Fire Piston

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by MbRodge, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. MbRodge

    MbRodge Monkey+++

    Was watching a rerun of "Survivorman" and saw Les Stroud use a device called a "fire piston" and was wondering if anyone has used one of these or knows anything about them. Anyone?

    The Fire Piston is a primitive fire starting device. In the mid 1850's, English explorers found it widely used by primitive tribes in the jungles of SE Asia- Borneo, Malaysia, Burma, Philipines. Unlike other primitive fire starting methods such as the bow drill, hand drill, fire saw, fire thong, flint and steel, the Fire Piston operates by compression, same principle as a diesel engine. Rudolph Diesel supposedly saw a Fire Piston brougt over from SE Asia to the continent and that may have spawned the idea of his invention: the diesel engine! Below are a few examples of the many Fire Pistons I've made in the past fifteen years. Download the movie clips to see them in action. If you would like to obtain one of my Fire Pistons, or if you have any questions or comments, please e-mail me at: Here are some comments from my customers: "Hey just to let you know again thanks for making a great product" "You are quickly becoming Mr. Fire Piston as you should be since the quality of yours far exceeds anything out there."
  2. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    Ditto, thats probably the site where I first saw one.
    I have seen abit about em "google-ing" fire piston folks turn them out of plexiglass and fancy hardwoods. Never played with one, they create a glowing ember like you would get with a fire bow or a spark on char cloth..
  3. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey

    Pretty cool little devices....
    I've used them in cocobolo, plastic and aluminum....
    The aluminum is about the best... used with chaga fungus or char cloth....
    The principle is pretty interesting and use it at night with a clear piston and you actually see the flash....

    Yup... they work alright... but are pretty finicky at times....[beer]
  4. MbRodge

    MbRodge Monkey+++

    Does anyone know where you can pick them up on the cheap?
  5. bubbajoe

    bubbajoe Monkey+++

    Picked one up off e bay last year. plexi with an aluminum shaft and piston. Saw the same episode and had to try it out. I was surprised how well it worked. think i payed $24 for mine.
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