Magnesium Fire Starter Failures! Check yours!

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Mooha182
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Magnesium Fire Starter Failures! Check yours!

Post by Mooha182 » Sun Jul 22, 2012 6:35 pm

I saw this amazing literal video of this guy testing out various magnesium fire starter blocks. If you have an "off brand" one or have never tested yours, I would HIGHLY recommend checking it now!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frDMAOlI ... re=related" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

It would suck majorly if you were stuck with the one that didn't start in this video!

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Re: Magnesium Fire Starter Failures! Check yours!

Post by none1 » Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:24 pm

I agree everyone should always regularly test their gear.

Doesn't everyone light 5 to 10 fires a weekend, just to see what works? :)

Seriously, the firesteel rods (often also included on a magnesium bar) are often a new experience for folks. I have seen a number of people who couldnt start a fire with a firesteel for over 10 minutes their first time with them. They take practice.

Nice link, thanks!
ninja-elbow wrote: Almost every survival show I've ever seen has one common denominator: lack of caloric intake is shitty.

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Re: Magnesium Fire Starter Failures! Check yours!

Post by Burncycle » Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:12 pm

I had a failure a little bit ago. I love the mini-match style magnesium firestarters, they're really small. I take good care of them, and coat them in nail polish to help prevent oxidation when I store them. Well, not long ago I was using one that was a couple years old and the darn ferrocerium rod popped out of the magnesium portion! It was still usable of course, but because of how thin it was you ran the risk of snapping it in two. Besides that, if it had fallen out while it was on a keychain or something I might be left with just the magnesium when I needed it.

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Re: Magnesium Fire Starter Failures! Check yours!

Post by Flying Lead » Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:50 pm

I had a US surplus one loose it's ferro rod.
Nothing but the large Swedish Firesteel now.
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Re: Magnesium Fire Starter Failures! Check yours!

Post by Mooha182 » Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:34 am

none1 wrote:I agree everyone should always regularly test their gear.

Doesn't everyone light 5 to 10 fires a weekend, just to see what works? :)

Seriously, the firesteel rods (often also included on a magnesium bar) are often a new experience for folks. I have seen a number of people who couldnt start a fire with a firesteel for over 10 minutes their first time with them. They take practice.

Nice link, thanks!
Yeah no, I live in a apartment area the the minute I pull out my ham radio antenna, firesteel, or even walk to my car with my rifle (Virginia, open carry if I wanted to but it's locked in a case!) I get stared down like no there. So far no one has seen my "laundry room" or the food storage / preps room that my washer and dry happen to be in.

Seriously though, the failure to start when the guy put a lighter to the Chinese shavings was absolutely phenomenally bad.

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Re: Magnesium Fire Starter Failures! Check yours!

Post by none1 » Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:06 pm

Mooha182 wrote:
none1 wrote:I agree everyone should always regularly test their gear.

Doesn't everyone light 5 to 10 fires a weekend, just to see what works? :)

Seriously, the firesteel rods (often also included on a magnesium bar) are often a new experience for folks. I have seen a number of people who couldnt start a fire with a firesteel for over 10 minutes their first time with them. They take practice.

Nice link, thanks!
Yeah no, I live in a apartment area the the minute I pull out my ham radio antenna, firesteel, or even walk to my car with my rifle (Virginia, open carry if I wanted to but it's locked in a case!) I get stared down like no there. So far no one has seen my "laundry room" or the food storage / preps room that my washer and dry happen to be in.

Seriously though, the failure to start when the guy put a lighter to the Chinese shavings was absolutely phenomenally bad.
Step 1) Acquire 18 ways to start a fire
Step 2) Acquire $15 mini hibachi grill at hardware store, with charcoal
Step 3) Buy a zillion hotdogs in one pack for cheap at Sam's club
Step 4) Every Saturday grill hotdogs for lunch, for 18 weeks, using a different way to light the grill on fire

Profit.

K go.

:)
ninja-elbow wrote: Almost every survival show I've ever seen has one common denominator: lack of caloric intake is shitty.

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Re: Magnesium Fire Starter Failures! Check yours!

Post by Crow » Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:22 pm

none1 wrote:I agree everyone should always regularly test their gear.

Doesn't everyone light 5 to 10 fires a weekend, just to see what works? :)

Seriously, the firesteel rods (often also included on a magnesium bar) are often a new experience for folks. I have seen a number of people who couldnt start a fire with a firesteel for over 10 minutes their first time with them. They take practice.

Nice link, thanks!
Took me a while to get used to sparking a pile of magnesium without flicking the magnesium all over the place. lol

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Re: Magnesium Fire Starter Failures! Check yours!

Post by none1 » Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:49 pm

Crow wrote:
none1 wrote:I agree everyone should always regularly test their gear.

