Improved Firestarter Design

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Re: Improved Firestarter Design

Post by ZMace » Thu May 06, 2010 11:39 am

Looks good, keeping it simple but improving on the design with replaceable parts and storage. I like the idea of a diamond knurl, I usually prefer that to grooves anyway, they never seem to line up correctly. If you need another tester I would love to get in on it.
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Re: Improved Firestarter Design

Post by Veritas » Thu May 06, 2010 12:38 pm

I think it's great. I too prefer diamond knurling to grooves. I also am not lamenting the loss of the groove, besides being a little unnecessary I feel like it would also add an area that you would not want to put your hand, as it could dig into your palm.

Go for it.
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Re: Improved Firestarter Design

Post by AcidExfoliate » Thu May 06, 2010 6:24 pm

I too prefer diamond knurling.

I would recommend wings or flanges in the aluminum to prevent the striker arm assembly from being subjected to sideways pressure during use or storage. know what i mean?
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Re: Improved Firestarter Design

Post by The Machinist » Thu May 06, 2010 9:42 pm

Glad you guys like the changes. I try to run the bodies off within the coming week. Looks like Diamond Knurl wins by an landslide!
AcidExfoliate wrote:I would recommend wings or flanges in the aluminum to prevent the striker arm assembly from being subjected to sideways pressure during use or storage. know what i mean?
The striker arm assembly sits in a slot cut into the aluminum. I feel this should be sturdy enough along with the pin that will secure the striker. The height will vary a little from the initial drawing based on how long of a piece of hacksaw blade you insert. It will definitely take some experimenting. I truly need to not only get some different angles drawn up, but I also need to nail my friend the 3D guru down to make me some nice functional model drawings. Unfortunately he is busier than a one legged man at an ass kicking contest at the moment so I rank low on the food chain for that to happen. Looks like I need to start power learning the 3D side of drawing.

I will take pics as I make the prototypes.

After I get a working prototype listed, I will accept requests via PM to people wanting to be test subjects.
Blackdog wrote:I can hear you out there now...."But mister Blackdog these wispy wind shirts are not uber tough and able to fend off meteors and wolfs". I say baaaaaaaaaaaaaah, they are really useful, pack real small and harder to F up than you might think and there is always duct tape. High on my things I like list.

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Re: Improved Firestarter Design

Post by KnightoftheRoc » Fri May 14, 2010 5:16 am

+1 to the diamond knurling. Besides being easy to grip for anyone with opposable thumbs, and many who don't, diamond knurling could be used to grind powdery tinder from wood chunks. You'd need to have the cap on tight, and rub lightly, so you don't open the tinderbox portion on the downstroke or something, but it's an option that could be handy for no extra work on production.

The idea of the hacksaw snapper was not just to have something to snap it with, but to snap it to the correct length. Besides, my multitool might have been taken away from me by bullies or something. Mean ol' zombie bullies. That talk mean. And bully people.
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Re: Improved Firestarter Design

Post by The Machinist » Mon May 17, 2010 7:32 am

Just an update, I have gotten the material cut but have been too occupied teaching to get time to machine the prototypes as of yet. Hopefully within the next week or so I can get them made so you guys can see what the body will look like. The striker itself will take the longest time since there is another instructor teaching a class on the machine that I need to use. I will try to sneak some time in on it next week.

In any event, I will try to keep you guys posted as to the progress and post any pics I can take as I run the parts of the prototypes.
Blackdog wrote:I can hear you out there now...."But mister Blackdog these wispy wind shirts are not uber tough and able to fend off meteors and wolfs". I say baaaaaaaaaaaaaah, they are really useful, pack real small and harder to F up than you might think and there is always duct tape. High on my things I like list.

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Re: Improved Firestarter Design

Post by The Machinist » Thu Jul 15, 2010 11:02 am

Resurrecting the project.

Here is a picture of the rough machined case I made this morning. I bead blasted one in case someone could not see the regular machined surface too well.

Image

I am going to work on the striker assembly this afternoon as well as knurl the case with a light to medium knurl.

Tomorrow I will assemble the entire project and see what it looks like / try it out.

