I have had the components set up on my work bench to make more fire starters. It sounds a bit dubious but I assure you it is all for the best. I make them for my neighbor, daughter and myself. They use them to start their wood burning stoves as I do also but I start my charcoal grill with them too. They are made up of mostly items around the house, dryer lint, sawdust, coffee grounds and wax.
All of the materials are household items for some people, I mean that in the kindest of all possible ways. For instance who amongst us have a lot of saw dust (if it is made with a sander is it called sander dust?), laying around? Wax likewise is difficult to obtain on occasion, this is the first time I’ve had to purchase a slab. Cost is in the $20 dollar range per 5 pounds, it’s not overly expensive but in the spirit of the beast I try to do as much as possible for no costs. The paper label on the crayons need to be removed either prior to melting or after; they are not my preferred source.
Equal parts sawdust and coffee grounds, I use two small aluminum pans divided in the center with cardboard taped to the bottom. The grounds should be dry as moisture remains for a long period of time after the starters are made.
Paper egg cartons, a large handful of dryer lint and a heat source. I have evolved with various ways to melt the wax, using a camp stove, a paint stripper heat gun, a hot plate and finally an old electric fry pan which is the best way I have discovered. Avoid if you can open flame, once melted when wax meets its flash point it is unstable and may burst into flames. I speak from the voice of experience as I nearly burned my house down twice, once with an open flame and again with the hot plate.
When the wax is completely melted it’s time to add the other ingredients to the mix stirring it completely. The small amount of candle wax with aromatics makes the entire works smell pleasant.
Place a dollop of the hot mixture in each egg cup, filling to the top is not needed. They will burn between 10-15 minutes, long enough to start either a BBQ or a wood burning stove. The advantage is not using starting fluid in the grill or a mountain of paper in the wood burning stove. They will start with a match or my preferred method is a propane torch or the endless match with a trigger. If you are in need of a safe and easy means to start a fire this may just fill the bill, give it a go.
Jacques Lebec Earthworm Farming and Composting