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Interesting new fire method  RSS feed

 
Nancy Troutman
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I glean a lot of interesting methods of doing things from camping and SHTF videos off YouTube.   I found this one that I had never seen before:   


Basically, it is a way to make 1 firewood log to make a small controlled fire by splitting it and lighting a fire on top.   I am sure I will be using this in the future.
 
Devin Lavign
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Yep I have been doing Swedish torches for a long time, they aren't really new. But great that you discovered it.

FYI there are actually commercial versions sold in stores these days.

This one is from Homedepot


This one from a UK seller


And here is an instructional infographic for people who might not understand the idea.


There are a lot of different ways to make them though. Cut notches part way fill with tinder light, split wood in quarters stuff with tinder then bind the quarters back together with green whithies. There are enven folks making them into rocket stove style,


I often use Swedish torches when camping. I can make up several and they are a low/no maintenance fire. When it is cold or with a big group, I like to have multi fires, a central main fire and a ring of fires around it. This creates a warm area that keeps all sides warm rather than a cold back hot front. As well as increase your light area so your not night blinding yourself staring into the fire. I often use Swedish torches for the outside fires. I also like using small ones as camp kitchen cook burners, so I can have multiple burners to cook more than one thing at a time.

If you haven't' heard of Swedish torches, you might not have heard of long log fires.



This type of fire can easily burn for 6-8 hrs with no maintenance, depending on wood type and diameter of the logs. I have heard of 12 hr burns before. You often hear about people struggling while out camping having to feed the fire and stoke it etc. No need with this. You can sleep all night long and stay warm. Put one on each side of you and you create a nice warm center area to sleep in. Just don't roll over too far there are several videos of this fire lay on youtube. Sadly not enough to educate the public it seems, as every year I hear people complaining about having to feed a fire through out the night while camping.

Another fire method you might not yet be familiar with is the upside down fire.




I included the drawing images because it makes it easier to understand the concept. Large wood on the bottom, as you go up smaller and smaller. This too is a low/no maintenance fire. You set it up light and often can just let it go for 1-2hrs with no maintenance. As the fire burns it slowly sinks down into new fuel. Most people expect the whole thing to just light up, but this only happens if you build it wrong, and even then rarely. There are lots of videos of this on youtube. Check them out if you haven't see this before.
 
Nancy Troutman
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I would like to know what tool they used to get the 4-way perfectly even split.   When I swing an axe, it lands where it lands.   The splits on the logs you showed in the pictures are just too perfect to have been done by an axe.

I don't own a powered log splitter, I wonder if that is how they are splitting them so perfectly.
 
chad duncan
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I use a 1 3/4" forstner bit and drill most of the way down through the log then I drill a 3/4 hole through the side at the bottom of the other hole to make a rocket stove out of a single log. It burns for several hours and it makes no smoke. It's a bit of a pain in the butt to drill that long hole in the end grain but it makes a nice candle and it boils water fast.
 
Nancy Troutman
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chad duncan wrote:I use a 1 3/4" forstner bit and drill most of the way down through the log then I drill a 3/4 hole through the side at the bottom of the other hole to make a rocket stove out of a single log. It burns for several hours and it makes no smoke. It's a bit of a pain in the butt to drill that long hole in the end grain but it makes a nice candle and it boils water fast.


With my Baker's Choice Woodstove, I either have H E A T or no heat.   Nothing in between.   It is oversized for my mobile home anyway, and my mobile home is very well insulated.   So until the temp outside falls below 0°F, I have windows open.

I am thinking with this Swedish candle, to put one log in short enough to stand within the firebox, and light it from the top.   There is a cleanout plate where I can do that.

I will try your instructions out on a few logs.   It would be nice to have a mild heat - that burns a while, from the stove.
 
Todd Parr
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Nancy Troutman wrote:When I swing an axe, it lands where it lands.   The splits on the logs you showed in the pictures are just too perfect to have been done by an axe.



