Introduction: The World Best Fire Starter

Picture of The World Best Fire Starter

If you have a fireplace in your house, you have to start the fire.
I want to show you how to make free starter from recycled materials.
You can get everything for free.
This is my first Instructable, please be nice ;-)

Keep in mind that you're going to work with hot wax, quite unplesant to get onto your body.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

Get Materials:
Old candles
egg cartons
Sawdust from wood

Step 2: Melting the Wax

Picture of Melting the Wax

melt the candles in an old pot, I suggest using always the same one, the wax has to be completly liquid

Step 3: Fill It Up!

Picture of Fill It Up!

fill some sawdust into the egg carton, fill the whole carton, or even multiple cartons, a didn't find a solution for plastic egg cartons :-(
maybe someone has an idea?

Step 4: Pouring the Wax

Picture of Pouring the Wax

get the hot wax. You have to carefully pour it onto the sawdust, you need quite a lot of wax, if it gets solid on the top of the sawdust, the wax wasn't hot enought. Fill all portions and let it cool for some time.

Step 5: Use Em'

Picture of Use Em'

At my fireplace I need two sections of them to start the fire with big wood blocks and no paper.
You can use them for all your fire needs, throw some of them in your backpack if your hiking or biking or doing whatever outside.

The fire pictures were taken with a Nikon Coolpix compact camera, everything else with a Sony a-300.

melting the wax with a microwave, a bit tricky!


laci37 (author)2008-12-13

The best fire starter is gasoline mixed with alcohol and saw dust, but it isn't good to carry with you so when you go hiking or something these can be used. Anyway, good Instructable, thanks! :)

im with you all the way man, all the way.

siriously, how can you forget the oxidizer ? throw in some ammonium nitrate with sawdust, burns amazingly :-) ps. gasoline with ammonium nitrate doesn't work for fire starters, the gasoline burns above the ammonium nitrate, so the oxidizer doesn't do it's job pps. ammonium nitrate + gasoline doesn't form an explosive, ammonium nitrite is an explosive by it selve, but gasoline is added to make ik more prone te ignition, so it's about as stable as chuck of wood instead of a piece of rock. ppps. potassium nitrate works almost as good as ammonium nitrate

laci37 (author)Koolraap2009-01-29

Gasoline and ammonium nitrate do form an explosive, a terrorist have blown up a large building with it in the US. and for fire starters there is no need or oxidizer, gasoline is enough for the smaller wood chunks to catch fire.

Koolraap (author)laci372009-01-29

as i explicitly stated gasoline and ammonium nitrate don't make an explosive, because ammonium nitrate is an explosive already, gasoline is just for sensitizing

deathpanda (author)Koolraap2009-01-29

you don't use gasoline in anfo. its ammonium nitrate, fuel oil and sometimes nitromethane. you also cant just put a hand full of ammonium nitrate on the ground pour some gas on it throw a match at it and get a boom. anfo needs confinement and an detonation train to work properly.

Koolraap (author)deathpanda2009-01-29

jeah, and fuel oil doesn't mean gasoline ? i'm not an native english speaker, so my vocabulary may be a bit off

deathpanda (author)Koolraap2009-01-30

fuel oil and gasoline are different. it is probably something that is lost in translation. they use fuel oil instead of gasoline because it has a higher flash point. meaning its harder to burn than gasoline. gasoline can be easily ignited with a match while fuel oil is not. I have tried to light fuel oil with matches and its pretty much pointless unless you heat it first making it safer to work with when building there bomb.

docmarkc (author)deathpanda2016-12-08

Fuel oil=Diesel.

pppps. how about we just use one of those wind proof jet lighters

I tried, a 1000 C + torch lighter doesn't get big logs burning

itsruthanitha (author)2016-03-22

The environmentally safe, clean burning alternative to liquid charcoal and liquid fire starters are safe waterproof fire starters. The built in O-ring keeps fuel sealed and prevents evaporation indefinitely.

Recently I bought this Waterproof Firestarter, The Ferro rod and which are both included in 1 fire starting kit and that fits conveniently in your pocket. I found this discount code. Use this code "PD10"and save 10%.

Matt428 (author)2013-03-15

real Nice instructable, looks real GOOD!!!

Gcamper (author)2013-01-10

I made a bunch of these and I probably only added half an inch of stuff in the bottom. I used an old shredded cotton tee shirt. Has anyone experimented around and compared the results when using more or less sawdust or other filling? They generally only act as a wick, making it burn faster.

Gcamper (author)2013-01-10

I made a bunch of these and I probably only added half an inch of stuff in the bottom. I used an old shredded cotton tee shirt. Has anyone experimented around and compared the results when using more or less sawdust or other filling? They generally only act as a wick, making it burn faster.

