Fire pistons

The ancient Indonesians invented a very neat way of creating a fire: they took a cylinder, added a little tinder, then used a piston to compress the air around it very rapidly, heating it up enough for ignition.

I have made several, slightly less useful but much more impressive, transparent versions which make a great demo for showing an important property of gasses.

They are made of polycarbonate, so much more resilient than many commercial (usually perspex) versions, and I can make them to a variety of sizes.

For a better idea have a look at my instructions on how to use one


Small fire piston
A smaller 20mm diameter fire piston. For the petite demonstrator, feels a bit light for those over 12 stone.
Medium fire piston
Our standard 25mm diameter fire piston, can be used by most people.
Large fire piston
A larger 30mm diameter fire piston. Can only be reliably used by the well built. Dave at 15 stone needed practice to make it work reliably.