|Project by Jim Jakosh||posted 11-15-2010 05:03 PM||6098 views||23 times favorited||19 comments|
This is a project that was inspired by Woodsman Woodworker. That was the first time I had ever heard of a fire piston so I had to watch the U-Tube videos.
This Fire Piston is made from Guayacan wood and I should have read about the wood first before trying what I did. It is an oily wood and it loads up sandpaper Right Now- even Abranet. I started by turning it and then knurling the head for a grip surface. That was like knurling greasy metal. It kept loading up so I finally gave up and left only one knurled ring. For the inside tube I used 1/2” copper stub ( like they show in one video) because it is closed off on the end. I turned an aluminum shaft end and cut the o-ring groove to make it tight. The ram cannot be pushed all the way to the end of the tube because it compresses the air so well. This is a good thing because the fire is started by the heat generated by compressing air- it gets to 800 degrees.
In all the videos they talk about having some grease handy to lube the o-ring and I thought of Mads and his neat little grease boxes, but I have to smack the head so I could not put one with the sliding cover. I improvised with a couple PVC threads glued into the head. It makes a neat grease box that the cover threads on. I put a Buffalo Nickel in the end to make it unique.
I had tried it for a few days with no real success using dry paper towel and shavings- it would just get them brown but not lit. Everyone on line was talking about char cloth so I found out how to make some. My friend Tim ( the grill man) is always grilling so he heated the can of charcloth in his charcoal grill( for 6 minutes with tin foil on top and a vent hole) and that made the difference. One smack of the ram and that cloth was lit and that stuff stays lit for quite a while if you blow on it.
I finished the fire piston with EEE and Shellawax.
The following is a U tube site that tells about how a fire piston is made. The materials can vary. You can just put fire piston in search field on the the U Tube site and you will get your choice of many videos on the subject.
You can read about the history and see a sketch of a fire piston in the link below:
-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!