I realized when I made these parts that I had not thought of a cap/retaining mechanism to keep the ferrorod compressed while not in use. Any suggestions? No matter what, the rod will project about 1/4-3/8" from the end of the body.

Being that this is more of a trial to just see if it works, I am sure there will be plenty of revisions/improvements down the road.

For those of you who were into this project with me and almost gave of hope of it getting made, I apologize for being gone so long, it truly could not be helped. Real life issues got in the way.
Blackdog wrote:I can hear you out there now...."But mister Blackdog these wispy wind shirts are not uber tough and able to fend off meteors and wolfs". I say baaaaaaaaaaaaaah, they are really useful, pack real small and harder to F up than you might think and there is always duct tape. High on my things I like list.

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Re: Improved Firestarter Design

Post by Lonely Raven » Thu Jul 15, 2010 11:23 am

I'm interested in this project, as I've felt that there could be better products out there. I have to re-read the thread from the beginning when I have time, as it's been so long I forgot where you were going with this.
The Machinist wrote:Resurrecting the project.

Here is a picture of the rough machined case I made this morning. I bead blasted one in case someone could not see the regular machined surface too well.

Image

I am going to work on the striker assembly this afternoon as well as knurl the case with a light to medium knurl.

Tomorrow I will assemble the entire project and see what it looks like / try it out.

I realized when I made these parts that I had not thought of a cap/retaining mechanism to keep the ferrorod compressed while not in use. Any suggestions? No matter what, the rod will project about 1/4-3/8" from the end of the body.

Being that this is more of a trial to just see if it works, I am sure there will be plenty of revisions/improvements down the road.

For those of you who were into this project with me and almost gave of hope of it getting made, I apologize for being gone so long, it truly could not be helped. Real life issues got in the way.
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http://www.FirespeedTactical.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Improved Firestarter Design

Post by ZMace » Thu Jul 15, 2010 11:49 am

I was just wondering about this the other day, it's good to see that the project is still going through.

Not really sure how the ferro rod should be kept compressed, a retaining pin could be hard to use one-handed, but I don't have any better ideas.
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Re: Improved Firestarter Design

Post by The Machinist » Thu Jul 15, 2010 12:05 pm

Raven, thanks for the interest, currently, we have been discussing a better case for the Blastmatch. With my skill set, I have the ability to manufacture things out of metal, wood and plastic and took on this little project stemming from a discussion about issues we blastmatch users have had with the original design.

Whenever I find an interesting item that I can inexpensively replicate for my own personal use, I usually try to improve on it in some way that may not have been economically profitable for the original developer. With most mass produced things, they stop listening to their users and only listen to their accountants. Not that I am against making the happy buck, but not at the expense of producing cheap garbage that I will only bitch about in the long run. People are willing to spend money for things if they can trust that the quality is there and that they know the manufacturer is listening to them. I speak from years of personal experience. :lol:

As for this project, it is a very rough and basic shape right now until we prove out its viability. Once we get some "testing" done via volunteer guinea pigs, I'll post the results for discussion. We will then redesign, streamline, and modify further to enhance this little guy possibly into a true multifunctional survival implement with high quality, functionality, and durability.

In our current design, we added a metal case(Aluminum), a replaceable striker(hacksaw blade), and storage for tinder.


Zmace, I think some sort of cap will be in order, not sure yet as to what it will look like, but surely it will be something a person can use one handed. As per one of our original goals, to keep it one handed if need be. I will be working on some ideas once we prove the case is a viable working design.
Blackdog wrote:I can hear you out there now...."But mister Blackdog these wispy wind shirts are not uber tough and able to fend off meteors and wolfs". I say baaaaaaaaaaaaaah, they are really useful, pack real small and harder to F up than you might think and there is always duct tape. High on my things I like list.

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Re: Improved Firestarter Design

Post by Veritas » Thu Jul 15, 2010 5:57 pm

Sweet. I thought about this the other day, but figured you would get to it in your own time. I know my life is busy as hell right now.

I really like where the design is going. Great work. I love it when things start to come together.
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Re: Improved Firestarter Design

Post by The Machinist » Wed Jul 21, 2010 8:44 am

Drum roll Please :lol: ..........Here is the working prototype.

