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Firestarters question


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Hi everyone! I have a question about the firestarters. I have never had a fireplace til now when we moved into this house, and my BF always wants me to buy firestarters...the wood kind coated in something. Anyway I thought of making some, but does anyone have any experience in how those would work in a fireplace? Wouldnt it gum things up? I wouldnt want sloppy messy melted wax in the bottom of my fireplace. So how does that work does anyone know? I dont want to try it if its a mess lol.

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Stay away from pine wood/cones is all I know. The wax should get hot enough to burn up. We had a outdoor fire going and put some in and the wax melted to the point of flashing which made a cool orange flame but when it gets that hot the wax gets used up pretty fast. I would use straw or just use a bunch of wick trimmings or wood chips (like for a bbq grill) as a source of ignition. Bruce

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Wow.......I sure am glad to see the answers so far to this post. I'm sure I will get slammed again, but this subject was brought up awhile back, and I asked my cousin (who is also a fire chief in a small town) about the safety of firestarters. I asked about the safety of the pinecone firestarters and he said BIG NO NO, don't do them!! The creosote builds up in your chimney VERY quickly and sticks to the sides, making it very dangerous. Now I realize (as was pointed out rather rudely) than ANY candle or ANY fire requires common sense and "using them wisely". According to MORE THAN ONE fire chief, there IS no safe way or "using wisely" way to use them, since you don't KNOW how much build up is up in the chimney! They convinced me not to use them at all. I then asked about the sawdust mix with wax (after all, I figured, hey, it's wood) and was told these would be SLIGHTLY better IF I insisted on using them at all, but no more than one a week, and ONLY if the chimney was checked regularly. Instead of taking any chances, I've only made them for using on campfires when we go camping. Altho pretty.....who really wants to take the chance, after talking to several fire chiefs, I don't. Please don't shoot the messenger.

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Wow.......I sure am glad to see the answers so far to this post. Now I realize (as was pointed out rather rudely) than ANY candle or ANY fire requires common sense and "using them wisely". I then asked about the sawdust mix with wax

Did I miss something? Who was rude? The sawdust wouldnt work because almost all sawdust comes from what gets sawed the most.. Pine. I dont see why the wood you use in the fireplace solid or dust form mixed with a little wax could be any more of a problem than just burning the wood. Are they saying they have a problem with the wax? Bruce

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Im not sure who was rude :o but um i guess i just dont want a mess in my fireplace, so wasnt sure if it really made a big mess, or left lots of residue in the fireplace. Sounds like it might. Maybe im wrong i dont know, i just wouldnt want find out by using them until it does cause some kind of build up, unless someone has concrete evidence that it doesnt. I think they obviously would do well for campfires though! :)

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I make firestarters and sell them. I make mine in paper party cups (like you would use to put nuts or mints in at a bridal shower). I make them from pine shavings (hamster litter) and wax, topped off with some decorative potpourri. I have never had a problem with them "gumming" up a fireplace. Anyone who burns real wood in a fireplace should always have their chimney cleaned yearly, no matter if you use firestarters or not.

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I have been reading these post and came across these firestarter pine cones. My parents camp 6 months out of the year...This could be a great selling item. I just have a few questions. If you color the wax used to dip the pine cones, does it have any effect except for appearance. The same with the scent. After you burn it can you smell it over the smell of the fire or is the smell just for when used as decoration? How do the cones affect the burn of the fire?

Thanks

Heidi

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Wow.......I sure am glad to see the answers so far to this post. I'm sure I will get slammed again, but this subject was brought up awhile back, and I asked my cousin (who is also a fire chief in a small town) about the safety of firestarters. I asked about the safety of the pinecone firestarters and he said BIG NO NO, don't do them!! The creosote builds up in your chimney VERY quickly and sticks to the sides, making it very dangerous. Now I realize (as was pointed out rather rudely) than ANY candle or ANY fire requires common sense and "using them wisely". According to MORE THAN ONE fire chief, there IS no safe way or "using wisely" way to use them, since you don't KNOW how much build up is up in the chimney! They convinced me not to use them at all. I then asked about the sawdust mix with wax (after all, I figured, hey, it's wood) and was told these would be SLIGHTLY better IF I insisted on using them at all, but no more than one a week, and ONLY if the chimney was checked regularly. Instead of taking any chances, I've only made them for using on campfires when we go camping. Altho pretty.....who really wants to take the chance, after talking to several fire chiefs, I don't. Please don't shoot the messenger.

