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  1. #1
    Savoring Happy!
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    Thumbs down Magnesium Fire Maelstrom

    Was on Whee-bay a couple of weeks ago and saw a listing for magnesium shavings to use as fire starters. Thought "this has got to be cool" and bought a pound. I was expecting a sandwich bag full but when it got here, I was surprised to see it was a gallon zip-lock full of saw shavings and little fuzzy balls coated in gun powder. Thought "this really is cool."

    My girlfriend was using the stove so I couldn't try it under the exhaust fan where I usually do my Alky stove training. Instead I got a coffee can, bad choice, turned it over, and poured about a tablespoon of the shavings over one of the fuzzy balls that I set on the bottom of the inverted can. Expecting a nice subtle tinder drying type fire, I struck a match to the fuzzy ball. It initially just kind of smoldered but then a small shaving of the magnesium ignited and that's the last thing I remember seeing before the big flash. Have you ever heard 6 smoke alarms going off at the same time?

    Anywho, as my vision began to come back, I was pleased to see there was very little flame left on the top of the coffee can, just allot of smoke. Then I realized the magnesium had burned through the can and was now devouring the top of my kitchen island cabinet. Being a cool headed experimenter, I grabbed an oven mitt and the turkey roaster pan. In total control, I knocked the can off onto the floor and as I wiped the burning magnesium off the counter and towards the roaster pan, there was another blinding flash. Kinda looked like the 4th of July, New Years Eve in New York, and Hiroshima all rolled into one. Thank God, somewhere between the counter top and the pan, the remaining metal from hell had ignited and disappeared. All that remained were little black shards stuck in my forehead, arms, and stomach. The underarmor T I was wearing had been reduced to a Richard Simons look alike. Didn't get lucky that night...in fact didn't even get dinner.

    FOR Sale; 1.a little less than one pound of magnesium fire starter/fuzzy little balls. Guaranteed to make a fire. 2. Slightly used 4'x6' island type counter top/grilled section. 3.Custom tailored Underarmor T, midriff in front, full length in back.(large brown spot on lower back).

    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,CHEAP,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,

  2. #2
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    That's funny!! apparently you were never a member of the armed forces. We used to use magnesium trip flares to start fires during hard rainstorms. this stuff burns so hot and intensly it will burn underwater. a little bit goes a loooooonnnnnnngggg way!!

  3. #3

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    "the best post this year." car and mat magazine.
    "funny to breaking ribs." m magazine.

    that sounds like a jerk is selling it as a jerkjoke. im glad your okay. im not glad your a pyro. outdoors with it bits!
    matthewski

  4. #4
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    That's awesome...

  5. #5
    Doting Membrane Skidsteer's Avatar
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    And here's your avatar....
    Skids

    Insanity: Asking about inseams over and over again and expecting different results.
    Albert Einstein, (attributed)

  6. #6
    The Incredibler Edibler
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    I'm sensing a new trail name may be in the offing......"China Syndrome"!
    A foon by any other name, is still a spork.

  7. #7
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    I'm surprised that your vision came back. Magnesium makes a bright fire.

    People think of metals as non-flammable, but please also note that aluminum and titanium, when finely divided, are also highly flammable to the point of being explosive, once you get them started. If you do anything that generates a significant amont of metal shavings or dust, try to gear the set-up so that the dust stays wet, just to be on the safe side. They do need a fairly high temperature for initial ignition, but once they get going, watch out.

  8. #8
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    File that under: Seemed like a good idea at the time.

    How long did it take to calm the other half down?

  9. #9
    Savoring Happy!
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudhead View Post
    File that under: Seemed like a good idea at the time.

    How long did it take to calm the other half down?
    Don't know. She ran out the back door sceaming something about sleeping with a bar-b-cued Richard Simons and that's the last time I ever saw her. Musta been the big blister where my belly button used to be.

  10. #10
    Registered User hammock engineer's Avatar
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    That's a great story.

    For some reason I am glad I do all my stove or anything fire related for that matter outside.

  11. #11
    LT '79; AT '73-'14 in sections; Donating Member Kerosene's Avatar
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    Definitely one of the best posts all time on WhiteBlaze. My wife asked why I was laughing so hard, so she got to enjoy your write-up also! Thanks for making my night!
    GA←↕→ME: 1973 to 2014

  12. #12
    Registered User hammock engineer's Avatar
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    I found the ebayer you are talking about.

    If you really want to have some fun, he is selling 5 pounds of Potassium Nitrate. Now that will get your fire going, and everything around it.

    I wonder how many watch lists this guy is on.

  13. #13
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    When you get that cleaned up, fill a soup pot with Coke and throw in a handful of Mentos. Lots of fun, really.

  14. #14

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    Didn't you take high school chemistry? Remember the flame tests during the physical/chemical properties unit? Guess not.

    Good story. I'm sure you'll put that to good use.

  15. #15
    Savoring Happy!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brrrb Oregon View Post
    When you get that cleaned up, fill a soup pot with Coke and throw in a handful of Mentos. Lots of fun, really.
    Yea, I bet....I'll try that to impress my next girl friend. Do eyebrows grow back?

  16. #16
    Registered User trailwalker's Avatar
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    Hey No Belay, thank you for your funny first. Thanks to you, now I won't mess up. Just bought a bar of magnesium as a fire starter. You shave off a little pile ,the instructions say enough to cover a quarter, then strike a spark and bingo you have a fire . Guess I missed out on those chemistry lessons as well because I had no idea that this stuff could be dangerous. But, now I know. thanks again. happy hiking! Trailwalker

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Belay View Post
    Yea, I bet....I'll try that to impress my next girl friend. Do eyebrows grow back?
    They usually grow back, but slowly....unless you're trying to keep just one or two of them tweezed out, in which case they come back in about 20 minutes.

    And hey, if she's impressed with the Mentos stunt, at least you know she's a keeper. No reason to wait in suspense. (OK, so do it in the back yard, if it's a first date. )

    Or maybe you just want to show her the videos: http://eepybird.com/dcm1.html

  18. #18
    Registered User troglobil's Avatar
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    I guess you've never seen a burning Volkswagen.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by No Belay View Post

    FOR Sale; 1.a little less than one pound of magnesium fire starter/fuzzy little balls. Guaranteed to make a fire. 2. Slightly used 4'x6' island type counter top/grilled section. 3.Custom tailored Underarmor T, midriff in front, full length in back.(large brown spot on lower back).

    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,CHEAP,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,
    I'd like to purchase the magnesium please and thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    What is the name of the ebayer seller?


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Last edited by zelph; 03-14-2007 at 21:05. Reason: question

  20. #20
    Catskill 3500 #1575
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    Maybe you could trade your magnesium for some thermite. A few more experiments and the wife will gladly send you on a hike.
    http://www.guzer.com/videos/thermite_car.php

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