Has anyone heard of this firestarter idea?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by cfabe, Nov 29, 2005.

  1. cfabe

    cfabe Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,526
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Location:
    Mid-Michigan
    I was talking to my uncle a while back and he gave me an idea for an easy way to start fires in my stove. He said he learned it from an old guy out west when he was traveling. What you do is save the wood chips from when you're sawing your firewood, let them dry out, then mix with some kerosene. Not much, just enough to absorb into the wood, don't get it really wet. Then instead of kindling use a cup or so of this mixture underneath your logs.

    I tried it tonight and it seemed to work well. I just mixed up a small batch, and in my maybe 1 cup of shavings there was maybe 1 fl oz of kerosene, if that. Seemed to burn for quite a while, until the logs caught.

    In the manual to my stove it warns agianst using accelrants. I figure this is just for liability reasons. I can't see a problem with this method, but I'd thought I'd ask you all to get your impressions.
     
  2. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

    Messages:
    7,220
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2005
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    i have an oil furnace that i need to bleed every time i service it. i save the drained oil and mix with the latger chips of bark. my only concern is letting the stuff sit around. i have heard that oily rags can spontaneously ignite and i suppose oily anything could ignite that way. i keep only a small amount on hand and away from combustables. i do not enclose it in a can or anything but maybe that would be a good idea.
     

  3. freeinalaska

    freeinalaska Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,138
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    Location:
    Happy Valley, Alaska
    I've heard of that method and I guess it works fine. I'm a bit weird about starting fires though. I consider myself a fire pureist or something. My wife thinks I'm crazy, but I won't use anything but one stick match and birch bark to start a fire.
     
  4. outsideman1

    outsideman1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    61
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    nc
    we use fat lighter wood . only one piece or two about as big as you finger is all it usually takes
     
  5. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    7,154
    Joined:
    May 11, 2002
    We used kerosens to start fires for years. Corn cobs were our kindling. We picked up the cobs every night in the chicken park from the ear corn we fed the day before.
    To make a torch, we tied a baling wire around three cobs and soaked them in a tin can of coal oil. They would burn for several minutes with a flame about a foot high. We used these to thaw water tanks or warm up the crankcase on the Model A Ford so it would start.
     
  6. Ramblin Wreck

    Ramblin Wreck Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    7,215
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2005
    Location:
    NW Georgia
    I use lighter wood too. That's the way I was taught growing up. Finding it in the woods is not all that easy though.
     
  7. woodspirit

    woodspirit Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,274
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    Location:
    Bristol, ny
    You have the luxury of having such a huge quantity of birch to start fires. Sweet. I usually split a bunch of ash into small pieces early in the year and store them indoors to keep them dry.
     
  8. Fire-Man

    Fire-Man Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    5,487
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Location:
    South Carolina
    What I do is------ I melt some old discarded candle wax in a old pot then mix in some dry sawdust from my sawmill, then spoon the mix into paper egg cartons---let set-up----then tear the carton so each egg holding section is seperated-----the paper egg carton edges lite's easy like a wick to get the wax/saw dust mix started--------makes a Great---------Free---------Fire starter. In a few minutes you can make enough for all winter. I have my friends to save their old discarded candles. Randy
     
  9. Iddee

    Iddee Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,464
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    Location:
    Middle of NC
    <<<<In the manual to my stove it warns agianst using accelrants. I figure this is just for liability reasons<<<

    No, it is for the idiots out there that will use gasoline, alcohol, lighter fluid, ETC. Kerosene, used motor oil, diesel fuel, wax, or any of the slow burning accelerants will work fine.
     
  10. Kenneth in NC

    Kenneth in NC Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    806
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2002
    Location:
    NC
    I would not use Charcole starting fluid....Oh yeah I did... but that was a long time ago and it was a coal burning stove. :nana:


    Kenneth in NC
     
  11. Oxankle

    Oxankle Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,638
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2003
    Location:
    Arkansas
    If your stove has a catalytic element you will ruin it if you burn plastic, rubber, petroleum, or certain other materiels.

    The instructions with my stove were specific on this point--only paper or wood fire starters.

    I simply split up a bit of ash and keep it in a box in the garage. Once I light the stove it generally stays lit for the winter, so I do not need a lot of kindling. A fireplace match and a sheet of newspaper, the ash and a load of wood---I'm in business until spring unless we have a bunch of warm spells. Winter before last it seemed that I was starting the fire every other day.
    Ox
     
  12. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,510
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2004
    Dryer lint makes a dandy fire starter. I mix it with paraffin and store it in chunks or in the cardboard egg cartons. I've also used the same dryer lint and paraffin mix but instead of egg cartons I used toilet paper or paper towel tubes. They really burn a long time. Now if you're starting a fire outside styrofoam dissolved in gasoline and mixed with moth crystals makes fantastic fire starter in any sort of weather.
     
  13. nehimama

    nehimama An Ozark Engineer Supporter

    Messages:
    9,916
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2005
    Location:
    Powhatan, AR
    Pine cones are free around here. I melt the wax from old discarded candles in the top of an old double boiler. Dip the pine cones in the melted wax. Let harden on a sheet of newspaper. Takes only one to get me a nice fire going.

    NeHi Mama
     
  14. Rick

    Rick Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    3,651
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    This may depend on the material that was in the dryer. I made some "lint" starters with empty toilet paper tubes. I did not have the assist from the parafin. I tested them outside, and they smoldered and smelled rank. I can't say if it was cotton or synthetics, but it was probably 100 per-cent one or the other. Just experiment a little, before "going live" with them.

    If moth crystals are like moth balls, they are some toxic chemicals in there, and in the foam, so be sure to stand upwind.

    Rick
     
  15. FarmerJeff

    FarmerJeff Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    100
    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    That is exactly what I do! :goodjob:
     
  16. CountryDreams

    CountryDreams Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    246
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    Location:
    Southern Missouri
    We do the same as Fire-Man and FarmerJeff do. They work very well and store very easily.
     
  17. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    3,693
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2003
    Old cooking grease also makes a dandy fire starter.
     
  18. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

    Messages:
    15,609
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Between Crosslake and Emily Minnesota
    I’m lazy and we don’t like a mess around our fireplace. We just buy a box of those wax/sawdust fire-starter bricks from the local building center. The box contains 24 bricks for a price of about 7 bucks. I cut each brick into thirds, making a total of 72 smaller fire-starters. That’s less than 10 cents a starter. These 1/3 starters will start full-size logs…no need for kindling! Easy, quick, no mess, 100% effective.
     
  19. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,910
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2003
    Location:
    tn
    another vote for the eggcarton/ dryer lint/ parrafin method. not messy and totally free too!
     
  20. bachelorb

    bachelorb Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    420
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2005
    Location:
    Anderson, Alabama
    Well I'm an idiot. I start with newspaper and kindling, but if the woods damp and I can't get it started a little starter fluid does wonders and hey it works in grills too...