Having been a fireman for well over 17 years, I dont always agree with the ol timer fire chief's. The amount of wax and wood chips or whatever you use is too small of a quantity to cause you too much trouble. Granted, you have to keep your chimney's clean, but the start wont cause that much of a buildup on shortterm use. Almost all of the residue will burn up within a short period of time.... I do agree tho, use common sense... and you should be ok... and fortunately, my aim aint what it used to be..... so the messenger is safe ;)

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I agree with wvcandleguy. The amount of wax is so small, it would never build up in the chimney. I use the firestarter bricks all the time, but I cut each one into six pieces. You could use any kind of wood for the sawdust, it has been kiln dried. I am going to make firestarers with my scrap wax, and I do woodworking, so I have an endless supply of sawdust lol.

And as always, get your chimney cleaned every year. A chimney fire is not a good thing. Just ask, I had one four years ago in my woodburner chimney. Luckily, I was in the basement at the time, and got all the air shut off to it and snuffed it out. (was caused wrong size flue liners). But cost $2500 to repair. Now all my chimneys get cleaned every year.

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I make mine from chipped wood near where tree trimmers use a stump grinder and create a big pile of chipped tree stumps. Soak them in tiki torch fuel for a couple of hours, then put some in muffin pan wells and top off with melted wax. Don't have a working fireplace but have used them when camping. Just takes one to start a roaring fire!

I was not aware of the fire hazard issue with chimneys and creosote buildup from using wax firestarters. I would agree that chimneys need to be cleaned once a year so it seems that wax firestarters is a non-issue.

However, in the same context of someone abusing a jar or pillar candle and having a fire erupt and then getting sued, there could be some people who don't clean their fireplaces, use firestarters, then have a fire and blame us because the fire chief blamed it on creosote buildup caused by wax firestarters.

Perhaps we should start putting warning labels on fire starters alerting the user to the possible hazard, and they should have their chimneys inspected and cleaned at least once a year.

geek :undecided

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I have been using old wax for a while (at least 2 years) in my fireplace. I also save paper towels that have been used to clean out pour pots (so they are full of wax), etc to start fires. I use cup cake papers and fill up with left overs of wax or freeze and then break up old pillar candles to use....I also have my chimmney cleaned once a year. I find the wax to be the easiest way to get a good fire going and have noticed/found no problem with using it. Amazing how there can be so many differing opinions but, for me, the wax (and paper towels) has worked great...no problems! Lord - never thought I would find a use for all those paper towels I was using....:laugh2: Maybe there is a market for used papertowels? Didn't someone on here sell their wax scraps? Wonder if I should patent the idea? lol

Debbie

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If you wanted to try the firestarters, whether in a fireplace or a campfire, the idea is the same. You would use something to hold the wax and wood chips (ie muffin/cupcake paper cups or party paper cups). Pour the melted wax into the bottom of the cup over the wood chips (preferably not pine chips) and then add wick trimming. You can top it with decorative potpourri, birdseed, etc for looks. You can try without using a wick, but I had a hard time getting it to start properly without. When these burn, the idea is that the wax ignites and starts the fire. The wax will completely burn off. There will be no scent after the wax ignites - it will only smell good until you burn it. The dye from the wax will not change the color of the flames. In order to do that you have to use specific chemicals and the reaction from the chemicals and flames cause the color of the flames to change.

So if you don't use pinecones or pine chips to make your firestarters, there should be no creosote buildup. The party paper cups are sturdier than the cupcake cups so the wax should not spill out (especially if it is level in the fireplace) and should be no mess.

HTH :D

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