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Firestarters out of sawdust?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by paulgp602, Sep 12, 2006.

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  1. paulgp602

    paulgp602 Member

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    Hi, I am getting my hardwood floors refinished. I have a huge black bag of the dust from the floor sander that the guy left me. Is there a way to make some firestarter pucks from this stuff? It is a fine powder and it would probably burn easily if I can hold it together somehow. Has anyone tried this?

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  2. spot

    spot New Member

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    Yep!
    Just melt some wax.
    Use canning wax, old ugly candles, half-burnt birthday candles...whatever you have on hand.
    Melt up a pot of it - not bubbling - just melted.
    Dump in your sawdust. Stir it in. Keep adding sawdust and stirring until it won't absorb any more wax.
    I put mine into cupcake papers but you can just roll it into balls or something.
    Of course - be careful! The wax is HOT and will stick to anything (especially hands) and burn like heck.
    Let your creations cool off (24 hrs or so) and that's it!
    They light easily, burn long enough to get the wood going, and don't leave a mess.

    Now, what to do about your wife's good cookpots you just ruined and the sawdust all over the kitchen floor....
  3. paulgp602

    paulgp602 Member

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    Thats great info! I have a big crock pot metal pot thingamagig that I can use. I am going to make some before winter. Thanks for the information!
  4. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    I know a person who puts them in a big coffee can and soaks them in kerosene. Now, what i would do different is soak them in lamp oil., then he just spoons a little in to start his fire. He keeps the lid on the can and just stores it that way. I have tried it, and it works well for me. the ratio is a packed coffee can of sawdust to 1/4 cup of oil. All it takes is one heaping spoon full. I dont know how safe this is, or how good it is for your stove, so take it with a grain of salt. (what does take it with a grain of salt mean anyway?? LOL)
    here it is

    In common parlance, if something is to be taken with a grain of salt, it means that a measure of healthy skepticism should be applied regarding a claim; that it should not be blindly accepted and believed without any doubt or reservation. According to the Oxford English Dictionary "to take 'it' with a grain of salt" means "to accept a thing less than fully". It dates this usage back to 1647.
  5. BikeMedic2709

    BikeMedic2709 New Member

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    I like the idea of making your own firestarters. COOL! I might try the wax one. THANK YOU!!
  6. brian_in_idaho

    brian_in_idaho New Member

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    If you don't have the sawdust, as a kid I used to make up some from rolled up newspapers. Tie strings around your roll, every 3 inches or so, cut the roll into pieces and use the strings to dip them. I never happened to use this in the stove, but it made a good firestarter in the woods, don't see why it wouldn't work fine at home.

    Bri
  7. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest


    That sawdust, does it contain the old sanded off finish with the sawdust?. If it does, I would not put that in my stove.
  8. suematteva

    suematteva New Member

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    Had the same thought Elk, floor varnish??

    Might be like John Denver, Rocky mountain highhhh, ooops forgot to fill the tank!
  9. paulgp602

    paulgp602 Member

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    There was one coat on the floors over 30 years ago. They were in bad shape.

    Anywho. I ran the idea by my wife and when I mentioned hot wax andsawdust in pots in the kitchen, all was lost.

    I ended up bringing them to the dump in the end...


    Fatwood it is.
  10. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    you could have sold that dust to a pellet mill for big bucks!!!! < kidding>
  11. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Sounds like a job for one of those outdoor "Cajun Cookers" everybody is so crazy about.
  12. BikeMedic2709

    BikeMedic2709 New Member

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    I think I am going to use the sawdust from the local mill.
    If there is any varnish or urethane... Wow... That could be nasty!
    I am excited to try and make my own.
    Thanks Elk for the iinfo on the newspapers! I am going to try this, too!
  13. smirnov3

    smirnov3 Feeling the Heat

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    If you are worried about destrying a pot, you could just use a coffee can, either directly on the flame or in a pot of boiling water (just make sure that your wax melts at that low a temp)
  14. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    yes, you should put that stove to work, and earn its keep even more. Put it into slave labor making its own starter fuel. Coffee can and a hot stove top should do the trick and keep the wife happy.,
  15. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I am thinking there probably is a safe way to melt a load of wax without risking starting an unwanted fire, like that boiling water thing - I'm not a cook though.
  16. NFreiermuth

    NFreiermuth New Member

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    I'm with Velvetfoot.

    No flammable materials over an open flame, or REALLY hot surface. I'm no Chef either, but I think it's called a Double Boiler.
    Kinda like the way they melt chocolate. That way, the entire Kitchen won't be hotter than the woodstove!!!
  17. wtyamamoto

    wtyamamoto New Member

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    The double boiler method - wax in a metal container, such as a can, is placed in a pot or pan of boiling water - is the usual method to melt wax for various uses such as candle making, etc.
  18. spot

    spot New Member

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    OK..how about this one:

    No wax? no sawdust?
    NO PROBLEM!


    This method won't make your wife mad, but it may make the kids cry. (She will probably get mad about the crying kids anyway, so it's best to just avoid her for awhile.)

    You can take six of your kids crayons (with the paper still on) and lay them together (like you would stack logs). Then roll them up in a single layer of wax paper.
    Make sure that the wax paper is about two inches wider than the stack of crayons.
    Twist the ends of the wax paper to make the final fire starter look like taffy.



    Or.. to keep everyone happy, use a cotton ball coated in petroleum jelly. Simply roll each cotton ball in the jelly until completely covered. To start a fire, put two or three cotton balls under your dry kindling and light. I was skeptical but it actually works!

    ...now go buy your kids some new crayons you big meany!
  19. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    I finally have to step in ........... I made the sawdust and oil mix in buckets for about 4 months one winter and it worked great when you use a clean oil , used oil gets nasty and is toxic and i was setting there one day as i was maiing up another small bucket thinking "what the he(( am i doing " the fire starter logs are $2. and less mess. I started using the Duraflame logs cut up into small chunks and use less then 2 logs a year. Over all its a lot of time/offort / fresh oil (wax ) to make the sawdust logs to save $4.oo a year. Now if i have saw dust i just throw it in the garden or around the trees.
  20. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Well you will never get published in The Mother Earth News. That's for sure.
  21. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    some things some old timers turned me on over the years:
    anise soaked liver for catching catfish
    the presentation is more important then the fly for catching trout
    lamp oil soaked sawdust is a excellent fire starter.
  22. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Actually I think it should be published. Roo make perfect sense. When it takes more energy to recycle and burn the sawdust, switch your plan. Makes great mulch. That's how we use it.
  23. BikeMedic2709

    BikeMedic2709 New Member

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    I made them yesterday! They work awesome. They burn for about 30 minutes. I used both wood shavings, and hard wood sawdust. I found that it is much harder to maike using the shavings, but they start faster. I also found that lining a a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and then filling the sheet with the mixture, then as it cools cut it into 4 x 2 inch squares.
    I just melted the wax in a stock pot. It really wasn't messy!! Seriously!! And, what wax spilled, I just waited until it dried, then scraped it up with a spatula. To clean the stock pot, I just used the sprayer on the kitchen sink, and hot water. Came right off! Total cost: $9.00.
    I made enough for myself, father-in-law & parents! WoooHooo!

    THANKS!! You Guys ROCK!!
  24. smirnov3

    smirnov3 Feeling the Heat

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    I think you are missing the point - it's FUN to mess with wax & sawdust :)
  25. Turner-n-Burner

    Turner-n-Burner New Member

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    Damn. lost another post.

    Well here's the short version.... instead of cupcake wrappers, try just using an empty egg carton - paper of course.

    -Dan
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