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waxed pine cone starters

St. Louis County, MO(Zone 5a)

I've read about dipping pinecones in wax for firestarters. Have any of you used these and do they work? Pros/Cons? Can sweet gum balls be used in place of pinecones? Thanks! Cathy

Gladwin, MI(Zone 5a)

Someone made me some firestarters like this. They took pinecones, shoved in some dryer lint and then dipped them.
A pinecone burns very hot and starts a fire very well on its own. The wax makes them pretty. The dryer lint makes them not pretty.
I am not sure if they are ok to use often. I am really careful what I put in the fireplace and woodstove. (the wood has to be very dry) and it shows, as after 3 years our chimneys were still very clean and open. (when we ck'd them last spring)
A friend of ours, uses pinecones, and hard wood only dried one year. After 3 months their chimney was clogged. Was it the pinecones, or the green wood? I do not know.
I think colored wax pinecones in a basket are very pretty and used in moderation would be fine. And they make really nice gift baskets I think.

Afton, NY

I use the waxed pine cones occasionally and they are good firestarters. I use only one at a time in tandem with paper, fatwood and dry kindling.Burning green wood will not be good for your chimney. If I have to burn green wood, I get a good fire going with dry wood first and slip in some green wood after I have a good bed of coals going.But try not to burn green wood by itself.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

I've not used these but agree, I hate to use anything that might build up in the chimney.
DH can't get past using rich lighter pine which we still have access to and he uses much more than needed.
It irritates me as I can start a fire with dry twigs and the splintered pieces of wood from the split wood pile.

I'd vote decorative on the waxed pinecones and haven't seen anything those blessed' sweetgum balls are good for ~ lol

Durhamville, NY(Zone 5b)

A lot of variables affect how long a chimney will go before needing to be cleaned. I suspect starting a fire with a waxed pinecone isn't one of them. When I was young we made fire starters by rolling up corrugated carboard and soaking it in wax. They worked well.

Benton, KY(Zone 7a)

Here you go, firestarters from pine cones. http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/3549/

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