|Camp fire starter.|
Commonly used fire starter: You carve off some shavings of magnesium from the block using your hunting knife, then strike the flint with the back of the knife to ignite the shavings. I removed the striker bar (see Cerium for a video of this bar being sparked with a knife). This one was purchased from Walmart in April 2002.
How pure is the magnesium you get at Walmart? Analysis by x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy at the Center for Microanalysis of Materials, University of Illinois (partially supported by the U.S. Department of Energy under grant DEFG02-91-ER45439) gives the following composition:
So, not too bad. It's not reagent grade, but it's decent technical grade magnesium.
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 15 April, 2002