Instructables
I have been making fire starters for years now, and they have never proved me wrong. The way I make them is the most economic, and environmentally friendly way out their. (That I know of)
 
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Step 1: Supplies

Picture of Supplies
The items you will need for making these AMAZING fire starters are:
1+ paper egg carton
# any old wax candles or surplus wax
an old pan that you will only be using for this
Kindling (box of sawdust, dryer Lint, etc.)
Large sheet of Wax paper
Scissors ( only if using 2.5 Dozen egg carton)
Source of Heat ( Stove top, hot plate, etc.)

[Wax can be a lot cheaper than people think. I got about 10 pounds of wax for $8.50! Just check out your local second-hand store or a garage sale. I went to value world for mine]
[I got the sawdust from a local sawmill for FREE!]

Step 2: Prep.

Before you start anything else you should put the wax in your pan and set the heat on medium-high. Don't leave it on high for too long or the wax will begin to boil and you don't want that. Once the wax begins to melt you should turn the heat on to low so it gives you more time. After you have the wax melting you should start to stuff your egg carton. If it is a 2.5 dozen then cut it in Half. This will make it easier on you later.start to stuff the tray. If using only lint then you must pack it tight. If using sawdust pack it moderately tight.
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jimbo921076 months ago

In general you should avoid burning chlorine compounds where you can inhale the fumes. Most of them are quite toxic. And please don't use gasoline to start a fire. It's much too volatile to be a safe outdoor fuel. Stinks, too. Both gasoline and styrofoam produce black, nasty, toxic smoke. Bad, bad idea.

Stick with candle wax mixed with lint. A little tuft of dry lint on top will light the thing just fine.

Flammer2 years ago
These work great! I use a metal paint can and a hot plate. It takes a couple hours to melt the wax but the temp is low enough that it's not dangerous. And you can just keep using the same old paint can so there's no clean up.

Once the wax is in liquid form, I dump in my dryer lint and stir it with a long stick. Then I use the same stick to fill the egg carton. I let it dry over night and break them up. Never tried the saw dust, I will next time. Thanks!
spylock3 years ago
I did this a couple years back but I used only sawdust and wax and of course the paper egg carton,they worked great but are a little slow on a really cold morning now I use my torch,but you must be careful to stand the torch upright and away from stuff because it takes a while for the tip to cool.
i lieu of sawdust you can use pine cones too...
We actually use this same type of thing for starting our pellet stove. We just save all the dryer lint. My great grandmother did this when I was a child but she used old thin rags tore into strips and clippings from sewing.

Also...if you're into polyester clothes...don't use that lint. Natural fibers like cotton and wool (washed and dried old wool army blankets make great lint for starters) burn well, and you don't have to worry about any vapors/fumes. Also, beeswax is a lovely natural alternative to petroleum based candles.
You can safely melt wax in a crockpot.....there are even little "tart" melters if you'd only like to make a few fire starters at a time.
RTyler70713 years ago
Boy Scout Motto "Be Prepared". If you only bring a knife and flint, what happens if you lose one? What are you using for tinder? Scrapings from a dead branch, or pocket lint? What happens when it is middle of winter and 20 below, your hands are numb and it is hard to hit a flint and knife let alone blowing tenderly on a spark when you can't control your breathing you are so cold? Survival 101, carry multiple ways of firestarting in multiple locations. Last resort, flint and tinder, first try, use a lighter.
Using flint is supposed to be for fun, or as a back up. The Scouts "be prepared" motto would imply that you should "be prepared" with a light, torch, matches, etc.

