Saturday, April 20, 2013

Making Firestarters

I often light two fires a day, so using a fire starter comes in handy. Now, I could buy 91% alcohol or BBQ lighting fluid, but why? I have the ability to make my own little fire starters for free. Here's how. 

First, I have saved the sawdust I made while building the house and barn. I use it to line the chicken nest boxes and to make my fire starters. I think I have a life time supply stored up! If I were ever to run out, I could collect more from the various wood workers around here.

Second, I ask people to save me the candle nubs and wax that they don't want. As  a result, I often find myself being the recipient of a box full of perfect, half used  candles. I have a decent supply of old candles, and more keeps coming in. If my supply ever dries up, I could use some of my excess beeswax.

Anyway, now I have sawdust and candle wax, next on the list, paper egg cartons. I cut the lid off of a paper egg carton and discard it (often into the compost pile). I then fill each egg cup with sawdust. After I carefully melt the wax over a double boiler, I pour wax into each egg cup, stirring the wax and sawdust together with an old chopstick. Now let it cool and solidify. Once cold, I cut each egg cup apart.

To use a fire starter, just place it under the kindling and light the paper cup. Before long the sawdust and wax will catch, burning long and hot enough to get a good fire going.

I've heard that one could use dryer lint in place of sawdust, but I don't use a clothes dryer. But I've got plenty of sawdust.

1 comment:

  1. Good idea, Su. Keep the cartons whole (lidless)and stack them, cut one apart as you need. Lids might make easy slug traps, smeared with a dab of whatever draws them, rotten fruit, da kine, then set under bushes, near pallet raised beds, by the veggies. The chooks will surely love the trays "served" to them, and help with carton shredding to boot. Dryer lint is horribly messy, but free for taking at the town coin laundry. Maybe fun for people who want to make paper for crafts, put out for birds to use for nest-building. It will compost, slowly.