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Thread: Fomes Fomentarius Tinder Production

  1. #1

    Default Fomes Fomentarius Tinder Production

    There are a few ways of manufacturing tinder (amadou) from the Fomes Fomentarius this is but one. Many would-be alchemists will add in all sorts of things, urine, saltpetre etc try this yourself as it's all about experimentation.



    You will find this hoof fungi growing on birch.





    Once gathered you need to strip out the layer between the outer case and the woody pores, the remains can be added to the fire so as not to waste it.





    Add in some hardwood ash and boil up for around 24 hours on the camp fire. You then can get on with other projects.





    This is what you will end up with.





    Place on log and flatten with wooden baton.





    Flattened out trama layer.





    It will then resemble slithers of jerky beef. Leave to dry.





    Once dry it resembles chamois leather.





    Fluff up surface with flint.





    Strike with steel in a downward direction with the tinder on top of the flint.





    You now have a smouldering ember for the production of fire.


  2. #2
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    great tutorial, with good pics too. I might give this a try as I have some Fomes to play with.

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    Excellent, Patrick, and thank you. That is exactly what was needed.

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    Fantastic set of piccz and a great help all round,
    many thanks my frieind, I shall go and set forth my attempt.......
    What you call hell, he calls home.
    Col. Samuel Trautman
    RAMBO

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    he's gone and done it again another great post , nice tutorial Patrick thank you

    James
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  6. #6
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    Wonderful stuff.Thankyou.
    Mike

    If a man is talking in the woods and there is no woman to hear him, is he still wrong?

  7. #7

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    great post
    just wanted to clarify...do you keep it on the boil for 24 hrs?
    also, where did you get your flint and steel? the only flint i've managed to find in scotland, so far, are tiny bits in gravel driveways.

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    nicley done Patrick
    Success is not measured by what you have, but by what you can do without.

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    Now, you see, I tried this before, but I didn't put wood ash into the water. How much do you put in? The stuff I made will not take a spark from a flint and steel, but the fire stick gets it going.

    I've seen loads of FF around here aswell, so I may go and collect one or two specimens for my next trip out.

    Cheers for the tutorial!

  10. #10

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    Patrick thanks, thats great....I'll be giving this a try!

  11. #11
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    Fantastic stuff.

  12. #12

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    Would charring it work as well? Would be a lot quicker.
    Richard, London, UK

    If at first you don't succeed - pause, reflect, change something and try again.

  13. #13

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    Recently checked out a shelf fungus growing on a poplar. Looked a bit like this one.


    Between the upper dry surface and the vertical pores underneath was a layer of firm material. When I stripped it out and bashed it a bit it became rather like felt. Seemed to me that it was rather like the layer in fomes fomentarius. It would also keep a smoulder going and would light directly from a ferro rod spark.

    Is this layer common to all shelf fungi that are polypores? Can you make amadou from others as well as fomes?
    Richard, London, UK

    If at first you don't succeed - pause, reflect, change something and try again.

  14. #14
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    What a great tutorial.
    I have tried this from one of my ray mears books but unfortunately i failed miserably. The problem was being able to get through the hard outer shell. Also i was under the impression that i needed to get the middle layer out whole. I nearly chipped my knife on the shell and even a small claw hammer just made small indentation even with frustrated death blows .

    Could you tell me the best time of year to collect the fungus and the best tool ( you found ) for extraction of the middle layer please?

    Can't wait to see your collected works

    Best
    ian
    More luck than judgment realy

  15. #15
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    Hi Bilko.
    The big FF are a bugger to get separated. The last one I opened up I used a combination of knife, laplander and a judiciously applied SFA. It took about an hour to strip out a 9-inch diameter fungus.

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    Don't laugh, this works. I use these fungi quite often for dye so I cut up lots of them. Use a potato peeler to remove the *crisp* outer skin, and then a small sharp knife to pick out the grooves. The inner core removes easiest if you slice it finely from the edge that was attached to the tree. These thin slices catch and hold an ember really well too. When you have taken out most of the centre the fungi will spread out almost flat to let you slice off the rest of the fibrous grain-like inner material. This will eventually leave you the inner layer, the stuff that's used as amadou. If you find really young F.f. the centre is soft and works as amadou just as it is.

    Basically, take thin slices, don't try to break it up by main force.

    Cheers,
    Toddy
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    Thanks Marts and Toddy.
    I seem to remember reading about the potatoe peeler somewhere else.
    Next time i'm in Knole park i'll get some more fungus i think.
    More luck than judgment realy

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    Default Processing using a slow cooker....

    "Add in some hardwood ash and boil up for around 24 hours on the camp fire. You then can get on with other projects."

    I've just been processing some fomes fomentarius, and although not very traditional....I used my slow cooker for the above process. It has worked incredibly well So if you don't have 24 hours to spare boiling it up over a camp fire, give it a try

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fenlander
    "Add in some hardwood ash and boil up for around 24 hours on the camp fire. You then can get on with other projects."

    I've just been processing some fomes fomentarius, and although not very traditional....I used my slow cooker for the above process. It has worked incredibly well So if you don't have 24 hours to spare boiling it up over a camp fire, give it a try
    Excellent: I've been swithering about using the pressure cooker to speed up the dye extraction, I hadn't considered the results on the amadou

    Cheers,
    Toddy
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilko
    Thanks Marts and Toddy.
    I seem to remember reading about the potatoe peeler somewhere else.
    Next time i'm in Knole park i'll get some more fungus i think.
    I was in Knole Park today deadwoding oak trees for the NT great site just a shame the high visitor numbers spoil it a bit. The Fallow deer are so tame they come right upto you and they didn't even run very far when we started up chainsaws.

