Introduction: Simple Cardboard Fire Starter From a Tuna Can(Video)
In this project I'm going to show you how to make a simple and very effective fire starter that can last for long hours and is highly wind resistant.
If you don't prefer to read, you can skip it and watch the video instead where I have explained all the steps in detail. If you do, then continue reading the written steps along with pictures in the following steps.
Find out more similar projects and gadget reviews on my YouTube channel www.youtube.com/miibooth
Step 1: Stuff You Need
This is what you'll need.
1) An empty tuna can or any can as long as its not very narrow and thin.
3) Candles and a metal container to melt the candles in.
6) Sanding paper.
7) Masking tape.
Let's move on to the construction.
Step 2: Prep Your Can and Cardboard.
- Take you tuna can and peel off any wrappers. Some cans come coated with paint, those will work too but better to get a clean one.
- Make a marking of the can's height on the cardboard and cut it out into a long strip like you see in the pictures.(Make sure you cut in the right orientation so you don't have difficulty folding it later.
- Use your first strip as a guide and cut multiple strips.
- Tape them end to end with some masking tape to make one long strip.
- Roll the strip from one end until the roll can fit tightly in your can. If you have some extra, cut it off.
Step 3: Fit Your Roll in the Can.
- Fit the cardboard roll into your can and make sure its a snug fit.
- If your roll is taller than the can, you can trim it using a serrated knife or leave it like than.(Be very careful when using the knife and blade, I cut my finger pretty bad during this project with the knife.)
- Take another small square cardboard piece and make four tabs on one side. fold it over and jam in into the center of the roll and open up the tabs like a flower. This will be the vic for our fire starter.
Let's melt some candles now.
Step 4: Melting Works.
- Put some candles in a metal container and place it on a stove to melt it. I just used my butane torch. Don't get the wax too hot as it will take that much longer to set.
- When the was is melted, remove the vic threads using a fork.
- Pour the melted wax onto your can with the cardboard roll in it. Make sure to pour it evenly and coat all of the cardboard.
- When the can seems full, let it relax. The cardboard will absorb the wax and the can will seem half empty again. pour the remaining wax and then let it cool completely.
- After a couple of hours when it has cooled down completely its ready to use. I made a bunch of them from different cans.
Let's test its possibilities now.
Step 5: Test No.1 Igniting Firewood.
- Stack up some firewood and place your fire starter below it.
- Light up the vic and wait for a while as it transforms from a gentle candle to a mini bonfire.
- Push in under the firewood and let the magic happen. (I did my demo with some twigs but you can do it with real firewood)
- When the fire is lit, you can remove the fire starter and put it off for later use or leave it in there for added fire power.
Continue for test no.2
Step 6: Test No.2 Lighting Charcoal.
- Pile up some charcoal on a grilling net and place the firestarter below it. Within minutes your charcoal will be glowing red.
I used the charcoal I made in another project video two weeks ago. You can watch that here:
Now for some wind testing.
Step 7: Test No.3 Wind Resistance
- First of all, if you club a couple of these together, you won't need a bonfire anymore.
- And as I mentioned earlier, these things are highly wind resistant. To test it, I put a hand fan on its highest speed and as you can see, the bonfire kept burning.
- Just to make sure, I did a solo test and it emerged victorious.
- Finally, blowing extremely hard on them did the job.
When you’re done, put it off and store it on the side for later use. It’s great to have some of these at hand. You won’t have to buy commercial fire starter fluid again.
I hope you like this project and let me know if you try it out. Don't forget to share it with your friends and family.
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Runner Up in the
Cardboard Contest 2016
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