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Thread: Magnesium

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    Towy valley
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    40

    Default Magnesium

    This has undoubtedly been delt with before but (as I've just been given one) how do rate and use these magnesium fire block thingies?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    The Netherlands, Delft
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    511

    Default

    i own one, i don't like them.

    bad things:
    1. takes forever to scrape enough magnisium
    2. wenn it's not wind still, the scrapped magnisium goes for a walk.
    3. dulls my knife
    4. not real flame, just bright white flash-ish. Ugly and i find it harder to light things than other tinder.

    Tips:
    Take a hacksaw with you to scrape.
    make sure something is blocking the wind.
    Fatwood is WAY BETER alterative.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Leek,The Netherlands
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    230

    Default

    i own 2 myself,

    hearsay has its possible to loose the ferrocerium rod part because it is glued on (didnt experience it myself but could be VERY nasty surprise)

    the ferrocerium rod is smaller then a normal swedish firesteel,you scrape of less material so get smaller sparks and its used up faster.

    the magnesium while great in theory blows away in the wind so i dont use it anyhow nowadays,tinder is easy to get much of the time anyway.


    only reason i stil have and use them is because i got em cheaper then a normal firesteel,they tend to glide deeper and deeper in my cobwebbed corner of the barn though

  4. #4

    Default

    This is the guy I bought.



    Bar of ferrocerium in a lump of magnesium. (sorry to confuse people by saying "aluminium")

    I don't find it much use. The ferrocerium soon wears down so you can't use the 2nd half. The magnesium (aluminium LOL) is difficult to scrape off and not at all easy to catch from a spark anyway.
    Richard, London, UK

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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Cardiff, South Wales
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    2,326

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rich59
    Bar of ferrocerium in a lump of aluminium.
    Is it not magnesium?

  6. #6

    Default

    I used to find them quite easy to use. I'd use my knife blade to shave of scrapings onto a small bed of cotton wool, if it was windy I'd rub a bit of fat or vaseline into the cotton wool to stick the shavings to. Always used to strike within three strikes as well.
    Jon

    Life Begins At The Edge Of The Comfort Zone


    British Blades :: Custom Knives
    Crystal-master
    Where I Work
    Think Survival Forums

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lancashire
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    1,768

    Default

    Hi,

    I had one of these when I was a kid and ended up throwing it away because of all the reason stated. But I bought one in error (long story) a while ago and find it quite good now.

    With stronger wrists and arms than I used to have, I now carve curls off the block like a feather stick and make a little pile. This tends to take a spark from the striker in the first few goes with a resultant blaze that would light any tinder.

    It is difficult to get the magnesium curls, perhaps if you already have one, make the curls at home and carry them as tinder in a film cassette.

    AJB

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Michigan, USA
    Posts
    5,144

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    I find them totally reliable in all weather. That is their key feature. They will also burn very hot and will ignite damp tinder, another excellent feature. The ferro rod can be popped loose and reglued with epoxy if needed.
    Hoodoo

    . . . deliverance will not come from the rushing, noisy centres of civilization. It will come from the lonely places. - Fridtjof Nansen

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Towy valley
    Posts
    40

    Default

    Hmmm good, bad and indifferent it seems. I'll have to count the fore and againsts after and do my own product evaluation.
    Thanks guys, anymore?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    norwich
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    Default

    i've got a mag block and i've used it alot. never let me down, but i can see the point about the wind. i like mine, but i'm gonna be getting a firesteel sometime soon, i think they're abit better.

    hope that helps
    no matter how soaked you are, you will feel better after a cup of tea

  11. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by R-J
    i've got a mag block and i've used it alot. never let me down, but i can see the point about the wind. i like mine, but i'm gonna be getting a firesteel sometime soon, i think they're abit better.

    hope that helps
    I have a fire steel as well, and it is better, so long as your tinder is dry. I've had very little success lighting damp tinder with a ferro rod, but the magnesium will do it. I carry both
    Jon

    Life Begins At The Edge Of The Comfort Zone


    British Blades :: Custom Knives
    Crystal-master
    Where I Work
    Think Survival Forums

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    norwich
    Posts
    197

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Motorbike Man
    I have a fire steel as well, and it is better, so long as your tinder is dry. I've had very little success lighting damp tinder with a ferro rod, but the magnesium will do it. I carry both
    sounds like a good idea!
    no matter how soaked you are, you will feel better after a cup of tea

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