Author Topic: Plant & Fungi Tinders.  (Read 2535 times)

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Offline Keith H

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Plant & Fungi Tinders.
« on: September 09, 2017, 03:13:49 AM »




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

Offline Quenchcrack

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Re: Plant & Fungi Tinders.
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2017, 01:34:36 PM »
I have been asked to present a demonstration of flint and steel fire starting during a lecture on frontier blacksmithing.  We are presenting the demo for a local book club who have just read a book on Texas History.  Just for practice, I started three fires this afternoon with different char materials, one of which was charred punk wood (Courtesy of one of Keith's videos).  I used tow flax for the tinder bundle because there is not much else dry to use just after 48" of rain.  I even got a sulfur splint to catch fire on the char ember.  Nice to know I can still catch a spark.
I guess he'd rather be in Colorado.
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Offline Keith H

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Re: Plant & Fungi Tinders.
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2017, 04:45:11 PM »
I have been asked to present a demonstration of flint and steel fire starting during a lecture on frontier blacksmithing.  We are presenting the demo for a local book club who have just read a book on Texas History.  Just for practice, I started three fires this afternoon with different char materials, one of which was charred punk wood (Courtesy of one of Keith's videos).  I used tow flax for the tinder bundle because there is not much else dry to use just after 48" of rain.  I even got a sulfur splint to catch fire on the char ember.  Nice to know I can still catch a spark.

Good one Qc, well done (Thanks for the plug  :)
Keith.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference. Frost.

Offline Quenchcrack

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Re: Plant & Fungi Tinders.
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2017, 12:06:36 PM »
I am getting my fire kit up to snuff and have discovered I was low on char cloth.  I have charred punk wood in good supply but like redundancy. I cut up a piece of 100% Cotton Terrycloth bath towel, put it in an Altoids tin, put it in my gas forge and got it up to a dull red and held it until it quit smoking.  I took it out, let the tin cool and opened it.  Yup, char cloth.  Except it was crispy to the touch and will NOT catch a spark.  I suspect the 100% Walmart cotton has a fair amount of polyester in it but wanted another opinion.  I will be looking for another source of 100% cotton, too.
I guess he'd rather be in Colorado.
-John Denver

Offline imnukensc

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Re: Plant & Fungi Tinders.
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2017, 12:57:42 PM »
I suspect you charred the char right out of it.
The universe is made up of protons, neutrons, electrons, and morons.

Offline Keith H

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Re: Plant & Fungi Tinders.
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2017, 04:19:11 PM »
I am getting my fire kit up to snuff and have discovered I was low on char cloth.  I have charred punk wood in good supply but like redundancy. I cut up a piece of 100% Cotton Terrycloth bath towel, put it in an Altoids tin, put it in my gas forge and got it up to a dull red and held it until it quit smoking.  I took it out, let the tin cool and opened it.  Yup, char cloth.  Except it was crispy to the touch and will NOT catch a spark.  I suspect the 100% Walmart cotton has a fair amount of polyester in it but wanted another opinion.  I will be looking for another source of 100% cotton, too.

Yes, it needs to be pure cotton or linen. In the 18th century it was often tow rag that was used if they were using cloth, & it was simply charred directly in the fire the same way as fungi & plant tinders. Amadou was sold on the city streets & at the apothecary shop. I don't bother with charred cloth anymore, plant & fungi tinders are far superior & readily available out bush.
Keith.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference. Frost.

Offline Quenchcrack

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Re: Plant & Fungi Tinders.
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2017, 06:57:20 PM »
Not much usable fungi in the gulf coast regions of the US.
I guess he'd rather be in Colorado.
-John Denver

Offline Keith H

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Re: Plant & Fungi Tinders.
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2017, 07:38:38 PM »
Not much usable fungi in the gulf coast regions of the US.

Well you have the advantage of me there, I don't know anything about that area. But where there is wood, there will be wood rot, so there should be punk wood. How about Cattail plants, Bulrush? You may need to do some experimenting with what you do have available there.
Keith.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference. Frost.

