preparing a mullein stem for friction fire?

Joined
Jul 17, 2006
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After cleaning up my yard I found a few mullein plants that I'd like to use for my first attempt at hands-only friction fires.

Any tips on how to prep it for use? How long does it need to dry? What's a good length to cut it to? I've got some nice cedar boards that have worked well for my bow drills, but I'd like to get more basic.

Thanks for the help!:)
 
Joined
Sep 13, 2005
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I'm not an expert but have done a few coals with mullein. I'd look for a spindle about 18-24" that's about 1/4" diameter at the point it sits on the fireboard. Some folks use the thicker end down, some use the thinner. I like the thinner end down. Scrape off the fuzz and shave/smooth down any bumps. Mullein is really "wavy" and those bumps can really make it painful. You can use a stone as a sander to smooth it a bit. Of course, a knife works fine too.

That's what I got. That and try goldenrod. Good luck!
 
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Oct 17, 2008
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Halo2 pretty much covered it. I've used mullein before with great success. I've never dried it myself but I've used the dry dead stalks that can be found at the end of the season. Make sure you get those nubs smoothed down :)


I've never tried goldenrod. I'll have to look into that...
 
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Aug 24, 2003
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Mullein is usually harvested in late fall or winter after it has dried. No reason you can't try and dry it out now, but it maybe difficult to keep straight.

I am on my pda now or I would provide the link, but you can go to youtube and search 'abo4ster' as I have video there using mullein. Will post the link tonight.
 
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Sep 6, 2002
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After you get the mullein smooth and to what size you like. Throw it on your dash board for a few days. Hey your car or truck will get really hot in full sun. Really dries them out.
 
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Apr 14, 2006
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Mullein? I spit on Mullein :mad: Use Teasel.

BTW, QB, what were your thoughts on the modified Promontory Peg?

Doc
 
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Thanks for all the input guys. I did spy some Teasel in the park across the road. I'll grab some of those, carefully remove all those spikes and try it alongside the Mullein I found.

Now where did I see Goldenrod lately?
 
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Apr 14, 2006
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Thanks for all the input guys. I did spy some Teasel in the park across the road. I'll grab some of those, carefully remove all those spikes and try it alongside the Mullein I found.

Now where did I see Goldenrod lately?

Teasel (Dipsacus sylvestris), like Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) is best gathered in the fall after it has died back.

Doc
 
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