How to Make Sawdust Fire Starters

Written by gregory hamel
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Starting a fire with matches and newspaper can be difficult without kindling to ignite larger logs. As a result many hardware stores sell fire starters, which readily ignite and burn for several minutes, giving the starter time to ignite logs. Many of these fire starters are little more than sawdust and some other additive, a mixture that can be replicated at home with some sawdust and wax from leftover candles.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Sawdust
  • Paraffin wax
  • Large metal pot
  • Small, expendable metal container, such as a coffee can
  • Cupcake tray

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  1. 1

    Put a few inches of water in a large metal pot and bring the water to a boil on a stove.

  2. 2

    Place the paraffin wax from leftover candles in a smaller metal container, and put the smaller container inside the pot so that the boiling water melts the wax.

  3. 3

    Mix sawdust into the melted wax in a 1:1 ratio.

  4. 4

    Scoop or pour the sawdust and wax mixture into a cupcake tray or any other container that will produce uniform shapes. You may wish to place some thin paper between the tray and each fire starter, so that you can easily remove them from the tray. If you don't have a tray, you can wait for the mixture to cool a bit, and make spherical clumps on a piece of paper.

  5. 5

    Wait for the mixture to cool, then take the fire starters out of the tray. Simply light one with a match or lighter in a fireplace to produce a long-lasting flame that will ignite logs.

Tips and warnings

  • Sawdust can often be obtained from carpenters or woodworkers for free or can be created with a chainsaw and some firewood.

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