How to Make Your Own Firestarters

| Posted By: Brian | 1 Comment

It’s that time again.  The air is crisp, bugs have put on their mysterious invisible cloak, and Jack Frost paints my windows each night (I wish I could make him stay away…).  The LL Bean Wicked Good slippers have re-emerged and flannel sheets are set.  Yeah, you know what I’m talking about.  Winter!  It has arrived.

One thing that I always look forward to in the winter is that first fire.  The relaxing sound of the crackle and pop of the wood in the fireplace.  The  hot air taking off the chill of the evening.  It is definitely something to look forward to.

I grew up with a woodstove heating our home and a fireplace was definitely on our “must have” list when we bought our house.  The problem with a wood burning fireplace is that it takes some extra work.  A woodstove isn’t like a gas fireplace.  There is no “on” button.  Fires have to be made the old fashioned way.  Gasoline and a match!  Just kidding.

The best way to start a fire is with a firestarter.  A homemade firestarter of course!

Homemade firestarters from wax and hickory sawdust

Firestarter Ingredients

Here is what you need.  Wood and wax.  If you are burning wood, then you already have 90% most of the ingredients for a firestarter.  Wood.  When I cut firewood with my chainsaw, I put a tarp underneath of the tree to collect the sawdust.  It doesn’t take much.  Sawdust from one tree will last you years.  Store it in an old garbage can and you’ll be set for a while.

Storing sawdust for firestarters in a garbage can

Here is my now 2 year old supply of hickory sawdust in a garbage can. And I still have plenty to spare.

As for the wax?  Go buy the cheapest bang for your buck candle that you can find.

Two ingredients for homemade firestarters are wax and sawdust

The two key (and only) ingredients for making firestarters - sawdust and wax

If you are cutting a tree like hickory, then you can use the sawdust for smoking meat.  I love smoking me a pork loin. Mmm.

Mix ’em up

To make the firestarters, you’ll mix the sawdust with melted wax.  Throw the candle into your best kitchen pot (ok, any pot.  You’re just melting wax!)  Melt the wax until it is nice and liquified.

Melting wax for homemade firestarter

Melting down the candle for the firestarter "glue"

Once you have the melted wax, mix in the sawdust until it looks like you have moistened sawdust.  You shouldn’t see any liquid floating around.  If so, add in some more sawdust.

Mixture of melted wax and hickory sawdust

The firestarter "batter" - mixture of melted wax and sawdust

Mold Your Firestarters

Now comes time to mold the hot wax/sawdust mixture into firestarters.  I find that an egg carton works perfectly for this.  Put all of the mixture into the egg carton, pack down the sawdust, then let them cool.  My candle made 36 firestarters.  And I still have LOTS of sawdust left.  Like I said earlier, it goes a LONG way.

Molding firestarter in an egg carton

Pack down the firestarter "batter" into each egg hole.

Burn Baby Burn!

What’s left?  Let’s light up the firestarters and make a fire!

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One Response to “How to Make Your Own Firestarters”

  1. Xiomara Wojnowski says:

    Hey there just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text in your article seem to be running off the screen in Ie. I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with web browser compatibility but I figured I’d post to let you know. The style and design look great though! Hope you get the issue solved soon. Cheers

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