Easy, Homemade, Fire Starters


| 12/13/2016 12:14:00 PM


Tags: homemade fire starters, do it yourself hearth projects, Renee Benoit, California,

Renee headshotMy husband, dear one that he is, comes down most decidedly on the side of practicality in almost every situation. For example, for years he has been using lighter fluid to start our woodstove fires. It's cheap and readily available. In our drafty, old, mobile home when we lived on the ranch, I didn't mind so much when the house reeked of jet fuel in the mornings. It burned away quickly, and then we were about our business. He didn't like using newspaper to get the fire started because, well, first you have to have newspaper and there's no way I'm subscribing just to get stuff to start a fire. Besides, paper tends to make a LOT of ash, and who wants to clean more than you have to? So there. We were subjected to jet fuel in the morning.

Here in our new home, with its brand-new windows and no leaks as far as I can discern, the jet-fuel smell lingers just a tad longer than I care for. So, what to do? I decided I would make my own "fatwood" or fire starters. Looking at the expensive fatwood package in the store, I saw that it is nothing more than resinous wood. To have fatwood, we would have to make a trip up to the mountains. Someday we will. Fire starters are easy to make right now instead. The fire starters are only paraffin and wood particles. Luckily, I have paraffin leftover from candle-making. Paraffin is not exactly cheap, but I won't be using that much. A little goes a long way.

I proceeded full steam ahead.

The next question was what to mix in with the paraffin to make what is essentially a hot candle. I looked around. First, we went to the lumber yard. No luck there. All their sawdust was mixed up; I needed straight wood-saw dust, not sawdust with OSB or treated wood mixed in. Remember, I was trying to be pristine and healthful here and not go back to noxious, poisonous fumes.

When we got home, I remembered that we had cedar shavings for the dog kennel. Voila! Let's try 'er and see what happens. After a little experimentation, I found a recipe that works like a charm.

Homemade Fire Starters

7 finished




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