Practice with flint and steel and sticks, but always have back ups for you backup. Even the greatest things on earth have redundancy or back up.
I have a flint necklace. I found a piece of flint with a naturally occuring hole in it and wear it everywhere. And I'm the type of person that has a knife, always, unless I'm going somewhere where there will be metal detectors. :)
Always keep more than one knife on you.
As far as flint is concerned, out here where I live, flint can be found on the ground. You can find flint in fields or near rivers, you've just gotta know what you're looking for.
The alternative is rubbing two sticks together- so not fun. Or if you're lucky enough to need glasses, use the sun to start your fire.
medius4 years ago
Now, why use wax? Why not jus tfill the egg carton frame with the tinder, and duct tape it shut? Is there a special function for the wax?
Have you ever lit a candle wick without the wax? The wax allows it to burn longer. Without the wax, the sawdust will just burn up. The sawdust acts like a wick and the melted wax burns, but not the sawdust. When there is no more wax, the sawdust burns. That's why candles burn for so long with just a short wick.
right. perafin, if im not mistakein, is a byproduct of petrolium. therefor it burns almost explosively if its in the right conditions
Data6434 years ago
They make special styrofoam that does not release toxins when it burns. It is used for making model railroad hills. Most hobbyists cut this foam with a hot wire cutter, so the company that made the foam wanted it to be safe.
It's called a flint and knife like we do in troop 91
hey this is a pretty cool idea, a good way to recycle. right now my firestarter is a match and a crumpled up piece of newspaper, thanks alot!
In my troop we call these cheating duct taping the tinder in would work the adhesive on duct tape burns surprisingly well
sgt. frog4 years ago
idk bout your "girlscout" troop in 333 we have flint, a knife, and whatever we forage.
fragmaster44 years ago
Charl, that is improvised Napalm. I wouldn't play around with that stuff. If you DO make it don't touch it or step on it. =/
A very effective fire starter can be made by putting poly-styrene (styrofoam) in a container with some unleaded gasoline. The styrene is melted by the gas leaving a soft plastic like sunstance. Scoop some out and use as fire starter. Safe and effective. Half a cup of gas will be enough to melt all the styrene packaging for a large screen TV and you should be able to start around 20 fires with that.
Or you could just throw a couple pounds of TNT into your house...
Good idea, I might try that...
Errr... I wouldn't recommend that... it would probably ruin your credit.
Ruin my credit?
Well blowing up your house just because someone told you to probably isn't going to look too good when you apply for life insurance...
I was just joking! :-)
Oh... because you know I was eager to see "DIY'er attempts to blow up own house" or something on the news reels... another time maybe :D
while explosives will work they hurt badly.....take it from saomeone who know, when i am camping i just use cotton balls and a flint and steel its the easiest way to start a fire.
... It was a joke.
I know im just making conversation........
Seeing as your a fan, you must always ask the question "what would Walter do?".  He sure as hell wouldn't go to the trouble of flint and cotton.
           Don't throw it your own house. Think about it!
Nah... That just blow your house apart, not light it on fire. Napalm, though...
Gasoline? :P My Grandpa tried gasoline. He was wrapped up like a mummy for months (True story)
Your Grandpa must have underestimated the power of gasoline as an accelerate.
No... I come from a long line of pyros. I'm just the best at it.
you do realize the Styrofoam when melted or set on fire releases a toxic fume that can make you very sick and cause you to wind up in the hospital, this idea, while great, should never be done with kids around
I'd like to quickly look at those "fumes" poly-styrene (styrofoam) is a hydrocarbon. Being a hydrocarbon it burns like so Fuel + Air = Heat + Water + Carbon dioxide + Nitrogen. Taken into account the incomplete burn of hydrocarbons the "toxic fumes" are most likely a simple mix of Carbon and water vapor (commonly perceived as smoke) and compounds composed of Carbon, Oxygen, and Nitrogen. This process is no more dangerous than heating your home with natural gas or fuel oil. A hydrocarbon is a hydrocarbon is a hydrocarbon.
Part of the reason there are so many different hydrocarbons is because they are 'doped' with other chemicals, and because of the differences in molecular structure which result from the circumstance of their creation. Various elements may seem innocuous because they are components of such things as air, earth, food etc. but that is not necessarily the case.
Styrene contains a chemical called phosgene - COCl[2], an acid chloride. It is mentioned in schedule 3 of the Chemical Weapons Convention, and was used as such as far back as WWI. In the lungs, it disrupts the blood-air barrier causing suffocation in sufficient concentrations. The mere burning of a styrofoam cup releases several times the amount which would require industrial breathing protection, and it disperses rapidly.
Good Response and accurate.  I would only add that the burning of many, if not almost all, of our common houshold furnishings result in the same hazards gasseous compounds.
Thats also a great recipe for napalm, but you didnt hear that from me. :)
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