TALLJ29 (author)2010-08-18

Just used some old notecards from school last year as my sawdust, makes me feel nice.

mmedeiros (author)TALLJ292012-01-10

hahahah. fun

dovehunter2 (author)2011-11-01

yes, this works very good, i use this method too. i gave my brother-in law a dozen and he was so pleased he wants more this year

kingsmanname (author)2010-08-02

I've never tried but for plastic eggs you could line the inside with wax paper or very lightly coat the inside with a small layer of wax first.

emmjul (author)2009-10-20

Ben.land101 (author)emmjul2009-12-28

 i use the same firestarter, but i melt it in a Skoal can (because they're waterproof) and take it camping with me. to use it i just carve out a little piece with my knife to light a fire with.
and just so you know, it makes life much easier to start with your tinder, then put the kindling on, and then the main fuel so you don't have to try to keep it all balanced.

james.mcglashan (author)2009-10-12

can we all please see you starting a fire with this

emmjul (author)james.mcglashan2009-10-12

I'll ad a video

Yerboogieman (author)2009-06-22

Hmm, nice instructable, one day i rolled up some cardboard in a circle and taped it really tight (about the size of a tuna fish can) covered it in wax, put a little lighter fluid on it, let it soak, and it lights right up.

dcnazario (author)2009-06-22

Good idea and a great way to recycle scrap material. I made something similar to this using an old cupcake pan (found in an alley), old candles (like what u did) and dried leaves. Pretty much the steps is like yours. Except the leaves/wax mix is removed from the pan and have to use a little more wax to help keep the shape. Anyway...good job and stay green. Peace.

elinux (author)2009-06-16

Hey,that's very cool : =)

wobbler (author)2009-06-03

Paraffin (kerosene or aviation fuel) is my preferred fire lighter. It's safe to handle, much safer than petrol, doesn't explode and you can carry a small bottle on camping trips. Just put some onto the wood, wait a short time for it to soak in and then light. Works every time and is great for barbecues too and is much cheaper than BBQ fire starter fluid. It's a little smoky at first but not a great problem.

tdouble79 (author)2009-03-28

This is a great idea. You can also use lint from your drier. It works well and is very GREEN!

middlenamefrank (author)2009-02-24

Nice, quick, easy, cheap and I'll bet it works well. You're basically making small Duraflame logs and we know how easy those are to get started and how well they burn. Also, wax and wood are not petrochemicals...they're fuels that are already in the carbon cycle. Very environmentally friendly!

I make my starters in cupcake papers, using a small ladle and cupcake tin (all picked up on the cheap at the dollar store). One change, I started using sawdust, but changed to wood scrapes from a planer - larger pieces of wood allowing wax to settle well w/i the paper. Give them as gifts to neighbors as we all heat with wood. Also from scrap wood, made a small box to stack them in and neighbors bring me the box to refill when they are done. Great instructable btw!

kopomeroy (author)2009-01-30

I guess in a pinch you could collect lint from your navel. If you have a nice innie!

illdoyourdrugs (author)kopomeroy2009-02-20


AgentMulders (author)2009-02-06

You could improve it by taking out the wicks in the beginning and putting them into your fire starters. That way you could light them like candles.

i thought the same thing

tina152 (author)2009-01-23

I've used shredded paper instead of sawdust to make these. And they work great.

MrE (author)2008-11-14

A better recyclable and something my family has used for quite some time, and it is easier to find is , Lint from the drier trap. This stuff is wooly and light and easily replenishable since it is our old clothing. I keep an old box of detergent soap that I empty the lint trap into and then when I need some for these egg lighters I always have a supply. If it gets too full I will throw some away but I usually keep about half filled. Saves on throwing all that useless stuff away and lights easier than sawdust

Nettiemac (author)MrE2009-01-23

Thanks for the tip to use dryer lint in this. I now have a good reason to keep it all. grin. I daresay that dried out lint from the washing machine would work too.

Thoth (author)2009-01-22

Pretty much similar to all those commercial firestarters. We used do something similar in scout, but we mixed the sawdust into the molten wax and then put it into paper cups. You then would light the cup. Or as I got older experimented and found once you mix the sawdust (works better with finer sawdust) and wax, let it cool a bit and it will still be pliable and workable by hand so you can shape it into whatever shape is necessary. Need to work quick though. It had the consistency of wood filler putty.

abkeith (author)2008-12-24

i love this project!

emmjul (author)2008-11-17

Here in Germany, only few people use a drier, and I'm not sure how environment friendly those man made materials are. I like your idea, but for me having tons of saw dust and using a drier twice a year it's easier to use sawdust.

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