Image

Let me know what your first impressions are :shock: and what improvements you think we need to make.

It throws a VERY nice spark and works like the original plastic body in every way except I do not have a cap for it yet. I have a couple ideas for one but I wanted to see what you guys can dream of first.

The storage end is 7/8" diameter and 7/8" Deep. I have not gotten O Rings for it yet but I am hoping to have them made by the time I make the first revised body. As with the original design, the striker is a piece of hacksaw blade that is held in place by a set screw. Note the angle at which the striker is set. I had to experiment with setting a couple strikers until I came up with the optimal angle that produced the biggest spark. Took me about 4 tries. I am glad I made a dozen of those. :lol: I inserted the teeth side of the hacksaw blade into the mounting slot. This way the teeth don't chew the hell out of the ferrorod.

Neither the top nor the bottom bodies have been anodized, the top one is merely bead blasted to dull the finish and hide imperfections(scratches) in the finish area. Not sure about the time line to anodize one. I think I will save that for when I make the final version since I have to have someone do that for me and it costs less with volume. :wink:
Blackdog wrote:I can hear you out there now...."But mister Blackdog these wispy wind shirts are not uber tough and able to fend off meteors and wolfs". I say baaaaaaaaaaaaaah, they are really useful, pack real small and harder to F up than you might think and there is always duct tape. High on my things I like list.

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Re: Improved Firestarter Design

Post by ZMace » Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:50 am

First impression: Wow, that looks really great!

What is the overall length on the thing?

As far as the cap... metal is not really my thing so the first thing that comes to mind is a leather container kept in place by the tension of the ferrorod. I guess that would add quite a bit of bulk though.

What I was thinking of in leather is here in metal, it is a matchstick tube. It is just a thin metal cover with a hinge.

Image
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Re: Improved Firestarter Design

Post by The Machinist » Wed Jul 21, 2010 11:59 am

The overall length of the body is right at 5".

I thought it might be bulky at 1 1/4" in diameter but it really isn't. I might be able to streamline it a little but not much without sacrificing the size of
the tinder storage chamber. The length allows it to sit firmly in your hand. Being mostly hollow and aluminum, it is very light.

I like the idea of a leather or possibly ballistic nylon sheath of some sort. Then we would not have to trouble with the cap at all.

Maybe something like this?
Image

Found it at:http://www.amazon.com/Streamlight-Holst ... pd_cp_hi_2
Last edited by The Machinist on Wed Jul 21, 2010 12:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Blackdog wrote:I can hear you out there now...."But mister Blackdog these wispy wind shirts are not uber tough and able to fend off meteors and wolfs". I say baaaaaaaaaaaaaah, they are really useful, pack real small and harder to F up than you might think and there is always duct tape. High on my things I like list.

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Re: Improved Firestarter Design

Post by AcidExfoliate » Wed Jul 21, 2010 12:14 pm

looks like the bees knees!
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Re: Improved Firestarter Design

Post by ninja-elbow » Wed Jul 21, 2010 12:22 pm

F'in A nice. Good work, and by work I mean machining. :) I can't really add much as my skills would have turned out less that what you've got.
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Re: Improved Firestarter Design

Post by The Machinist » Wed Jul 21, 2010 12:27 pm

AcidExfoliate and ninja-elbow, thanks, I am glad you guys like where it is going. Any ideas for a cap or way to keep the ferrorod compressed? How about any other ideas for improving on the design?

I guess I need to take some video of this design in operation. Maybe someone can see some weak areas we need to alter. I think I will do that this weekend.
Blackdog wrote:I can hear you out there now...."But mister Blackdog these wispy wind shirts are not uber tough and able to fend off meteors and wolfs". I say baaaaaaaaaaaaaah, they are really useful, pack real small and harder to F up than you might think and there is always duct tape. High on my things I like list.

