Mad Dog wrote:How do you rig up the steel wool and battery?
I've seen this done a number of different ways.
1) get very light weight steel wool "000".
2) Rig two sides of the circuit about 2" apart on the steel wool at the bottom.
3) Put some kind of very dry/light tinder on top (wood shavings, dryer lint, etc...) on top to get things going, with progressively larger tinder, kindling, and then the main wood content.
4) When ready to light, connect the conductors to the battery and watch it light.
The key to this is creating a practice rig (just the wool and initial tinder) to experiment first. I've used a car/boat battery, or an older battery charger without the cutoff curcuit in newer ones. Make sure if using a battery to FULLY charge it prior to attempting this trick. At full charge you get the maximum wattage from the battery to make it work.
Just as a note, this pretty much won't work at all if things are even a little bit damp. You need to create your lighting rig on a very dry surface (I've sometimes used a small platform that I've made out of lashed together kindling to keep it from being directly on the ground.
For the conductors, you'll probably need to go to the hardware store, and get a couple of spools of wire, something light like 14 guage wire should be fine. You will need to pre-set the wire, burying it in the ground under the fire, and out of the fire pit. It's also best if you can rig it to be removed once the fire is lit.
Again, do some experimentation with materials, but it's a relatively easy trick, and it produces a good effect.
Vernon L. Palango
Scoutmaster, Troop 131
The best progress is made in those Troops where power and responsibility are really put into the hands of the Patrol Leaders.
-Lord Baden-Powell, Aids to Scoutmastership