    I have got half of a very large Fomes to turn into Amadou when I get round to it, sounds like it is going to be a bit of a task.

  21. #21
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    Surely not too much of a task for a man with the tools to deadwood oaks? Careful application of raw power can work wonders with stubborn problems you know...

    Either that or break out the potato peeler like Toddy says.

    I know... I'll keep repeating the mantra until I remeber...

    Stihl and McCulloch do not make traditional bushcraft tools.
    Stihl and McCulloch do not make traditional bushcraft tools.
    Stihl and McCulloch do not make traditional bushcraft tools....
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laurence Dell
    I was in Knole Park today deadwoding oak trees for the NT great site just a shame the high visitor numbers spoil it a bit. The Fallow deer are so tame they come right upto you and they didn't even run very far when we started up chainsaws.

    I have got half of a very large Fomes to turn into Amadou when I get round to it, sounds like it is going to be a bit of a task.
    Make life easy (ier ) cut it up while it's fresh, 'cos it's a bit of a bu88er when it's dried hard. You don't need to do the boiling, etc., just now, but get it apart while it's still moist.

    Sounds like a good day's work.
    Cheers,
    Toddy
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  23. #23
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    I don't mean to put down what many people have suggested, but I have extracted quite a bit of F. Fomet. and so long as you do what Toddy suggests (i.e. extract it while fresh) I have always been able to use it without any kind of additional treatment, just ruffing it up with the edge of a blade once it's dry has always been quite enough for me to take a spark from a firesteel. In fact using one of Jason01's viking steels and flint still works with a bit more patience. (Big hand BTW for Jason's steels which are awesome)

    Don't know whether this is a case of 'folklore' on preperation methods or what, but I've always found it doesn't need anything else.

    One last point - if you don't do what Toddy suggests you will have a hell of a time - I kept one 12 inch specimin for a year in the shed. When I tried to cut it open I hadn't a chance in hell - it was tougher than concrete. I ended up putting it in my chimenea, where it burned merrily for hours.

  24. #24
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    Looks like I could be attacking it with a chainsaw then it was already quite an old and mature specimen when I found it attached to a tree that we were felling.

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    No Lawrence that shouldn't matter. The fungus would still be alive if the tree was viable. It should continue sucking the nutrients it needs right up until you killed the tree. That being said - the older the F.F. the harder its outer shell will be as it's an annual growth fungus (i.e. it can live and grow for years)

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laurence Dell
    Looks like I could be attacking it with a chainsaw then it was already quite an old and mature specimen when I found it attached to a tree that we were felling.
    If it's straight off the tree you can slice it up with a pocket knife, if you let it dry you'll wish you *had* taken the chainsaw to it! Age/size doesn't matter once the fungus is past the baby stage. Did you notice if it was shedding spores, down you way already? They aren't, yet, up here.

    Thanks for the info Marts, I've got some to take along this weekend and we might have a play.

    Cheers,
    Toddy
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  27. #27
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    another top class how-to patric, Thanks!!
    "If fishing was all about catching we would call it catching"

  28. #28
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    No worries Toddy - I have my fungi jedi master to blame for this (read: local mycology professor). I bothered him so much about fomes F. that he carried out his own research on it. He now teaches his students that F.F. was a fungus used by primitive people and also by modern bushcrafters for fire lighting. He hadn't a clue about it before until I demonstrated it on a foray one day lighting my kelly kettle with Jason01's fire steel . one-nil to the bushcrafters

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toddy
    Excellent: I've been swithering about using the pressure cooker to speed up the dye extraction, I hadn't considered the results on the amadou

    Cheers,
    Toddy
    I feel less guilty about using the slow cooker, knowing you'll be using a pressure cooker

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marts
    I don't mean to put down what many people have suggested, but I have extracted quite a bit of F. Fomet. and so long as you do what Toddy suggests (i.e. extract it while fresh) I have always been able to use it without any kind of additional treatment, just ruffing it up with the edge of a blade once it's dry has always been quite enough for me to take a spark from a firesteel. In fact using one of Jason01's viking steels and flint still works with a bit more patience. (Big hand BTW for Jason's steels which are awesome)

    Don't know whether this is a case of 'folklore' on preperation methods or what, but I've always found it doesn't need anything else.

    One last point - if you don't do what Toddy suggests you will have a hell of a time - I kept one 12 inch specimin for a year in the shed. When I tried to cut it open I hadn't a chance in hell - it was tougher than concrete. I ended up putting it in my chimenea, where it burned merrily for hours.
    Yep I agree with you Marts, no need to boil it up in urine and ash for days on end, Ive also managed to get unprocessed F/F to catch a spark with a flint and steel, surprisingly easily as it goes. I should say the F/F was somebody elses and it appeared to be a particularly large specimen but it was definately just dried out and fluffed up. I had less success with smaller specimens that I'd gathered myself, couldnt seem to get the cambium? to fluff up enough and of course theres less of it on the smaller ones.
    Last edited by jason01; 01-02-2006 at 10:59.

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