Author Topic: Firestarter recipe  (Read 15652 times)

OldManSchmidt

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Firestarter recipe
« on: May 15, 2012, 10:15:43 PM »
This seemed the best forum to put this, but if I missed a better option, move it.

I like to make my own fire starters for bad weather or if I am just too lazy to gather enough really small stuff to do the one match thing correctly.

Here's the recipe: 

One old muffin pan.
Put 2 tablespoons fine sawdust in each cup.
Melt wax and fill to within about 1/4" of top.
Stir and let harden.

I melt old candles the wife throws away or I pick up at yard sales, cleanout of fire jobs, etc.  If they are in glass, I put them in enough water to just about float the jar and heat the water.  The wax melts and I pour it out.

BTW, I really like soy candles for this purpose.  They are a bit more oily and seem to make slightly more effective firestarters.

Offline archer

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Re: Firestarter recipe
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2012, 11:32:12 PM »
good recipe and good idea OMS!

Offline idelphic

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Re: Firestarter recipe
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2012, 01:05:19 PM »
Pretty much the same thing,..  but it uses the little condiment cups you find at Arby's and Wendy's..  I had picked up some to experiment with,.. but never did.

Maybe now is a good time.

Offline Hootie

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Re: Firestarter recipe
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2012, 09:40:14 PM »
I like the muffin pan idea.

I have always used old egg cartons, clothes dryer lint, and wax. You can then break off the egg carton into 12 pieces.

OldManSchmidt

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burn time test
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2012, 10:00:12 PM »
 I like the results with the paperboard egg cartons too.  I use them when I can get them.  They actually light better than the muffin pan ones, but they only go about 10 minutes.  I tested 3 of these today for time.  Average burn time was 21 minutes with all 3 being within 2 minutes of each other.

I never tried the condiment cups because it never occurred to me.  Good alternative, I think.

You can also do it with news print cut into roughly 1" strips, rolled up and tied with string.  They are a bit more messy to make because the wax kind of runs everywhere in addition to filling the paper roll, but we used the news print variant for years in the Scouts.  In fact, the BSA handbook is where I got the original idea.  It would be a good use of all that mass mail junk advertising we get every week.

Offline idelphic

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Re: Firestarter recipe
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2012, 07:27:06 AM »
No reason why you can't do both - newspaper and muffin tin.

The idea behind the condiment cups was to use it as a case - cotton / lint / jute tinder in the middle, then a 'shell' around the outside.  Break apart, and you have the fuzzy easy to light with a spark tinder, and the paper/sawdust wax to extend the burn time...

Offline Zef_66

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Re: Firestarter recipe
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2012, 08:28:41 AM »
You can also do it with news print cut into roughly 1" strips, rolled up and tied with string.  They are a bit more messy to make because the wax kind of runs everywhere in addition to filling the paper roll, but we used the news print variant for years in the Scouts.  In fact, the BSA handbook is where I got the original idea.  It would be a good use of all that mass mail junk advertising we get every week.

What about rolling up newsprint real tight and shoving it into empty paper towel or toilet tissue rolls. Then standing them on end and pouring the melted wax in the middle of them to fill the voids. Just a thought I had when reading this. Hmm, or you could even put some really dry kindling inside the newsprint before you roll it. Then fill it with wax and cut into small sections with a hacksaw or bandsaw. Just some thoughts.

OldManSchmidt

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Re: Firestarter recipe
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2012, 10:18:37 PM »
This is what I love about this board.  Throw out a good idea and the crew here will make it better.  Throw out an almost half baked idea and the crew here will hammer it into a workable plan in no time flat.

Zef, if I get the time, I will give your mods a try and report back.  It may take me a bit to get around to it.

Offline PistolWhipped

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Re: Firestarter recipe
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2012, 06:36:17 PM »
I wonder if you could cut the sawdust/parafin with something like Sterno to improve lighting capabilities.

Offline Hootie

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Re: Firestarter recipe
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2012, 08:18:35 AM »
I wonder if you could cut the sawdust/parafin with something like Sterno to improve lighting capabilities.

I think you could by just adding denatured alcohol to the mix.
But then you might end up with a softer/jelly like product.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sterno

lot easier for my camping trips if they are hard blocks i can carry around.

Offline Freebirde

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Re: Firestarter recipe
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2012, 08:48:06 AM »
I do a bit of candle making and I will dip small pieces of corrugated cardboard in the wax.   I keep these in a sealed bags with some strike anywhere matches that I dipped the heads in wax.   I have seen people make rolls of strips of corrugated cardboard with matches put into a few of the spaces, heads exposed, then soaked in wax.   I haven't tried any, but the matches are suppose to make it easier to light with something like a magnifying glass.

