Fire Striking Stone

ARTISAN’S NAME: Solvarr Hammarson (mka:Eric Campbell)

Title of Project:

eldslagningssten "fire striking stone"

What is this item? Is it related to a particular time period, culture, or geographical area?

Historical Basis:

My fire striking stone was based on this stone from the Västernorrland County Museum

Based on the wear marks it appears that these were struck with an awl like fire steel.

The way this is different that a “normal” flint and steel is that flint is the same hardness as quartzite but it tends to fracture in such a way that it shaves the steel creating the spark whereas the fire striking stone abrades the steel in a grinding motion to create the sparks.

“This Runestone is found at Örsjön on Härnön outside of Härnösand. It is from the early to middle iron age, 0-550 a.d. We archaeologists call the period of the Roman iron age people hiking time. Fire healing stones can be made of quartz, quartzite and sandstone. This is made of brecciakvarts. Around the stone is a gully which show that it has been designed to draw in the belt.”

In my opinion flint is a superior material to use but in many areas would have been a trade item. It is my opinion that these stones were used in lieu of flint in regions where flint was scarce and may have had a secondary use as a honing stone

Tools and Material:

grinding stone

quartzite stone from ocean

Piece of w1 tool steel heated to nonmagnetic and water quenched

angle grinder

diamond cutoff wheel


To make mine I tried a quartzite stone that I had available and while it functioned I believed that a coarser grain would give me better sparks.


I ended up making the final product out of an old coarse grinding wheel which i cut to shape using an angle grinder fitted with a cutting wheel to cut the silhouette and carve the lanyard groove around the perimeter.

In period they would have used stone working chisels and other harder stones for the shaping process. I chose to use the angle grinder and diamond cut off wheel because I did not have the time to do this in a periodish fashion.

If I was to do this again I would try to get an appropriate piece of coarse grain quartzite