View Full Version : Iriquois Fire Pump

02-06-2013, 9:48 PM
Attempted to use some of my bug out basics to start a fire without matches. The only store bought items I used were my knife, some duct tape, and some paracord.

I took a dried out old dry hardwood branch from some tree trimming I had done a few months ago and cut it into two pieces. One for the spindle and one for the cross piece.
I notched the top of the spindle to hold the string, and cut grooves around the ends of the cross piece to tie the string so it would not slip.
The tricky part was figuring out what I could use for the flywheel. This is where the duct tape came in.
I took a whole bunch of small stones (almost marble sized) and started to wind the duct tape around the lower part of the spindle. I would insert a stone and wrap the tape, insert another stone and wrap some more. I used probably three feet of tape to hold about a pound of stones.
Once I got it fairly well balanced I decided to see how it worked.
I split a small piece of softer wood and cut a notch in it to catch the wood dust and carved a small depression for the spindle to sit in.
It took about two minutes of gentle spinning to seat the spindle and get a good friction surface established.
At that point I started pumping with more force on the down stroke. Had smoke in under a minute, and a good ember about one minute after that. Used some char cloth to capture the ember for transfer to a tinder bundle. Had flames a short time later.

Total build time about 1 hour. Total time using the fire pump to get an ember about 4 minutes.

The picture below show the concept. Mine looks a little more "cobbled together", but I didn't want my first attempt to be a harware store experiment.


02-06-2013, 9:55 PM
Can be fun.

02-06-2013, 10:01 PM
It is a good feeling making fire from next to nothing. In a real wilderness situation I could have made my own cordage and bound some stones with split twigs instead of using duct tape. But this was just an attempt to see the process in action first hand.

02-06-2013, 10:18 PM
I did a Dakota Fire Hole a few months ago and was impressed at how well it worked. Nice that it had very little visibility.