Offline PistolWhipped

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Re: Firestarter recipe
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2012, 08:29:51 PM »
I like to have a can of Sterno handy,  Stir, smear/dollup a little on some tinder, and spark.

Funny story, I help cater some pretty big events at the hospital I work at.  One day my zippo was out of fuel, and we had a dozen Sterno cans to light under some chafing dishes.  Everyone was tearing the room apart looking for a lighter.  I grabbed my pocket knife, and the ferro rod on my keys and had them all lit in about a minute.  All but one caught on the first strike.

They still call me crazy.

Offline archer

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Re: Firestarter recipe
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2012, 02:36:59 PM »
I like to have a can of Sterno handy,  Stir, smear/dollup a little on some tinder, and spark.

Funny story, I help cater some pretty big events at the hospital I work at.  One day my zippo was out of fuel, and we had a dozen Sterno cans to light under some chafing dishes.  Everyone was tearing the room apart looking for a lighter.  I grabbed my pocket knife, and the ferro rod on my keys and had them all lit in about a minute.  All but one caught on the first strike.

They still call me crazy.
nice job showing them there is more than lighters out there.

Offline Josh the Aspie

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Re: Firestarter recipe
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2012, 09:33:32 AM »
Well, I tried making a home-made fire-starter.

I stuffed a toilet paper tube with dry twigs, stuffed as much dryer lint around them as I could, tamping it in with another twig.  I then poured paraphin in from both ends.

I then tried sawing the tube into disks.  Unfortunately, it turns out that the middle of the tube was not completely filled, and as a result, the stuff in the middle just broke apart.  I was, however, able to get some fairly nice disks from the ends.  I think that a part of the problem was that I poured in the paraphin a little at a time, rather than pouring in loads, and letting a seal form at the bottom of the tube from the clooling exterior paraphin, so that I could fill it completely.

How do those of you that do newspaper-in-cardboard handle getting the tube filled with paraphin, or other wax?

I put a lighter to one side of one of the fire-starter disks for under a second, and while it started out barely on fire at all, I soon had a roaring flame that cast more light than a lightbulb, when the surface was only about 1/5 on fire.  The larger bits of twig nearer the center hadn't yet started to light aflame, but the edge that had caught aflame was blackened everywhere, small twigs or no.

I intend to try lighting another edge with a match later tonight, and I find my fire-sarter that has gone missing, I intend to try lighting it with one of them.

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Re: Firestarter recipe
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2012, 09:01:46 PM »
I'm going to try that one Josh.  One thing we have no shortage of around here is empty toilet paper rolls.  I swear the wife and dogs all three eat the stuff!  Also to note, the younger of our two dogs makes a formidable effort to reduce any wood (including a rather comical attempt at my firewood stack) to twigs.  I'll have to make due with wax from scrap candles.  I'm too cheap to buy paraffin.

Offline Josh the Aspie

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Re: Firestarter recipe
« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2012, 11:08:23 PM »
^_^ Glad you like the adaptation.

No one in my family really uses candles except in case of black-out, and then we have these monstrous ones in ceramic cans, so left-overs isn't really plausible for me.  I almost bought the soy wax, and may do so next time to experiment, but the 1-lb bar was $7, and the 1& 1/2 was $8, so I've got more than a lb of paraphin left over for projects for some time to come.

Not going to use it for any waxed leather though.  That I'd use bees or soy for, since it'd be up against my skin often enough for the quality to matter.

And yeah, the dryer lint is free too.  ^_^

Anyway, I tried lighting it with matches.  I tried lighting it from the side, and it didn't take well.  But when I tried holding the match -under- the starter, it took off like no-one's business.  I let it burn longer this time, and it got even more of a formidable flame going.  I couldn't blow it out this time, so I dunked it in the sink.

Still haven't found my striking rod.  I've got the feeling it wouldn't start too easily with the striking rod, given the problems I've had starting fires in the past.  But I'll give it a try anyway.  I may need to pre-cut the rounds, and leave some of the dryer lint not-soaked paraphin-wise.  I'd just need to use littler stick-sections inside the round.

Offline archer

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Re: Firestarter recipe
« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2012, 11:29:31 PM »
Still haven't found my striking rod.  I've got the feeling it wouldn't start too easily with the striking rod, given the problems I've had starting fires in the past.  But I'll give it a try anyway.  I may need to pre-cut the rounds, and leave some of the dryer lint not-soaked paraphin-wise.  I'd just need to use littler stick-sections inside the round.
put some vaseline on the lint, that will help a striking rod light it up

Offline Josh the Aspie

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Re: Firestarter recipe
« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2012, 11:45:03 PM »
Thanks Archer!  Do you think that I should pour paraphin over the vasaline treated area?  Or treat the center with vasaline and the other areas with paraphin?  Or one side entirely with each?

