Maya stick alternative.

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MartiniDave

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Aug 29, 2003
2,261
40
58
Cambridgeshire
I use kindling cut from old railway sleepers for our household fire. Some of these seem to be pine and are saturated with creosote and/or tar, so I chop some much smaller than usual and keep them in my pack in a poly bag. Burn well, light easily and work out much cheaper than maya sticks.
Be careful not to get splinters from them because they fester like crazy.

Dave
 

Keith_Beef

Native
Sep 9, 2003
1,331
236
51
Yvelines, north-west of Paris, France.
When I'm planing wood, I gather up all the shavings and put them into a paper bag. The bottom third of a paper sack that held 5kg of barbecue charcoal.

I leave the bag up on a shelf near the roof of the shed, where it gets quite hot, so the shavings keep very dry.

Most of these shavings are Mock Acacia (Robinia Pseudoacacia), oak and cherry, with a bit of chestnut now and then. Occasionaly borad-leaved lime or (horror!) pine.

A handful of that is enough to start a fire quickly.

Keith.
 

MartiniDave

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Aug 29, 2003
2,261
40
58
Cambridgeshire
Keith,

It's been going round in the back of my mind to try planing some of the sleeper wood to give me a supply of fine tinder. Would have tried it last night but was trying to fix the landrover in stead!

Dave
 

MartiniDave

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Aug 29, 2003
2,261
40
58
Cambridgeshire
Kieth,

Thanks for asking. I thought the starter solenoid was dead, but it now seems the starter motor has packed up. I ran it on the bench last night and it runs slow and fast alternately. When I took the casing off lots of burnt looking insulation fell out. I should pick a new one up tomorrow night, I just hope this one lasts 27 years too!

Dave
 

Bagheera

Forager
Jan 8, 2004
208
0
63
The Netherlands
home.kabelfoon.nl
Dave,

I just read your post, the train rail wood that you mean is bad really BAD stuff, it is loaded with that much "preservatives" that burning it and inhaling the smoke could really make you sick, if not immediately it could cause cancer later.

In the Netherlands this wood is considered chemical waste and as such you have to pay bigtime when you want to bring it to the dumpsite.
Lots of people used these in their gardens when the railways discarded them because they where switching to concrete replacements.

I'll keep using Maya-Wood or birch bark etc.

Best Scouting wishes from Holland,

Bagheera
 

MartiniDave

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Aug 29, 2003
2,261
40
58
Cambridgeshire
Thanks for the warning Bagheera. I only use small amounts to start the fire going, usually in an enclosed wood burning fireplace. I will be careful though.

Dave
 

qweeg500

Forager
Sep 14, 2003
162
1
51
Hampshire
A few years ago a BT telegraph pole came down in my father in law's garden afetr being clouted by a falling tree. They put up a new pole but my father in law generously (or so he thought) said he'd dispose of it for them.

As he had a couple of open fires in the house he thought he'd get some nice free premium firewood. How wrong he was. The stuff gave off awful fumes - almost certainly toxic.

He ended up using it for various jobs around the garden and after several years none of it has rotted away. What ever they treat it with is powerful stuff. You don't want it in your lungs that's for sure.

A guess of few shavings would be OK but I'd take care with anything more.

Matt