) The best of them will burn down to nothing but fine white ash with only an ember touched to one side and no other tending. The very best white rot punkwoods will catch the sparks from F&S in their uncharred state. I coined the term "NUTs" (Natural Uncharred Tinders that will catch the sparks from Flint (the rock) and (high carbon) Steel, yielding an ember) a decade ago.

Of I recall correctly, my research showed that white rots feed on more aspects of the wood than reds. It is fascinating to me that certain rots produce a very similar product to pyrolysis. Basically they eat all the stuff that doesn't burn well, just as pyrolysis cooks off the same stuff. Amazing.

Offline duxdawg

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Re: punk wood for fire starter
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2018, 03:37:07 PM »
Then there are their ages.
(I have yet to systematically define terms to describe the various ages of punkwoods. Perhaps some day.)

The basic rule of thumb for aging punkwoods is how soft they are. When harder, heavier, if we can carve them (older types crumble before the knife), etc it shows that they are younger. The softer, lighter, more crumbly, etc the older. Neither the youngest nor the oldest punkwoods grow embers very well.

For CEs we want punkwoods from the middle towards, but not yet in, the older spectrum of their age cycle.

I have watched primo white rot punkwoods grow a larger, hotter ember more quickly than charcloth.

Offline duxdawg

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Re: punk wood for fire starter
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2018, 03:39:05 PM »
Great posts Wolfy and Keith. Thanks for sharing.

Offline Yeoman

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Re: punk wood for fire starter
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2018, 09:45:22 AM »
I'd never really paid attention to the type of rot (red/white) causing punk wood.
I do know that the type of wood affects the usability of the punkwood.
Birch is almost totally useless in the few instances that you find it.
White and red spruce aren't very good either. Black spruce is better(ish).
Red oak is pretty good as is rock maple.
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