Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Woodstove & Fire Starters

It's that time of year again! Since working on the house has occupied most of our time we may not have much wood compared to previous years. This old house leaks like a sieve and I don't think caulk and weatherstripping cut it. We can actually tell wind direction by the way window plastic bows in and out on opposite sides of the house. We live in a giant windsock!

Don't feel too bad for us though, as long as we have wood there's this to comfort us!

On the coldest days outside with the wood stove running, our kitchen clock tells us it's July inside.

Indoor on left, outdoor temp on right.
It was really much colder than 33 out today. Pretty sure our thermometer is off since I changed the batteries.

When buying a wood stove we considered all the options. We chose wood because it's always available, we can harvest from our own woods or several fields we farm at. Affordability. Other than a chainsaw, some chaps, and a little gas it's free. Yes if we added our hours of work up it may not pay out. But S likes cutting wood and feeling manly, why pay money to work out in a gym accomplishing nothing when you can do actual work? Save money? And heat the house? He is the one who gets antsy when the furnace turns on.

Also my fire starters rock. I make the best fire starters with paper egg cartons, dryer lint, and old candles. It's my McGyver trick! We keep these in a vase by the stove, we use them for bonfires outside, and even put a couple in the emergency winter car kit just in case.

Being made of garbage, they are not pretty.

1. Keep an egg carton by the dryer

2. Fill up the cups with dryer lint

When you have a substantial amount of lint and egg cartons, gather your old stubby candles. The church gave me a box full of them! Paraffin wax is also a cheap way to get the job done.

3. Melt wax in a double boiler. I plan on getting a coffee can to melt/keep my wax in. It will reduce the clean up process.

4. Pour melted wax into each egg carton cup saturating the lint before moving to the next cup. (no need to be perfect here, if you fill it up too much the wax will drip out the bottom)

5. Let it cool to room temp.

6. Simply break apart into individual cups, you're done!

To use: Light one of the paper corners that stick up.

We don't use tons of paper or kindling this way, it's super easy and the fire is lit without a hassle.

I don't remember where I found this idea years ago. It was not my own inspiration, and I'm sure there are tons of other ideas just like it out there. But I'd love to thank whatever source it was 'cause these things kick butt!

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