I've been studying primitive fire making techniques; everything from the bow drill, to the fire thong and, while my favorite has to be the fire thong or rattan or bamboo saw type, because they can be made with no modern tools, I came upon something in my research that is, perhaps not as primitive but, definitely cool.
It's called a fire piston and, interestingly enough, it has something in common with modern engines; diesel engines in particular. It uses compression to light an ember from a piece of char cloth, tree bark, or other easily lit tinder. Best of all it's really fast. Once you have your ember lit, you just put it in your tinder bundle and blow up a fire. How cool is that?
You can find lots of cool videos about fire pistons on youtube. Just search for fire piston. You can see them being made and being used by people who use them every day. The fire piston is traditionally made of bamboo, rattan, or some other soft wood, but I'm going to share this video of a modern version, that works just as well, made of aluminum. Watch this guy strike up a "spark", literally in a split second.
You can buy one of these on ebay for about $15 and up, and I'm sure there are plenty of other sites on the web that sell them in various forms. I got one right away. I can't wait to try it out! I'm definitely going to make one, but I want to try a proven design first. I've seen these made of dowels and copper tubing from the hardware store, in addition to traditional materials, so there are a lot of options to make this simple but very clever device. One fellow made one out of a dowel and a mag-light, and stores some tinder in the body of it. It's the light that lights a fire. No batteries required.
If you're into survival stuff, or science and history, please check it out and comment. Of course, feel free to comment about this and other fire making tech, or anything at all.
Here is a really neat fire piston made of clear acrylic, so you can see it working!
Last Edit: Sept 11, 2015 19:09:00 GMT -5 by scooter