Saturday, November 20, 2010

My Search For Fatwood Fire Starter Pine Stumps

Update: Snow! Power Outages!

Power still going on and off... It has been on and off over 10 times. I'll post again when the power is back on to stay. Snowing 'till Wednesday.

The power went off last night just before I could publish this post. I'm finishing this up quickly and publishing it before the power goes off again.

I took this photo this morning. What's left of the stump is under snow. It warmed up and the snow was melting. There's not much snow under the trees. We have 4 inches of snow on the railings. Snow forecast 'till Tuesday. It's raining now.


Fatwood: Kindling wood full of pitch. The fatwood I know about is found in old Pine stumps.

Fatwood: If you click on this link to Google Images and enter the word fatwood in the search box you will see scads of photos of really great fatwood. The easiest way to get fatwood is to buy some. I like having the fun of searching around in the forest and finding my own fatwood.

Yesterday and today I spent time stomping around in the woods looking for pine stumps. Unfortunately, I didn't have much luck.

Most all of the stumps I found were oak or madrone and when I did find a pine stump they were beetle eaten and mostly sawdust.

There is a stump next to the axe and is a photo of the best one of the lot. I knocked it apart with a few blows of the axe. I think it would have come apart if I just kicked it a few times.

I lit one of the sticks over the sink to see if it was fatwood and would burn. I'm not really sure? From what I have read, fatwood should smell something like kerosine? This stuff is pretty much beatle eaten, but it does have a pitchy odor.

I left looking for fatwood too late in the year and this wood was wet, but it still burned when I lit it with a match. So, I kinda think it must be fatwood.

Anyway, the whole reason I decided to see if I could find the fatwood was because I wanted to put together some firestarter paper egg carton boxes.

I have read about putting lint in the egg cartons, melting wax, and then pouring the melted wax over the lint in each egg compartment. And then cutting apart each egg compartment and having lots of little fire starters.

I didn't want to mess around with the scary melting wax part of the project, so I thought I would just take a knife and shave some wax off a little candle onto the lint I had put in each egg compartment. I figure the wax would melt when the paper started burning.

I rolled up some of the fatwood sticks in some newspaper and put them on top of the lint and wax shavings. Then I shut the top and tore open the ends of the egg carton lid, pushed it closed and the lid closed. Neat.

The fire in the wood stove was almost out. There were some wood coals still burning red. I shoved the live coals into the middle and placed logs on either side of the coals. I put the egg carton fire starter I just made in the middle over the coals. Put some kindling on top and two small logs.

This test doesn't really count because there were live coals to help get the fire started, but I have had a lot of trouble getting a fire started with just paper and kindling when there were coals. So, I would say that this egg carton fire starter experiment worked out pretty good and was a big help getting the fire going.

I think I will make a few more of these egg carton fire starters to have handy when I need to start a fire from scratch. Usually, once it gets cold enough to fire up the wood stove we keep it going and just keep adding wood. Not much need to start a fire unless we get some warm weather and we let the wood stove fire go out.

When I use a fire starter egg carton to start a fire from scratch I'll post an update here.

November Thankful Quote

I love to to be warm by the red fireside,
I love to be wet with rain:
I love to be welcome at lamp lit doors,
And leave the doors again.
~ by Robert Louis Stevenson

I am grateful for my wood stove!

Today's riddle: No legs have I to dance. No lungs have I to breathe. No life have I to live or die. And yet I do all three. What am I.

The answer to yesterday's riddle: A volcano.

(November 19, 2009)

[1 egg today]
A cute little black Australorp
is the hen who is laying the egg.

The hens are happy out of the snow.



Knatolee said...

Lovely little Australorp!

Some of my beekeeping friends use egg cartons to start up their smokers!

Hopeful said...

neat post! looks like you're up to something! hope you're staying warm today!

Holly said...

I too have heard of lint covered with wax in an egg carton. Never tried it as I have little trouble getting a fire started. Then we live in a very dry climate but I have noticed on days where the humidity is higher, the fire isn't as cooperative. I think the lint egg cartons is a great idea. Anything to lower frustration is a good thing. We have enough of that in our lives naturally.

Philip said...

Callie, really like your blog, will be back to give it a proper read once all the fuss dies down a bit on mine. Thanks for your kind comments.

John Gray said...

bloody hell
put a extra pair of woolies on!!!
love the pics very warming!!!!

Fickle Cattle said...

That's pretty cool. I'd probably have burned myself half to death if I attempted anything like that. During the zombie apocalypse, I'll probably be one of the first to be walking dead food.

Little Messy Missy said...

Keep warm!

olddog said...

I really like your blog. I've used fire starters many times especially when camping and its dampness causes the wood to be wet. I used lint & wax and it work just fine. I like to travel lite so I look for anything natural that will work. Pith wood is great stuff However, I found that pine cones work well or the bark of a birch tree even wet birch will bure becauce it acts like kerosene.

Dunroamin Farm said...

Haven't used lint, but I have used mulch and cedar chips, in the egg carton and pour wax over it. I put old candles in a stainless steel bowl and sit it on the woodstove to melt. I have used fatwood that we bought but just figured they had treated them with something. Now I know it is a natural thing and I'm going to be out in the woods the next chance I get to look for some.