The fire-blocks I'm familiar with are a rather soft magnesium.
An old VW engine or transmission case is quite a bit harder.
The "flint" part is called "mischmetall".
Search that or "misch+metal". ;)
It's a mixture of the "rare earths" and when they are finely divided
and contact air they spontaneously combust.
Also there is no specific set mixture needed, you'll see what I mean.
After you read up on this on the internet you'll know more than I do
about it. :)
Come back and tell us some cool facts. :)
Alvin in AZ
ps- We started using/carrying those in the early 80's :)
pps- When I would get close to wearing one out I'd give it away :)
ppps- We were a bunch of dumb non-smokers;) and couldn't carry the
butane lighters, they were almost always empty when we pulled
them out of our pocket :/
pppps- You in Norway?
On Fri, 8 Jul 2005 06:51:42 +0000 (UTC), snipped-for-privacy@XX.com wrote:
There are two sorts of "flint"
One is hard, and is used to strike sparks from a hard steel
fire-striker. This may be a natural flint, although most of the modern
"fire starters" use a ceramic rod. The sparks are burning steel from the
_striker_, not the flint. Making a good fire steel is an exercise in
careful blacksmithing - the composition and final hardness have a big
influence on the ease of lighting with it.
The other sort of flint is soft, metallic and made of misch metal. This
is used with a harder steel with serrations on it, and the sparks yuou
see are the mischmetal burning, not the steel. These flints are the
common type found in cigarette lighters. I forget the composition of
misch, but it's largely cerium. They're made by sintering a powder.
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