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my current striker collection

PeteB

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flint does occur here in Australia, it's just very scarce and the only major deposits that we have are in South Australia (Mt Gambia region).
Flint isn't the only sparkable rock flint and steel users can use however and thankfully Australia does have a lot of other sparkable stones all over the place, quartzite/quartz, petrified wood and jasper are the main ones you'll be looking for, with quartzite being the most plentiful.
Well, we have tons of white quartz on our farm so might do some experimenting. If that’s the stuff you are referring to.
 

Wave Man

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Well, we have tons of white quartz on our farm so might do some experimenting. If that’s the stuff you are referring to.
quartz sparks fine, it's just a little fragile and doesn't last as long as other rocks (you'll find the edge blunts quickly), it is a fine sparkable rock however and I use quartz (in several forms) regularly. I have used rose, clear, white and smokey quartz.

I do suggest if you are just starting out in flint and steel you do get your hands on some flint as well, you can buy single pieces for a few dollars each on ebay

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/282023341895?ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649

just so you can get a feel for flint for comparison, it's called "flint" and steel for a reason...LoL
 

PeteB

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quartz sparks fine, it's just a little fragile and doesn't last as long as other rocks (you'll find the edge blunts quickly), it is a fine sparkable rock however and I use quartz (in several forms) regularly. I have used rose, clear, white and smokey quartz.

I do suggest if you are just starting out in flint and steel you do get your hands on some flint as well, you can buy single pieces for a few dollars each on ebay

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/282023341895?ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649

just so you can get a feel for flint for comparison, it's called "flint" and steel for a reason...LoL
quartz sparks fine, it's just a little fragile and doesn't last as long as other rocks (you'll find the edge blunts quickly), it is a fine sparkable rock however and I use quartz (in several forms) regularly. I have used rose, clear, white and smokey quartz.

I do suggest if you are just starting out in flint and steel you do get your hands on some flint as well, you can buy single pieces for a few dollars each on ebay

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/282023341895?ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649

just so you can get a feel for flint for comparison, it's called "flint" and steel for a reason...LoL
we're doing well here. Now, can you tell me if the strikers you use are any special type of steel? By the pictures, they look a bit like cast steel. Oh, and thanks for the link, I'll certainly follow that up.
 

Wave Man

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we're doing well here. Now, can you tell me if the strikers you use are any special type of steel? By the pictures, they look a bit like cast steel. Oh, and thanks for the link, I'll certainly follow that up.
strikers are a whole subject on themselves mate. These are hand-forged high carbon steel. Old files work,

 

PeteB

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After reading your last post, I grabbed a file out of the shed, picked up a lump of quartz & when I worked out where the sparks were going, had some success! Amazing, & who said ya can’t teach an old dog new tricks . Thanks a lot for the help. 😊
 

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PeteB

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Wave Man. Finally got to watching your video and very interesting. Yep, I have tons of the quartzite on the farm. Now I have also seen the quartz crystals around but as we've had a massive season over here with feed (pasture) up to our knees, rocks lying on the ground are a real challenge to locate. There is a large quartz seam that runs right through our farm and the quartzite is on a knoll in the bush, then there are the occasional quartz crystals in the paddocks -if I can find them. You mentioned in the video to take the teeth off the file. Well, I just attacked the quartzite with an oldish file, teeth and all which seemed to work. Anyway, now I have seen the images of those rocks, I know what I'm looking for.
Cheers
Pete
 

Wave Man

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too easy mate, yeah that looks like quartzite to me, very similar to the rock I have, nice stone, reliable sparker.

I would suggest grinding the teeth of the edge of the file and making the strike edge smooth (ensuring as you do you dip the file in water so you never get it hot and ruin the hardness) as the teeth chip out the edge of your stone quicker, which is counterproductive to what you want.
When making a file striker I grind the entire edge smooth all around the file and bevels so I can use any of the edges to strike on. Old files are pretty good strikers and many a fire has been started them file strikers. You will find the file teeth on the sides are handy as they give you grip and you can still use the file as a file too if the need arises.

Down the track, you may want to put it in a forge and quench your file striker but that isn't necessary and many people go their entire lifetime just using an old file as their striker.
I do find quenching them however makes them spark even better as files are tempered somewhat whereas when you quench them you don't temper them and they become brittle hard and spark brilliantly.
 

PeteB

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Morning bud.
I think your file looked like a Flat Bastard to me. Now, that pic I sent you was a result of striking the rock on the flat vertical surface with a complete file. as its a little hard to see from your video clips, do you strike the rock on the leading edge? when I belted the rock, I had the fire starter sitting on the bench below the rock so the sparks would fall on it.
I guess where i'm at from your clip, by striking the top edge, the sparks actually go along the top surface and into the starting material ?
Another random thought, have you ever tried granite rocks? reason I ask is that occasionally we have harvesting fires here started by header fronts actually striking granite rocks in the crops and igniting them.
 

Wave Man

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Pete I'll do a video tomorrow showing in detail of a file striker of how I do it.

As far as granite, it's hard enough (6 Moh's) but I doubt it has the crystal structure like quartz to spark adequately for our purposes.
 

PeteB

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Hi Dean, Found an old file, ground down one edge then tried it on that lump of quartzite I originally used so successfully. What an incredible failure!
About 5 minutes ago, I came across a piece of actual quartz as I was walking down to the house, so I dug out my file striker and immediate success. The stuff sparks like crazy. So now I know finally what i'm looking for and there is no shortage of the stuff around here either.
Cheers,
Pete
 

Aussie123

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...Another random thought, have you ever tried granite rocks? reason I ask is that occasionally we have harvesting fires here started by header fronts actually striking granite rocks in the crops and igniting them.

"Granite" is comprised of a matrix of crystals.
Most of the minerals (feldspar, biotite etc) are quite soft, but quartz is a key component too ... and that will spark.

"Granite" varies is composition and can be crumbly or hard, coarse of fine grained, and have more or less quartz ... so try it and see.


(I put granite in quotes because there are a lot of different rocks which we commonly just call granite, but may have other names to a geologist depending on their composition)
 

PeteB

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Aussie 123,
That's good to know and the only reason I asked is that we have heaps of granite on farm and quite often I see the quartz crystals (i think) shining in the sun. In this area, topography changes super quickly. It can go from granite through iron stone, quartzite (& quartz :) ) into river sand in a matter of 100 yards or so.
 

bc360

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and various makers, including my oversized Cracked Anvil and BlackThorne Titanium and custom ferro rod/striker combo and file striker
jmROwG3.jpg

Nice collection!
I've got a couple of questions:
What size is the grid on your graph paper?
Which is the blackthorne titanium striker, is it the one in the 6 o clock position in the photo?

Thanks.
 

Wave Man

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Nice collection!
I've got a couple of questions:
What size is the grid on your graph paper?
Which is the blackthorne titanium striker, is it the one in the 6 o clock position in the photo?

Thanks.
hey mate, grid size is 1cm squares

blackthorne titanium striker is the c type, bottom line second from the left.
 

bc360

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Thanks a lot!
I wanted to make sure I could fit my fingers in it before buying it.
 

Wave Man

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two strikers, I knocked up yesterday, the top one is for me, the other is for my son. Both are made from Wiltshire Australia files (IMHO the best files to make strikers from). This is the first time I put my makers mark on file strikers.

I have finally gotten to the point where my work is something to be proud of, looks good and works very well.

I have a forging video in The Workshop section showing me forging the top striker.

lEs2WPi.jpg
 
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