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Thread: Feather Stick Problems

  1. #1

    Feather Stick Problems

    I watched the Natural Bushcraft video for feather sticks and thought it was easy at first.
    So I was practising making feather sticks yesterday and I have to admit I sucked at it.

    For starters, I could not properly curl the strokes of wood. It almost always flaked off, although I tried to follow the way it was done in the video.
    Plus, I constantly produce notches on the branch when stroking which prevent me from making nice long curls.

    Another problem is lighting it with a firesteel. I kept on breaking off the smallest curls when I held the firesteel too close, and if I held it too far, the sparks were too cool to ignite the wood.
    I did manage to burn it sometimes, so I'm sure I was doing something right.

    My best bet was that my knife is too blunt. It's a Gerber fixed knife with a broad blade.

    I also noticed that the wood I collected had tiny pores in it. It made me worry if there was some pest inside of it.

  2. #2
    One with Nature
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    hello,
    Nukeyfox you may have answered your own thread there bro.. a good sharp blade for starters give it a strop, change the type of wood your using & the pieces that break off if they're thin enough direct the shower of sparks onto a bundle of these, see if these ignite. Just a thought.. is the wood tinder dry your trying to ignite? You say that you constantly produce notches on the branch when stroking which prevents you from making nice long curls, maybe your pressing too hard into the branch with your blade & being blunt won't help either. Perseverance is they key word stay positive & keep at it. BTW what kind of ferro rod (fire steel) are you using?
    Regards
    David

  3. #3
    Natural Born Bushcrafter Woody's Avatar
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    What David-JAFO said is spot on.
    Sharper blade, thinner (shallow) curls , dry stick and lots of patience....


    Well done on trying!
    Just keep going bud.
    In life nothing easy is worth having....

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by David_JAFO View Post
    hello,
    Nukeyfox you may have answered your own thread there bro.. a good sharp blade for starters give it a strop, change the type of wood your using & the pieces that break off if they're thin enough direct the shower of sparks onto a bundle of these, see if these ignite. Just a thought.. is the wood tinder dry your trying to ignite? You say that you constantly produce notches on the branch when stroking which prevents you from making nice long curls, maybe your pressing too hard into the branch with your blade & being blunt won't help either. Perseverance is they key word stay positive & keep at it. BTW what kind of ferro rod (fire steel) are you using?
    Regards
    David
    Thanks for the input.

    I'm sure the wood was dry.
    The firesteel is something I picked up online. It works quite well, though the striker is nonsense -- it is thin and doesn't scrap off a good amount of iron -- so most of the time I use the back of my knife.

  5. #5
    One with Nature
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    hello,
    I'm going to suggest an idea. I occasionally carry a crook knife in my EDC kit pack for fire lighting. The curve in the blade creates excellent curls in wood making feather or fuzz fire sticks. I posted on the forum details of my crook knife which will give you an idea of the type of blade I'm using. http://www.naturalbushcraft.co.uk/fo...k-Knife-Sheath get an edge on your blade first, keep at it & keep us posted on your progress.
    Regards
    David

  6. #6
    Another good option to get your feather stick to ignite quickly is to make the cuts cleanly and deeply as suggested, then soak the whole thing in petrol. It'll work way better that way.

  7. #7
    Woodsman rik_uk3's Avatar
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    Using feather sticks, like friction fire lighting, are ancient skills... superseded by better ways of lighting a fire; so while the old skills are well worth persevering with don't think your not a 'bushcrafter' if you use strips of rubber and a bic lighter or cotton wool balls with Vaseline to get your dinner on the go and in a winter camp you could put yourself at risk faffing about for ages trying to light a fire.
    Richard
    South Wales UK

  8. #8
    I practised not stroking the branch too hard and I think it's working quite well. Though I still have trouble lighting the stick.
    I don't know where to place my firesteel and sometimes the stick rolls which might break off the curls.

  9. #9
    Ent FishyFolk's Avatar
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    Here...
    Victory awaits the one, that has everything in order - luck we call it
    Defeat is an absolute consequense for the one that have neglected to do the necessary preparations - bad luck we call it
    (Roald Amundsen)

    Bumbling Bushcraft on Youtube
    Nordisk Bushcraft - The Nordic bushcraft blog and forum

  10. #10
    One with Nature
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    hello Nukeyfox,
    Have a browse at this link by Paul Kirtley http://paulkirtley.co.uk/2013/how-to...feathersticks/ might be of some interest.
    Regards
    David

    Quote Originally Posted by Nukeyfox View Post
    I practised not stroking the branch too hard and I think it's working quite well. Though I still have trouble lighting the stick.
    I don't know where to place my firesteel and sometimes the stick rolls which might break off the curls.

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