Nancy, with a little practice, it's much easier to split "perfectly" than you think.  With practice, it's fairly easy to hit the same spot to continue a split that didn't go thru on the first swing.  Cutting a chunk of firewood into four pieces that are almost exactly the same size isn't hard either.  Don't worry if you can't do it that well right away, "it lands where it lands" is the same for everyone at first.  If you don't want to practice enough to get that good at it, I know people that just use a chainsaw to make the cuts.  Practicing splitting is much better exercise though
 
Nancy Troutman
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I am 60 and the "axe swinging" stage of my life is behind me.   I now buy wood firewood from young'uns.   However,   I am thinking that I can do the forstner bit thing.   There are always too-short logs in the wood pile that would be perfect.

I do think I could do the chainsaw idea though.   Thanks for that idea.
 
Todd Parr
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Nancy Troutman wrote:I am 60 and the "axe swinging" stage of my life is behind me.   I now buy wood firewood from young'uns.   However,   I am thinking that I can do the forstner bit thing.   There are always too-short logs in the wood pile that would be perfect.

I do think I could do the chainsaw idea though.   Thanks for that idea.


You could always have one of the youngsters split just a few pieces right there, wrap a piece of rope around them to hold them together and you'll have a few torches.  I don't think they would mind   Even easier than the chainsaw idea.
 
R Scott
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If I were wanting one for inside my wood cookstove, I would just drill a hole all the way through.  It should draw from the bottom just fine while sitting on the grate. 

 
Nancy Troutman
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I admit, some of my interest in rocket stoves... is to see a miniature version that can fit in a woodstove firebox.    Something that can be easily be put in and pulled out.   However, just drilling thru the center of a log is definitely worth a try.   Not having to do a side hole makes it better still.

I could use the full size firebox for when baking bread, etc.   Use a rocket stove insert when I just need to take the chill off.   I am thinking the 500 pounds of metal has to count for biomass.

 
Devin Lavign
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Nancy Troutman wrote: I would like to know what tool they used to get the 4-way perfectly even split.   When I swing an axe, it lands where it lands.   The splits on the logs you showed in the pictures are just too perfect to have been done by an axe.

I don't own a powered log splitter, I wonder if that is how they are splitting them so perfectly.


As mentioned with plenty of practice you can get pretty accurate. The type of wood also has a big play in things. If you have straight grain no knot wood you can get good clean splits. But if there is much deviation in the grain, and especially knots, you will get wonky splits no matter how skilled and precise your axe skills are.

Another thing about getting good splits, is having a good quality axe that is well sharpened. The axe geometry plays a significant role in if an axe is made for splitting or chopping or limbing or other purposes.



There are also of course mauls too. That add extra weight and wider profile to split with.

And techniques like the wrist snap, to help pry the pieces apart to split along the grain and not have the axe wedge into the the wood. this video shows a good example of this technique.
 
Todd Parr
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If you are going to split any real amount of wood, using anything other than a splitting maul is a real chore.  Here in the sticks of WI, many, many people heat their houses with wood.  Of all the people I know that split wood for themselves, or do it for a living, every one of them uses a maul.  An axe will work for small amounts of wood like you would need for a camp fire, but if you have to split more than that, the difference between the two will be evident immediately.
 
Nancy Troutman
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Thank you Devin & Todd!   I printed your post on axes - went outside and discovered that I didn't have the right axe head for splitting wood.   It always helps if you have the right tool!  And I thought "maul" was a verb, not a tool.   As in my cat mauled my dog. 

In October, I will be traveling to VA and to Ohio.   I plan to stop at Lehman's and purchase the correct axe & probably a maul as well.   I want to swing them first before the purchase.   Even though I live in a rural area - the people around me don't buy anything that doesn't have a motor attached.   So the stores don't carry what there is no demand for.
 
You have to be odd to be #1 - Seuss. An odd little ad:
Ernie and Erica Wisner's Rocket Mass Heater Everything Combo
https://permies.com/t/40993/digital-market/digital-market/Ernie-Erica-Wisner-Rocket-Mass
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