Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 16

Thread: Are gossamer shavings flammable?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Michiana
    Posts
    1,480

    Are gossamer shavings flammable?

    So Iím getting ready to fire up the grill for dinner last weekend and realized I was out of newspaper to light the chimney starter for charcoal. I have many bushels of shavings in the shop so I grap a big batch to use as an igniter. Epic fail. It just didnít want to burn. It just smoldered. It still worked, but it took forever. I thought Wood was flammable.
    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Clarks Summit PA
    Posts
    605
    I have had some great backyard fires using shavings but at other times I have had problems. I get my best results when the handplaned shavings are a bit thick and curled and not very compressed. They seem to need air & then they go up like a torch. Shaving from my Dewalt planer are less flammable- they seem too compressed and lack air.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
    Posts
    4,380
    I can tell you for a fact that Heart Pine ones are. The heat in my Winter "shop" is a 200 year old fireplace, and the fire starts most mornings by those shavings.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    1,008
    I use shavings all the time to start my grill. Better then paper in my opinion.

  5. #5
    My favorite for starting the wood stove is also wood shavings, though I agree that gossamer ones need to be compressed and don't work as well as heavier ones.
    "You can observe a lot just by watching."
    --Yogi Berra

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    2,457
    Once I was in a pretty stupid mood and packed all the shavings in a paper bag, put it in the fireplace in my living room. At first I had troubles igniting it, but as soon as it started, the bag opened and air could enter the pile of shavings. Man, I was scared! Flames were leaping out of the chimney, 3 stories higher!

    For fire you need 3 things, fuel, air and ignition temperature. take away any of these and stuff doesn't burn very well. I think in your case not enough air was the culprit. I use shavings all the time to ignite fires, but it needs to be a loose bundle with plenty of access for air.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Michiana
    Posts
    1,480
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rainey View Post
    I have had some great backyard fires using shavings but at other times I have had problems. I get my best results when the handplaned shavings are a bit thick and curled and not very compressed. They seem to need air & then they go up like a torch. Shaving from my Dewalt planer are less flammable- they seem too compressed and lack air.
    Agreed. Had these been thicker and less compressed they'd have burned better. I have the same issue with planer shavings. I empty my dust collector in the fire pit and the pile of planer shavings burns low and slow.
    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Edwardsville, IL.
    Posts
    1,555
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Luter View Post
    Agreed. Had these been thicker and less compressed they'd have burned better. I have the same issue with planer shavings. I empty my dust collector in the fire pit and the pile of planer shavings burns low and slow.
    yep. "necessary for fire: fuel (any substance that can undergo combustion), heat (heat energy sufficient to release vapor from the fuel and cause ignition), oxidizing agent (air containing oxygen), and uninhibited chemical chain reaction " ( Fire Tetrahedron )
    Last edited by Ron Bontz; 08-23-2018 at 8:03 AM. Reason: omission

  9. #9
    I used to light the grill all the time with shavings.

    A light hand full is all you need.

    As others note - fluff them up real good. Lots of air space. If they are packed - they will just smoulder.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    5,515
    In my experience, shavings work fine for firestarting if they are dry. What type of wood were you having trouble with

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Longview WA
    Posts
    20,342
    Blog Entries
    1
    As others have stated, the reason for your shavings slow combustion was likely compression unless your shavings were wet. For starting fires here, a handful of shavings if picked up from the box, shaken a bit to fluff them and then set in to the fire place. Sometimes two handfuls are used. This is usually enough to ignite the kindling and get the fire roaring.

    On wet shavings, a good fire can dry them out so fast it looks like they are bursting into flame.

    Starting a fire is like many other things in life. There are abundant right ways to get it done and, of course, numerous ways leading to failure.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Michiana
    Posts
    1,480
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    As others have stated, the reason for your shavings slow combustion was likely compression unless your shavings were wet. For starting fires here, a handful of shavings if picked up from the box, shaken a bit to fluff them and then set in to the fire place. Sometimes two handfuls are used. This is usually enough to ignite the kindling and get the fire roaring.

    On wet shavings, a good fire can dry them out so fast it looks like they are bursting into flame.

    Starting a fire is like many other things in life. There are abundant right ways to get it done and, of course, numerous ways leading to failure.

    jtk
    They were dry as a bone shavings of Oak and Cherry from tuning up a couple smoothers. I grabbed a big handful and stuffed them into the bottom of my chimney lighter. The issue was airflow. I'll use less shavings next time.
    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    5,515
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Luter View Post
    They were dry as a bone shavings of Oak and Cherry from tuning up a couple smoothers. I grabbed a big handful and stuffed them into the bottom of my chimney lighter. The issue was airflow. I'll use less shavings next time.
    True, I've only used them for open campfires under larger kindling. Having them stuffed too close sounds like the problem.

  14. #14
    A trick I use when using chimney starters... drizzle a bit of old cooking oil or meat grease on the shavings. This will keep them burning longer... In this case - less is more as you need lots of air flow to get it going.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Walkerssville, Maryland
    Posts
    149
    I have been making fire staters for fireplaces, campfires etc. for years out of wood shaving. Take a paper egg carton, put in a pile of not too compressed shavings, pour melted parafin wax over the carton. Let cool and you have 12 or so water proof fire starters. Pull the individual sections of the egg carton apart and apply a match to a corner. Not sure how it would work in a charcoal chimney, but it works fine to start the fire in my smoker.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •