Sawdust Firestarters

Introduction: Sawdust Firestarters

I’ve seen posted a number of homemade fire starters since I have come to this site, and if there’s one that I find the most effective it’s got to be sawdust fire starters.

I used to make these sawdust fire starters as a kid after learning how to do it from of one of my friends dad.
They are so effective they’ll stay lit in rain (not torrential downpours), on top of snow, and in high winds so they’re perfect if you need to start a fire in moist conditions with less-optimal wood, and they’re super easy to make:

Ingredients required:

tea candles 
ice-cube tray

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Step 1: Step 1: Melting the Wax

I find the best method for melting the wax with minimal wastage is to put them into a sauce pan and melt with that. You can use a non-stick one if you want, but it doesn't really matter, provided it heats up evenly to melt the wax.

Step 2: Step 2: Stuffing the Sawdust

What you want to do whilst the wax is melting is stuff the sawdust into the ice cube tray, but in such a way that it doesn't over flow, and is tightly packed. If it over flows to adjacent cubes, it may end up with 2 cubes stuck together.

Step 3: Step 3: the Melted Wax

At this stage, you have stuffed the sawdust into your ice cube tray, and the wax has melted. Carefully pour over the wax over the sawdust so that it can expand, but not over fill the tray, The sawdust will expand a fair bit so be careful.

Step 4: Step 4: Excess Wax

You should now pour off any excess wax that you have on the tray. This way you can use the scraps for later on and make more.

Step 5: Step 5: Freeze the Cubes

Now you have poured off the excess wax, you will want to freeze the cubes. This ensures the wax sets solidly, and that the cubes will remain firm at room temperature. They will pop out of the ice cube tray once cold.

Step 6: Step 6: Lighting the Cube

You are now ready to light the cubes. They burn for between 10 - 30 minutes a piece which is plenty of time to get a fire started using them. They are great in cold, damp and windy conditions as they burn hot, and they burn well. 

I hope you enjoyed this instructable. 

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    3 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    These work in almost any condition. Short of a hurricane or flooding, they work. I tried last night in torrential rain and they were able to light and stay lit for 13 minutes. Well worth the effort!


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    do you let sit for a while before you put them in freezer? not sure what my problem is, mine work great; however, i have a lot of loose saw dust after they freeze, they don't come out as solid cubes.?


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    You need to ensure you compact the sawdust as much as possible before pouring in the wax. Perhaps you can pour a bit of wax in the ice cube tray first then add the sawdust and then pour wax on top.

    I've not really had the issue you describe so I'm not sure what to say.