A quick post to show you the simplest but most effective of fireside tools.
I light my stove every night of the year, getting all of my hot water from it, and this is the only fireside tool I use. Perfect for raking the ash flat before lighting the fire and then stoking once lit. However, best of all is if the fire needs a bit of a boost you simply aim into the heart of it and blow through the tube, the pinched end focusing a blast of air which can get the slightest of embers into a roaring fire. Safer and more effective than blowing directly and you can get a longer blast than from bellows.
All you need is a short length of copper pipe, mine is about 40cm long with a 1 cm diameter, and you crush the end using a vice or similar untill there is a thin slot as shown in the photo's.
It really is that simple but also incredibly effective.
Not the smartest of fireside implements but definitely the most effective
The squeezed end providing the focused jet of air which makes it so effective
About 40 cm's long and made from an old bit of plumbing. I'm sure a quick polish would smarten it up but it is very much a working tool