Offline archer

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Re: Firestarter recipe
« Reply #18 on: June 05, 2012, 11:52:14 PM »
Thanks Archer!  Do you think that I should pour paraphin over the vasaline treated area?  Or treat the center with vasaline and the other areas with paraphin?  Or one side entirely with each?
put Vaseline outside, so the sparks hit it and it lights up.... then put the entire fire starter in a baggy to keep the Vaseline from getting all over.
 
or just keep a pill jar of Vaseline soaked cotton balls with the fire starters. pull off a small piece of cotton ball, stick to fire starter, light cotton ball with striker, cotton ball starts fire starter up.

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Re: Firestarter recipe
« Reply #19 on: June 05, 2012, 11:54:33 PM »
So you think it'd work well to do a 3-stage starting system.  Striker -> vaseline soaked cotton ball -> firestarter.  Hmmm.

I think I like the idea of just coating the thing in vaseline better.  I'm planning to have the whole thing in a baggy for water-proofing anyway.

Offline archer

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Re: Firestarter recipe
« Reply #20 on: June 05, 2012, 11:57:50 PM »
So you think it'd work well to do a 3-stage starting system.  Striker -> vaseline soaked cotton ball -> firestarter.  Hmmm.

I think I like the idea of just coating the thing in vaseline better.  I'm planning to have the whole thing in a baggy for water-proofing anyway.
ok. cool. i use the cottons balls with my flintsteel. i made some starters also, they worked well with a little cotton ball as a wick.

Offline Josh the Aspie

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Re: Firestarter recipe
« Reply #21 on: June 06, 2012, 02:43:21 AM »
Interesting.  I'm not sure how the cotton balls would be much different from using dryer lint though, aside from getting away from snythetic fibers.

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Re: Firestarter recipe
« Reply #22 on: June 06, 2012, 08:18:30 AM »
Interesting.  I'm not sure how the cotton balls would be much different from using dryer lint though, aside from getting away from snythetic fibers.
i save cotton balls from pill bottles so i have a nice supply. the dryer lint will have synthetic fibers as well as hair/etc. might not smell the best and dont inhale the smoke due to the synthetic fibers.

Offline Adam B.

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Re: Firestarter recipe
« Reply #23 on: June 06, 2012, 09:01:19 AM »
Quote
and the ferro rod on my keys

Wow, now I have another item to find for my EDC kit! I wonder if REI has them in the little pocket EDC doo dads section.

Offline welshman

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Re: Firestarter recipe
« Reply #24 on: June 21, 2012, 02:37:27 PM »
I like the diesel fuel and saw dust mix it up and store in  a quart paint can. Works great easy to start burns hot

Offline LdMorgan

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Re: Firestarter recipe
« Reply #25 on: June 21, 2012, 03:35:00 PM »
I like waxed jute for firestarting. I melt down old dead candles, and then dip 6" lengths of jute twine into the hot wax. After they cool, I cut them in half and stash them in a baggie.

A single 3" strand will burn hot for several minutes and start up even very damp kindling.

If I'm making sparks to start the fire, I just fray out one end of the twine.

With magnesium, it's like flipping on a light switch. Instant fire.

Offline archer

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Re: Firestarter recipe
« Reply #26 on: June 21, 2012, 03:41:45 PM »
I like the diesel fuel and saw dust mix it up and store in  a quart paint can. Works great easy to start burns hot
good idea...

I like waxed jute for firestarting. I melt down old dead candles, and then dip 6" lengths of jute twine into the hot wax. After they cool, I cut them in half and stash them in a baggie.

A single 3" strand will burn hot for several minutes and start up even very damp kindling.

If I'm making sparks to start the fire, I just fray out one end of the twine.

With magnesium, it's like flipping on a light switch. Instant fire.
another good idea...

Offline Josh the Aspie

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Re: Firestarter recipe
« Reply #27 on: July 03, 2012, 10:45:52 AM »
Okay, I finished cutting and tried out my fire-starter pucks with my fero-rod.  No go.

Then again, I could barely even get shredded paper to start using the fero-rod, so maybe I'm using the rod incorrectly.  I struck down one edge of the rod repeatedly.  However, until I got a bit that continued to re-spark after it hit the paper, nothing got lit.

Offline Freebirde

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Re: Firestarter recipe
« Reply #28 on: July 03, 2012, 05:58:18 PM »
Here are a two videos showing good ferro rod technique.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRQlKjbws7c&feature=plcp

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Xd4dOBsEzc&feature=BFa&list=ULSLjN3avypjw

Brian lives in an area with a lot of fatwood, as you can see in the second video.

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Re: Firestarter recipe
« Reply #29 on: July 06, 2012, 02:59:34 AM »
Thanks Freebird.  I think I get it better now.  Short, hard strokes near the end, rather than trying long strokes from top to bottom.