Offline Quenchcrack

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Re: Plant & Fungi Tinders.
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2017, 04:36:47 AM »
Well, I should say there is little on any fungus useful for tinder.  Wood rots quickly in the moist climate here so there is an abundance of punk wood.  Cat tails are found occasionally, too.  Pinecones and needles are abundant and fatwood can be found in the pine forests. I usually use three pine cones wrapped in a sheet of newspaper to start my coal forge.
I guess he'd rather be in Colorado.
-John Denver

Offline hayshaker

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Re: Plant & Fungi Tinders.
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2017, 04:58:46 PM »
QC cotton is cotton walmart or otherwise
just make sure it's 100% i've used walmart bath towles and the made great char cloth.

Offline duxdawg

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Re: Plant & Fungi Tinders.
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2018, 10:40:02 AM »


QC cotton is cotton walmart or otherwise 
just make sure it's 100% i've used walmart bath towles and the made great char cloth. 
Not true. They have a range of allowable other fibers within which they can still call it "100% Cotton". 100% cotton to lawyers is different than what we think of.

Some years ago I bought a package of  "100% cotton" rope that turned out to be a polyester core with a cotton sheath. Less than 50% of the rope (by volume) was actually cotton. After stripping the core it worked fine in a Tinder Tube or as char.

Further, there are fire retardant materials in many clothes and other household goods these days. These are not always listed on the packaging. Amazingly they hold much of their retardant properties even through charring.

Always an amazing amount of details to be learned.

Caveat emptor indeed.

Offline duxdawg

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Re: Plant & Fungi Tinders.
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2018, 11:10:38 AM »
I suspect you charred the char right out of it. 
Spot on! I can see from here that bath towel was overcharred.

Think of it as a continuum between not charred enough, just right, and overcharred.

  Let's take this piece by piece...

  I cut up a piece of 100% Cotton Terrycloth bath towel     
   
Good choice. Thicker and more tiny edges tends to work better.
   
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    put it in an Altoids tin,     
   
Not the best choice, but they do work. They work slightly better without additional holes.
   
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    put it in my gas forge and got it up to a dull red and     
   
Making the tin glow not only is more heat than needed, it unnecessarily hastens the diminishing of the lifespan of the tin. Also, the higher the heat the more narrow the window between not charred enough, just right, and overcharred. Can be done but it requires a finer touch.
   
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    held it until it quit smoking.     
   
While most recommend that, and many find that it does work, I have long found that by the time the smoke stops it is already overcharred. I watch for maximum smoke output and as soon as that noticeably decreases, take it off. Remember that it continues to char until cool. Also that undercharred materials can be charred again. Once overcharred there is nothing we can do.
   
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    Except it was crispy to the touch and will NOT catch a spark.     
   
Properly charred materials retain most of their original structure. Thus properly charred cloth is still flexible, tears with an audible ripping sound and has very little soot on it. Indeed, the less sooty the better as soot is merely overcharred dust. Overly sooty fingers when handling are a sign of poor char.
   
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    I will be looking for another source of 100% cotton, too.   
   
Perhaps a hasty decision. Once you are able to char pieces of this towel more optimally, only then will you be able to tell whether this is a good source for char or not.

Hope that helps.
Cheers!
 :fire1:
« Last Edit: February 27, 2018, 11:22:52 AM by duxdawg »

Offline duxdawg

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Re: Plant & Fungi Tinders.
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2018, 11:21:05 AM »
Well, I should say there is little on any fungus useful for tinder.  Wood rots quickly in the moist climate here so there is an abundance of punk wood.  Cat tails are found occasionally, too.  Pinecones and needles are abundant and fatwood can be found in the pine forests. 

Which fungi have you tried?
Most fungi work with F&S when charred. Any of the shelf fungi should work. Many polypores work. Some others do as well. Far from being a strike against your AO, rotting wood is a fave amongst many fungi, which makes one hopeful. ;)

The down/fluff from cattail heads makes great char intact or loose.

Beyond its usefulness with flame and ferros, fatwood is great in tinder bundles. Having attempted fatwood only tinder bundles, I have found that we need at least a little bit of some other material to bring the fatwood to flame. It is useful to think of fatwood as a candle. The resin is the wax and the wood fibers are the wick.