Doesn't everyone light 5 to 10 fires a weekend, just to see what works? :)

Seriously, the firesteel rods (often also included on a magnesium bar) are often a new experience for folks. I have seen a number of people who couldnt start a fire with a firesteel for over 10 minutes their first time with them. They take practice.

Nice link, thanks!
Took me a while to get used to sparking a pile of magnesium without flicking the magnesium all over the place. lol
And it is possible to burn a hole in your sock from the sparks from a fero rod if you're holding the fero rod above waist high and showering as many sparks onto the ground as you can quickly ......

Practice is good. sometimes .....
ninja-elbow wrote: Almost every survival show I've ever seen has one common denominator: lack of caloric intake is shitty.

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Re: Magnesium Fire Starter Failures! Check yours!

Post by Deenie7 » Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:03 pm

Mooha182 wrote:Yeah no, I live in a apartment area the the minute I pull out my ham radio antenna, firesteel, or even walk to my car with my rifle (Virginia, open carry if I wanted to but it's locked in a case!) I get stared down like no there. So far no one has seen my "laundry room" or the food storage / preps room that my washer and dry happen to be in.
Bathtubs make great fire experimentation places - water at hand, vent fan to suck out any fire, it's perfect! :D

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Re: Magnesium Fire Starter Failures! Check yours!

Post by omega_man » Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:13 pm

The kitchen is my laboratory. Cookie sheet with tin foil under the stove hood with vent fan on. Just be careful, though. Potassium Permanganate stains countertops :shock:

Back to fire starters. I've had the rod come off the mag block a few times. These days I'm all Swiss firesteels and shit.
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Re: Magnesium Fire Starter Failures! Check yours!

Post by none1 » Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:16 pm

Deenie7 wrote:
Mooha182 wrote:Yeah no, I live in a apartment area the the minute I pull out my ham radio antenna, firesteel, or even walk to my car with my rifle (Virginia, open carry if I wanted to but it's locked in a case!) I get stared down like no there. So far no one has seen my "laundry room" or the food storage / preps room that my washer and dry happen to be in.
Bathtubs make great fire experimentation places - water at hand, vent fan to suck out any fire, it's perfect! :D
Ferro rod sparks burn hot. They can burn / pit a dry ceramic bathtub and a dry metal sink basin. Don't ask me how I know. I recommend keeping all surfaces ferro rod sparks will hit wet if you don't want it burnt / on fire / damaged, and keep your socks away from the sparks, especially if you're feet are still in them.

Just sayin.
:)
ninja-elbow wrote: Almost every survival show I've ever seen has one common denominator: lack of caloric intake is shitty.

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Re: Magnesium Fire Starter Failures! Check yours!

Post by omega_man » Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:18 pm

none1 wrote:
Deenie7 wrote:
Mooha182 wrote:Yeah no, I live in a apartment area the the minute I pull out my ham radio antenna, firesteel, or even walk to my car with my rifle (Virginia, open carry if I wanted to but it's locked in a case!) I get stared down like no there. So far no one has seen my "laundry room" or the food storage / preps room that my washer and dry happen to be in.
Bathtubs make great fire experimentation places - water at hand, vent fan to suck out any fire, it's perfect! :D
Ferro rod sparks burn hot. They can burn / pit a dry ceramic bathtub and a dry metal sink basin. Don't ask me how I know. I recommend keeping all surfaces ferro rod sparks will hit wet if you don't want it burnt / on fire / damaged, and keep your socks away from the sparks, especially if you're feet are still in them.

Just sayin.
:)
Yes, ferro rods will definitely "stain" a sink :wink:
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Re: Magnesium Fire Starter Failures! Check yours!

Post by 111t » Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:11 am

I've heard rumors of sub par Chinese made nag bars for a while. I just buy Doan bars. I was at gander mountain last year and noticed that the mag bar in the "stansport" packaging was in fact an actual Doan bar. It was $10 and I bought one. $10 isn't a particularly good price, but I didn't have to pay shipping. The best price I've seen recently was at John McCann's survival resources.
You have to scroll down... $5.25.

http://bepreparedtosurvive.com/FirestarterProducts.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Magnesium Fire Starter Failures! Check yours!

Post by Lynn LeFey » Thu Jul 26, 2012 3:55 pm

I have the same magnesium block I've had for like 20 years. It works. But, it's good to know that some chinese crappy ones don't.

I only pull my block out every now and then to practice using it. as others have said, it's not something that people can just magically do, and I like keeping that particular skill fairly sharp. I find getting fires started via magnesium scrapings particularly challenging in wind, since it tends to just blow the scrapings everywhere. I think my most consistently successful method is to put the shavings in a little cup made of aluminum foil. I also hold the striker stationary and pull the block back away from the scrapings, to keep from knocking the scrapings everywhere.

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Re: Magnesium Fire Starter Failures! Check yours!

