Introduction: Firelighter Making Machine From Sawdust and Paraffin

In this instructable we will explain how to make a 'sawdust and paraffin firelighter making machine'. These firelighters are great because they burn long and have no problems burning in the rain and/or wind.

We made our machine inside of a cupboard but feel free to make it inside anything of similar size.


1 Cupboard (or something similar to use as a frame to build the machine in)

1 Heat gun (it has to be able to stand on its backside like in the picture above)

3 Bowl

2.5m Curtain rail

8 Curtain rail gliders

1 Smal cup (+/- 50ml)

1 Cupcake size metal baking mold

A bit of scrap wood and metal

Iron wire (diameter 1.5mm or more)

12 M3 x 15-20mm bolts and nuts

Screws ( length and thickness depend on the thickness of the wood you are using


4 L profiles

1 Cullender

Step 1: Installing the Heat Gun

The first step is to glue the heat gun in the cupboard.

Divide the cupboard in 3 equally large parts, left, center and right. Glue the heat gun in the cupboard so that the heat blows straight up in the middle of the left part of the cupboard.

Step 2: Making the Bakingmold

The next step is to make the baking mold in the correct shape and attach a handle.

Cut out the baking mold in such a way that you have 2 flat pieces on the sides. These should stick out about 2 cm.

On the front side you can attach a handle by drilling 2 holes in the top of the baking mold. After that you bend a 60-70cm piece of iron wire in half and you put the 2 ends inside the holes in the baking mold. Then you bend the iron wire ends tightly around the baking mold. It is best to use a pair of pliers for this.

Step 3: Making the Baking Mold Holder

This is probably the most complex part of the machine. As the name suggests, this part is going to hold the baking mold in place.

It consists of two L profiles on each side. These form slots in which the baking mold slides. At the back of these slots is a bolt that prevents the baking mold from sliding out the back of the other side. This same bold also attaches a metal strip that connects the two slides with each other. The bolts that hold the two L profiles together are spaced 2 cm away from the edges. This prevents the bolts from interfering with the rails.

You will have to adapt the size of this slide system depending on the size of your baking mold.

Step 4: Making the Rail Platform

For this part you need take a square sheet of wood that is 5-10 cm larger than the baking mold holder you just made. Screw two wooden bars on two parallel sides of the sheet. Attach the rails to these bars with screws.

The lengt of these rails needs to be of such a length that they are 5-10 cm shorter than the distance of the top of the heat gun and the top of your cupboard.

The rails need to have such a distance that the baking mold holder fits between them with a tiny little bit of play. You need to be aware of this when attaching the wooden bars.

Step 5: Installing Upper Rails

Screw two parallel rails to the top of the cupboard. Place two gliders in each rail. Make sure the middle line between the rails is in the middle above the heat gun and that the distance between the rails is the same size as the wooden sheet in the previous step.

Step 6: Assembling Rail System

In this step we are going to attach the baking mold holder, rail system and upper rails with each other.

Attaching the baking mold holder to the rail system:

First you need to slide one glider in each rail. Then attach a strip of metal to the bottom of the rails. One connecting the two front and one connecting the two back rails.

Once you have done this you have to place the baking mold holder between the rails and drill four holes on the top of the L profiles. These holes should line out with the gliders in the rails. Now you can connect the gliders with the baking mold by putting a small piece of iron wire through each hole and its corresponding glider.

Lastly you need to attach a spare piece of rail to the baking mold holder. This piece of rail, which can be seen in picture 2 and 3, should slide against one of the rails of the rail system. This will prevent the baking mold holder from tilting and getting stuck.

Attaching the rail system to the upper rails:

Place the wooden sheet of the rail system against the upper rails and drill four holes the corners of the sheet. Each hole should line out one of the rails. Now attach the rail system to the gliders of the upper rails with a zip tie.

Step 7: Placing Water Bowl

Place the water bowl in the middle of the center part of the cupboard. Make sure that when you slide your railing system from left to right in your cupboard the bottom of the rails is +/- 1mm above the top of the bowl. If this is not the case you need to elevate the bowl until you get it right.

Do not glue or permanently attach the bowl. It needs to be removable.

Step 8: Instructions: How to Use the Machine


1) Fill one spare bowl with fine sawdust. If your sawdust has larger chunks of wood in it you can sift it with the cullender.

2)Fill the other spare bowl with fine ground paraffin. You can make this by grounding down candles or it can be bought.

3) Fill the bowl in the middle of the cupboard to the brim with water.

How to make a firelighter:

1) Mix 50/50 sawdust and paraffin.

2) Fill +/- 1 cm of your baking mold with this mix. Make sure the top is flat.

3) Place the baking mold in the baking mold holder and slide it over the heat gun.

4) Turn on the heath gun and let the mix melt.

5) Once all the paraffin in the mix has melted turn off the heat gun.

6) Slide the baking mold holder over the water bowl and let the baking mold drop in the water.

(do not fully submerge)

7) Wait 30 minutes.

8) Slide the baking mold over the heat gun again and heath for 15-20 seconds.

9) Turn off the heat gun and take the baking mold out of the baking mold holder.

10) Turn the baking mold upside down end hit it on a flat surface to get the firelighter out of the baking mold.

Lighting the firelighter:

It is easiest to light the fire lighter by holding a flame to the fibrous top side of the firelighter.