View Full Version : First attempt at charcloth using a torch, easy but very smelly!!!

05-02-2012, 05:55 PM
Just saw Jon Mac's 'rainy day charcloth' thread, decided to add my 'winter day charcloth thread' just because I did it differently, using a torch. How he did it inside, can't imaging not smelling it, I did it outside, and while my last batch was cooling, the neighbour got home and asked if I was burning something, said I was making charcloth, what it's for, he said "Cool!" (we're buddies, go fishing once in a while together, loves camping, etc.)

So, I used my MAPP gas torch (propane torch will work just fine) to burn the paint off the growing collection of Altoids tins (Canadian friends.....namely Treefrog..., Shoppers Drug Mart sells them for $3.49....... even get a bunch of mints as an added bonus!) and decided to try making charcloth using the torch as well. Grabbed some coarse cotton rag material from work, cut into 1" by 1.5" pieces, stuffed a third of them into one of the tins I modified (drilled a hole top and bottom with a bit smaller than 1/8"), placed on a few high temp brick pieces I have kicking around and heated up the tin. Here's what happened....

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/397043_10150575400279207_510619206_8702172_2892339 69_n.jpg

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/405715_10150575400774207_510619206_8702178_1916571 712_n.jpg

While heating, when the contents start to smoulder, flammable gases escape from the various holes. This is good if they catch fire, keep the flames going by torching around the tin until there isn't enough gas able to be generated inside. Means the charring is finished!

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/421360_10150576979194207_510619206_8707690_1412587 561_n.jpg

Before and after material (it shrinks by about 50%

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/421514_10150576979909207_510619206_8707693_1063791 402_n.jpg

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/430082_10150576980804207_510619206_8707701_3806715 96_n.jpg

05-02-2012, 06:11 PM
Manage to get yerself a steel forged for flint lighting yet mate? :)

05-02-2012, 06:13 PM
I remember the first time I made charcloth. Did it in the kitchen using the stove and the smelly smoke filled the house! I did get a bit of a moan about that one from the good lady so made sure I have made it outside ever since.

05-02-2012, 06:59 PM
Manage to get yerself a steel forged for flint lighting yet mate? :)

No, too cold out and too much snow out back, but I do have an old forged C-clamp I'm able to produce sparks from, as per this (which you just saw the pic! Lol)

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/407597_10150577098309207_510619206_8708217_8410250 87_n.jpg

Mind you, I decided I'd buy a steel first and see how hard it is in order to get the best sparks. bought this last night, quite interesting, a combo Viking fire steel/ neck knife! Who could resist such a thing for $30?


Hand forged, has an edge, make fire...... awesome! He also has quite an interesting tomahawk forged from a big file, might grab that as well to share shipping. Dunno yet.... and looking now, looks like he sold it.

05-02-2012, 07:11 PM

Ben Casey
05-02-2012, 08:53 PM

05-02-2012, 11:07 PM
Anyone check out the link of the striker/neck knife I posted up too?

06-02-2012, 07:17 AM
Anyone check out the link of the striker/neck knife I posted up too?

Yes, it is a thing of beauty, if it works as good as it looks, you're on to a winner. Sad to say I looked at the forging pictures and was reminded of Mike Ameling the Grumpy blacksmith, and again was saddend that we'll not see the like of his work again.

06-02-2012, 03:32 PM
See what happens, I like the way the guy advertises his items, matches up the steel with a flint that produces the best sparks. Have to learn to swipe the striker without poking a hole in my fingers. Lol, and, gives me a reason to make a leather neck sheath for it. :)

06-02-2012, 04:36 PM
That hawk is pretty awesome!

06-02-2012, 06:34 PM
Quite, is why I mentioned it, too bad I'm low on cash (bought the striker, about to put cash towards a CADPAT poncho, and a set of wool tactical helicopter shirt and pants a buddy of mine has for sale, and don't want to borrow too much from myself), or else I'd add the hawk into my order. Is a bit more than a CS Hawk, but hand forged and unique........ can't argue with that.