This is my latest fire piston design. I made it today. It didn’t take long.
I think it’s kinda cool because it converts an easily available (for the time being) RAYOVAC penlight to a fire piston. I had had a mind to do this for a while, when I saw this flashlight in the Walmart sporting goods section. It cost a few bucks, but the case is perfect, and is made of Aluminum. My hope was to keep the innards intact so that it could be switched back and forth from fire starter to flashlight. But the parts were glued and I was not patient enough to locate the required solvent to try to get it apart without damage. When I sawed apart the necessary components o get them out to get them out, I pretty much blew that idea for this one. Maybe given another try or two, I can still work this out.
For now, I have a usable shirt pocket fire piston with an additional twist or two. The flashlight lens used to concentrate the single LED into a bright beam, can remain, to be unscrewed and removed and used as a magnifying glass for solar fire starting as discussed elsewhere in this blog. It does work for that, tiny as it is, given very bright direct sunlight and suitable natural tinder such as dark Chaga, some shelf fungi, dark mullein scrapings, or char cloth. When the piston rod is fully compressed in a carry position, it just looks like a pen clicker. Or it can be reversed and carried with the O-ring end of the piston visible. But it still looks like a pen-with a black thingy on the clicker.
Additionally, it can be used:
1) As a fire Piston, complete with storage of a small amount of tinder and extra O-rings.
2) Gum Wrapper/Battery Fire Starter using the single AAA battery that comes with it, although there is not room to carry the battery within when it is used as a fire piston. (My original thoughts which I may yet get to work was to have the whole kit and caboodle as part of a mini-survival kit in an Altoids tin or such.)
3) The magnifying lens used to concentrate the single LED into a concentrated beam, can be retained as part of the fire piston and used as a solar magnifier to start fire.
4) A bonus feature of leaving the lens in place as part of the fire piston is that by plugging that, the bottom end, of the fp, when the thing ignites within, it projects the magnified flash image through the little magnifying lens. This has no re4al function apart from the WOW factor, but is does provide that–if it is held just right.
That’s it so far. I am still working on other possibilities including a model that has a built in carabiner key-chain affair. Stay tuned for more on this. If indeed I can make the carabiner penlight that I am looking at work–I may offer this to my readers simply for visiting this blog.