How To Make Your Own Custom Firesteel Handle

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elkhills
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How To Make Your Own Custom Firesteel Handle

Post by elkhills » Sat Nov 20, 2010 7:13 pm

Fire Steels, aka Ferrocenium Rods, aka Misch-Metal, are pretty nifty kit. They don't need fuel (C4 Lighters), they don't stop working when wet (Matches) and the bigger ones will reputedly last for thousands of strikes. Paired up with the right tinder they are instant fire every time.
I recently ordered a few in different sizes to play with and customize. It's so easy I thought I would share. If you've ever wanted to add a personal touch to your gear, this is one almost anybody could do, with a minimum of tools and time. I think I spent about a half hour doing the turning part on this, maybe another half hour on prep and cleanup.
First, choose yourself a suitable material. I've seen some out of Antler, Bone and some very beautiful figured wood. Here I'm using a scrap of Maple with some interesting Birdseye figure.
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Some of the bigger rods can be a little pricey, but if you shop around a little you can find them at a reasonable price. Some online orders will come as just a rod, in this case I have to remove the plastic handle- which came off surprisingly easily :?
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I guess I forgot to document the next step, but cross the diagonal corners to find the center of your work, and drill a hole the right diameter and depth. This one is 3/8" by about a half inch deep.
Mix up a dab of epoxy and coat the business end. Tape up your work, it will save you clean up time later.
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Once the adhesive has dried (overnight), put a wrap of tape around the rod to protect it from scratches and chuck into a drill press. If you don't have a drill press, that's okay- there is no reason you couldn't use a hand held electric drill held securely in a bench vise. Remember to wear Safety Glasses and roll up those sleeves!
With a light touch and a wood rasp start rounding off those corners.
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You can see here one side is completely rounded while the other side is still flat. The tool will find true center.
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You'll feel and see it when the work is rounded out. Then you can start to shape.
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Once the rough shape is where you want it, switch to a finer file or rough sandpaper to get rid of the deep scratches. When those scratches are all even, switch to a medium grit sandpaper. When those scratches are all even, switch to a fine grit. When it all looks good the last step is to grab a handfull of sawdust and burnish the work.
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I did a little further scalloping, but you could stop right here and have a very cool custom piece. In keeping with the "everybody should have this stuff at hand right now" theme, here it is with a coat of plain old Veggie Cooking Oil as a finish. My phone takes crappy pics, but you get the idea!
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If you guys have pics of your customized stuff, I'd love to see them!

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Necrodamus
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Re: How To Make Your Own Custom Firesteel Handle

Post by Necrodamus » Sat Nov 20, 2010 9:18 pm

Nice!

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Rednex
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Re: How To Make Your Own Custom Firesteel Handle

Post by Rednex » Sat Nov 20, 2010 9:23 pm

elkhills wrote "there is no reason you couldn't use a hand held electric drill held securely'

I agree with that. I wish i had a workshop bit have used my cordless drill as like that. Used it to downsize some rods for knife handles.

Another trick i have used before is to run a scerw into a block of wood cut off the head then put the screw in the drill chuck.
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Paladin1
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Re: How To Make Your Own Custom Firesteel Handle

Post by Paladin1 » Sat Nov 20, 2010 11:41 pm

That turned out nice, good job.
WWSD?

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Veritas
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Re: How To Make Your Own Custom Firesteel Handle

Post by Veritas » Sun Nov 21, 2010 4:34 am

Sweet! Another awesome post elkhills!
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