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Made some waxed fire starters

Chigger

Ray Mears
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Winter will soon be around the corner and looks to be a wet one. Made some fire starters/helpers for times when kindling will be damp and hard to light. First sliced up some red stringybark into long strips. Cut strips of the inside of the bark.

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Next melted a cheap chinese candle in a saucepan on the stove.

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Soaked the stringybark strips in the melted wax while it was good and hot.

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The stringybark strips after cooling ready for use.

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Time for dinner. Another batch of chestnuts to be roasted along with some steak over the coals. Lit my fire spill/tinder already described in a previous post with flint and steel. Now the third fire the spill has lit and still has plenty of life to it.

Tried out one of the waxed fire starters which lit easily and can see will be useful at campsites with damp kindling. The still burning spill can be seen in the lower of the photo. Best thing I have stumbled across for a long time. Saves a lot of work.

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The final setting on the fire drum which was a chance to try out my newly restored cast iron kettle for its first boil.

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The fire lighter tapers are quite effective, light to carry in a rucksack for those wet winter camps. Being soaked in wax should be reasonably water protected as well.
 

WanderOn

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Chigger
Really want to try these but not wanting to answer questions such “what the hell did you do to my sauce pan?”, does to wax come off the saucepan easily when it cools? 😁
Thanks
 

Mozzie

Richard Proenneke
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Chigger
Really want to try these but not wanting to answer questions such “what the hell did you do to my sauce pan?”, does to wax come off the saucepan easily when it cools? 😁
Thanks
you need to go into stealth mode ;);)
 

Chigger

Ray Mears
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Chigger
Really want to try these but not wanting to answer questions such “what the hell did you do to my sauce pan?”, does to wax come off the saucepan easily when it cools? 😁
Thanks

After soaking the stringybarks there was only a little wax left. While it was still hot wiped most of it out with paper towels and then washed in the sink with detergent as usual.
Don't think there will be any problems.

And yes, a excellent project for the youngsters over the Easter holidays. Next thing is to find some stringybark trees and source the real stuff.
 

WanderOn

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After soaking the stringybarks there was only a little wax left. While it was still hot wiped most of it out with paper towels and then washed in the sink with detergent as usual.
Don't think there will be any problems.

And yes, a excellent project for the youngsters over the Easter holidays. Next thing is to find some stringybark trees and source the real stuff.

I’m a bit lucky that we have a stringy bark out the front. It takes a spark easily and burns well.
 

Wave Man

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Think I’ll go to the op shop 😁
Really awesome idea. Something to make with my kids
I was about to suggest exactly this, either that or reuse/rescue a pot destined for the bin and use it. I bought a pot specifically for this sort of thing as you do have wax left in the pot after doing any sort of wax impregnation and you basically can't ever get rid of it.

One note on the wax being used, just realize those cheap candles are great but are made from paraffin so are somewhat toxic, it's not a big issue but is something to be aware of.
Paraffin candles are the easiest candles to use but I do suggest thinking about using beeswax, it is expensive $40/1kg but non-toxic and smells a lot better when you burn whatever is impregnated with the wax. You can stretch the beeswax out a bit by adding in some paraffin wax say do a 90/10% mix of beeswax/paraffin mix.
 

WanderOn

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Thanks Dean
That’s really good info I hadn’t considered. Will chase some beeswax. Kids can’t help themselves from sticking their nose where it shouldn’t be.
 

Wave Man

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I buy my beeswax off ebay, as I said it's expensive but IMHO worth the outlay. I pay around $38-$40/kg for it, though a 1kg block (100% beeswax) goes a long way and will make a lot of wax impregnated goods.
I only buy Australian beeswax, Chinese beeswax is cheaper but I won't risk what they will add to it.
You can get all different types of beeswax with different aromas (depending on what flowers/pollen the bees feed on)
 

Chigger

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Those Chinese so called beeswax candles are rubbish. Burn unevenly and dribble wax all over the place and avoid them now as no idea what chemicals are in them.

Actually it was one of my last Chinese beeswax candles I used for the making of the tapers as described. Just wanted to get rid of it.

It is hard nowadays to get decent affordable candles. Either chinese junk or kitsch stuff from trendy shops.
 
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Wave Man

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beeswax candles are expensive no two ways about it, I have bought several types, all Aussie sourced and they've cost me a pretty penny, but are IMHO worth the money. I'm not up to making my own.
 

Chigger

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Not wrong about beeswax candles being costly. A local lady here makes very nice beeswax candles which are sold at a organic co op store. Good proper thick wicks and burn well and brightly.
Years ago there was packets of six so called "household candles" which were not to bad. However have not seen these for a while, don't know why they are not being sold.

EDIT: Just did a search and Woolies sell them so correct myself. Tomorrow will grab a packet.
 

Chigger

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An addition to this. Happened to be in the local Coles and came across a 6 pack of household candles for just $3.00. They burn well, no dribbling and reckon they are good value.

Handy for campsites or simple lighting for remote cabins etc.
 
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