How to Open the Tin
To open the tin locate the hole on the lid and squeeze, at this point, the top of the lid down towards the bottom of the tin. The lit will pop open on the other side of the tin.
- Upon opening the tin for the first time you will see a roll of 100% Char Cloth Cotton that has been carefully placed in the tin, you will also see a small pointed Bamboo stick, which will be needed later in the char making process.
- Looking at both the lid and the tin you will notice that there is a small hole on the side of each. These two holes must be aligned when cooking your Char Cloth to allow the smoke to escape. It is very important that you make sure that this has been done and the two holes are fairly accurately aligned. A quick tip is to place the two holes together and then insert the pointed Bamboo stick into the holes and then press the lid home.
- To begin the Char cooking process make that you have about half an hour where you are sitting by your campfire and you will not be disturbed.
- With a pair of tongs place the tin near to the hot embers of your campfire so that there is plenty of heat that is directed at the tin.
- You will want to get the tin good and hot but not enough to begin the charring process, say about 150 to 200°C.
- 6. Keep turning the tin around so that the heat penetrates the entire tins circumference, which will evenly dry out the whole of the Char Cloth Cottons fibres.
- Once the Char Cloth Tin has been heated for a while, about 10 minutes or so, and all of the moisture has gone, it is time to start the charring process.
- Move the tin nearer to the fires embers, but not on the fire or the cloth will start to char too quickly on the outside leaving the central Char Cloth Cotton un-charred. Allow the tin to slowly become hotter and hotter until smoke starts to emanate from the hole that at the side of the lid. The smoke that emanates from the tin is quite painful if it enters the eyes, so as a little tip you can set the smoke alight; you will see a small flame at the side of the tin as it burns.
- Keep turning the tin every few minutes until smoke stops emanating from the hole or the flame dies down and then flickers out.
- At this point using the tongs remove the tin from the embers and place it on the ground away from the heat.
- Place the pointed Bamboo stick into the hole at the side of the lid, where the smoke was emanating from, this stops any air from entering the tin as it cools. It is important that the hole be bunged with the Bamboo stick or your char may well burn to an ash whilst in the tin.
- Allow the tin to completely cool down before you handle the tin with your bare hands. Once cool to the touch you can then remove the Bamboo stick - keep the Bamboo stick safe for future use.
- Your char cloth should now be ready for use.
- It is a good idea to take your time over this whole process so that you can achieve the very best quality char cloth.
- If you do not see smoke coming from the hole in the lid within a few minutes of placing the Tin near the heat move the Tin closer to the heat source.
- If the smoke is coming out of the hole too rapidly, you may be cooking the Char Cloth Cotton too quickly. Move the tin slightly away from the heat.
- When opening the tin lid (as described above) if the char cloth starts to get noticeably hotter, or you see an ember form, immediately replace the tin lid making sure that the lid is pressed firmly home and that the two holes are not aligned. Allow the tin to completely cool before reopening the lid again.
- When the tin is being used as a Char Cloth storage Tinderbox, make sure that each time the lid is removed and then replaced the hole in the lid does not align with the hole in the tin, this will prevent air and moisture from entering the tin at these times.
- For the very best results, your char cloth should be a deep black colour when finished. See overleaf FAQ’s below if you have any problems.
Q: My char cloth will not take a spark, what has gone wrong?
A: If your char cloth is brown in colour, i.e. it is not completely black, it may not be charred enough to take a spark properly. If this is the case it may not have been cooked for long enough, or the temperature was not hot enough when it was cooking. Place the char cloth tin nearer to the embers and repeat the cooking process overleaf.
Q: My char cloth has turned white, what’s gone wrong?
A: Your char cloth tin was place too near to the fire and for too long. The result is that the Char Cloth Cotton completely burned away and turned to ash. Alternately, the Wooden Bung was not securely placed in the tin lids hole, or the lid of the tin was not securely placed over the tin, which allowed air to enter the tin thus causing the char cloth to burn to ash. You will either need to make sure that the tin is moved further away from the heat and or also make sure that the lid is fitted securely, and the Wooden Bung is pushed tightly into the tin lid hole when the tin is removed from the fire, and the whole tin be allowed to completely cool down before it is opened.
Q: Can I make my char cloth on a cooker?
A: This process can be done on an outdoor camping stove, but the heat is more direct and will have to be kept quite low. Also allow for the fact that the Char Cloth Cotton that is near the bottom of the tin will cook quicker than that at the top.
A word of warning: Do not make your char cloth indoors, the smoke is very unpleasant and really stings the eyes, also the amount of smoke is considerable and may well set off any fire alarms you may have.
Q: How can I stop my tin from rusting?
A: You can paint the tin with a high temperature paint that is commonly used for exhaust pipes and also for stoves. This will protect the tin to temperatures of around 600°C.
Q: How do I use my char cloth with Flint & Steel?
A: Method 1: Whilst holding your flint in your hand place a small pinch of the char cloth on your flint and hold it in place with your thumb, strike down with the steel in your other hand, allowing the sparks to hit the char cloth. When a spark catches the char cloth it will begin to glow red-hot. Place the glowing char cloth into your pre-prepared tinder bundle and then gently blow it to a flame.
A: Method 2: Alternately place some char cloth into your tinder bundle and whilst holding the steel over the char cloth strike the flint down onto the steel allowing the sparks to fall on to the char cloth. When a spark catches the char cloth it will begin to glow red-hot, you can then gently blow the tinder bundle into a flame.
For more information about our Shark Tinderbox - Make Your Own Char Cloth Kit and how to purchase one please click More Info...