canned air helps burn wet wood!

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Paul Wheaton, Dec 23, 2004.

  1. Paul Wheaton

    Paul Wheaton Well-Known Member

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    To make ends meet, I took a job out of state. I came home after being gone for a month to find that all of the wood is gone. So I pop out and find a couple of dead trees .... now we have firewood although it isn't as dry as I would like.

    I get a fire going, but it's a lot of work to get it going hot enough to be able to dry and burn the next log. Takes a lot of my wind! I have belows - it's easier to just blow. I have a blow pipe to get my wind closer to the fire without scorching my eyebrows, but just blowing seems to be better. Once I can get it going well enough, the draft takes over.

    I happened to notice a can of canned air that my wife used to clean the coils on the fridge. I tried that on a weak fire and IT WORKED GREAT!!!! "NO! You are not bringing the compressor in the house!"

    This probably isn't the most efficient use of electricity, but it is fun in a pyromaniac sort of way.

    I wonder if there might be some sort of air canister I can fill up with my air compressor and then take inside like the canned air. Maybe something that looks like one of those little propane tanks?
     
  2. thebeav

    thebeav Well-Known Member

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    When I use to do air conditioning maintenance I would use an old Freon can and charge it with my compressor to blow out the condensing coils up on the roofs. Be careful they will break if over charged. I also saw a AAA tow truck that had a portable tank filled with air for people with flat tires. It looked twice as strong as the Freon on I used.
     

  3. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    A can of hairspray works pretty good, too.
     
  4. thebeav

    thebeav Well-Known Member

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    As any torch would......
     
  5. caroline00

    caroline00 Well-Known Member

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    we use a blow dryer turned on low
     
  6. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    For decades there have been available containers made to serve as aerosol cans. The top unscrews and you add whatever you would like such as window cleaner, bulk purchased WD-40, water, etc. Replace the top, pressure up, pull the trigger and the product is dispensed through a nozzle. I think the nozzles are even adjustable.

    Kind of pricey though. The last I saw was something like $39. Of couse you would soon save that amount if you bought bulk liquids instead of aerosol cans at $2 or $3 a pop. As a good example, I use an air brush and a touch-up paint gun to take the place of aerosol paints. Paint in a quart is much cheaper per unit than in aerosols.
     
  7. edjewcollins

    edjewcollins Well-Known Member

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    "Kind of pricey though. The last I saw was something like $39."

    under $10 at www.harborfreight.com

    Ed
     
  8. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    Ed, that one is even on sale for $4.99 if you are looking at item #1102-5VGA.

    That is a VERY light weight version of what I was speaking of. The one depicted does not have an adjustable nozzle. I don't see why it wouldn't work great though, probably at lower pressures however. It also has less fluid capacity than the one I spoke of too. Think maybe I'll order one of the ones you told of since they are on sale. Sure wouldn't take much spray can painting to pay for one or two.

    Thanks for the heads up.
     
  9. herefordman

    herefordman Well-Known Member

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    The small air tanks that you carry round to fill tires etc. are typically called "Air Pigs", and are available at most auto supply places.
     
  10. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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  11. EricG

    EricG Well-Known Member

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    Do you have a good source for dry kindling? Having a good hot fire started will help get the damp wood going. Scraps from furniture factory or hammer handle makers etc..

    Eric
     
  12. Forget the air, just place a few sticks of wood inside your kitchen oven for a few minutes. During the fall months when I haven't gotten around to stacking any wood on my front porch to stay dry I sometimes have to dry a few peices in the kitchen oven just so I can build a fire. I crack the door open for ventilation and leave the wood in their for around 30 minutes or so, checking regularly. Then once I get a good fire going I stack a few peices upon the wood stove to dry. Do this only if your going to be home and only if you use the more modern type stoves with the built in fire box. Don't do this upon a cast iron pot bellied type.
     
  13. Paul Wheaton

    Paul Wheaton Well-Known Member

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    I just learned that we don't own a hair dryer.

    We do own a fan and I tried that. Pretty lame.

    The next time we go to town, I might sneak off and buy a cheap hair dryer - just to feed my inner pyromaniac.
     
  14. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    If you have a wet/dry vac you can use the output side to blow. Just make sure you aren't sucking flames rather than blowing. That would be kind of like those that use plastic buckets for ashes, or suck up spilled gasoline with a vac. Hey you' all watch this!
     
  15. Paul Wheaton

    Paul Wheaton Well-Known Member

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    Hoooooo doggy!

    I found out that my skoke alarm is working.

    And now there is a fine layer of ash all over the living room.

    While the output side of the shop vac does make that fire burn super bright, I think it's a bit too much airflow. The idea of the hairdryer still seems like the best.

    If I were a patient man, I suppose I could wait until I find a hairdryer at a garage sale for 50 cents.
     
  16. ibcnya

    ibcnya Well-Known Member

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    I just use a propane torch. The bottle is 2.99 at WalMart and lasts for months. I just put the wood in the stove and stick the torch in at the front and shoot the flame into the wood. Works perfectly. Just don't forget that the torch is there.
     
  17. Paul Wheaton

    Paul Wheaton Well-Known Member

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    I've been using a propane torch for the last week. It helps a litte, but it does about 10% of what the canned air did.
     
  18. Paul Wheaton

    Paul Wheaton Well-Known Member

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    By corky I have it!

    My fire is pathetic this morning because the wood is so wet. So I'm doing some experimenting and looking for another can of canned air. I didn't find any, but I did find one of those things that blows up an air mattress. Wow! 15 seconds later I have a hot, blazing fire!

    It's even cordless!

    Thanks for your help everybody, but I seem to have stumbled on the perfect solution!
     
  19. ratherbefishin

    ratherbefishin Well-Known Member

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    my father used to make a set of old fashioned bellows out of plywood and leather sides.Simple, cheap, and functional
     
  20. bgak47

    bgak47 Well-Known Member

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    Those fake logs make a good fire starter for damp or green wood. I slice them in 1'' sections & a couple of slices will start a fire nicely. They are mainly parafin & sawdust but with some kindling they will get just about any wood going.