Post by maldon007 » Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:04 pm

none1 wrote:
Seriously, the firesteel rods (often also included on a magnesium bar) are often a new experience for folks. I have seen a number of people who couldnt start a fire with a firesteel for over 10 minutes their first time with them. They take practice.
Thats the worst you have seen? I won't say my experience then :roll:


Really though, I think I am fairly smart and decent with tools... My first try at starting a fire (rod/natural tinder) I started 0 fires, second time, 0 fires. Till I really refinded my tinder prep I had 0 luck starting with sparks... I wouldn't count on it working AT ALL your first try. I can do it with a few different tinders now, but prep is key imo.
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Re: Magnesium Fire Starter Failures! Check yours!

Post by none1 » Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:14 pm

maldon007 wrote:
none1 wrote:
Seriously, the firesteel rods (often also included on a magnesium bar) are often a new experience for folks. I have seen a number of people who couldnt start a fire with a firesteel for over 10 minutes their first time with them. They take practice.
Thats the worst you have seen? I won't say my experience then :roll:


Really though, I think I am fairly smart and decent with tools... My first try at starting a fire (rod/natural tinder) I started 0 fires, second time, 0 fires. Till I really refinded my tinder prep I had 0 luck starting with sparks... I wouldn't count on it working AT ALL your first try. I can do it with a few different tinders now, but prep is key imo.
Nope, you're right. Most stop at about 10 minutes and use a lighter or pass the rod if there's no fire yet. :)

Totally agree on prep / kindling being key, thats the goal / point of the magnesium bars, they have a fero bar to create sparks, and the magnesium is supposed to be awesome "prep", burns when wet, burns hot, etc..
ninja-elbow wrote: Almost every survival show I've ever seen has one common denominator: lack of caloric intake is shitty.

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Re: Magnesium Fire Starter Failures! Check yours!

Post by none1 » Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:20 pm

Lynn LeFey wrote:I have the same magnesium block I've had for like 20 years. It works. But, it's good to know that some chinese crappy ones don't.

I only pull my block out every now and then to practice using it. as others have said, it's not something that people can just magically do, and I like keeping that particular skill fairly sharp. I find getting fires started via magnesium scrapings particularly challenging in wind, since it tends to just blow the scrapings everywhere. I think my most consistently successful method is to put the shavings in a little cup made of aluminum foil. I also hold the striker stationary and pull the block back away from the scrapings, to keep from knocking the scrapings everywhere.
nice idea on the tin foil cup!

Sticky side up duct tape works too. Get a strip of duct tape, weight it down at the ends, put magnesium shavings onto the sticky duct tape so wind doesn't blow them away.

This also helps with overly aggressive strikers, even with no wind, you can send the sparks off a fero rod so hard / fast that they knock your tinder / shavings all over before they catch a light.
ninja-elbow wrote: Almost every survival show I've ever seen has one common denominator: lack of caloric intake is shitty.

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Re: Magnesium Fire Starter Failures! Check yours!

Post by Flying Lead » Thu Jul 26, 2012 7:24 pm

none1 wrote:
Mooha182 wrote:
none1 wrote:I agree everyone should always regularly test their gear.

Doesn't everyone light 5 to 10 fires a weekend, just to see what works? :)

Seriously, the firesteel rods (often also included on a magnesium bar) are often a new experience for folks. I have seen a number of people who couldnt start a fire with a firesteel for over 10 minutes their first time with them. They take practice.

Nice link, thanks!
Yeah no, I live in a apartment area the the minute I pull out my ham radio antenna, firesteel, or even walk to my car with my rifle (Virginia, open carry if I wanted to but it's locked in a case!) I get stared down like no there. So far no one has seen my "laundry room" or the food storage / preps room that my washer and dry happen to be in.

Seriously though, the failure to start when the guy put a lighter to the Chinese shavings was absolutely phenomenally bad.
Step 1) Acquire 18 ways to start a fire
Step 2) Acquire $15 mini hibachi grill at hardware store, with charcoal
Step 3) Buy a zillion hotdogs in one pack for cheap at Sam's club
Step 4) Every Saturday grill hotdogs for lunch, for 18 weeks, using a different way to light the grill on fire
Profit.

K go.
:)
When hotdogs loose their luster get my favorite book "2000 ways to prepare Ramen" and after that you can move on to WW's fave "Banock-A thousand Ways!"
The optimist learns English, a pessimist - Chinese, realist exploring a Kalashnikov rifle.-russian survival website
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Put me down for M14, XD45 and Pie

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Re: Magnesium Fire Starter Failures! Check yours!

Post by Woods Walker » Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:44 pm

With good prep the firesteel part of the block alone should be enough. I have heard that some of the cheap blocks from China might even be alumium. I think Colghlan's is made in the USA and had good luck with mine but haven't purchased one for 10 years so maybe times have changed? I have a Backpack model from Horseshoe Mountain Firestarters in my Altoids PSK. Very small and it is nice to have the option of the magnesium even if I never use it.

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