Rik Palm unselfishly gave of his time and talents in teaching many of us how to forge a flint striker from a file. (Check out Rik's website at

Rik Palm's portable forge. Rik was grateful to have Brian (aka Longrifle) there to carry the anvil from his truck to the work area!

Rik explained the construction of the forge to me, but I don't remember what the stuff was. Some kinda mortar as used in a fireplace, I think. I'm not too smart when it comes to this stuff.

This pipe fuels the forge.

Rik brought some pieces of file with him. We would make flint strikers from these.

Before and after. The "after" is one Rik made. None of us can match his artistry and skill.

Rik explains that after heating the file we are to lay it on the rounded edge of his anvil as shown and then pound it.

Our very patient instructor.

Me heating my file. Complete with safety goggles, gloves and leather apron.

Me putting the first bend in the file as Rik looks on. Note how far out my left arm is extended. This seems to be a natural position for beginners and it is all wrong. Rik said to brace the left hand against the hip for more strength and stability.

Having put the first bend in the end of the file, Rik demonstrates how to pound it so as to "draw out" the end.

Drawing out the end. It's getting a little thinner and longer. But I've still got my left arm out too far.

Drawing the tip out but trying to keep it square.

Notice my left hand now. Much better form.

Feeling kinda pround of myself!

Heat it again and use pliers to roll the tip back to make a handle for the striker, including a small decorative loop (see next photo.)

The finished product with flint. Cruder than most but I like it! It means a lot to me. Thanks Rik!

How the striker would be used. It works great.

Others were equally successful. Lelach.


Jarrod aka privateisland


The good Father Mike

Copyright © 2005 by Bill Qualls.
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