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Re: Improved Firestarter Design

Post by lonewolf15002000 » Wed Jul 21, 2010 12:48 pm

The Machinist wrote:Any ideas for a cap or way to keep the ferro rod compressed?
As a non Machinist or Engineer my only thought is to move your striker back 1/2" or so and thread the portion in front of it to accept a cap that will be long enough to compress your ferro rod partially. But then you have the whole month of Sundays to get that cap off to start your fire. Does the striker require pressure downward to emit sparks or does it inadvertently emit sparks while not being pressed? My thought about it was if you were to cap it partially compress and you take the cap off if it would waste your ferro rod by releasing sparks when not wanted.
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Re: Improved Firestarter Design

Post by AcidExfoliate » Wed Jul 21, 2010 12:54 pm

What if you milled a groove in the end, put an o-ring in it and made the cap similar to a simple pen cap?
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Re: Improved Firestarter Design

Post by The Machinist » Wed Jul 21, 2010 4:07 pm

lonewolf15002000 wrote: Does the striker require pressure downward to emit sparks or does it inadvertently emit sparks while not being pressed?
Yes, the striker requires downward pressure. I put a spring under it to keep it off the ferrorod while decompressing after each strike.
AcidExfoliate wrote:What if you milled a groove in the end, put an o-ring in it and made the cap similar to a simple pen cap?
The only down side of adding extra grooves, slots and holes is that you run the issues of getting debris in those grooves, slots and holes when using this particular tool since it is mostly used on the ground or near ground level.

Seeing that this end is constantly at risk of getting banged and dinged, I think a threaded cap is definitely out of the question. I thought of turning down the un-knurled end and then milling a small slot in the shape of an L will allow a cap to twist on and use the pressure of the ferrorod spring to keep it in the short side of the L. As I said above, not sure how well it will work with the chance of misc debris possibly getting in during use.
Here is a quick drawing I threw together to help illustrate.

Image

I know it is crude but hopefully you guys will get where I am going with this.
Blackdog wrote:I can hear you out there now...."But mister Blackdog these wispy wind shirts are not uber tough and able to fend off meteors and wolfs". I say baaaaaaaaaaaaaah, they are really useful, pack real small and harder to F up than you might think and there is always duct tape. High on my things I like list.

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Re: Improved Firestarter Design

Post by ZMace » Thu Jul 22, 2010 10:35 am

So the cap would go on like those automotive light bulbs that you push in and turn to lock in place? I think that would work great provided that the spring under the ferrorod was not too stiff. Are you using the stock blastmatch spring in your new body?
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Re: Improved Firestarter Design

Post by The Machinist » Thu Jul 22, 2010 11:38 am

ZMace,
Yes, that is where I got the idea for the L slot. And yes, I am using the stock spring and ferrorod assembly. In my opinion it is not too stiff. I am hoping to get one altered this afternoon. If all goes well, I will get a cap built as well.

Just a note, I ordered a nylon pouch from Amazon that should fit the overall body size. I may be able to simply shove the unit into the pouch, letting the bottom of the pouch compress the ferrorod and then hold it compressed with the velcro closure. This will surely be the simpler way of holding the unit closed.
Blackdog wrote:I can hear you out there now...."But mister Blackdog these wispy wind shirts are not uber tough and able to fend off meteors and wolfs". I say baaaaaaaaaaaaaah, they are really useful, pack real small and harder to F up than you might think and there is always duct tape. High on my things I like list.

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Re: Improved Firestarter Design

Post by ninja-elbow » Thu Jul 22, 2010 12:13 pm

I have'nt much to add though I do think a cap would make things more difficult in certain situations.
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Re: Improved Firestarter Design

Post by The Machinist » Thu Jul 22, 2010 12:30 pm

Hmmmmm, good point ninja-elbow, if debris gets in that slot or it gets damaged in some way and you have to use it one handed, then things are gonna be one huge fail. I am gonna keep the units the way they are for now and wait on the pouch from Amazon. With the pouch, you definitely can open it one handed no matter what. Other than the cap issue, the unit does work completely one handed if needed. I tested it out last night on my charcoal grill. It throws a NICE spark! The only improvement I can see that it needs is a lanyard from the end cap(tinder storage) to the body. That is a quick fix with a couple of tapped holes and some small chain.
Blackdog wrote:I can hear you out there now...."But mister Blackdog these wispy wind shirts are not uber tough and able to fend off meteors and wolfs". I say baaaaaaaaaaaaaah, they are really useful, pack real small and harder to F up than you might think and there is always duct tape. High on my things I like list.

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