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Danm

Really cheep but good fire making tender

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The other day I started looking for a little kiddie sized mop and broom for my granddaughter. She is at the age where she wants to help but is a HAZARD with a full sized broom or mop. Used to be toy brooms and mops were easy to come by but I guess they aren't politically correct now and I couldn't find any except online and they have lost their freeing minds.

 

At Dollar General I noted that they have some dirt cheep mopsand stuff so I bought a mop and broom for like 1.75 each. I brought them home and after cutting the handles off and putting the end caps back (the handles are some kind of metal) I cut the mop strings down so they were only about 5" or 6" long. My little one LOVES them and her Mama ordered another set for her house. Being a pack rat I naturally kept the mop strings and cut off handles.

 

I was at harbor freight last week buying a boxwood stove and while I was there I picked up a couple of their magnesium and fire-steel bars and was out in my shop making the necessary modifications in them. NEVER use that cheep hacksaw bit that they give you. For one thing with the paint dipped finish on it it won't strike sparks and even after you buff the paint off and sharpen the edges it breaks about half the time when you use it.

 

I keep my old saws-all blades and use them for lots of projects like crook-knives and small patch knives and also use them as strikers for all my fire-steel sparkers. Buff the paint off and sharpen them so they have nice sharp SQUARE corners.

 

I lit a couple of fires using paper and leaves and such then noted the bag of mop strings. These strings are 100% cotton made of three loosely twisted strand twisted into one larger strand that is about as big a a pencil or so. What the heck, I unraveled the end of one and frayed it out then zapped it with just the sparks and no magnesium. It caught immediately and the twisted loose part was soon consumed but it left me a really nice cherry red ember that lasted and lasted that I then used to start my fire. I took some of these strings and poked them into a plastic medicine bottle with Vaseline and between those, the untreated strings and that 2 dollar mag/flint bar I have a really dependable fire making kit.

 

I;ve heard that some peole have problems using these mag/flint bars. The problem is probably the striker. You need a nice square corner on it without any paint on it. This allows you to SCRAPE little tiny curls of the magnesium off. I like to do it onto paper so that I can then bend it and pour then onto my tender in a neat little pile. I put the flint stick so that the sparks hit this pile and if you do they WILL burn and set any reasonable tinder on fire. A piece of paper or even a dry leaf will do it for me.

 

You need to have your fire ready to go and quickly move your little fire into the prepared home and that's it. I'm real impressed with this cotton mop string, it lights up easily and holds a coal for a long time with little effort. It's like having a lit cigarette.

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Dryer lent is really good tender too. it just takes a small amount and a small spark, but it burns out really quick so you have to be ready with stuff to keep the fire going

 

I like dryer lint too. Its a free byproduct of me doing laundry that otherwise gets thrown out.

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I like dryer lint too. Its a free byproduct of me doing laundry that otherwise gets thrown out.

 

I put a hunk of dryer lint into each section of an egg carton...Pour a little paraffin into each section and let it harden...Put these into a baggie and you have perfect little "fire starters" that burn for about 5 minutes...

 

Steve in Kansas

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